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Castlegar debt-free after paying out loan 2.5 years early

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
December 9th, 2011

It’s a black day for the City of Castlegar – black ink, that is, according to a report offered at Monday’s regular city council meeting.

In the report, city director of finance Andre Buss told council that the city’s only remaining long-term loan (issue 58, which the city undertook to build the RCMP detachment as well as do some infrastructure work), has been fully paid – roughly two-and-a-half years ahead of schedule.
 
“The original maturity date of the debt was to be May 10, 2014 but with investment earnings on actuarial deposits and other factors, the MFA was able to pay down the debt on November 11, 2011, approximately 2.5 years ahead of schedule,” he said.
 
“In addition to paying down the debt the MFA was able to provide the city with cheques totalling $32,851.17 ($30,577.10 for the general fund and $2,274.60 for the sewer fund). These funds are surpluses from the investment earnings on actuarial deposits.
 
“We do not have any further long-term debt.”
 
City councillor Kevin Chernoff said this is great news for Castlegar.
 
“Anything we’re working on now is with money we’ve saved,” he said. “We always have short-term debt – credit cards, accounts payable, payroll – but it’s the kind of stuff that revolves on a monthly basis.”
 
He said the current council can’t entirely take credit for the city’s good credit, explaining that fiscal responsibility has been the direction of Castlegar councils for the past 20 years or more, with each council building on the work of the one before it.
 
“We’re better off than communities like Trail and Nelson, both of which have lots of long-term debt,” he said, “and that’s not because of their current councils – they’ve inherited decisions made years ago by previous councils.”
 
Chernoff concluded by saying issue 58 was a wise investment despite requiring a long-term loan, since Castlegar would have to pay for an RCMP facility one way or the other, and now instead of renting, Castlegar owns a valuable asset in its downtown police detachment.

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