Port Coquitlam has approved a spending plan for upgrading sidewalks, roads, multi-use paths, utilities, playgrounds and parks with a nearly $50-million capital budget over two years.
This week, council passed amendments to the 2022 capital budget, totalling $6.5 million, mostly for the Veterans Park and Leigh Square revitalization, and approved a capital plan for 2023 totalling nearly $17 million.
All told, the city expects to spend $49.5 million in the next two years on projects and upgrades.
But the city’s mayor says Port Coquitlam has the money, and what’s more, needs to do the work to meet expectations and ensure important infrastructure doesn’t deteriorate.
Brad West highlighted $12.4 million on neighbourhood projects, slated for 2023, as critical spending to make sure neighbourhoods both north and south get their fair share.
POOL REHABILITATION FOR ROUTLEY WADING POOL
“We are getting work done in neighbourhoods in Port Coquitlam that have not seen adequate renewal of sidewalks, roads and utilities for decades,” said West.
“In this particular capital budget, there is a lot of work that’s going be happening on the north side of the city,” he added.
The city is also prioritizing infrastructure to support the influx of younger families moving into the city.
For example, the wading pool in Routley Park on the city’s south side will be getting a $250,000 upgrade, noted West, pointing out that many cities have eliminated tot pools.
“We said, 'No way, that’s an important public asset.' We are we not going to close it and were going to make sure it’s here for the future generations,” said West.
He also pointed to road improvements along Kingsway Avenue, in the city’s booming industrial area, as benefiting from the two-year budget planning cycle.
Port Coquitlam expects to spend about $5.5 million over the next two years with improvements along Kingsway Avenue from Tyner Street to Coast Meridian Overpass in 2022 and between Coast Meridian Overpass and Kebet Way scheduled for 2023.
ROAD AND SIDEWALK IMPROVEMENTS FOR KINGSWAY AVENUE
About half of the projected costs are expected to be paid for with developer fees and TransLink funding.
The work includes a new multi-use path and corridor improvements to accommodate increasing traffic in the area due to growth, including two major employers moving into the area.
Saputo, employing 400 people, held a grand opening for its new state-of-the-art facility where it produces milk and dairy alternative beverages while Lordco Auto Parts is constructing a new head office, which, will employ 237 people.
“They are family supporting jobs. They pay good wages,” said West, who attended Saputo’s grand opening on Tuesday.
Port Coquitlam’s robust capital plan is “ambitious by design,” West said; however, he said, “it’s also achievable.”
“But it is ambitious because a lot of these improvement are long overdue and people have been paying taxes for years and not seeing improvements in their neighbourhood they should expect to see.”
HERE'S WHEN WILL THE WORK BE DONE
- McAllister Avenue road and pedestrian improvement, costing $4.3 million, is 50% complete and slated to be finished this year
- Prairie Avenue ($5.6 million ), road improvements from Coast Meridian to Burns Road is more than 50 per cent complete, the majority of the work will be completed by the end of year with the exception of landscaping works and the final lift of paving which requires several dry and warmer days and will be done in the spring.
- McAllister footbridge, council just approved $2.2 million in spending to replace the aging McAllister footbridge next spring and summer.
- Veterans Square, and Donald Pathway extension and Leigh Square upgrade costing $5.8 million will see construction take place in 2022, with completion in 2023.
Neighbourhood road, park and utility projects, including:
- Maple Creek Drainage Pump Station to constructs a fish-friendly pump to improve drainage - $3,145,000
- Kingsway Avenue improvements - $2.75 million
- Playground improvements - $300,000
- Routley pool rehabilitation - $250,000
- Skatebowl resurfacing - $140,000