The Village of Masset must write a new bylaw and re-advertise its plan to borrow up to $6-million for the north-end hospital, says administrator Trevor Jarvis, because of a small error in the original ad.
The village needs the money to foot its 60-percent share of the bill for the hospital (the Northwest Regional Hospital District will pay the rest of the $9.5-million cost).
The village needed residents’ approval to go ahead with the loan, and council thought everything was going well after not a single citizen objected to the plan when it was advertised in November, Mr. Jarvis said.
But last week bureaucrats at the Ministry of Community Services discovered an error as they reviewed the ad and the bylaw, prior to giving it the province’s final approval, he said. The ad gave a slightly shorter period of time for residents to respond than required in the Community Charter – 30 days from the day it first appeared in the Observer, instead of 30 days from its second time.
As a result, Masset must go through the entire process again. Council held a special meeting last Thursday (Jan. 12) to give first, second and third reading to a new bylaw. Mr. Jarvis then sent it to the Inspector of Municipalities for approval. Once that’s received, Mr. Jarvis will be rewriting the ad and confirming the correct dates with the ministry, then it will appear in the Observer.
Residents who see the new ad should be aware that council is not borrowing an additional $6-million, Mr. Jarvis said. It’s exactly the same project and the same $6-million as a couple of months ago.
Mr. Jarvis said the delay won’t have any effect on the new hospital’s building schedule. Construction isn’t expected to start until April, and the paperwork should be in order by then.
The money will be paid back by Northern Health, which will lease the building from the village. Old Massett and Port are also partners in the project, but Masset alone is borrowing from the Municipal Finance Authority to keep the paperwork simple.
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