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.
Watch Below: People in downtown Vernon had mixed reactions to the idea of borrowing $25 million for a new cultural facility in the city.
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.
“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.
The space is currently used as a parking lot.
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.