Voters: no more borrowing
Request for $1.5 million debenture denied

Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services

NNSL (Oct 22/99) - After the half hour flurry of excitement following the posting of election results had subsided and almost everyone had left the City Hall foyer, city finance director Robert Charpentier, finishing up a late night at the office, came out with a look of expectation on his face.

"What was the vote on the plebiscite?" asked Charpentier of the few people who remained. The results were not yet posted.

For most, the vote on the city's request to borrow $1.5 million for roadwork next year was overshadowed by the hoopla of election night.

For Charpentier and city staff who are involved in the development of the 2000 budget, the result of the borrowing request was far more urgent than the byelection.

Voters turned down the request by a count of 495-329.

"We're scrambling to change the budget," said financial services division manager Glen Charbeau Thursday morning.

The 2000 draft budget is scheduled to be completed in two and a half weeks.

The finance department has had to reduce the capital fund by $1.5 million, said Charbeau, and cut out $37,000 in interest payments that would have been made next year on the borrowing.

Phone calls to the city to determine what changes are being proposed to the roadwork plan as a result of the vote were not returned by deadline.

Just before the results of the plebiscite were announced, Mayor Dave Lovell said the result of the plebiscite would "tell as much or more (about the mood of voters) than the results of the election."

Some or all of the roadwork could go ahead despite the vote. Council will have the final say during the budget debate on what projects will proceed.

The roadwork could be done if other projects are cancelled or postponed.