Directors debate PRRD borrowing bylaw


Photo: Director of Area ‘C’ Arthur Hadland discusses his recommendation on Thursday afternoon – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca

One director wants the Peace River Regional District to curb its reliance on borrowing money.

Area ‘C’ Director Arthur Hadland made the recommendation at Thursday’s PRRD meeting.

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The Regional District borrows money for infrastructure within the Peace Region.

District Administration says without borrowing, projects like the Buick Creek Arena would cease. And they say, without the ability to borrow,  residents would need to be taxed for at least ten years, in order to accumulate enough money to fund any large-scale project. Administration warned that wouldn’t bode well with the average taxpayer.

Director Mike Bernier also objected to the idea. Bernier is the Mayor of Dawson Creek, which just went through a heated borrowing bylaw referendum. The City proposed to borrow more than $9 million for capital infrastructure projects, but a majority vote nixed that plan.

Bernier says it’s one thing to attempt to live debt-free, but the Regional District needs to able to borrow, in case an unexpected expense arises.

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Director Fred Jarvis echoed Bernier’s thoughts, and explained it’s different for regional districts and municipalities to be debt free, as the former is more heavily mandated by Provincial regulations.

He agrees, should a ‘spur-of-the-moment’ mandate arise, the taxpayer shouldn’t be left to pick up the pieces.

Directors defeated the recommendation of the PRRD weaning itself from borrowing within five years. But, Hadland says he will be bringing an amended recommendation to the next Regional District meeting.


Photo: Director Mike Bernier (far right) defends his position on borrowing at Thursday’s Regional District meeting in Dawson Creek – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca

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