Enhancements and Capital Plan on the Agenda For Council
Prince George, B.C.- When Mayor and Council for the City of Prince George resume their budget discussions today, there will be a number of enhancements and two significant capital projects to be discussed.
Fire Hall #1 has served the community for many years, but is inadequate on a number of fronts. A report to Council asks for the Hall to be replaced and relocated to a site east of the YMCA. The cost for that project is $15 million dollars.
The capital plan doesn’t call for any spending in 2017 on that replacement, but $415 thousand in 2018 and 2019, a little over $10 million in 2020 and a further $4.1 million in 2021.
Then there’s the matter of the Four Seasons pool replacement, a project estimated to cost $34 million dollars. The Capital plan looks to spend $100 thousand on that project in 2017, another $5.3 million in 2018, then $19.7 million in 2019, another $9.3 million in 2020 and a final $600 thousand in 2021.
Both projects are listed as “funded” with the dollars coming from a loan through the Municipal Finance Authority.
Carrying the combined debt load for the two projects could add as much as $87.87 to the tax bill of a typical homeowner, depending on the length of term for the loan.
While the capital plan calls for $70 thousand to be spent this year towards the development of the Nechako Riverside Park , north east of the Foothills Bridge. The initial dollars are coming from Development Cost Charges, but next year, the plan calls for the City to borrow $630 thousand to further that project.
The plan also lays out the reduction in road rehab by $2 million dollars, with $1 million going toward sidewalk rehabilitation and construction.
What is missing from the “funded” projects list is the proposed new entrance for the Bob Harkins Branch of the Prince George Library. That’s a $2.47 million dollar project.
The enhancements include:
An additional $113,273 to the police budget for 2017 for extra officers. That represents just a partial cost, as new officers wouldn’t likely be on board until September. The real impact would be felt in 2018, when the cost would be $339,818.
Aquatics is calling for another $247,478 dollars to hire new lifeguards
Social Planning would like just under $141.5 thousand for a social planning coordinator and a data management contract.
Parks services would like to see it’s budget boosted by a further $81 thousand to hire a seasonal worker, rent a pick up truck and pay for extra work by the roads division, all in an effort to get rid of the weeds on sidewalks, bouelvards and trails.
Depending on which, if any, of the requested enhancements receive approval, the projected 2.73% increase in the dollars raised through taxation, could easily climb over the 3% mark.