Referendum needed on water borrowing

Re: No referendum on water borrowing, June 30.

To the Editor,

Re: No referendum on water borrowing, June 30.

OK, so it would appear the City of Nanaimo will likely be forced by VIHA and the province to move forward with a water treatment facility.

If, in fact, this is a given, and it is provincially mandated, then shouldn’t the province contribute at a minimum one-third of the costs?

A referendum on the long-term borrowing of more than $20 million by the taxpayers of Nanaimo is necessary and steamrolling borrowing through by the alternate approval process is not an option.

Why is a referendum necessary? For the simple fact that it gives all voting citizens the right to choose if borrowing is the best way to pay for the treatment plant.

Reserve funds in city coffers certainly exist and if also taken from other department streams should be able to pay for this without borrowing.

Instead of putting $16 million to a new City Hall annex, used by a few hundred employees, put that money toward the treatment plant which serves our more than 80,000 citizens.

Let the citizens decide through referendum whether we borrow.

If they say no, then look at other options and get it done. After all, 60,000 voters must carry some weight with the provincial and federal government and they would certainly carry weight municipally.

Gordon W. Fuller

Nanaimo