At a Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, Nov. 6, Kimberley City Chief Financial Officer Jim Hendricks presented the 2018-2022 Financial Plan to Council.
Included in the plan are several different focus areas including Norton Avenue reconstruction, the Downtown Project, hot water system improvements at the Conference Centre, a columbarium at the Kimberley Cemetery, traffic calming measures, an asbestos management program and a land exchange with the Kimberley Golf Club.
Construction on Norton Avenue was originally planned to include the 200 block in the year of 2019. There was a request to alter the timing of the project from 2019 to 2018 and Council was presented with the option on Monday. The stipulation being phase one of construction on 4th avenue be deferred until 2019.
The Norton Avenue project involves water, sewer and storm construction as well as paving the entirety of Norton from Burdett Street to Gerry Sorensen Way.
Hendricks says that other projects planned for 2018 may have to be cancelled or deferred as well if additional budget funds are required to complete the project.
Hendricks also says that if council wishes to apply this change to the road program, it’s important that staff receive direction without delay.
“This [would] allow the Engineering Department sufficient time to design the project to facilitate release of the tender as early as possible in 2018,” said Hendricks.
In terms of feasibility, Hendricks says it’s absolutely possible.
“We can do that, we can shuffle the projects around. That’s initially how we had it when we presented it to Council last year. It ended up getting switched around a bit and we put phase one of 4th Avenue in 2018, so we will have to push that back to 2019, but we do have sufficient reserves to accommodate that shuffle,” said Hendricks.
Councillor Darryl Oakley says he thinks Norton Ave. should be given priority.
“4th ave has received enough attention to limp through,” Oakley said. “I think the priority should be given to Norton Ave., to complete that a year in advance. 4th Ave will survive; it’s rough but not brutal.”
Mayor Don McCormick says there was some “fairly significant” patching done on 4th Avenue last year, and after looking at the construction on Norton Avenue, he believes it should be prioritized as well.
“After driving by the 100 block construction this summer, I just don’t think we can leave that unfinished for two years, which is essentially what we would end up doing. It just makes sense to get the 200 done next year so that by the end of the summer we can have pavement from top to bottom and be finished with Norton Avenue,” said McCormick.
Councillor Sandra Roberts asked if making the change would put phase one and phase two of 4th Avenue in the same year, to which Hendricks replied, the phases will take place over two subsequent years, in 2019 and 2020.
Council will vote on implementing the recommendation at the next City Council Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14.