Regina city council is going ahead with the purchase of the former STC building on Broad street.
The building will be used as a police headquarters, saving the City of Regina close to 100-million dollars using the existing building rather than building new.
Mayor Michael Fougere says while it is a bit of a risk to spend reserve funds on this building, it is a worthwhile risk for council to take.
“We had to compromise on some things,” Fougere said to 620 CKRM after city council Monday night. “Our general surplus reserve and our infrastructure reserve – those two are being reduced. But that’s our risk. It’s a risk to miss the opportunity to buy a building that would save us one-hundred million dollars makes a lot of sense to the taxpayers.”
Mayor Michael Fougere says using reserve funds for this purchase is much smarter than using reserves to cover the cost of what the provincial government was not able to provide for Regina.
“In the case of the STC building, it’s a one-time purchase,” Fougere said. “It’s not ongoing. If we use our reserves – as we had been urged to do – it’s open-ended and it’s covering operations. You can’t run a government by using reserves to cover operations. So they are completely different arguments.”
Mayor Michael Fougere says the Heritage Association may still get their green space land, but right now the property is still needed for the police.
“Were going to be looking at the parking right away around the RPS,” Fougere said. “This new building should be operational by 2019. We’ll alleviate the pressure on that parking space and may well go back to where it was supposed to be done and we hope the Heritage Association will be happy with that.”
The city plans on spending upwards on 37 million dollars on the project.