Town council gave first reading to a borrowing bylaw to top off funding for its Hwy. 1A improvement plan.

Of the $12.9 million project cost, $2,453,869 would be tax-supported debt, financed over 15 years at an estimated cost of $205,000 per year.

Fifty-four per cent amounting to $6,966,000 of the project's cost would be generated from transportation off-site levies, and the other 27 per cent, $3,480,131, will come from the provincial municipal stimulus program grant.

The cost of the borrowing is estimated to amount to a tax increase of 0.6 per cent based upon 2020 property assessments.

Katherine Van Keimpema, general manager of town corporate services, says if the bylaw is approved the town doesn't anticipate borrowing the money until mid to late 2022, and it wouldn't impact property taxes until 2023.

She says the town has other sources of funding they can use in the meantime.

"What that does is allow us to only borrow once we know what the total amount is that we will need, because, as you know, projects don't tend to come in right to the penny," Van Keimpema told council. "So that way we won't borrow more than we actually need to cover off the remaining actual costs."

The borrowing bylaw will be advertising, then a window opens on Nov. 19 for any residents wanting to petition against the borrowing. That window closes Dec. 4, and the bylaw comes back to town council to give consideration to second and third reading on Dec. 14. If any petition is presented to the town, it would be reviewed by council at that Dec. 14 meeting.

Should that bylaw be passed, on Jan. 13 the town would become eligible to borrow the funds.

Other than seeking clarification of the process, there were no other comments by councillors on the bylaw.