Representing Golden

Councillor Chris Hambruch share his views on Bridge to Bridge

Recently there have been accusations and allegations that Council is, among other things, trying to slide the Bridge to Bridge project financing through the back door. Pasted below is text copied from the Community Charter, the legal frame work we must abide by, regarding the Alternative Approval Process.

Local governments can use the Alternative Approval Process under Part 4, Division 2 of the Community Charter as a method to gauge public opinion in regard to certain types of proposed bylaws, agreements, or other matters. It is most commonly used in relation to long-term borrowing bylaws. It is a less expensive option than using a referendum to gauge public opinion. It can be used whenever the legislation requires a local government to obtain the approval of the electors.

So, no back doors, side doors or closed doors. A legitimate process allowed in the legislation we, Council and Staff, must, and do, operate within.

As for the project itself, since there is currently no staff that has the knowledge or expertise to undertake a project like this, we rely on people and organizations that are qualified. There are also no staff members still employed that were engaged with Urban Systems when this plan was put together. Bottom line, professional people like the ones employed by the Town, won’t give answers to questions they don’t know the answer to. Sounds like what my expectations of people are.

Are there other things other than Bridge to Bridge to spend the estimated $2.3 million Town share on? Quite likely. How much is the future work required to maintain and repair existing infrastructure going to cost? No idea. We are currently putting together a Capital Asset Management Plan to assess the entire Town owned infrastructure. We are hopeful that this plan will be in place by spring of 2013. Currently everything Town owned is operational that should be and scheduled maintenance and repairs are done regularly.

The reality is that the $2.240,000 grant for the dyke upgrade is available and if we accept it we must spend it by the end of 2013. Thus the reason for the short timeline. We are asking the electorate if they support long term borrowing to finance the Town portion of this project. If 10 per cent say no then we can either go to referendum to find out how many people are in favour or opposed, use short term borrowing, find other alternatives or say no to the $2.240,000 grant.

Either way, public input is an essential part of our actions.

We are all people and residents of Golden and want the best for Golden just like you do.

Chris Hambruch