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REPORTING · 16th April 2015
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council was working on their budget on Monday, April 13th and one of the items which came before Council was a $575,000 building study.

“I think this is one of the most important things for us at this time, we’re on the cusp of some major industrial development and doing a building assessment study and knowing what needs to be done when is going to give us the reason to justify taxation,” said Mayor Phil Germuth.

He expressed the major industries which are coming to town are going to want to know why their taxes are where they are and the District of Kitimat needs a plan for when they want to replace buildings and put in a new city hall or museum.

Councillor Claire Rattee agreed. She pointed out a previous budget item which had been tabled, which would put signs to help new residents of Kitimat find their way around town, would be a waste of money if the buildings were moved in the future.

Councillor Larry Walker wanted to split the study in two, doing half in 2015 and the other half 2016. Germuth reminded him the cost of this study has already gone up once. If they wait another year, it could go up a second time.

Council was cautioned it could increase the cost. For one, it would mobilize the team which was doing the study twice. The team would meet with everyone and conduct the study so mobilizing twice would increase the cost.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff spoke against the expenditure: “I do believe we need to do a building assessment at some point but I think this could be very safely differed and we can do the study next year. We know we need a fire hall and all kinds of stuff. By doing the study, we get certain people’s hopes up too high and we’re not at the point that we can build a fire hall, we’ll do the study next year and spend the $575,000 to put the Quatsino Sidewalk in or something that is more immediate and we’ll do the study well in advance of the tax dollars. If we do the study now, we’ll have to wait a couple of years anyhow to get the taxes to follow up on the study.”

Germuth stated he could not believe the Quatsino sidewalk was coming up. He explained there had not been a survey or a cost analysis on it.

Walker expressed this discussion was about whether any of the proposed projects go ahead and if they do not, the situation will not be critical. Walker said they do not have a Final Investment Decision at this time so he agreed with Feldhoff.

Council was told they were going to get the funding from the Building Reserve. Council was told the District owns $100,000,000 worth of buildings and doing the study would be worth a half a percent of the cost. The study will show what needs to be replaced and what can be maintained. If they do the study now, the District can answer questions which they do not know.

In addition, Council was told the District can put reserves aside so they could replace something eight years down the line and have the money to pay for it so they do not have to go to referendum.

The motion to do the study was called and carried.
How much do we pay to the mall?
Comment by bill on 17th April 2015
Just curious why it is never disclosed the amount of rent we pay to the mall? Couldnt they borrow the money and pay what they already budget for rent against the loan....time for the public to start getting more involved, these studies are killing us
Dinner
Comment by Started at the bottom on 17th April 2015
I am willing to do the study, or at least help out with it for a nice dinner at Rosario's. For a dinner at the Chalet, I am willing to include non district buildings in this study also.
In my study I would suggest we finally build a town hall, and replace the fire hall.
On the residential side I continue my report with getting a court order to demolish the buildings across from Amos St.
In the light industrial area, I suggest a tear down of the old liquor store, empty since 1983.
This concludes my report.

On a serious note, does the town planner not have this information? What exactly have we been paying for the last sixty years for a town that was pre planned? And when ever any new development does come up, there's always problems, ie walking to library from envision, envision parking lot, no crosswalks for strawberry or wakita developments.
Are we realy getting our money's worth from some of these departments.?
We elected our councillors to make decisions, not to continue hiding behind studies. Where is the official community plan?

Ok, I want my dinner now.
Total waste of money
Comment by Vern on 16th April 2015
So we need to spend over 1/2 million dollars to study something we already know ? The people who work and maintain these buildings know what state they are in and it is well known that two buildings which are the Fire Hall and Museum need replacing , those two should be first on the list. This town has long been talk about this and study that instead of any real action such as forcing the removal of unsightly buildings and such. How about we use that money for something more productive or needed such as maintaining or building sidewalks to address a safety concern.