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Council approves borrowing for Synergy purchase

Lloydminster city council has made the final decision on borrowing funds to purchase the old Synergy Credit Union building.

On Monday, council was faced with the second and third reading of the bylaw which would allow the municipal government to borrow the funds necessary to make the purchase, at a total of $4,716,000. The purchase of the building is the first phase of the Community Hub project.

Throughout the process of approving the borrowing, Councillor Ken Baker has been vocal in his opposition towards the project. During Monday’s meeting, Baker brought up the idea that the borrowing of the funds could be in contravention to the Lloydminster City Charter, due to the figure not being included in the city budget earlier in the year.

Bakers question prompted a 20-minute recess while Acting City Clerk Doug Rodwell spoke with the legal counsel for the municipal government.

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“During the recess, we sat down with our legal counsel, and asked for clarification on the question of Councillor Baker,” said Rodwell, after the meeting.

“They provided us their legal response, which we conveyed to council in the meeting.”

The response from the legal counsel indicated that a purchase approved in a motion by council would be added to the capital budget. Lloydminster mayor Rob Saunders viewed the process as a sign of healthy democracy.

“Sometimes, you just have to take a breath and take a second look and get a second opinion on things, and then you can move forward,” said Saunders, after the meeting.

“That is what democracy is all about, when you have a healthy discussion and everyone has their point of view and their opinions, sometimes it’s good to have a common point of reference to clarify things, and that’s what we did today.”

As for Baker, he’ll be investigating to make sure he understands all the budgetary processes in the future.

“I just want to make sure everybody was good to go, if you want to put it that way,” said Baker.

With the bylaw now past second and third reading, the funds will be borrowed for the purchase.

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