Councillor Rimas Zitkauskas uses the condemning of the old Telkwa Village Offices as a convenient excuse for the Village using the Alternative Approval Process to pass a million dollar loan authorization bylaw. This argument does not hold water, even if the old Village Offices do.
The offices have been moved to the new building, employees are at work there, and council is holding their meetings there.
So far, less than $300,000 have been spent.
According to Councillor Zitkauskas, the urgent and timely approval of the loan authorization for a million dollars was required due to the condemning of the old building. That’s $700,000 more than what was actually used to purchase and move the offices into the new building.
The budget for the new building shows $303,000 for exterior renovation alone! The drawings which have been distributed show a building with 10 offices, five bathrooms, and a thirty foot wide waiting room complete with vestibule, skylights and seating for eight. All this in a building housing five employees.
The Village claims that it will not raise taxes to pay for this. What they don’t say is that in 2011 every homeowner in Northern B.C. should have received an additional $200 dollar homeowner grant. Instead of turning that money over to the people for whom it was intended, the Village of Telkwa raised the municipal tax rate by 20 per cent from 2010. Instead of getting $200 back, well, at least your taxes didn’t go up?
Clearly there was some urgency in accessing the $300,000 for the initial purchase and renovation project.
The other $700,000? The only rush in that is for the current Council to assure that their grand legacy project is complete before the November municipal elections.