Referendum

Public Works Facility

The Public Works Facility must be replaced. The City is holding a referendum during the General Municipal Election to ask residents for approval on a loan authorization bylaw. The bylaw, if passed, allows the City to borrow up to $8,500,000 for the replacement of the Public Works Facility.

What is the issue?

The current Public Works buildings are old, decaying, and inefficient and well past their lifespan. Public Works uses 11 different buildings, located across the city. Throughout the years, buildings were acquired, constructed, or leased resulting in a below standard facility. The two main properties, beside the Johnston Bridge, are .8 to 2.4 metres below the 200 year flood level; this creates a delayed response from public works in flooding emergencies as they will need to respond to their own property and equipment first.

What is being proposed?

The Public Works Facility replacement is an absolutely necessary project. City Council unanimously agree that funding the Public Works Facility replacement through long-term borrowing and City reserves is the most fiscally prudent option. To acquire this loan, City Council must seek approval from the electors (you!) to proceed with a loan authorization bylaw (long-term borrowing).

The new Public Works Facility will be a unified yard and includes all public works and utilities functions:

Main Building

Administration

OfficesTraining room
Work AreaFirst aid room
Storage area 

Utilities

Clean storage (water)Dirty storage (sewer)
Scada (Control system equipment)Storage
Utility workshopWorkstation

Carpentry

WorkshopPaint booth
Tool storage 

Mechanical Shop

Battery storageGas/propane storage
Mechanical shopOil storage
Office Parts room
Secured tool bay 

Stores

OfficesStores 

Common Spaces

Male washrooms, showers and lockersFemale washrooms, showers and lockers 
Lunch roomMechanical room 

Parks

Gardening and park workshop
Vehicle Bays
4 indoor, heated bay (8 large vehicles5 covered bays (15 vehicles/equipment)
Tire storageVehicle wash bay
Gas/propane storage 
Covered Storage
Salt baySpecial sand bay
Sand bayPlanters and baskets bay
Concrete mixing areaPipe storage
Lumber storage 
Outdoor
Equipment bucket storageTree staging area
Bark mulch binManure bin
Soil binGarbage bin storage
Utility storageAggregate storage
Utility pre-washFuel station
Project staging areaLight standard storage
Pubic Works Facility Questions and Answers
Why not fix the current public works facility?

The current public works buildings are undersized and deteriorating. Renovations would be extremely costly and would not be a good value of tax payer dollars.

Why not build the public works facility in its current location?

The current facility is located in the 200 year flood zone. Major site renovations would be needed to raise the ground level .8 to 2.4 metres above the flood zone. The current facility and all equipment would need to be temporarily relocated while rebuilding which would result in high costs. The Mechanical shop and the property it’s built on are not owned by the City of Quesnel but by BC Rail.

Why was the Sword Avenue location chosen?

The new facility will be located on City owned property on Sword Avenue. This location is above the flood plain, allowing for a quick response from Public Works in a potential flood situation. Sword Avenue has better highway access via the North Star Interchange which will reduce traveling time for employees and equipment. The neighbouring properties are industrial use so early morning and weekend operations will not disturb residents.

VIEW LOCATION

The City of Quesnel has been researching options for a new Public Works Facility since 2001 when Council stopped investing in the current Public Works Facility. The City has researched the possibility of relocating Public Works into local buildings including the:

  • Quesnel Regional Airport
  • Finning Building
  • Collins Logging Shop
  • Canfor Shop

These sites were analyzed and it was concluded that they would not be appropriate buildings/locations for Public Works.

What are the project costs?

The total cost of the Public Works Facility is $11,186,000. See below how this amount is broken down.

ComponentCost
Planning and design816,000
Site development766,000
Main building5,801,000
Enclosed vehicle bays757,000
Covered vehicle bays582,000
Ancillary buildings (sand, salt, pipe and material storage882,000
Site paving115,000
Subtotal9,719,000
  
Construction contingencies1,157,000
Total construction costs10,876,000
  
Consultation/cost updates80,000
Old site demolition230,000

Total Project cost

11,186,000

 

How will the project be funded?

If the referendum is successful, the project will be funded through long-term borrowing, and City reserves. 

Funding sourcesAmount
Public Works Reserve1,739,000
Capital Reinvestment Reserve1,000,000
Long-term borrowing8,447,000
Total11,186,000

 

Referendum Questions and Answers
What is a referendum? Are the results binding?

Under various sections of the Community Charter and the Local Government Act, Quesnel City Council is seeking approval of the electors through an actual vote on the bylaw. This referendum will be held in conjunction with the 2018 Local Government Election. To ensure fairness, openness, and accessibility, referendums are conducted in accordance with very strict rules set out in the Local Government Act, Community Charter, and the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act. The referendum is binding on Council; unless the majority of votes are in favour of a bylaw, Council may not borrow the funds under that bylaw.

What will the referendum question ask?

For the assent voting process (referendum), voters in the City of Quesnel will answer the following question with a yes or no response:

“Are you in favour of the City of Quesnel adopting City of Quesnel New Public Works Facility Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1854 of 2018 which will authorize Council to borrow a sum not exceeding eight and half millions dollars ($8,500,000), repayable over a period of no more than thirty (30) years, for the development and construction of a new Public Works Facility?”

When can we expect the results?

The Chief Election Officer will report the preliminary voting results when they become available after general voting closes on October 20, 2018. The official results will be declared no later than 4 pm on October 24, 2018, as required by legislation. Voting referendum results will be posted on the City of Quesnel News page.

How much would the new public works facility cost me?

Taxes are based on the assessed value of each individual property so the answer is different for everybody. The City has estimated what the cost will be per $100,000 of assessed value. A new Public Works Facility would cost $15.65 per $100,000 of assessed value per year. If your property is assessed at $200,000, for example, the annual cost of a new Public Works Facility would be $31.30. These figures are based on a 30-year loan and an interest rate of 3.5%.

Who does the city borrow from? Do we get a good rate when we borrow money?

The City borrows from the Municipal Finance Authority (MFA), which pools the borrowing and investment needs of BC local governments through a collective structure. The MFA has a triple-A credit rating, providing the City access to capital financing at the lowest rates possible.

What other long-term debt is the city currently carrying?

The City of Quesnel carries long-term debt for City Hall, and a fire truck. Our current total debt servicing load is 3%. If the referendum passes, the total debt servicing load would be 6%. The maximum debt load the City of Quesnel can carry is 25%.

What would happen to the existing buildings if the referendum passes?

The existing buildings would be demolished and the river front property would be developed according to our waterfront development project (currently in proposals phase) that is aimed at resident and visitor attraction.

What will happen if the referendum fails? What will we be left with?

If the referendum fails, the City still must replace the public works facility in the next 10 years. To do this, the City would need to save $1,135,000 per year for 10 years. In order to achieve this, a 7.5% tax increase would be applied to City property taxes.

What are the rules around election and political signage?

The Political Campaign Sign Bylaw 1808 and Political Campaign Sign Amendment Bylaw 1819 regulate election/political signs within the City’s boundaries. Referendum campaign signage is regulated by Election BC

Political Sign

A sign that advertises a political candidate, political party, political cause or an issue that is to be voted on or in a local, provincial, or federal election process, or a public referendum.

Learn more:

Referendum voting

 The referendum is being held with the 2018 Local Government Election. Learn about voting below:

Voting Requirements

Voters must meet certain qualifications in order to vote in the 2018 Local Government Election.

City of Quesnel Residents

The following requirements only effect voters who live within the City of Quesnel boundaries. 

  • Register at the time of voting
     
  • Canadian Citizen
     
  • 18 years of age or older on General Voting Day
     
  • Resident of BC for a least 6 months immediately preceding voting day
     
  • Resident of the City of Quesnel, or registered owner of real property in the City of Quesnel, for 30 days immediately before voting
     
  • Not otherwise disqualified by law from voting
     
  • Bring 2 pieces of identification (at least one with a name and residential address) at the time of voting. If the second required piece of identification is not available, voters must sign a declaration(s) for residency and/or identify at the time of voting.  Picture identification is not necessary.

ALL Non-Resident Property voters must also prove they are entitled to register to vote in relation to the property (i.e. 2018 Property Tax Notice) and provide written consent from a majority of the other property owners of the property. The Consent Form 2-8 must be completed prior to voting. For more information, please contact the Chief Election Officer at 250-992-2111.

Non-Resident City Property Owners

The following requirements only effect voters who live outside of the City of Quesnel, but own property within City of Quesnel boundaries.

  • Register at the time of voting
     
  • Canadian Citizen
     
  • 18 years of age or older on General Voting Day
     
  • Resident of BC for a least 6 months immediately preceding voting day
     
  • Registered owner of real property in the City of Quesnel, for 30 days immediately before voting
  • Not otherwise disqualified by law from voting
     
  • Bring 2 pieces of identification (at least on with a name and residential address) at the time of voting. If the second required piece of identification is not available, voters must sign a declaration(s) for residency and/or identify at the time of voting.  Picture identification is not necessary.
     
  • Prove they are entitled to register to vote in relation to the property (i.e. 2018 Property Tax Notice) and provide Consent Form 2-8 completed by the majority of the other property owners of the property. The Consent Form 2-8 must be completed prior to voting. For more information, please contact the Chief Election Officer at 250-992-2111.
Cariboo Regional District Residents

Voters who don't live or own property within the City of Quesnel CANNOT vote in the Public Works Facility Referendum. 

Voting Dates and Locations

Voters are able to choose from multiple locations and dates that is most convenient to them to cast their single ballot. If you are unable to attend a voting opportunity, see if you qualify for a mail ballot.

Dates and Locations

General Voting Day

Saturday, October 20  |  8 am - 8 pm

  • Quesnel City Hall
    410 Kinchant Street
     
  • Correlieu Secondary School
    850 Anderson Drive
     
  • Dragon Lake Elementary School
    2655 Quesnel-Hydraulic Road

Advance Voting Days

Wednesday, October 10  |  8 am - 8 pm

  • Quesnel City Hall
    410 Kinchant Street

Saturday, October 13  |  8 am - 8 pm

  • Quesnel City Hall
    410 Kinchant Street

Tuesday, October 16  |  11 am - 11:45 am

  • Correlieu Secondary School (for students)
    850 Anderson Drive

Wednesday, October 17  |  11 am - 4 pm

  • CNC/UNBC Campus
    100 Campus Way

Special Voting Opportunities

These opportunities are for residents/patients of the facilities. 

Thursday, October 11   |   9 am - 3 pm

  • Dunrovin Park Lodge
    ​900 St Laurent Avenue
     
  • Maeford Place Assisted Living
    ​574 Kinchant Street

Friday, October 12   |  9 am - 3 pm

  • Fraser Village Senior Citizens Apartments
    401 Front Street
     
  • GR Baker Memorial Hospital
    ​543 Front Street
Mail Ballot Voting

If you are unable to vote at any of the advance, general or special voting opportunities during the election, you may be eligible to vote by a mail ballot.

Mail Ballot Information

Who can vote by mail?

Electors may vote by mail if they:

  • Have a physical disability, illness or injury that affects their ability to vote at another voting opportunity, AND/OR
     
  • Expect to be absent from the City of Quesnel on General Voting Day and Advance Voting opportunities October 10 and 13, 2018 at City Hall from 8 am to 8 pm and October 17, 2018 at CNC/UNBC Campus from 11 am to 4 pm.

Who is eligible to vote?

You are allowed to vote if you are a:

  • Resident elector (i.e. you live in the City of Quesnel), AND/OR
     
  • Non-resident property elector (i.e. you live elsewhere in British Columbia but you own property in the City of Quesnel.)
  • You must meet all of the following requirements to vote:
    • Canadian Citizen
    • 18 years of age or older on General Voting Day
    • Lived in British Columbia for at least six months immediately before voting
    • Lived in Quesnel for at least 30 days immediately before voting,  OR
    • Not disqualified by law from voting
    • Own real property in the City of Quesnel for at least 30 days immediately before voting.  If the real property has more than one registered owner, only one non-resident property owner can vote, and requires a majority of property owners to sign a Non-Resident Property Elector Consent Form 2-8. Property registered in a corporation or company name is not entitled a vote.

How to request a mail ballot package

Mail Ballot Voting applications can be applied for from the Chief Election Officer via the City’s website, e-mail or by phone from 4 pm on September 14, 2018 to 4 pm on October 19, 2018. Mail Ballot Voting applicatons to be sent out around October 4, 2018 and must be returned to the Chief Election Officer, at City Hall before 8 pm on October 20, 2018.

For more information

Gina Albers, Chief Election Officer, at 250-992-2111 or galbers@quesnel.ca.

Accessible Voting

Election officials are trained on how to help voters with accessibility challenges.

Voting tools and options

Getting help marking your ballot

Voters can get help marking their ballot if they have a disability or difficulty reading or writing. Election officials are available to assist voters who otherwise would be unable to mark or read their ballot.

Voting place accessibility

All advance voting places and all general voting opportunities are wheelchair accessible. Voters who can’t enter a voting place, can vote outside the building (at the curb or in the parking lot). Eligible voters will need 2 pieces of ID, or be prepared to sign declarations for missing secondary ID.

Mail Ballot Voting

Electors may vote by mail if they have a physical disability, illness or injury, or will be absent from all advance and general voting opportunities, that affects their ability to vote at another voting opportunity.

For more information

Gina Albers, Chief Election Officer, at 250-992-2111 or galbers@quesnel.ca.

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