It’s not a $20-million issue, but closer to $14 million.
Near the end of Monday’s Renfrew council meeting, Mayor Ringrose said he wanted to clarify a false impression about the town’s financial state of affairs.
During the Jan. 14 council meeting, Coun. Clint McWhirter said he wouldn’t support the Ma-Te-Way Park expansion, with a pool and second ice pad, for a town that owes $20 million.
If the town had taken out a loan of $4 million to support its projected share of an $18.3 million pool-ice pad facility, the town’s current debt would have been close to $20 million. However, the town’s current debt load is not $20 million, stressed Ringrose at the Jan. 28 session of town council.
After hearing the figure repeated by residents writing letters to the editor in The Renfrew Mercury, Mayor Ringrose says he checked that figure and verified that the town’s current debt is $13 million.
That figure also appeared in recreation director Barclay Mayhew’s report at the Jan. 14 council meeting.
Another $1.1 million was approved last year to finance other projects. Renfrew clerk Kim Bulmer says that money will be borrowed to pay for projects, completed in 2011 and 2012 — refurbishment of the water tower, construction of the salt-sand shed at the town garage, and rehabilitation of Raglan Street North and Mutual Avenue.
That means the town’s total debt will soon be $14.1 million, said Ringrose Monday night.
“This council, in the future may make decisions similar to the decision that was before us two weeks ago, that may also place additional debt on us.”
Ringrose speculated that future borrowing could include the $850,000 or so needed to purchase a new fire truck.