City council wants the public to be crystal clear about the approval process for Maple Ridge’s new rec facilities this fall.
Because if you agree with the city borrowing $23.5 million for a new ice arena, $8.5 million for a new Albion community centre, and another $7 million for two new all-weather sports fields, you don’t have to do anything.
Council is following the alternative approval process, in which 10 per cent of voters have to sign such forms, expressing their opposition to a particular project.
If that happens, council can then hold a full plebsicite on the issue or reject it completely.
If fewer than 10 per cent sign, the borrowing automatically proceeds and the projects get built.
Legislative clerk Laurie Darcus said the forms will clearly state – only people who are opposed to any of the projects will sign the forms – expressing their opposition.
There will also be individual forms for each project, labelling them and the amount that would be borrowed.
All told, the city wants to borrow $55.5 million to build the projects, resulting in a 0.45-per-cent increase in property taxes for each year, for a total of seven years.
At the end of the seven years, taxpayers will be paying about another $60 a year.
The alternative approval forms will be available for signing at city hall or the forms can be downloaded from the city’s website and printed out.
Each sheet will have space for 10 signatures.
“This is an exciting time,” said acting chief administrative officer Paul Gill.
“The community has been talking about this for a couple of years now. Here they are now. This is your opportunity to see what these projects are … and have your say.”
Earlier this year, the city held a public consultation on what kind of projects people wanted.
An outdoor swimming pool was later added to the list.
Meanwhile, the city will develop a one-year consultation plan for a new indoor pool.
More precise costs are now known for each of the projects.
Total cost has been reduced thanks to $6 million from the recently implemented community amenity charges, paid by developers, and the density bonusing charge in Albion.
• $23.5 million – new arena at Planet Ice;
• $8.5 million – new Albion community centre, 104th Avenue;
• $7 million – two artificial sports fields at Thomas Haney secondary;
• $6 million – outdoor pool;
• $4.5 million – two new mini-parks in Silver Valley, and upgrades to Hammond Community Centre and Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club;
• $3.5 million – balance of renovations to Maple Ridge Leisure Centre for new changerooms and lobby;
• $2.5 million – upgrading Maple Ridge secondary track.