RM of Francis to consider borrowing application as shop talk ramps up

·2 min read

RM of Francis council was set to consider March 11 a motion to borrow money for the purpose of constructing a new office and shop for the municipality.

The topic was last discussed publicly during the RM’s previous council meeting on Feb. 11.

Council debated matters at that meeting related to a proposed new shop and RM office approximately seven miles north of Francis on Highway 35 at the correction line, though Reeve Richard Morley confirmed no decisions have yet been made. Discussions have centred around a building 100 feet by 180 feet.

“The long and short of it is the budget is going to be a lot larger than we expected it would be,” Morley said. “We don’t want to downsize the building because if we do, what was the sense of doing it? We are just trying to justify it and get the best bang for the buck for the ratepayers.”

The RM has drilled for water at the proposed building site and have found adequate supply. Morley noted three-phase electricity is also accessible.

Morley said there are advantages to consolidating all RM operations in one central location. As shops in Francis and Odessa could then be sold on the open market, there are potential savings to be found with the prospective project as well. The new facility would also provide heated shelter for equipment currently stored outside, a consideration which could extend the lifespan of the machinery and parts.

“If we have that inside, it will be better off over the long haul for all of that equipment,” Morley said. “We’d have all of our employees start from the same shop, which would be an advantage for us.”

Morley said a final decision should be made near the end of March to early April whether to proceed with construction, once the budget is set. He did not offer an estimate on what the new complex could cost as “there (are) lots of variables still in play.”

Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum