Lethbridge City Council on Tuesday voted 7-2 to approve the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funding recommendations from the May 10-14 Economic Standing Policy Committee deliberations.
The Economic SPC began with $74 million available, with additional Federal Gas Tax Funding of $6 million for 2021-2022 bringing the total available to approximately $80 million. Funding allocation approvals for the 2022-2025 CIP total about $66 million, with $64.5 million of that being unrestricted funding. The remaining amount available is about $15.5 million, as Council at the start of deliberations also approved $10 million for future CIP allocation.
"I believe Council can be proud of the work we have done," says Mayor Chris Spearman. "We did our best to achieve a balance between essential projects and investing in projects to generate employment and improvement in the city, as well as being cautious to not spend all the money that was available to us this late in the term. This fiscal responsibility will help the next Council start off the right foot."
Some of the approved CIP projects include:
- Waste & Recycling Curbside Organics Collection (amended at May 18 Council meeting). Funding of $10,629,000.
- Affordable Housing (new item at May 18 Council meeting). Funding of $5 million.
- Electric Bus and Charging Infrastructure. Funding of $399,400 in 2022 and $8,812,000 in 2023 and. A CIP amendment could also follow to Council later this year, based on new Federal transit grant information.
- Henderson Ice Centre Upgrade. Total funding of $5,868,000 ($528,000 in 2022, $3,260,000 in 2023, $2,080,000 in 2024)
- SAAG Facility Enhancements. Total funding of $5,788,000 ($474,000 in 2022, $3,232,000 in 2023, $2,082,000 in 2024).
- Fire Station #3 - 16 Ave S. Relocation. Funding of $4,848,000 identified in 2022/2023 for the purchase of land and for the development of a detailed functional study.
- Facility Assessment and Accessibility Upgrades. Total funding of $1.1 million over the years 2022 to 2025 for all outstanding work identified as high priority from the accessibility assessment.
- Downtown 5th Street Preliminary Design. Total funding of $1 million ($750,000 in 2022 and $250,000 in 2023).
- Galt No. 6 Mine Interpretative Park. Total City funding would be $910,000 in 2023 of the total proposed project's $2.7 million proposed cost.
- Twin Outdoor Sports Courts. Total funding would be a maximum of $900,000 in 2022.
- Civic Common Comprehensive Site Plan. Funding of $900,000 in 2022.
- Westside School Gymnasium Upsize. Total funding of $850,000 in 2024.
- Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden (NYJG) Pathway. Funding of $660,000 in 2023.
- Legacy Park Pickleball Courts. Funding up to a maximum of $650,000.
- Fritz Sick Pool Renovation. Total funding of $530,000 in 2022.
- Warehouse District Area Redevelopment Plan. Funding of $350,000 in 2022.
A full recap of the CIP daily deliberations can be found here. More information on the CIP process is available here. A full and updated completed version of the CIP will be posted to the City's website soon.
At the May 18 meeting, City Council voted unanimously 8-0 (Councillor Rob Miyashiro recused), with an amendment from Councillor Belinda Crowson, to direct the City Manager to "bring a plan for possible change" to the budget cycle process to a four-year Operating and Capital Budget cycle and for them to be reviewed and adjusted annually by Council.