City on hook for Cariboo Lodge electricity

Although Cariboo Lodge was decommissioned in 2009, it is costing the city thousands of dollars in electricity bills.

Although Cariboo Lodge was decommissioned in 2009, it is costing the city thousands of dollars in electricity bills.

The city will reimburse Canadian Mental Health $16,047 for electricity used on the vacant side of the lodge for the period between March 2010 and May 2013, and will reimburse CMHA $1,088 annually for the city’s portion of electricity consumed on the vacant side between May 24 through to Dec. 31 of this year.

On Tuesday, city council received a report from Reg Ryan, manager of transportation and buildings, outlining the reason for the costs.

Ongoing electrical provides heat in the basement room containing the alarm panels, emergency lighting and minimum lighting for staff to navigate hallways when required.

“It’s a very sad situation,” Coun. Surinderpal Rathor said before council approved the reimbursements. “What can we do in the future to make sure we don’t have to pay for this? Can something be done?”

Staff has undertaken to review the situation so that in the future the city isn’t energizing the side of a building that isn’t in use, chief administrative officer Darrell Garceau responded.

It is unfortunate this wasn’t discovered over the last two and a half years, Garceau said.