City lays out capital spending plans

The city has released its 2012 capital budget which includes $25.5 million in spending for infrastructure projects. The budget reflects the city’s continued growth, said Mayor Bev Buckway.

The city has released its 2012 capital budget which includes $25.5 million in spending for infrastructure projects.

The budget reflects the city’s continued growth, said Mayor Bev Buckway.

“Increased population has led to more demands on services, more people using infrastructure and a greater demand for housing,” she said.

The growth the city is seeing must be properly managed and that can be difficult, said Buckway.

“In our economy, benefits go hand-in-hand with the challenges and it is the city’s responsibility to plan and manage for growth in a responsible manner for all citizens, present and future,” she said.

“In an era when much of our infrastructure is aging, at the same time demands on that infrastructure are increasing and the city is required to strike a careful balance between maintaining what it has and building what it needs”

While almost $9 million of the budget comes from the city’s reserves and local improvement charges, the majority of the funding, 64 per cent, comes from federal grants.

There are several big ticket items that take up the lion’s share of the budget.

The biggest expense is $6.5 million for the expansion of core services around Marwell.

There is also $4 million for expansion of the Porter Creek reservoir, $3.8 million for the reconstruction of Black Street and $1.68 million for the new chair lift at Mount Sima.

As well, there is $2 million set aside for new heavy equipment for the Whistle Bend subdivision.

The first phase of Whistle Bend is scheduled to ready next fall.

During the last financial quarter, the city instituted a series of austerity measures to offset an $800,000 budget deficit.

Several infrastructure projects were put off to balance the books.

All of those projects are scheduled to be completed in 2012.

The budget includes more than $700,000 to finish them, including more $300,000 for Takhini North reconstruction.

The capital budget passed first reading last Monday.

Public consultation on the budget will take place in the new year. The third and final reading is scheduled for the end of January.

Contact Josh Kerr at joshk@yukon-news.com