Vancouver gets OK to borrow for Olympics

Jan. 19, 2009 at 7:03 AM

VICTORIA, British Columbia, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The British Columbia provincial government has approved giving Vancouver the right to borrow money for construction of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games village.

Legislators haggled for more than 20 hours in Victoria and emerged Sunday morning with the measure, the Globe and Mail reported.

Funding for the construction of the 1,100-unit facility was slated to stop Feb. 15, as a New York hedge fund cut off funding because of cost-overruns. Mayor Gregor Robertson appealed to Premier Gordon Campbell for a special exemption to the city's charter that forbids seeking funding on its own.

The exemption applies only to funding for the project, and does not have a cap, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

In his request to the premier, Robertson noted the city is paying $87,000 a day in interest on the money already borrowed, the report said.

"We're looking to reduce the carrying costs as soon as possible and refinance at more favorable rates," he said after the measure was passed.

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