The City of Cold Lake has passed a short-term borrowing bylaw to help with cash flow during these unprecedented times. The city says the news comes as it takes measures to reduce costs to the taxpayers, including placing staff on leave during the COVID-19 outbreak. Over 35 percent of city staff are now said to be either on leave or with a reduction in hours.
The bylaw lets the city borrow up to $10 million. The city says that money will only be borrowed if its actually needed, which could be in July if the current trend plays out.
Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland says the reason for the new bylaw was factors like loss of revenue from closed programs, lack of clarity in the ID-349 payment and federal taxes. The city says the feds have yet to pay up entirely in the Payment In Liu of Taxes deal in place.
“With all of the measures that the Canadian Government has announced to help residents and communities, they continue to fail to pay their payments in lieu of property taxes as per their own rules,” Copeland said. “PILT is meant to assist communities who provide services to federal properties. How the government can continue to see the impact that shorting PILT payments has on communities, especially in these times, is beyond frustrating. The Government of Canada continues to spend taxpayers’ money fighting communities who want the government to follow its own rules – now would be the time to honour the PILT program.”
The city says it’s owed around $22 million in that deal.