VANCOUVER – A debate has broken out over Surrey’s new city hall with some people saying it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.
City council and staff moved into the new city hall last month with council having its first meeting in the new building on March 31.
The new city hall in the heart of Whalley cost $97 million, which former Mayor Doug McCallum says was far too expensive. McCallum says a lot of that money could have been spent on recreation and arts facilities in the parts of Surrey that are under-served.
A councillor who recently split with the majority civic party says the new building could cost even more and take money away from services.
“If it’s up to 150 or 194 million that’s a lot of services to residents, which includes more officers, which definitely includes all of the issues that we see around transportation and potholes,” says councillor Barinder Rasode. “Those are the type of things that we’re obligated to provide a level of service on, but public safety definitely we’re falling very short.”
“And how much of that money should have come from the money we’ve now spent on the city hall?”
Current Mayor Dianne Watts says the city borrowed $97 million and amortized that over 25 years. “The financial plan is to pay that off in 10,” she says.