Rec Steering Committee adds two from County, long-term borrowing to be debated

by Tristan Turner

In a unanimous vote Dec. 8, Council has moved to appoint Sturgeon County Councillors Jerry Kaup and Patrick Tighe, who will work with Morinville Councillors Boutestein, Putnam, and Ladouceur on the committee, along with 12 members of the public who had applied to serve on the committee before the Town’s deadline. The committee will continue to review information available about the progress on the facility and provide recommendations to Council on how to move forward.

Dafoe gives Notice of Motion to hold potential plebiscite or rec facility debt

Councillor Stephen Dafoe gave a Notice of Motion at the end of the Dec. 8 Council meeting that could send Morinvillians to the polls in a plebiscite for the second time since the beginning of this Council’s mandate.

Th notice of motion, which will be put on the table for debate at the Jan. 12 meeting, would send residents to the polls should Council’s decision to build require borrowing an amount that could not be repaid in five years.

Morinvillians would potentially vote to support a larger or longer debt or vote against long-term borrowing to fund the new centre.

Dafoe took the opportunity during budget discussions Nov. 24 to get in a question to CFO Andrew Isbister about how much of the Town’s $22 million debt limit the community would need to borrow to finance the rec centre project, originally budgeted at $13.75 million in the 2015 Budget.

Isbister said if the facility were built today with the budgeted amount of $13.75 million and no other revenue sources, the Town would need to borrow “about $8 to $10 million dollars.”

Council has requested pricing on two potential options for more than an arena. Both options include a field house. One option includes a running track and curling rink. That request was made at the Nov. 24 Council meeting and revealed to be in the $25 to $28 million range at a subsequent Steering Committee meeting.

If Dafoe’s Jan. 12 motion passes, it does not guarantee the Town will borrow beyond the capacity of a five-year payback, nor are the results of a municipal plebiscite in Alberta legally binding. They are often used as a gauge of public opinion.

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