Claresholm town council approves borrowing bylaw

By Rob Vogt, Local Press Writer

Claresholm town council has given the final two readings to a borrowing bylaw for $2.8 million to convert the former Claresholm Elementary School building into a new town hall and community multi-use facility.

At its June 25 meeting, council proceeded with consideration of the bylaw.

It had been postponed when the town received a petition requesting a plebiscite on the matter.

However, that petition was deemed insufficient because all but one of the 415 signatures contained no date.

Consequently, the bylaw was back on the agenda.

Coun. Donna Courage requested the bylaw be read out loud at the meeting before council voted on it.

Mayor Doug MacPherson said a copy of the bylaw went out in the utility bills for residents to see.

He then asked Marian Carlson, the town’s chief administrative officer, to provide an overview of the bylaw.

She explained the total project is estimated to cost $3.5 million, with $350,000 each to come from capital reserves and provincial grants.

The remaining $2.8 million will be borrowed. The loan will be for a term of 30 years at an interest rate not to exceed four per cent.

Courage asked the bylaw be read, particularly Section 4.

Coun. Kieth Carlson then said he would.

“The Municipality shall levy and raise in each year municipal taxes sufficient to pay the indebtedness,” he read.

Courage said taxes would be levied to pay the loan.

“Like every tax system, you take in the amount of taxes necessary to run the community,” Carlson said.

Marian Carlson said the payments would become part of the operating budget. In some cases, as with water and sewer loans, payments can be made through utility revenues.

She added a municipality has three ways of raising revenues: user fees, taxes and grants.

Council then passed second reading with everyone in favour except Courage who was opposed, and third reading where again everyone was in favour except Courage who was opposed.