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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – Projects are estimated to cost Fort St. John roughly $189.5 million over the next five years as city council was presented the 2021-2025 capital budget.
Chief Financial Officer David Joy informed council that the capital program presented on Monday “does represent our most aggressive capital program” and will not affect the tax rate.
In 2021, the City is expected to spend just over $71 million with major projects including the 100 Street rebuild, the new RCMP building and Surerus and Kin Park Upgrades.
A total of $36 million will carry forward from last year, which includes the intention to spend more on the RCMP building due to delays in 2020.
The City is expected to spend just under $18 million in 2021 out of $77.5 million in five years on transportation, roads and sidewalks. Of the 39 projects set to be completed over five years, 11 are expected to be completed in 2021 including part of the 100 Street rebuild, and repairs on 112 Avenue from 103 Street to 106 Street.
Just under $37.5 million is expected to be spent on facilities, buildings and parks, including construction on the RCMP building, North Peace Arena upgrades, and the Public Works expansion.
Of the expected projects, local area service roads are aimed to cost $2.6 million in 2021, $4.1 million for water and sewer, $5.9 million for equipment, vehicles and machinery, and $5.7 million for projects, plans and projects.
Joy says a brunt of the spending in 2021 is going towards the construction of the new detachment.
“Looking at our invoices that are coming, the RCMP building is about $1.7 to $2.1 million a month. So, the reserves will be drawn down a bit.”
The projects will be funded through several sources such as:
“[Around] 84% of all our projects are financed by the PRA [in 2021]. It’s something we should never take for granted and that we should always appreciate. It’s very fortunate if we did not have PRA money, our road or road program would be significantly curtailed, we’d have to defer a lot of projects,” says Joy.
To date, Joy says there is currently $87 million in capital reserves, $18.1 million in utility reserves and around $15 million in statutory and regulatory reserves.
“That should go up a bit on both the water and sewer. Plus in 2021, council had approved increases in the water and sewer rates, which will contribute more towards the transfers to reserve for future use.”
Without including capital expenses in 2020, the City has around $112 million in capital reserves.
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