Letter: Working the numbers leads to different sums

The true answer to what the city hall will cost the taxpayers is…well above $19 million cost to the taxpayers.

To the editor:

The City of West Kelowna is supposed to represent all of the citizens of West Kelowna and they are definitely not doing so.

The mayor and council are very pro new city hall, have been using their position to draw media and citizens attention and have appeared at many functions promoting their city hall. While they have a right to vote in favour of their position, I find it disgusting that they openly, and with $25,000 of our own taxpayer dollars, promote their position rather than staying neutral and letting the democratic process take place. As an example of their inappropriate spending and misleading answers, I offer the following that was in the newspapers and on the city website;

“Question:

“How much will the City Hall cost and how will it generate economic development?

“Answer:

“The total cost to borrow the $7.7 million at 2.6 per cent interest, is $472,480/year or a total of $9.45 million. The total capital cost for the entire West Kelowna Civic Centre Project, of which the City Hall is a part, is $31.9 million and it is expected to generate $49.13 million in economic output.”

That is not an accurate answer and is very misleading. The city got around answering the actual taxpayer question by including the entire, so called, civic centre cost which includes the developer buildings and his making a profit not the taxpayers. The true answer to what the city hall will cost the taxpayers is $7.8 million from Municipal Finance Authority borrowing plus interest over 20 years and the taking of $7.1 million from our underfunded reserves plus the loss of interest by removing this from its investment account over the next 20 years. If the interest rates were to stay where they are for the next 20 years (which they will not, and will increase at year 10 and 15 when the loan must be renewed) the total cost of the city hall is well above $19 million cost to the taxpayers.

The taxpayers/citizens of the City of West Kelowna expect better from their mayor and council and expect the truth. Mr. Mayor and council, stop sidestepping questions and just tell the truth.

Charles Edward, West Kelowna