Ponoka Town Council approved the first reading of Borrowing Bylaw No. 470-22 to begin the process to purchase the Ponoka Civic Centre property located at 5604 50 Street in Ponoka.
Municipal Bylaws require three readings by Town Council in order to be approved. Before Council considers second and third reading of the proposed Borrowing Bylaw, the Town will advertise the Bylaw for two weeks, along with its intention to purchase the Ponoka Civic Centre property.
As legislated by the Alberta Municipal Government Act (MGA), following the two weeks of advertising the proposed Borrowing Bylaw, there will be a 15-day period in which electors may submit a petition calling for a vote of electors to determine whether the proposed Bylaw should be passed. Unless a valid petition is received, which meets the requirements of Section 231 of the MGA, the Bylaw can proceed to second and third reading.
Following third reading of the proposed Bylaw, Section 273 of the MGA requires a 30-day waiting period to allow for applications to the Court of Queen’s Bench to have the Bylaw declared invalid. If no applications are made to Court of Queen’s Bench during this period, the Bylaw becomes valid and a loan application would be submitted to the Province of Alberta to purchase the Ponoka Civic Centre property.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions below:
In 2017, the Town of Ponoka entered into a lease agreement for the Ponoka Civic Centre with the intention of exercising the purchase option at a future date.
The purchase the Ponoka Civic Centre is not expected to result in any additional financial impact on the Town’s annual budget, municipal property taxes or the Town’s debt limit. The annual costs of the Town’s lease payments of $700,000, which are already included in the Town budget and debt limit, are expected to cover the long-term borrowing costs to purchase the property.
The proposed Bylaw would authorize the Town to borrow up to $10 million. That amount does not represent the purchase price of the property but acts as a pre-approval limit similar to a mortgage.
The final purchase price would be based on the average of two independent appraisals representing fair market value of the property. The appraisals and final purchase price would not include tenant improvements to the building that have been completed by the Town.
- First reading is to bring the bylaw to the table and introduce it to Town Council.
- Second reading is when Town Council can debate the bylaw, make amendments and vote on whether to proceed to third reading.
- Third reading is a final discussion during which Town Council considers any final amendments to the bylaw and votes on whether to approve it.
All bylaws must be read (only the title or identifying number is read out loud) and adopted in a meeting that is open to the public. Amendments can be made to a bylaw during the second or third readings. If a bylaw does not receive third and final reading, the bylaw is defeated and will not proceed.
According to the Municipal Government Act, every proposed bylaw must have three distinct and separate readings. The three separate readings give Town Council opportunity to carefully consider all details of the bylaw and make any necessary changes to the bylaw before it’s passed.
Council is scheduled to consider second and third reading of the Borrowing Bylaw 470-22 on September 13, 2022 at its regular meeting.
A copy of the proposed Borrowing Bylaw 461-22 can be viewed here or at the Town Office (#200, 5604 50 Street, Ponoka) during regular office hours from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, except statutory holidays.
Residents may submit a petition with respect to calling for a vote of electors to determine whether the proposed bylaw should be passed. The petition must meet the formal requirements of Sections 221-266 and 231 of the Municipal Government Act.
The petition can be filed with the Chief Administrative Officer by Friday, August 12 (within 15 days after the last date that the proposed bylaw was advertised). Any petition will be public information. Click here to view the guide to Petition to Council.
If residents have any questions regarding the petition process, please contact the Town of Ponoka’s Legislative Services at 403-783-4431.