Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas spoke out about the multiplex project’s issues at an open house back in February of 2019. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Port Hardy mayor clarifies controversial ‘multiplex project tax’

‘The tax money is in reserve’

Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas has heard the grumblings on social media about the district’s ‘multiplex tax’ and he wants to set the record straight.

“When we were going to do the multiplex project we had a referendum (in 2016) and were approved to borrow six million dollars from the taxpayers,” stated Dugas, who then noted that the tax dollars collected have been “put aside because we have to have monies in our reserves to cover the costs for when we go for borrowing. The percentage of that cost is coming out of the district’s funds to be able to do the project. The tax money is in reserve, now whether the funds are going towards a brand new facility or major repairs of the old one, we still have to have that money ready. It’s being held for that and nothing else.”

Dugas added the Parks, Arts and Recreation committee is just starting to have conversations about what the future holds for the multiplex project.

Quick facts about the multiplex project:

The district had previously budgeted $12.6 million dollars to build a smaller-sized version of the project, but thanks to tender bids coming in 40 per cent higher than anticipated, they were forced to go looking for more capital from the governments and key stakeholders all over the Regional District of Mount Waddington. To date, Port Hardy has six million from the Strategic Priorities Fund, six million borrowed from Port Hardy taxpayers, $430,060 in reserves, $250,000 donated from Mowi, and an annual payment of $50,000 from the Regional District of Mount Waddington (which the district has to apply for every year for 30 years to get the full one million dollars). Thanks to the tender bids coming in so high, the budget for the project ballooned to $22.4 million.

Back on March 27, the district issued a news release stating it was not selected for funding from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure-Community, Culture and Recreation Program.


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seniors housing in Port Hardy moves ahead with rezoning application

North Island seniors able to “age in place” in new facility, currently getting funding and permits

Port McNeill curling club will be getting a brand new paint job, thanks to residents

‘The generosity of this community never ceases to amaze me!’

Vancouver Island grizzlies: moving in, or just passing through?

Lack of data makes seeming increase in grizzly sightings on the North Island an open question

VIDEO: A young Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

North Island students are back in class, sitting six-feet apart

School District 85 schools reopened June 1 for students who want to come in person

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Most Read