A pre-budget city staff report reveals city councillors have lengthy wish lists that include things like new and improved traffic lights, new bus stops and an upgrade for the Big Rock boat ramp.
As part of council’s 2017 budget planning process, the mayor and councillors put forward a list of 39 projects they would like to see come to fruition.
The projects, also known as Service Level Change Requests, would be additions to the base operating budgets.
Myriah Foort, the city’s finance manager, said in looking at council’s requests that city staff saw a trend emerge.
The majority – 28 in total – of the requests were considered capital projects, while eight were operating projects and three were considered ongoing increases to service levels.
The 28 capital projects can be further broken down, with seven relating to downtown revitalization, 10 classified as roads and transportation upgrades and the remaining 11 considered community enhancements.
Highlights of SLCRs put forward
- New street lights at 10th Avenue and Alder (Coun. Charlie Cornfield)
- Cut down and replace problem trees on Shoppers Row (Mayor Andy Adams)
- Include left turn arrows on Shoppers Row and St. Ann’s traffic lights as well as those at Dogwood and 13th Avenue (Coun. Michele Babchuk)
- Pedestrian safety measures along Petersen, Willis and Shetland roads (Coun. Ron Kerr)
- Transit benches and shelters for North Campbellton, Campbellton and Quinsam Heights (Kerr)
- Create bus stops off the street at Carihi and Phoenix (Babchuk)
- Big Rock Boat Ramp upgrade, not subject to grant funds (Cornfield)
- Myrt Thompson Trail upgrades (Kerr)
- New track and field track (Coun. Larry Samson)
- Five firefighters at No. 2 Fire Hall on day shift (Samson)
- Increase RCMP officers by two (Samson)
Foort said each of the areas those projects fall under have a dedicated funding source through a program developed this year that aims to ensure the city can provide ongoing maintenance to capital infrastructure, incremental enhancements to service levels and council’s strategic priority initiatives without the need for one-time tax increases.
“This is achievable by carving out specified reserves and funding models including the capital net funding model to ensure funds are set aside for each purpose, and that all funding available is utilized in the most efficient manner,” Foort wrote in a report to council.
In the meantime, all of the projects put forward have been considered by council and given a priority ranking. Council, during its financial planning sessions in early December, will determine which items will actually make it into the financial plan.
Foort said that city staff are following a similar process in coming up with a short list of six-to-eight capital or new service level business cases that will be presented to council for consideration at a meeting scheduled for Nov. 8.
Budget planning meetings to form the city’s next financial plan are scheduled one month after that, on Dec. 5, 6 and 7 between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at City Hall.