On Monday, February 11th City Council approved the 2019 Capital budget in the amount of $105,328,000 and also approved in principle the 2020 to 2028 Capital budget forecast in the amount of $549,574,000. To learn more about the Operating Budget, check out my post here (https://www.roycebodaly.ca/operating-budget/). In this post I will highlight some of the major projects that are happening in 2019 and beyond. I’m going to focus on projects occurring in or near Ward 2, but I’ll also highlight a few other major City projects. If you’re interested in reviewing the Capital Budget in a lot more detail, please follow the below link:
As a note, the year identified is the year in which funds will become available. It does not necessarily mean with certainty that a project will proceed in that year. There are many situations that projects do not ultimately proceed or are delayed, but it does give a good indicator as to the vision for projects.
West Side Employment Lands
In 2019 we will begin servicing the West Side Employment Lands (Old Waterloo Golf Academy) so the area can be developed. This servicing totals $5.5M in 2019 and continues into 2020 for an additional $16.6M. This development coincides with the extension of Platinum Drive from Erb Street to Ladyslipper Drive and is vitally important, as I’ve discussed on a number of occasions.
West Side Recreation Facility
As per previous Parks Master Plans a West Side Recreation Facility has been identified as needed in the coming years. We see three Capital Budget items for this project. In 2019 we have $5.6M available for land acquisition, in 2022 there is $470K available to conduct a complete needs analysis and feasibility study for the project, with development slated to occur from 2026-2028 in the amount of $11.9M.
Splash pads were a major point of discussion during Council’s Capital Budget review. There were originally three splash pads slated to be implemented from 2020-2022, one in the East, one in the North and one in the West end of the City. These are in conjunction with changes to the Waterloo Park splash pad plan, which is to decommission Lion’s Lagoon after 2019, with construction of two new smaller Splash Pads in the park (one of which will be ready in 2020). After discussion Council has asked to expedite these projects. As such we have $400K available for splash pad design in 2019, with $1.6M available for the three splash pads to be implemented from 2020-2021.
Vista Hills Soccer Field and Amphitheatre
In Vista Hills there are two specific projects identified. The City is partnering with WRDSB on the development of a programmable soccer field adjacent to Vista Hills Public School. This development is to occur in 2019 with funding in the amount of $370K. Additionally, the West Side Amphitheatre will be implemented in 2021-2022 at a funding amount of $540K.
Infrastructure and Development
With respect to infrastructure and development 2023-2025 will see a new mini operation centre developed on the west side. This will help improve efficiency for services to this end of the City and has $4.6M allocated towards the project. Roads that are slated for improvement include Bisch Street (from Erbsville Road to the City limit – 2025-2026 – $820K) and Erbsville Road Water main (Ira Needles to Columbia Street – 2022-2024 – $1.4M). There is a Erbsville area scoped sub-watershed study slated for 2019 at $400K, which will be followed up with a revised Erbsville District Plan in 2020 for $190K. The biggest ticket item concerns the reconstruction of Beaver Creek Road and Conservation Drive (including Underground) which is slated to take place from 2019-2021 at a cost of $42.4M. Beaver Creek Road is intended for improvements first, while Conservation Drive is slated for 2020-2021. This is all part of the Beaver Creek Meadows development, which is yet to be approved, but is one of the last areas of the City for significant housing development. Lastly, with respect to infrastructure and development there is a By-pass proposed in 2019 for $6.6M which is designed to connect Erb Street to Ira Needles Blvd (East of the Costco, near the hydro corridor through the Boardwalk). This development is very exciting to me in order to reduce traffic at the Erb/Ira Needles Roundabout and I think will be a great help in giving another access towards Kitchener from the Costco.
Lastly, there are trails planned in the new development areas of Northwest Waterloo between 2020-2028 for $2.7M and a specific trail along the hydro corridor, South of Columbia Street behind St. Moritz. The hydro corridor trail is to be implemented from 2020-2021 for $620K.
Outside of Ward 2
Outside of Ward 2 there are three significant projects going on in the City in the near term. The dredging up of Silver Lake in Waterloo Park including improvements to the area around the lake are slated for 2019-2020. You can attend a public information session on March 6th from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Waterloo Memorial Rec Centre to view the plans and provide input. Speaking of WMRC there is a significant expansion taking place this year. The public information session has already occurred and the final proposal will come to Council later this year. The last major initiative that is really exciting is the East Side Library to be built in RIM Park. This will take place from 2019-2020 and I believe will have the same transformative impact to the community in the East end as the Harper Library has had for us.
If there are any questions about the Capital Budget process or if you’d like further clarification on any of the above projects, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a discussion.