March 05, 2016 - 1:00 PM
KELOWNA - The city has just over $1 billion worth of top priority projects on the books for completion by 2030.
Half of that, $487 million, will be driven by population growth, another $387 million by need to replace or renew infrastructure and just under $200 million to add to existing service levels.
City council will hear from infrastructure planning manager Joel Shaw who says the plan is based on the fundamental questions of what we need, why do we need it and how will we pay for it.
“As there is never enough money for competing needs, tradeoffs and hard choices are required to establish an optimum and affordable list of priorities,” Shaw writes in his report to council. "Answering these three questions allows the city to anticipate the current and future cost pressures.”
Some of the projects are already underway such as the new $19-million Memorial Parkade and Library Parkade expansion, while others such as a $50-million replacement for Parkinson Recreation Centre, are years away.
There are plans to spend $105 million on park land and another $52 million developing new parks and refurbishing existing parks.
Over the 15 year time frame of the plan, the city will spend another $102 million on alternative transportation networks for pedestrians and cyclists.
To pay for all this, the city will rely on general taxation for about one quarter of the $1 billion price tag.
For the first time, staff used an online infrastructure budgeting tool, used by other municipalities, to get insight into preferences for various infrastructure projects. Participants were asked to allocate $70 million based on their own preferences. Their choices and why they made them will be incorporated into future planning.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016