Sidney to debate new fire hall borowwing next month

Community Safety Building project to cost between $5 and $8 million; borrowing bylaw will be higher.

Borrowing options for the Town of Sidney’s proposed Community Safety Building (CSB) will not be debated until September.

On Monday, council voted to pause the advancement of a loan authorization bylaw. That bylaw would allow Sidney to borrow $10 million to pay for the new fire hall and emergency services structure. The sticking point for council was debate over how they might later approve the borrowing itself — either through assent-free borrowing (bylaw only) or the Alternate Approval Process (AAP). Last year, council had suggested they would use the AAP — a way to seek elector assent — for such a large borrowing amount.

Staff later reported Sidney has the ability to borrow that amount, as its overall debt load is quite low. A bylaw has been drawn up to borrow $10 million — the estimated high end of building costs. The Town is estimating they can complete it for between $5 and $8 million, after new lease agreements and land sales are factored in.

Council has gone back and forth on the issue of how to borrow the money. On Monday, councillors decided they wanted to wait for all (Coun. Tim Chad was not present) to be at the table to debate the issue, before they make any decisions.

Sidney council’s next meeting is Sept. 6.