FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Fort St. John city council has approved in principle the draft Capital Budget for 2018 that was presented last November so that the City can proceed with submitting its Peace River Agreement funding application.

The City is looking to spend $57.1 million this year on capital expenditures next year, of which $25.3 million would be paid for with Peace River Agreement money. Fort St. John is planning to spend nearly $19 million on road and infrastructure improvements this year, including $5.3 million for upgrades to 92A St. between 87th and 94th Avenues. An additional $5.27 million has been earmarked for Local Area Service upgrades, $5 million of which would be spent to extend the Tahltan Road. The continuation of the 100th St. four-laning project will be put on hold until 2019 as sewer upgrades are needed under the CN Rail tracks near Northern Lights College.

The largest items in next year’s capital budget for Facilities and Building projects is the renovations at Centennial Park, which will total just over $4 million next year and $2 million in 2019. A further $1.2 million is earmarked for a Festival/“Frostival” Market and pavilion. $1.59 million has been set aside for Trail and Parks upgrades next year, along with $500,000 for a new dog park, and $750,000 for a new Fire Training Centre.

The City’s Legislative Services Director Janet Prestley said that the spending plan has only been approved in principle so that the City can submit the draft to the Province in order to be approved for the PRA funding. Prestley said that the city is hoping to have both its Capital and Operating budgets passed as bylaws before the end of February.