Trail preps for possible library/museum approval

A referendum will be held November 15 to let voters decide whether or not the city should borrow money for the new centre.

  • Jul. 26, 2014 3:00 p.m.

The city did a little pre-fall cleanup this week by thrice reading a bylaw to borrow $6.2 million should Trail residents say yes to a new facility on the south end of downtown.

It’ll be up to the 5,733 registered Silver City voters on Nov. 15 to either end or start a new chapter on the integrated library and museum portfolio when the matter is carried to referendum in the upcoming municipal election.

For now, the city readied the initiative so terms of the loan can be sent to the province for approval then advanced for the new Trail council to consider after the election.

“It is noted that a referendum must be held within 80 days following the approval of the bylaw from the province,” noted David Perehudoff, the city’s chief administrative officer (CAO).

“The bylaw sets the maximum amount that can be borrowed,” he explained “But the city can seek to proceed with the issuance of securities that is less than the total authorized under the loan authorization bylaw.”

Design plans for the “Trail Riverfront Centre,” an 18,000-square foot structure slated for the former Eagles lot on Bay Ave., were completed earlier this year and since that time all entities involved have been actively pursuing additional funding sources in hopes of reducing the net cost to the city.

The Trail Historical Society was granted $20,000 last month from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA) towards capital costs of the proposed library/museum, which is the maximum amount allotted under the CKCA program for a museum and gallery space.

The City of Trail recently submitted an application for $500,000 in funding from Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), and is awaiting a decision from CBT sometime in September when its board reconvenes.

To date, the modern integrated structure could cost Trail taxpayers an increase of $72 in municipal taxes, but as additional funding opportunities are secured should the referendum pass, that number could drop somewhat.

Based on current interest rates, if the full amount was borrowed, the debt payment would be $402,000 annually over the course of 25 years.

“I’ve had citizens ask,’What is this library?’” said Coun. Robert Cacchioni during Trail’s Monday night council.

The library isn’t going to just be book depository, he explained, adding that it’s going to be a learning centre and community centre for all citizens to enjoy.

“It’s a modern library with meeting rooms, crafts rooms and work rooms along with 20th century technology.”