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Council shouldn't rush to approve borrowing bylaw

As a frequent driver along Ray Gibbon I absolutely support that it needs to be twinned.

As a frequent driver along Ray Gibbon, I absolutely support that it needs to be twinned.

However, reading the Gazette article on Aug. 21, I find it interesting that the mayor is quoted as saying it was “noteworthy there was no public feedback on the borrowing bylaw."

l presented my concerns to council at first reading of the bylaw, but I guess the mayor somehow forgot this. My concerns were:

1. Why are we proceeding to approve the borrowing bylaw without confirmation from the minister? Why not just wait a few months to get confirmation in the provincial government's fall budget that they will still fund it on a 50-50 split?

2. If for some unforeseen reason the provincial government cancels its 50 per cent of the funding (like cancelling the ship oil by rail contracts, or cancelling the central health lab contract, etc.), then what would be the full impact to taxpayers paying for the total cost of twinning Ray Gibbon? By not waiting for confirmation, and not giving the minister the courtesy of finalizing and announcing the budget, I am concerned the provincial government might say there are higher priorities (like balancing the budget, or other projects), leaving St. Albert residents to pay the full cost.

Recognizing the 50-50 funding was announced by the previous NDP government just before the election, I sincerely hope our new UCP government confirms their commitment to 50-50 funding, but think council should have waited (protecting the financial risk to St. Albert taxpayers if we have to pay 100 per cent) for confirmation before proceeding to approve our borrowing bylaw. I wouldn’t start building my house without written confirmation from the bank that my mortgage was approved.

Mike Killick, St. Albert


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