The public “REVEAL” of the proposed county developments on the property up the airport road took place this morning (May 10, 2016). The highlights were:
- The portion of the Administration building that would house the Ag services and Public Works departments
- Salt/sand storage facility
- Chemical storage building/gate house
- Service shop
- Heated storage building
- Two cold storage buildings
Note: Only the top three buildings were mentioned during budget deliberations in February, along with the design/concept plans and site preparation. The last three sets of buildings were publicly revealed in the documents of this May 10th agenda package.
- Construction of the balance of the Administration building that would support Corporate Services, Planning and Development, Community and Protective Services, and Council.
In the administration building floor plans it is noted that in all (Phase 1 and 2) there are a total of 81 offices/”work stations” for current use and an additional 39 offices/”work stations” for future use. The administration building will be 43, 560 sq. ft. in size. Aside from the offices there are rooms for filing, copy rooms, storage, lunch room, meeting rooms, and six sets of washrooms.
The total cost for Phase 1 is $21, 989, 500 and the cost for Phase 2 is $6, 532, 500 for a total of $27, 522, 000. This is based on a “projected mid to low $200/sq. ft.” building cost estimate provided by the county’s consultant.
WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM?????
$8, 665, 768 will come from reserves(sewer reserve, high speed internet reserve, county facility reserve, public works capital reserve, and paved roads reserve). $10, 559, 185 will come from MSI (Municipal Sustainability Initiative, provincial grant money), and $2, 764, 547 from last year’s surplus.
$4, 500,000 will come from the sale of current building assets, $632, 811 from the projected 2016 operating surplus, $313, 207 from Public Works Capital Reserve, and $1, 086, 482 from the Tax Rate Stabilization fund (a fund set up by the county to off-set a budget shortfall and prevent a large spike in property tax).
There is reasonable concern with the budgeting of large amounts of money to be spent based on provincial grant dollars as these are never guaranteed. Also, it is a concern to be taking money from specified reserves. What happens if there is a serious need in one of these areas and the reserve has been depleted?? Also, is it fair to be taking money from sewer reserves, for example, to pay for a questionable building project when there are residents in hamlets(e.g. Withrow) with sewer needs???
ULTIMATELY IT IS THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE THAT NEED TO BE THE DETERMINING FACTOR. LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD.