Vernon cultural centre borrowing would cost ‘average’ household $48 a year

Click to play video: 'Vernon cultural centre borrowing cost revealed' Vernon cultural centre borrowing cost revealed
Watch Above: When Vernon residents head to the polls this fall they will be choosing more than just a city council, they'll also be weighing in on a proposal to borrow $25 million for a new cultural centre. We are learning more about the financial implications of that vote – Aug 28, 2018

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) has calculated that a proposal to borrow up to $25 million for a new cultural facility in Vernon would cost the “average household” $48 per year for 20 years.

However, the RDNO argues that would be partially offset by a drop in taxes due to paying off other debt for the Performing Arts Centre and original construction of Kal Tire Place.

The regional district says that after those loan repayments are factored in, the “average household” will be paying an extra $12 per year to build the cultural centre.

The RDNO is using $430,000 as assessed value of an “average household” to calculate the cost figures.

So those with properties worth less would shoulder a smaller portion of the cost while those with homes worth more would pay more.

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Watch Below: People in downtown Vernon had mixed reactions to the idea of borrowing $25 million for a new cultural facility in the city.

Click to play video: 'Mixed reactions to borrowing $25-million for cultural facility' Mixed reactions to borrowing $25-million for cultural facility
Mixed reactions to borrowing $25-million for cultural facility – Jun 21, 2018

The figures were released as the regional district gears up for a referendum on borrowing up to $25 million for the new $40-million facility during this fall’s civic election.

The proposed new cultural centre would be built in downtown Vernon at 3313 30 Street and would become the new home of the city’s museum and art gallery.

READ MORE: Downtown Vernon location picked for proposed $40-million cultural facility

“I think this will give us an opportunity to really create a cultural identity that I don’t think we really have right now,” said Juliette Cunningham, chair of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee.

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The space is currently used as a parking lot.

Watch Below: Vernon voters split on borrowing referendum.
Click to play video: 'Vernon voters split on borrowing referendum' Vernon voters split on borrowing referendum
Vernon voters split on borrowing referendum – Jun 21, 2018

If voters in Greater Vernon, which consists of Vernon, Coldstream and electoral areas B and C, approve the borrowing, the regional district plans to pay for the rest of the $40-million project through other funding sources including grants, donations and fundraising.

READ MORE: B.C. municipal election 2018: Vernon results

Some have questioned whether the regional district is underestimating the amount of funding it could get for the project from federal and provincial grants.

Cunningham said that if more grants become available, the regional district would not borrow the full $25 million.

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