Heading into 2022, Fraser prioritizes affordable housing, invests in public spaces and the Department of Public Works in next year’s $ 7.3 million budget.
Carried by increases in the city’s revenue streams, including sales and property taxes, Fraser estimates more than $ 9.3 million in revenue next year. The city council approved the budget on December 1st.
One of the main priorities for the city is affordable housing, which has more than $ 1.3 dedicated to the project, including $ 75,000 for the creation of a regional housing authority. Fraser budgeted $ 800,000 for housing initiatives on top of the city’s committed reserves of $ 595,000 remaining from 2021.
The housing funds could be used by Fraser to purchase more deed restrictions or participate in other affordable housing initiatives.
A little over half a million dollars will be spent on improving various city properties, including the town hall, the Headwaters Trails Alliance building, the mural park, the public facility and the Fraser Historic Church.
About $ 700,000 will go to street projects, such as the paving of Wapiti and Rendezvous Roads, while the city also plans to build bathrooms and install supplies on Cozens Meadow Open Space, which will cost about $ 460,000. Fraser plans to spend grant money on the project.
An additional $ 185,000 will be used to rebuild and maintain the Fraser River Trail, and $ 150,000 is budgeted for a comprehensive land use plan.
In an effort to address the city’s staff shortage, Fraser is planning a 9% increase for staff, as well as an increase in the city’s match to employees’ pension plans, which is estimated to cost $ 143,560. Currently, the city is down with six employees, mainly within the department of public works.
For Fraser’s ongoing lawsuit with Grand Park, the city is planning $ 175,000 in attorney fees. Fraser and Grand Park have both filed lawsuits against each other in a dispute over whether a conservation easement over Cozens Meadow is required.
Fraser also oversees water and wastewater proprietary resources and plans millions in improvements to its treatment plants by 2022.
Water projects are expected to cost $ 2,528,980 next year, with the majority of the money going to a replacement of the main water pipeline on Byers Avenue and system repair and maintenance.
In addition, the city plans to spend $ 200,000 on pressure relief valves, $ 225,000 for a grouse blowout and $ 105,000 for water surveys.
In the Wastewater Fund, Fraser budgets $ 1,419,660 in projects. System repairs and maintenance are expected to cost $ 150,000, while $ 55,000 is dedicated to repairing and replacing equipment, and $ 70,000 will go to design work for a sewer line replacement.
Several studies are also included in the wastewater budget, such as a tariff study, an infiltration and inflow study, and a capital improvement program study.