LETTERS: Osoyoos firehall is too costly

Osoyoos resident wonders why residents voted for firehall at any price

In Osoyoos the people voted  “yes” for a new firehall which is justified, but apparently why at any price, for no alternative costs for such a building were offered.

The town does not appear to have investigated alternatives.

The cost of the firehall structure is listed as $6,018,000 with price variances of $601,800 as a possible extra as well. Considering that this is for 15,615 square feet of building that translates as $385 per square foot.

A Taj Mahal price for a small town.

There are many examples of building types in any town, including Osoyoos, which are practical such as building supply stores, Canadian Tire, Walmart, grocery stores, etc. Perhaps they too cost nearly $400 per square foot but I doubt it. The town did not provide any such considerations to the taxpayer.

The Town bought five acres of which 1.8 of acres will be generously occupied by the firehall yet $714,000 is added to the cost of the firehall. The residents are buying the land again!

If this has something to do with creative accounting we were not informed about that.

It has been said that this costs us just $1 a day or $1 a week for  the $5 million or $6 million to be borrowed. May we add to that the interest on $2 million purchase of those five acres as well. When the town borrowed $300,000 to $400,000 to fix one block of Cottonwood Drive, it is reasonable to assume that this was not purchased with cash on hand.

As this town is not anything like the Sultanate of Brunei where money is in abundance, then what makes elected officials behave as such?

Luke Kurvers




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