Ponoka Town Council approved first reading this week of Borrowing Bylaw No. 470-22 to begin the process to purchase the Ponoka Civic Centre property located at 5604 50 Street in Ponoka.
In 2017, the Town of Ponoka entered into a lease agreement for the Ponoka Civic Centre with the intention of exercising the purchase option at a future date.
Borrowing Will Not Impact Budget or Property Taxes
The proposed Bylaw would authorize the Town to borrow up to $10 million. That amount does not represent the purchase price of the property but acts as a pre-approval limit similar to a mortgage. The final purchase price would be based on the average of two independent appraisals representing fair market value of the property. The appraisals and final purchase price would not include tenant improvements to the building that have been completed by the Town.
Town of Ponoka Chief Administrative Officer Sandra Lund said borrowing funds to purchase the Ponoka Civic Centre are not expected to result in any additional financial impact on the Town’s annual budget, municipal property taxes or the Town’s debt limit. “The annual costs of the Town’s lease payments of $700,000, which are already included in the Town budget and debt limit, are expected to cover the long-term borrowing costs to purchase the property,” she explained.
Municipal Bylaws require three readings by Town Council in order to be approved. Before Council considers second and third reading of the proposed Borrowing Bylaw, the Town will advertise the Bylaw for two weeks, along with its intention to purchase the Ponoka Civic Centre property.
As legislated by the Alberta Municipal Government Act (MGA), following the two weeks of advertising the proposed Borrowing Bylaw, there will be a 15-day period in which electors may submit a petition calling for a vote of electors to determine whether the proposed Bylaw should be passed. Unless a valid petition is received, which meets the requirements of Section 231 of the MGA, the Bylaw can proceed to second and third reading.
Following third reading of the proposed Bylaw, Section 273 of the MGA requires a 30-day waiting period to allow for applications to the Court of Queen’s Bench to have the Bylaw declared invalid. If no applications are made to Court of Queen’s Bench during this period, the Bylaw becomes valid and a loan application would be submitted to the Province of Alberta to purchase the Ponoka Civic Centre property.
If citizens have questions regarding the proposed Borrowing Bylaw or petition process, they can contact Town of Ponoka Legislative Services at 403-783-4431.