Town council has given first reading to two borrowing bylaws that will be paid through off-site levies collected and, in one case, partially with Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding.

The town wants to borrow $1,848,960 over 20 years towards the cost of Centre Ave. improvements, included as a $3,424,000 capital project in the 2023 budget. Off-site levy debt collected will cover the town's share of the project, while $1,575,040, or 46 per cent, will be covered by MSI funding.

The project will widen the portion of Centre Ave. from Powell St. to 1st St., including the 1st St. intersection, and is part of the extensive $27.2 million Hwy. 1A improvement project that is expected to be completed in 2023.

Borrowing is also sought for a Hwy. 22 to Riverview Syphon that is included as a $5,151,000 capital project in the 2023 budget. It will be borrowed over a 20-year basis and will be entirely funded from off-site levy debt.

The syphon is intended to increase the flow capacity of the Cochrane West sanitary syphon by twinning it.

In a written report, Katherine Van Keimpema, town corporate services executive director, told council the current 20-year borrowing rate from the province is 5.14 per cent. With interest rates expected to continue to increase through 2023, both bylaws allow for a maximum interest rate of nine per cent to provide flexibility.

The town is publishing the notice of the proposed borrowing bylaws for two consecutive weeks. Fifteen days from the last date of the publication, residents can present a valid petition to the town asking for a public vote.

The second and third readings of these bylaws are anticipated to take place on Feb. 27.

The borrowing bylaws will be valid 30 days after passing of third reading unless it is appealed to the Court of King's Bench within that time period.