October 03, 2016 - 1:07 PM
PENTICTON - Penticton’s infrastructure deficit has reached significant levels, requiring public input and some long term planning in order to properly fund the city’s future.
The city is currently running a $175 million dollar infrastructure deficit, defined as infrastructure that has passed its service life but still providing service. About $77 million of that will be needed to maintain and update taxpayer funded assets, the remainder of which will be funded through utility rates.
Acting CAO Mitch Moroziuk will address a committee of the whole meeting tomorrow, Oct. 4, asking council to take steps to educate the public on infrastructure planning and to seek public guidance regarding resident’s preferred options for funding Penticton’s aging infrastructure.
Moroziuk blames a stagnant population growth and minimal tax increases over the past decade on an expanding gap between funding requirements needed to maintain the city’s infrastructure assets and the amount being invested by the city.
He says much of city infrastructure was installed in the 1960s with overall assets rated as fair with an average remaining life of 48 per cent.
The city’s assets are estimated at $1.09 billion which include water, sewer and storm sewer pipe, electrical cable, roads, bridges, sidewalks, traffic lights and more than 40 municipal buildings.
Moroziuk states in his report to council if a sustainable funding model isn’t adopted, Penticton’s infrastructure deficit could climb to $197 million by 2016.
He will be asking council to seek public input through open houses, the use of the city’s new community engagement coordinator and other approaches to gather commentary and opinion through November, in order for council to make a budget decision and create a funding approach in time for the 2017 budget in December.
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