Ladysmith residents shoot down council’s $13.5M loan plan for new city hall

Ladysmith residents shoot down council’s $13.5M loan plan for new city hall
Ladysmith city hall is shown on Feb. 8, 2024..

Residents of Ladysmith have voted against council’s request to borrow up to $13.5 million to replace its aging city hall.

At the start of June, the Town of Ladysmith launched an Alternate Approval Process (AAP) to build a new city hall.

Through an AAP, a project moves forward unless at least 10 per cent of residents voice opposition to the plan. The deadline to respond to the AAP was Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the town said nearly a third of electors, 28.8 per cent – or 2,135 people – voted against the town taking out a $13.5 million loan to build the new city hall and “institutional space.”

The municipality was hoping the loan would cover construction of the new city hall as well as up to 90 rental units above it. The loan would have led to a property tax increase of approximately $7.17 per $100,000 of residential assessment.

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The town is now going back to the drawing board.

“We respect the results of the Alternative Approval Process and will carefully consider next steps,” said Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone in a statement Wednesday.

“We are committed to moving forward and exploring alternative solutions that align with the needs and priorities of our staff and community as a whole,” he said.

More information about the city hall project can be found on the Town of Ladysmith website.

The current city hall is 72 years old and “beyond its useful service,” according to the municipality.

With files from CHEK’s Skye Ryan.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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