Squamish outlines capital spending priorities 

The District of Squamish outlined capital spending priorities for 2010 at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, looking at all of the projects on the books for the next few years. Each will be considered separately during the budget process and the public will be invited to give input on the projects.

Mayor Greg Gardner brought the capital spending list up at the regular council meeting on Nov. 3 while inviting Squamish residents to a town hall meeting tonight, Thursday, Nov. 12. The meeting takes place at the Eagle Eye Theatre at Howe Sound Secondary and gets underway at 7 p.m. Council will lead off with a discussion on the capital budget process, then will open the floor for questions on any local issues.

On the top of the capital list is $150,000 to improve the RCMP headquarters, including upgrades to cell security, server separation, a secure reception area and a digital camera system. The money will come from capital reserves.

Next up are three grants to the Squamish Emergency Program with matching funds from the national Joint Emergency Preparedness Program. The projects include $29,000 to upgrade to a new satellite system used by other emergency groups, modifications to the breakout room to include a new server room and emergency call centre, and a weather monitoring system for Alice Ridge and Cloudburst Mountain to provide early warning for floods. Funding will come from long term debt and matching funds from JEPP.

The District is budgeting $425,000 to rip rap the Squamish Dyke to protect against erosion and future flooding, with $283,000 from the Build Canada Grant program and $141,000 in long term debt financing.

Then there is $100,000 for offsite servicing for the Riverstones affordable housing project, which includes sidewalks, sewers, storm sewers, draining and ditching. The actual total is closer to $250,000 but just $100,000 is budgeted for 2010. Of the total cost, roughly $100,000 will come from the Affordable Housing reserve, $130,000 from the Water Utility User Fees and $20,000 from the Sanitary Sewer Utility User Fees.

The O'Siem Community Pavilion will also go forward with a total 2010 budget of $500,000, with $375,000 coming from a provincial Towns For Tomorrow grant and the remaining money coming from reserves.

The District of Squamish is also spending just over $200,000 this year and next to build and upgrade 12 bus shelters throughout town, with funding from the provincial Public Transit Agreement and the Public Transit Infrastructure Program based on the federal Gas Tax Grant program.

The Corridor Trail program will continue in 2010 with the goal of completing a section of trail from Garibaldi Way north of Depot Road and from the Squamish Adventure Centre to the Stawamus Chief. Roughly $850,000 is budgeted with $144,000 from the Regional Gas Tax Grant and $706,000 from reserves.

The full list is posted at www.squamish.ca under Council Agendas for Nov. 3.


New SODC website launched

Interest is high in the Squamish Oceanfront development, with more than 300 people turning out to an update presentation on the project for close to 100 acres of land.

To keep the public updated the Squamish Oceanfront Development Corporation has created a new website at www.squamishoceanfront.com that includes the latest updates, such as an artist's rendering of the project with housing, landscaping, roads and sidewalks, and a brochure for the development, as well as a new video that was produced by SODC - a municipal corporation owned by the District of Squamish - to answer questions that residents might have.




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