Thursday October 02, 2014

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Council approves borrowing increase

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Estevan City Council gave three readings to a bylaw at its January 6 meeting to add another $7.5 million to its long-term debt load.

Mayor Roy Ludwig said that the loan is necessary so that council can pay for capital projects, such as last year's Highway 47 rebuild.

The $7.5 million was included in the list of long-term debts that council listed during its meeting last month to discuss the 2014 financial plan. Council was awaiting approval from the Saskatchewan Municipal Board and the lending institution before it could introduce the bylaw for the loan.

The City has about $37.7 million in long-term debt, but it plans to pay down about $5 million in 2014.

City treasurer Jeff Ward noted that it is a variable rate loan, as opposed to a fixed rate loan, that will be paid off over the next 10 years. Ward said the variable rate has an interest rate of about three per cent, while the fixed rate would have been six per cent.

Other highlights from the meeting were:

*The City will once again offer two $100 scholarships for the Estevan and District Music Festival.

*Lynn Chipley and Lyle Yanish are this year's members-at-large for the Estevan Board of Police Commissioners. Chipley is a former two-term City council member. Roberta DeRosier and former Estevan Police Service Constable Johanna Audet also applied for the police board.

*Council approved a pair of new policies. The first will govern usage of the City's private box at Affinity Place. The private box often hasn't always been utilized for special events such as concerts, and council is hopeful that the policy will result in more City employees enjoying the box. The other policy is for outside food and beverage at Affinity Place, the Civic Auditorium and the Souris Valley Aquatic and Leisure Centre. People will not be able to bring outside food into the venues, except for single serving snacks, such as a granola bar or carrot. They also can't bring in outside beverages or alcohol. Exceptions will be made for people with medical issues, and for baby formula and food.

*Council approved realigning a parcel of land at the northeast corner of the Sixth Street and 13th Avenue intersection. The property consists of two commercial arterial/highway zoned lots, one of which has an existing building development.

*First reading was given to a bylaw that authorizes municipal reserve property acquisition for three properties on Jubilee Place.


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