City moves ahead with plans to borrow $20 million for infrastructure fix
Yellowknife, N.W.T. - The city of Yellowknife is officially going ahead with its plan to borrow money to build a new water treatment plant and fix its aging infrastructure.
They'll be borrowing $20 million to go directly towards building the plant, which has become a requirement due to new drinking water regulations.
Deputy mayor Mark Heyck said that will free up an equivalent amount of money to replace the underground corrugated metal piping.
“We have not put enough money toward that over the years,” he said. “As a result, we are essentially 20 years behind schedule with that particular program. Those sewer mains, the corrugated metal pipe mains, are disintegrating beneath our feet.”
Heyck added the decision to borrow was made after looking at long-term construction interest rates.
“They can range anywhere from five to 10 or 12 per cent year over year,” he said. “When you stretch out that magnitude of work over a longer period, you end up paying much more in the end than you would if you borrowed to accelerate that work at a much lower interest rate.”
Heyck said the city is going to have to do things differently in the future, including making sure capital projects are set so that future generations aren't burdened.
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