Lethbridge City Council has voted to substantially increase its access to emergency money.
The City line of credit borrowing is being boosted by $50 million to cover any needs as the COVID-19 health crisis continues.
On Monday (Apr. 6) Councillors approved, in a 7-2 vote, to increase that borrowing power from 10 million to $60 million.
Councillor Rob Miyashiro says we don’t know how this pandemic will impact the region from one day to the next, so Council felt it was a prudent step in order to be prepared for the future.
Mayor Chris Spearman echoed those sentiments saying the City of Lethbridge needs to be in a position to be able to help residents and local businesses where it can. “We know that many families may not have the means to make their regular household payments right now so we have to be financially stable enough to withstand those changes.”
Two weeks ago Councillor Joe Mauro raised concerns around boosting the City’s borrowing capacity, saying it was too early to go down this road. “From my perspective, I don’t see why we need to react with a $50 million increase to our line of credit.” Mauro feels the City should wait instead to see how the provincial and federal governments react once the pandemic is over.
The bylaw approved Monday comes into effect immediately.