The City of Williams Lake is proceeding with plans to erect a Rick Hansen Man In Motion monument to replace the existing billboard located at the south entrance to the city.
While it is hoped donations from local sponsors will cover the costs of the $54,000-project, at Tuesday night’s regular meeting, council unanimously approved taking $27,150 from surplus in the 2011 budget, and $32,850 from the 2012 operating budget in order to move ahead with the project.
It’s important that the City underwrite the project, said chief administrative officer Brian Carruthers, adding that 50 per cent of the monument cost has to be paid up front and the second half upon delivery.
“The City cannot enter into an agreement to purchase an item like this without guaranteeing that we can pay for it,” he said. “For us to put a down payment and to commit to ordering this monument, whether there are donations or not, there has to be money to pay for it.”
He noted that major sponsors have been contacted, and while it’s hoped sponsorships will come through, no donations have been confirmed yet.
Mayor Kerry Cook said she’s been hearing concerns from the community.
“As we get those donations confirmed then that will be coming through council and updated to the public,” Cook said.
Coun. Surinderpal Rathor told council his phone has also been ringing off the hook with the community asking if taxpayers will now have to foot the bill for the monument.
“The intent is to raise 100 per cent to cover the cost of the project and we’re still working on it,” he assured, adding, “If we don’t order the monument right now, it will not arrive in time for the celebration in March.”