Of all the money the city will spend in 2019, about $17.5 million will be on capital projects.
Capital projects are those that contain assets and infrastructure that belong to the city, such as property and facilities, sewer lines, roads, parking lots, vehicles and other equipment used to maintain the city’s infrastructure, such as lawnmowers and snow removal equipment.
While the city has several large projects currently on the go that will continue into 2019, such as the waterfront sewer forcemain upgrade taking place between Pier Street and 1st Avenue on the Old Island Highway and the Larwood-Erickson sewer upgrade happening in Willow Point, next year will see several new large-scale projects begin, as well.
These projects were confirmed by council during financial planning deliberations this week.
The largest of these expenses will be the $3 million worth of work on Phase 3 of the Highway 19A improvement project, which will continue the improvements along the waterfront that have been taking place over the past several years, but next year will also see a $590,000 investment into the rehabilitation of Centennial Pool.
“The outdoor pool has been experiencing ongoing leakage for many years,” reads the financial plan’s justification for the expenditure, and in order to fix that leak – which has been estimated to be between 40,000 and 60,000 litres per day – the tiled upper gutter and wall assembly needs a complete rebuild.
“Island Health has already provided direction that the pool will not receive its operating permit for 2019 if the leak is not repaired,” the report says.
The pool also needs a new boiler, as the one in use is 21 years old and failure of the boiler would mean at least a partial – if not complete – cancellation of the pool’s operating season.
The capital project section of next year’s budget also contains $775,000 worth of vehicle replacements to revitalize the city’s operations, airport and light-duty fire fleet.
Four regular-duty pickup trucks for the wastewater, roads and parks departments are at end-of-life, as is a 2009 Kubota mower and a 1995 loader at the airport will all be replaced. A 2005 pickup truck and 1984 dump truck at the airport will be replaced by a single mini dump truck.
The budget also contains $355,000 for pedestrian upgrades for Willis Road, continuing the improvements already being done in the area, widening the paved shoulder and making stormwater improvements.
In an attempt to begin addressing the Dogwood corridor, council has also set aside $200,000 for a transit pullout at Carihi Secondary to allow city buses to pull out of the main northbound flow of traffic, much like the one already installed southbound at Strathcona Gardens.
But what’s on many people’s minds is likely the potential of a roundabout being installed at the entrance of the Maritime Heritage Centre (MHC).
While council has set aside $500,000 next year for work on the entrance, the final design of what that intersection will look like has not yet been confirmed.
“This will be coming back to council on what the latest plan is,” Mayor Andy Adams said in discussing the project’s budget. “What this amount of $500,000 is for is for the MHC entrance improvements, which could still be a variety of forms.”
The capital projects section of the budget also contains $500,000 for asphalt overlays, $300,000 for drainage improvements, $200,000 for downtown storm mitigation projects, $125,000 worth of structural work on the Discovery Pier and the beginning of some major work to take place on the Sportsplex, to the tune of $250,000. Another $2.2 million is scheduled to go into the Sportsplex in 2020.