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Iqaluit chooses the expensive options

City won't wait to make improvements

Nathan VanderKlippe
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Dec 17/01) - Iqaluit city councillors unanimously approved a capital projects plan Dec. 11 that calls for $67 million in capital expenditures over the next five years.

Faced with two proposals, council rejected a plan to spend $46 million, which would cover critical city needs, such as water-tank replacements, an upgrade to the water treatment plant, installation of meters in homes, cemetery development and a new ambulance.

The $67-million plan includes all of those projects and adds what Coun. Keith Irving called "dream projects," such as an arts and culture centre, 9.2 more kilometres of pavement and a swimming pool.

Coun. Chris Wilson explained that following the more minimal plan would leave the city one step behind in its growth. The more expensive plan provides an opportunity to avoid continually playing catch-up, he said.

"It's the concept that this council is moving forward," he said. "We're taking a lead."

Council also approved a proposed $12.1-million budget for 2002.