After three days of city councillors batting numbers around, discussing the merits of various projects and service levels the city offers its residents, the City of Campbell River has a budget for next year – and the nine after that.
Campbell River has a running document that outlines the city’s spending priorities for 10 years, updated each December. Major infrastructure projects are shifted around depending on how high they land on the priority list at any given time, increases to staffing levels – and the costs associated with that – are mapped out well in advance based on when the city will be able to afford them, and new service requests from citizens and organizations are considered on an annual basis during this same process.
One of the largest portions of the city budget each year is in capital projects and asset management section, where council decides where and when to spend the funds it would put towards city facilities and infrastructure.
The largest expense the city will have in terms of asset management and improvement next year comes in the form of the next phase of the Highway 19A Upgrade Project, which will see the area of the highway between Lift Station 9 and Rockland Road improved to the tune of $8.7 million on top of the almost $2-million being carried over from the 2019 budget.
An additional $5 million was approved by council to repair and/or replace the sewer forcemain along the waterfront – continuing the work already begun – including replacing Lift Stations No. 5 and 6.
There are three other major investments of over $1 million scheduled for next year, as well.
The first is the injection of $1,190,018 into the Robron Fieldhouse Project, which is being built by the Campbell River Youth Soccer Association.
The second is just over $1 million in new vehicles and equipment to purchase a mini-dump truck and a rough-terrain mower for the airport, a multi-use toolcat machine for the parks department, a half-ton pickup truck for the wastewater department, a backhoe for the roads department and two hauling trailers for the operations division, replacing vehicles and equipment that has come to end-of-life.
The final more-than-$1-million item for 2020 is the city’s annual watermain renewal budget, which assigns at least $1 million per year into replacing aging water lines in our community. Next year’s project map highlights the work to be done along Shoppers Row between St. Anns and 11th Avenue, 6th Avenue between Robert’s Reach and Ironwood Street, Dogwood Street from 11th to 13th Ave., McCarthy Street between 2nd and 3rd Ave. and Hilchey Road between Penfield Street and Galerno.
Other major capital projects on the books for next year include a new pumper truck for the No. 2 Firehall at a cost of $986,000, a $450,000 transit stop on Dogwood Street at Carihi Secondary, $350,000 set aside for pathway and lighting work at the 3.5-acre waterfront site downtown and almost $325,000 for pedestrian upgrades on Willis Road between Carolyn and Highway 19.