I am in full agreement with comments made by Jenni Howse that the empty Rona building should be considered as an option for the proposed police station.
The Rona building is listed at $9,893,000. The land size is 6.1 acres and the building has 66,000 square feet of space available.
The Ford Road location that the municipality of North Cowichan is proposing is five acres. This property was purchased earlier by the municipality, and we are told that the new building will cost approximately $40 million.
The municipality should also take a look at doing a study on what the renovation of the Rona building would cost to turn it into our new police station. Does not matter what council members are voted in every four years because all councils spend our tax dollars like there is no tomorrow.
In 2017, taxpayers paid out $162,158 for the mayor and six councillors. In 2017, there were 58 employees being paid yearly wages of $75,000 plus which was 38 per cent of the total yearly payroll. I am sure there is money available to do a study on the Rona building.
Renovation costs would never total the $40 million that council wants to spend on a new building. The time must come to use economical sense when spending taxpayer dollars. Year after year, every elected council is to spend more taxpayer dollars, and the only solution they have is to raise our property taxes.
Not one of them would use this logic when it came to spending money out of their pockets on their personal property improvements. All of them would use economical sense before spending their money.
Note that Jenni mentioned every building does not have to be brand new. In summary, a study must be done on the Rona building first before any decision is made on the Ford Road property.
Council has noted the Ford Road proposal would have to go to a referendum for taxpayers to vote on. My suggestion for the referendum should be asking taxpayers, do they want the Ford Road proposal or the Rona building proposal?