City of Williams Lake in the red for $19.4 million

The municipality is shouldering a debt worth $19,387,852. Last year it paid $1 million in interest and made $920,510 in principal payments.

According to paperwork provided by the City, as of Dec. 31, 2010 the municipality is shouldering a debt worth $19,387,852. Last year it paid $1 million in interest and made $920,510 in principal payments.

The debt breaks down across five borrowing funds. As of Dec. 31, 2010 the debt in the general fund — out of which has funded the majority of the City’s capital projects — was $14,504,019; debt in the water and sewer fund — where monies are collected for water and sewer services annually to be used solely on water and sewer projects  —  was $3,157,833; there is a borrowed amount in the short-term fund of $350,000 and the City’s reserve fund — to which no interest is applied but money taken out must be repaid within a specified time period — is in the red for $1,376,000.

Spending was accumulated by a number of different council administrations and includes debt accrued by all three mayoral candidates’ councils.

There were five projects approved from the water and sewer fund between the years of 1990-96 when former mayor Walt Cobb was head of the administration. Cobb’s council approved $1,811,043 on water and sewer projects in those six years.

In the term of former mayor Scott Nelson (2005-08) further debt was accrued  to the tune of $10, 675, 000. Spending bylaws were approved for projects including: the Clearview Crescent reconstruction, $575,000; the Country Club Boulevard reconstruction, $2.2 million; the River Valley Storm Sewer — phases 1 and 2, $1.4 million  (three quarters of the total cost of those projects was covered by senior levels of government); and the fire hall, $6.5 million. Nelson’s council also took $1.3 million out of the City’s reserves to pay for South Lakeside improvements.

Mayor Kerry Cook’s council added a further $3.5 million to the debt for the Mackenzie Avenue rehabilitation project (two thirds of the total $10 million cost of that project was paid by the federal and provincial governments). Her council further borrowed $350,000 from the short-term fund for the Cameron Street reconstruction and, from reserves, $420,000, for garbage and recycling carts. Some of the debts on the City’s books will be paid off as soon as this year and others as late as 2031.

As a percentage of the total debt based on the amount of the original borrowing bylaw: Nelson accrued 48 per cent; Cook, 17 per cent; and Cobb, seven per cent.  The City has used 32.4 per cent of its debt servicing capacity based on 2010 revenue.  A one per cent tax increase is equivalent to $100,000.

To find out what mayoral candidates have to say about the debt, see page A4.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Williams Lake is asking for public feedback on whether it should explore the opportunity to host a Greater Metro Hockey League team in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake GMHL expansion questions, concerns, to be discussed later this month

If approved, the team would begin play in the fall of 2021

Cariboo Memorial Hospital emergency doctor Sarah Dressler comes off a night shift on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Our Hometown: The doctor is in the house

Cariboo Memorial Hospital emergency doctor Sarah Dressler was born and raised in Williams Lake

The Williams Lake Trail Riders Arena is slated to have a new roof installed this spring after funding from the province’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Trail Riders Arena, stable stalls, to get new roof at Stampede Grounds

Some of the stalls currently aren’t able to be rented out due to leaks in the roof

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(File photo)
Kamloops Mountie bitten while arresting woman

The assault on March 1 is the latest in a string of incidents that have left local officers injured

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Some Canadians are finding butter harder than usual, resulting in an avalanche of social media controversy around #buttergate. (Brett Williams/The Observer)
#Buttergate: Concerns around hard butter hit small B.C. towns and beyond

Canadians find their butter was getting harder, blame palm oil in part one of this series

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends deadline for tourism, small business COVID-19 grants

Business owners expect months more of lost revenues

Most Read