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During a special council meeting scheduled Wednesday, council members approved statute C-1440 that will allow the city to borrow up to $ 15,500,000 to purchase and renovate the Stonebridge Hotel.

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The amount loaned will be reimbursed over a period of 30 years and will pave the way for the completion of the Coordinated Care Campus project.

“So this is not a decision, do we go ahead with Stonebridge? Is this how we pay for the Stonebridge? Councilman Dylan Bressey said at the council meeting.

“A project of this magnitude is more appropriate to be financed through debt, and annual debt payments will be estimated and incorporated into the ongoing operating budget for Coordinated Care Campus,” said Danielle Whiteway, City Chief Financial Officer. of Grande. Prairie, at the council meeting.

The facility is expected to generate income from rent collected from residents and service providers on the Coordinated Care campus that would be used to pay debts.

“I think it makes sense for the people who live in this building to pay for it,” said Bressey, who also said that a combination of federal and provincial grant dollars earmarked for the homeless will be redirected to help pay for the project.

Additionally, grant funding is currently in the application process, which could be used by the city to reduce the total amount loaned.

“We are looking for more support through Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, they have federal programs that are more mortgage relief or debt relief on these types of projects,” Whiteway said in an interview after the council meeting.

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On the advice, Bressey likened this project to a mortgage on a place where people will live.

“If the city doesn’t take out a mortgage and instead pay in cash, then that’s the cash that the City of Grande Prairie taxpayers put in, and we’re going to have to cancel some pretty big programs that those taxpayers were saving for.” Bressey said, adding: “I don’t think it’s a responsible way to do it.”

The motion was approved unanimously. Councilors Eunice Friesen and Wade Pilat were not present for the vote. Mayor Jackie Clayton has excused herself from ongoing discussions on this project due to the potential for a perceived conflict bias.

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