Nanaimo residents have 30 days to oppose borrowing $17M for new fire hall

By Ian Holmes
April 2, 2018 - 4:32pm Updated: April 3, 2018 - 11:23am

Nanaimo voters have the chance to reject borrowing up to $17-million for a new fire hall # 1 Ian Holmes/NanaimoNewsNOW

Nanaimo voters opposed to borrowing up to $17-million for a new fire hall have one month to sign an alternative approval process document. Ian Holmes/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — Those opposed to borrowing up to $17 million for a new fire hall in downtown Nanaimo have 30 days to let the City know.

The alternative approval process (AAP) kicked off Tuesday, April 4 offering eligible voters the chance to reject borrowing the money for a new fire hall and emergency response centre on Fitzwilliam St.

Signed AAP forms from more than 10 per cent of voters (6,842) are required to overturn the borrowing bylaw.

It was approved by Nanaimo Council in a tight 5-4 vote back in February, with some councillors challenging the anticipated costs of the new facility.

The process is similar to a referendum, but significantly cheaper for municipalities to stage.

It typically fails in Nanaimo.

City data showed only a combined 13 dissenting votes over the past eight AAPs since 2010.

However, it has changed the course of a project before. A proposed 2008 boundary extension to the Cable Bay area in Cedar was rejected through the process, with more than 7,900 voters signing their opposition.

If the current AAP fails, construction on the new fire hall is projected to begin next year.

A business case analysis submitted to councillors showed the more than 60-year-old building doesn't meet provincial seismic codes and has many physical shortcomings.

City clerk Sheila Gurrie told NanaimoNewsNOW AAP forms must be signed and returned to City Hall by May 4. She said the City cannot accept fax or email copies of response forms.

AAP forms can be found here.

 

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