(The projected figures above do not include the $100-million stadium loan from the Saskatchewan government.)
For the second time in a year, the City of Regina is looking at a potentially large increase in its debt limit — currently set at $350 million.
Last year, Regina City Council agreed to ask the Saskatchewan Municipal Board to increase its borrowing limit to $350 million from $200 million.
The city's borrowing is expected to peak in the next few years as a number of big capital projects come online, including a $278-million football stadium and a $224-million sewage treatment plant upgrade.
Now, city councillors are talking about raising the limit again to $450 million in order to accommodate a $100-million stadium loan from the provincial government.
City officials plan to ask the municipal board if it will exempt that $100 million from the limit. If that happens, the existing $350-million ceiling will suffice.
However, if the provincial loan is not exempted, city debt will blow past the $350 million mark in 2016. That's why the city would have to raise the limit to $450 million.
A report from city staff notes that if the city gets deeper into debt, that could also hurt its credit rating. The city’s current credit rating is AA+ with a stable outlook, but that is subject to change, based on how much debt the city takes on.
The report notes that if debt becomes a problem, the city can always raise taxes and utility rates. This year, property taxes are going up 4.45 per cent and water and sewer rates are going up 9 per cent.
On Wednesday, the city's executive committee — which is city council in committee form — agreed to proceed with the plan. City council will deal with it next week.