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City councilors are supporting a capital budget that includes $133.8 million for projects to be implemented this year.
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The budget is up about $44 million from last year and includes plans to purchase, build, maintain, repair and replace city assets, including buildings, roads and bridges.
Over the course of several meetings of the Council’s Estimates Committee, approximately $5 million was cut from the 2022 capital budget due to the cancellation or postponement of projects.
The capital budget is expected to be approved at a January 25 council meeting.
The lion’s share of the budget, around 92 million US dollars, is earmarked for public works projects. The remainder is for: local bodies, including the library, police and John Noble Home ($35.6 million); Community Services and Social Development ($2.6 million); People, Legal Services and Planning ($1.2 million); and CAO, including fire, finance, economic development and communications ($834,000).
This year’s projects include:
- Renovation of the current Brantford Police Headquarters, including a two-story addition – $28.5 million. Last February, councilors voted to support a redevelopment and expansion plan for Elgin Street Police Headquarters, which has reached maximum capacity. The total cost of the project is US$38 million, of which US$10 million has already been approved.
- Environmental Impact Assessment for New Municipal Services in North West Brantford – $1.1 million. The EA must support planning and decision making to support growth and development in the northern frontier areas (north of Highway 403). It will examine the feasibility of community services crossing the 403 and CNR rail line along Powerline Road, as well as the locations of water, sewage and stormwater systems. It will also study future road widening along Oak Park Road and Powerline, and the configuration of the Powerline Road/Paris Road intersection, allowing for a roundabout.
- Realignment of the Lorne Bridge Trail along the levee from TH&B Bridge/Earl Haig to Scarfe Avenue – $500,000. The new route follows the disused rail corridor through the area to improve safety and accessibility.
- Curbside Organics Program – $1.7 million. This includes the purchase of curbside carts (green bin) and kitchen containers for single-family homes as well as the expansion of the transfer station and a community-wide education program. The city is currently evaluating two dates for implementing a green bin program — November 1, 2023 and January 1, 2025.
- Ava Bridge Rehabilitation – $5.5 million. The project involves replacing the entire superstructure and refurbishing the substructure of the bridge, allowing the bridge to serve 50 years before the entire structure needs to be replaced.
- TH&B Bridge Deck Refurbishment – $300,000.
- Colborne Slope Rehabilitation – $5 million. This project will include mitigation measures, including slope stabilization, for the landslide area along Colborne Street.
- Red light camera software purchase and site preparation – $60,000. Red light cameras are planned for six city intersections with some of the highest accident rates, detecting and recording vehicles entering intersections on a red light. The implementation of the system can take up to 24 months.
- John Noble Home Bell Court Redevelopment – $4.8 million. Bell Court is to be refurbished to accommodate people with dementia. The home received approval for 20 new beds in 2018.
- Earl Avenue Yard Redevelopment – The $36 million project will be implemented over three years: 2022 ($4.2 million), 2023 ($14.6 million) and 2024 ($17.9 million). A new administration building will be constructed to house the city’s operations, traffic and parking staff, as well as new storage buildings, maintenance bays, new scales, parking lots and yard storage.
- Installation and upgrade of security cameras in urban residential areas including Brant Towers, Lorne Towers, Albion Towers, Riverside Gardens, Marlene Avenue and Winston Court – $400,000.
- Economic Development and Tourism Strategy – $120,000.
- Police Vehicle Fleet Replacement – $377,000.
- Main Library Passenger Elevator Modernization – $186,000.
The capital budget also includes more than $30 million to improve Bridges, Roads and Sidewalks, Brantford Transit and Brantford Lift. About $6.8 million is spent on parks and playgrounds, and more than $31 million is invested in water and sanitation infrastructure projects.
Funding for the capital budget comes from a variety of sources, including reserves, developer contributions, gas taxes, federal and provincial grants, and debt.
Sessions to consider the city’s 2022 operating budget begin Jan. 31.