Does Surrey really need a new city hall?

Surrey is going to have a civic election this year.

Why can’t we have a referendum on the need for the proposed borrowing by city  council of approximately $200 million for a new city hall and other new buildings?

The taxpayers of Surrey are the people that have to repay the borrowed money, not city council. Most financial experts are advising people not to go further in debt. Consider why the present city hall was built at its location. It is a concrete building designed to expand as required and is located on a large parcel of land central to all of Surrey

It has road access from all directions. The mayor and council wish to build the new city hall in Whalley as part of a re-development project and a  new headquarters for Surrey’s library system. It seems the old one is no longer good enough.

A satellite of Simon Fraser University is presently open in this area which also includes the B.C. Lions training centre. The cost of the city hall started out at approximately $50 million and presently is projected at $67 million.

One of council’s good intentions is to clean up the drug problem in the area. In other words, it is to solve a social problem that plagues many cities.

Will it solve it or just move it? The proposed city hall will no longer be central to the taxpayers of Surrey, but at an end of SkyTrain which runs north to New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver.

Did council do a viability study to consider whether the new city hall will change the area? Will it attract business to the area? Consider a city hall that closes down for 10 days at Christmas, a university which closes at that season, and a  library headquarters which may also close.

It really doesn’t seem successful  from a marketing standpoint.

I predicate that if the city hall is moved to Whalley, that South Surrey will want to separate and become South Surrey/White Rock.

The author of this letter is a former Surrey alderman, who  is not intending to run for office. I am not a member of a city political party.

I’m a concerned taxpayer who was lucky enough to be born in Surrey.

Dalton Jones

Surrey North Delta Leader