Yesterday, St. John’s City Council voted on whether to approve the Capital Plan for 2016–2018 — council minutes were unavailable at the time of writing. The plan includes $28.7 million in capital projects for 2017, including $3.2 million dedicated to its water systems.
The capital plan will support a wide array of projects in St. John’s, as councillor Jonathan Galgay, chair of the Finance and Administration Standing Committee, explained: “It includes studies, facility renovations and upgrades, roadwork, park construction and improvements, and water and sewer projects. Implementation of automated garbage collection and the start of a new facility to replace the H.G.R. Mews Community Centre are also included.”
In order to execute their capital plan, the city has made the decision to “discontinue water and sewer lateral repairs and other water and wastewater-related services.” This is being done in an effort to show the true cost of water systems maintenance, which the plan indicates has been provided to citizen at a discounted rate. The plan further noted that it is the only one of nine cities surveyed in Atlantic Canada to provide these discounted rates.
The capital plan commitment of $28.7 million for 2017 includes:
- $4.4 million in Gas Tax funding, which has been dedicated to the replacement of the H.G.R. Mews Community Centre.
- $3.6 million from the Fleet Acquisition Fund for replacement of the City’s fleet.
- $3.2 million for projects are funded through the water tax and focus exclusively on work related to the water system.
- $5.2 million for finished projects not funded or where funding allocated was insufficient. The majority of this amount — $4.23 million — is required for jobs that council directed be undertaken due to urgency.
- $821,000 for project overages on jobs not yet completed
- $3.7 million for projects that will be paid for from current monies instead of being borrowed
Other water notables in the capital plan, include forecast revenues for Water Sales & Tax, $56.7 million in 2017 and $57.1 million in 2018; approximately $3.3 million for both 2017 and 2018; $100,000 for water meter and plumbing maintenance per year; while the Water Department has a projected operating cost of $45.7 million in 2017 and $46.1 in 2018; and the Sewer Department includes a projected cost of $10.2 million and $10.3 million, respectively.
The entirety of the capital plan can be found on the city’s website.