News Skakun miffed by council’s plan to add to 32-million dollar loan SHARE ON: Brendan Pawliw, staff Wednesday, Mar. 13th, 2019 Councillors Brian Skakun, Murray Krause were given tokens of appreciation for committing 15 years to the City | Spencer Gowan, My PG Now Prince George city councillor Brian Skakun is one of many opposed to the proposed plan to borrow north of 40-million dollars. After council announced plans to borrow 32-million dollars to cover various projects, the city announced on Monday it’s taking on an additional 8.5 million to cover higher than expected costs on two more projects. Skakun is of the opinion the city already knew the price tag for borrowing the money was going to be higher than first reported. “Council knew two weeks ago that it wasn’t going to be just the 32 million dollars we were asking to borrow, it was going to be 40 million and one of the big problems asking for the additional money is that the cost overruns on the Willow Cale project are just massive, originally it was supposed to come in at two million.” “On the Willow Cale Bridge, gosh, you can’t just come in and say it’s going to cost 1.7 or 2 million dollars and come back with saying we need seven million now without someone being held accountable.” Now the project costs around 7-million. The amount of time it took to repair the sinkhole on Winnipeg and Carney is another point of contention for Skakun. He believes city crews could have been a lot more proactive to deal with the sinkhole much earlier. “Obviously when you have sinkholes, you need to find out what is going on so I think we could have done a better job with trying to nail down what the sinkhole problem was to start with.” In his opinion there were four sinkholes in that area by the time they got around fixing it, two of them were due to a water main break and another two were because of water line or drain line issues. The longtime member of council recalls a similar situation the city was in years ago, involving a fraction of the money that’s being debated for projects now. “What happened was a local resident named Eric Allen and Ben Meisner led the charge to stop the city from borrowing nine million or so to help build a dike on River Road with other government money and they actually met the threshold of ten percent of the eligible voters and the project was killed and at the time, the city decided not to do it.” A Facebook group has opened up in opposition to the cities loan proposal, its members plan to begin voting against it through the Alternative Approval Process that opens on April 18th.