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Voters give Princeton green light on $7 million loan

Town can proceed with borrowing process to improve infrastructure

An application for a $7 million loan, to pay for improved infrastructure, has been given the green light by Princeton residents.

A six-week Alternative Approval Process (APP), which allowed for registered voters to submit objections to the plan, passed Monday, July 12 with only 10 people signing forms of disagreement.

Ten per cent of the electorate – 228 people – was required to vote ‘nay’ in order to kill the plan, or push the question to referendum.

“I’m ecstatic the community is behind this,” said Mayor Spencer Coyne, adding the infrastructure updates are crucial to protect and grow the town.

“This is the biggest project we have undertaken (as a council), and I think it’s the most important thing we have done to date.”

The loan, which still requires further approval from the province and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, will result in a $197 parcel tax, per property, per year, for the next 30 years.

Related: Princeton proposes to take on $7M in debt to fix crumbling infrastructure

According to engineers, six separate projects need to be undertaken.

The most costly is a full replacement of the sewer trunk main from Tulameen Avenue and Allin Street, through to Fenchurch Avenue and Lime Street. The estimated cost is $4.28 million. This will address deficiencies in the line and include a new river crossing at Angela Avenue. It will secure service and allow developers to pay to hook up to the sewer system.

“The sewer upgrade is essential. We just saw recently in Vernon, they had a sewer blow out and it ended up in the lake. That is something we don’t want to see here,” said Coyne.

The Fenchurch Lift Station will be upgraded, and a 4″ sewer pipe in North Princeton will be replaced. As well, a fourth well will be dug to provide better water flow for consumer consumption and fire protection, and the Billiter Warren Booster Station will be replaced.

The funds will be borrowed as the money is needed, and Coyne said he hopes work on the projects can begin in 2022.

The loan will be made by the Municipal Finance Authority, where the interest rate is currently 2.29%. On a $7 million loan, the annual debt servicing payment would amount to $336,910.

Council will receive the official results of the APP at a special meeting Wednesday July 14.


Princeton mayor ready to support referendum if proposal for $7 million loan gets defeated

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