The City of Vancouver’s draft 2019-2022 Capital Plan, which will be presented to City Council on June 5, proposes $2.6 billion in capital investments to support much needed renewal of aging assets, along with investments in new infrastructure and amenities for a growing city.
Examples of renewal projects include Marpole Community Centre, the Marpole Library, the Britannia Centre, repairs and seismic upgrades to the Granville Bridge, a seismic upgrade to Firehall #12 in Kitsilano, and preparation of a master plan for the West End Community Centre site.
Examples of new infrastructure and amenities include construction of 1,200 to 1,600 units of non-market rental housing, creation of approximately 1,000 new childcare spaces, an outdoor pool in Marpole, the Oakridge Civic Centre, delivery of the public plaza at 800 Robson, and support for the Millennium Line Broadway Subway extension.
The $2.6 billion plan is comprised of:
- $2.0 billion of proposed City-led investments funded through City taxes and fees, development, and partnership contributions; and
- $0.6 billion of in-kind contributions from development, having been secured through approved rezoning or other conditions of development.
About two-thirds of the City-led investment—$1.3 billion—is allocated to maintenance, renewal, or upgrades to existing aging infrastructure and amenities. The remaining one-third ($0.7 billion) along with the $0.6 billion of in-kind development contributions, represent investments in new or upgraded infrastructure and amenities to support growth.
Public engagement results
The results of the City’s public engagement in April as part of the capital planning process showed overwhelming public support (at 91 per cent) for the City to allocate more funds to the renewal of aging infrastructure and amenities. Half of the city’s underground water and sewer infrastructure was built prior to 1965 and is approaching the end of its expected life cycle. Likewise, approximately 40 per cent of the City’s buildings are 40 or more years old, and other above ground infrastructure such as roads and sidewalks needs continual upgrading to keep people moving and safe.
Besides maintaining our assets in a state of good repair, it is also important to make sure new infrastructure and amenities are provided to support the city’s growing population. The City also asked the public to identify city-wide priorities for new infrastructure and facilities, with their top priorities being transportation including rapid transit, affordable housing, and childcare.
Vote to approve the borrowing
At the June 5 meeting, Council will be asked to approve in principle a borrowing limit of $495 million to support the four-year Capital Plan. As part of the municipal election process in October, Vancouver residents will be asked to vote to approve the borrowing for all non-utility debt.
The City has continued to manage debt levels effectively, and there is room for additional borrowing to support infrastructure upgrades while maintaining our strong credit rating. The City’s strong financial management has been acknowledged by credit rating agencies—both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s—with the highest credit rating of AAA.
To learn more about the City of Vancouver’s capital plan, visit: http://vancouver.ca/your-government/capital-plan.aspx