Centre Wellington signs off on loan agreement with Infrastructure Ontario for operations centre

At Monday’s meeting, a 5-2 vote approved to authorize the mayor and clerk to sign off the loan of a principal amount of $3.76 million

Centre Wellington council has given the go ahead for a loan of $3.76 million in order to purchase the 20-acre parcel of land at 965 Gartshore St. in Fergus for the township’s new operations centre. 

At Monday’s meeting, a 5-2 vote approved to authorize the mayor and clerk to sign off the loan from Infrastructure Ontario – just in time for Tuesday’s budget meeting.

Dan Wilson, managing director of corporate services and treasurer, presented the by-law to council at the meeting, explaining the debt terms: 

  • Closing date of Dec. 15
  • Principal amount: $3,761,129
  • 20-year term
  • 2.95 per cent annual interest rate
  • Payments to be made by pre-authorized debit semi-annually
  • First payment due June 15, 2022 with future payments every six months
  • Payments equal to $125,150.65
  • Total payments over 20 years: $5,006,025.66

Coun. Stephen Kitras noted that he’s been getting questions from his constituents regarding the land purchase; they’re trying to understand why the township is paying a large amount of money for a 20-acre piece of land.  

“The farm it belongs to that it’s being severed for is 100 acres and if you extrapolate the cost, it will be over $20 million for a 100 acres and there are no properties around here that have been going for that price. They’re trying to ask me why we’re paying that price; what was the rationale behind this decision. I still can’t explain to them why we spent so much money on this,” said Kitras. 

Mayor Kelly Linton explained that the council decision as to whether or not council should have bought the land for the price of $5 million has already been made. 

“We’re talking about a very specific requirement here of signing an agreement. I don’t want to rehash the council’s decision. We need to go through the process that Infrastructure Ontario requires us to do so,” said Linton. 

The loan agreement is only for the funds needed to purchase the 20-acre land; Wilson noted that any other loans needed in order to develop the operations centre, the township will need additional borrowing by-laws. 

Kitras and Foster were the only ones opposed.  

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