October 13, 2016

Cranbrook, BC (October 11, 2016) – Final paving work is set for next week in Cranbrook officially bringing an end to the City’s 2016 capital roads program.

In all, three completely rebuilt roads made up the most significant part of the construction work.  That included: 11th Avenue South from 3rd Street South to 11th Street South and 4th Street South from 11th Avenue South to 14th Avenue South.  Work was also done on 6th Street South from 11th Avenue South to 14th Avenue South.

Aside from the amount of work done this year, what is significant is that of the 4 major capital construction projects the City tendered in 2016 – including Idlewild dam rehabilitation – all the successful bidders were local contractors, something Mayor Lee Pratt is very happy with.

“There is this misconception that we don’t have the qualified people in Cranbrook to do this construction work,” Mayor Pratt says. “The fact is we have very capable local companies and local tradespeople, keeping your tax dollars in the community and keeping our local people working.  This is important and we want to see all our future construction tenders within reach of our local companies to bid on competitively.”

Due to timing, the 2016 capital projects got underway later in the construction season.  Staff intends on having the 2017 projects tendered and awarded early in the New Year to allow for best bidding opportunities and optimal use of time and resources to complete additional work that would come with the borrowed funds.

Meantime, the alternative approval process continues for the proposed $10 million in borrowing for the 2017 capital roads program.

“Roads, roads, roads, do something with them – that was the message sent loud and clear by the residents during the last election,” says Mayor Pratt.  “Everyone on Council, me included, all ran on that as part of our platforms.  We have delivered on this promise and will continue to do so.  If the alternative approval process stops the borrowing, we will go to referendum and I have no doubt it will pass.  Unfortunately, referendums cost nearly $50,000. That money would be better spent on pavement and employing local people and stimulating our local economy.   The small increase in tax now pales in comparison to the alternative.”

The issue of grants from other levels of government to help pay for this type of infrastructure work has also been on the lips of many residents, something the City is always active in applying for on a regular basis.  As an example, all of the work at Idlewild around the dam rehabilitation and lake dredging is being paid for entirely thanks to a $2.8 million grant through the federal gas tax program.

A public information webpage is available @ www.cranbrook.ca/aap to help residents understand the importance of the proposed borrowing and the potential impact the borrowing could have on their taxes. You will also find a web tool where you can easily find your additional tax costs based on your assessed property value.   All you need is to enter your property address at www.cranbrook.ca/taxrates

An information package and an elector response form are available for review and pick up either at Cranbrook City Hall or for download at www.cranbrook.ca/aap.  You only need to complete an elector response form if you are against the borrowing. Residents have until Monday October 31, 2016 @ 4:30pm MT to submit their completed elector response forms.

If you have any additional questions about the AAP, please contact Charlene Courtney, Deputy Director of Finance and Computer Services at 250-489-0203 or by email at charlene.courtney@cranbrook.ca.

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