City Clears 2/3 of Debt

November 9, 2012

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2012-14
For further information contact
Mayor Deb Walters
Phone: 604-465-2416 or
e-mail dwalters@pittmeadows.bc.ca

City Clears 2/3 of Debt

PITT MEADOWS, BC – As of Thursday, November 9, 2012, the City of Pitt Meadows eliminated almost 2/3 of its overall debt load with the receipt of the proceeds from the sale of the 4.65 hectares site in South Bonson. The sale completed on November 14, 2012 with a $12.25 million cheque being delivered to the City from the purchaser, Onni Group. "We heard from citizens that keeping our house in good financial order was important to them. We sold at a good time and borrowed at very attractive rates (less than 2%) to do great things for our community including the South Bonson Community Centre and Arena refurbishing. Reducing debt means savings in the longer term and allows us to focus on current infrastructure demands like drainage and our other reserves." Mayor Walters cautioned, "This is not found money; we must be strategic on how we use these dollars. We made investments in building our future from a facility standpoint and now we must be sure that we remain fiscally grounded moving forward".

Eliminating debt now saved the City over $6.8 million in interest costs had it been paid off over 20 years. The City provides services to the community with infrastructure (buildings, road, pipes, etc.) valued in excess of $300 million. The remaining borrowing represents just 2.5% of that total. The land sale proceeds balance of approximately $3.0 million could be used to further reduce debt or fund future infrastructure projects or reserves. Council will be discussing funding issues including what to do with the remaining balance as they enter business planning in early December.

Next steps for this South Bonson development will require the submission of a rezoning application and a public consultation process to gather feedback on design and land use. The City expects an application to be made by the developer in late 2012 through 2013.

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