Aging facilities and infrastructure, such as the Marpole Library and Granville Bridge, could receive overhauls, as well as new ones built, if the City of Vancouver’s draft 2019-2022 Capital Plan is approved. Submitted to city council earlier this month, the proposal calls for $2.6 billion in investments to support a rapidly growing population.
Other potential projects are a renewal of the Marpole Community Centre and Britannia Centre, seismic improvements to Firehall #12 in Kitsilano and preparation of a master plan for the West End Community Centre site. There’s also construction of up to 1,600 units of non-market rental housing, 1,000 extra childcare spaces, an outdoor pool in Marpole and the Oakridge Civic Centre.
Of the total cost, $2.0 billion will be funded through municipal taxes and fees, and contributions from developers and partnership contributions. The other $0.6 billion is to be made up by in-kind development contributions. A majority of the investment is allocated to maintenance, while the rest slated for new infrastructure and amenities.
Back in April, the city connected with residents and 91 per cent supported recommendations for upgrades. For example, half of the underground water and sewer system was built prior to 1965 and is nearing the end of its life cycle; many of Vancouver’s buildings are 40-plus years old; and roads and sidewalks require regular attention to keep them safe for use. In addition, people were asked what else needed to be created and the top responses included rapid transit, affordable housing and childcare facilities.
More opportunities are coming up for the public to have their say. Continuing throughout June, further engagement is set to take place via online and telephone surveys, focus groups and face-to-face sessions at locations around town. Feedback will be incorporated into the final Capital Plan put before city council later next month. As well, voters can choose whether to approve the city borrowing $495 million for non-utility debt during the local election process in October.