Coquitlam council began the process Monday of entering into a long-term borrowing agreement worth close to $18 million in order to finance a series of infrastructure projects in the city's northeast.
The total project value is $21.9 million and includes road widening projects, safety improvements, reservoir upgrades and pump stations in the areas near Coast Meridian Road, David Avenue and Cedar Drive. Additional work is also planned in the City Centre area, and if the borrowing is approved, those projects will be slated for completion by 2014.
Of the $21.9 million being sought from the Municipal Finance Authority, $17.9 million will be borrowed and repaid with future development cost charge (DCC) collections, while the remaining $4 million will be funded by city sources, including DCCs already collected for this purpose.
None of the money will come from city tax dollars, and the projects are necessary to begin development in the affected areas, the city says.
The same process was used in late 2009 and early 2010, when the city borrowed about $4 million for the widening of Coast Meridian Road.
"It doesn't come out of taxpayers' dollars at all, so this is a win-win," said Mayor Richard Stewart.
"And from the developers' perspective, actually, it's considered a win as well because they get those services installed right now."
Residents could trigger a referendum process that could block the borrowing. If 10 per cent of those on the 2011 voters list - or roughly 8,200 residents - register opposition, a referendum would ensue.
The deadline for public comment on the proposed borrowing is April 15.