Grant money lowers interest on cost of marine pipe replacement

NANAIMO – Regional District of Nanaimo saves upwards of $180,000 thanks to federal gas tax.

Regional District of Nanaimo directors approved a bylaw that authorizes borrowing money to pay for a pipe project at the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre.

The regional district is currently replacing marine pipe that runs into Georgia Strait, but thanks to $6 million in federal gas tax money for the project, announced earlier in July, the cost has lessened.

The board passed a bylaw in June ensuring borrowing authority was in place for the project and that it adhered to the current five-year financial plan.

A total of $15.5 million was budgeted by the regional district for the project.

“We were planning borrowing, which was approved earlier this year, and originally we were going to have to borrow $11 million, but then we got [the grant] so now we’re down to borrowing $5 million,” said Wendy Idema, regional district director of finance.

Idema said there are bylaw requirements for any kind of borrowing and the district is dotting it’s I’s and crossing its T’s.

There are savings for the regional district, she said.

“If we’re borrowing $6 million less at three per cent, it’s saving us $180,000 a year. That’s just interest costs alone,” said Idema.

She said in terms of savings for average Nanaimo and Lantzville homeowner, that will work out to $20 per household each year.