City releases first look at Capital Budget under Peace River Agreement

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In Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting at City Hall, a first draft of their budget for Capital and Operating Projects starting in 2016.

Under the Peace River Agreement, Fort St. John will receive $23,269,000 per year until 2020, when the city will receive $23,734,380.

The budget is divided like this:

  • Transportation, Roads, sidewalks, etc. – 35%
  • Facilities, buildings, parks, etc. – 10%
  • Equipment, vehicles, machinery,etc. – 15%
  • Operating costs (including staff) – 10%
  • Other capital, one-time projects, debt – 30%
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Transportation gets the biggest share of the $23.2 million from the agreement – with $8,144,150. Reserve allocation, excess demand, and funds from the current year already available push it up to $15,802,850 for 2016.

The draft distinguished projects that fit into the budget provided from those that don’t, and distinguished projects by priority. Within the Transportation budget, the City is looking at:

  • Service to 75th St., from 85th to 93rd Ave.
  • Creating a road behind CM Finch to connect 108th St. and 109th Ave.
  • An Eastern Bypass road that was planned for this year with funding, but has not been finished yet.
  • The third phase of the Storm Sewer plan, which would connect storm sewers along 93rd Ave.
  • The conversion of streetlights to LED, in various areas.

The addition of traffic signals on 100th St. at 117th Ave. is related to building 100th St. into a 4-lane road at 110th Ave and north, said General Manager of Integrated Services Victor Shopland.

That project costs approximately $10 million in two phases, and City Manager Dianne Hunter said the City applied for funding under Build Canada, but was not successful in receiving help.

Complications including traffic congestion have prompted the City to wait until they address this project.

“We believe it’s a top priority, it’s just the timing,” Hunter said, saying it could be another year or so before of focusing on other road projects before coming back to this. “It’s certainly not that we don’t feel it’s a high priority item.”

Under the umbrella of Facilities, Buildings, Parks, etc., upgrades for the RCMP, including a new RCMP building, are being considered for the next three years, costing a total of $36,725,000 by 2018.

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The City agreed that RCMP upgrades were a high priority and fit within the budget.

Other projects proposed for 2016 include expanding a gymnasium into a facility the community can use, boundary expansion, and refurbishment of the Rotary Spray Park. More projects can be found in the document presented at the Committee of the Whole meeting.

A meeting for the public will be held on November 9th, at 6 PM.

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