From new stoplights to a bike overpass, the development of a housing strategy and pre-planning for the widening of Fraser Highway, last week’s budget meetings shed light on a variety of new projects being eyed by the City of Abbotsford over the next two years.
Staff’s budget, which council must still adopt, proposes a range of initiatives, some of which have already been floated before. Inclusion in the budget would not automatically ensure that the projects go forward, as several require funding from other levels of government or must pass other regulatory hurdles. (To see power point presentations with some details on the projects presented during the three days of budget meetings click here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3).
Taxes are forecast to rise by 2.13 per cent next year. (Click for story.) (Note, this story originally misprinted the increase as 3.12 per cent)
Homelessness and housing
• $25,000 in 2017 for the development of a housing strategy to be “focused not only on the homeless but on the housing continuum right up to a higher ceiling of affordability,” according to deputy city manager Jake Rudolph.
• The city will also participate in a homeless count in March 2017, and the year is also expected to see the launch of the co-ordinated intake and referral program that aims to bring a range of services together for those without a home.
• $120,000 in 2017 for new or upgraded playgrounds.
• $135,000 in 2017 for upgrades at the Matsqui Recreation Centre, including diving boards, seniors centre and club house improvements.
• $9.8 million in 2018 for the proposed expansion to the Matsqui Recreation Centre. The city continues to seek federal grants for the project.
• $900,000 in 2018 for the development of community grants.
• $100,000 in 2017 for public washrooms, with locations likely at Mill Lake Park and on the Discovery Trail.
• $700,000 in 2017 for a new fire engine.
• $1.2 million in 2018 to replace a squad vehicle and aerial engine.
• $5 million in 2018 to design and rebuild Fire Hall No. 6 near the downtown on West Railway Street.
• Neighbourhood plans to be created in 2017 for the historic downtown and city centre along South Fraser Way. Plans for Auguston and the McKee Peak/Vicarro Ranch area are slated for 2018.
• The city has launched an industrial land supply study.
• $570,000 over 2017 and 2018 for traffic signals at Downes and Mt. Lehman roads; South Fraser Way and Abbotsford Way; and Marshall and Roy roads.
• $3.9 million in 2017 for a Highway 1 cycling/pedestrian overpass at Salton Road. The project has already received a $1 million grant.
• $1.3 million over 2017 and 2018 for the widening of Blue Jay Street from Maclure to Cardinal.
• $8.95 million over 2017 and 2018 for the construction of the Marshall Road connector.
• $200,000 more for traffic calming projects.
• $400,000 to improve the intersection at Montvue Avenue and West Railway Street.
• $1.1 million over 2017 and 2018 for rail crossing safety upgrades.
• $10 million in 2018 to lay the ground work for the widening of Fraser Highway. Much of that is suggested to come from senior levels of government, if possible.
• $45,000 increase to the roadside cleanup budget, taking it to near $200,000.