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City to debate funding priority wish list

Nine projects make up the city’s funding wish list for 2011.

Topping the list is Highway 11/Sumas Way capacity improvements ($14 million), which includes extending Gladys Avenue to reduce traffic congestion on Sumas Way. An overpass across the train tracks on Vye Road is also being considered.

Second on the list is funding for a partnership with the YMCA.

Last year, the city agreed to pay $30,000 towards a feasibility study to see if a $30-million YMCA recreational facility would work in Abbotsford. If so, the city would agree to pay for half the cost of the structure.

Mayor George Peary said when you consider the “overwhelming success” of both the Abbotsford and Matsqui recreation centres, then a YMCA is a good fit for the city.

“And if you can get the facility for 50 cents on the dollar, then it just makes sense,” he said.

A new justice complex (valued at more than $50 million) is third on the priority list. The project also includes an expansion of Abbotsford police headquarters.

“We should have a Supreme Court in Abbotsford,” said Peary.

Council will discuss the list at its Monday meeting and if approved, staff will prepare position papers for each project so swift action can be taken when funding opportunities arise.

Rounding out the top nine projects are:

4. Tradex upgrades ($1.5 million);

5. Transportation infrastructure ($4.1 million);

6. Municipal waste diversion initiative ($1.25 million);

7. Road improvements to link Highway 1 to the Abbotsford International Airport (cost not yet known);

8. Tourism destination funding – public market and/or cultural facility (no cost known);

9. Essendene project ($1.6 million).

In addition to the top nine, the city has identified two regional utility projects that require funding.

Those projects are the Stave Lake Water Source and Treatment Plant and upgrades to the JAMES treatment plant.

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