Nanaimo city council approves $11.5 million in capital projects

NANAIMO – City officials approved capital projects that need to get underway before the budget process wraps up in March.

Nanaimo city officials have given the green light for more than $11 million in capital projects.

Nanaimo city council  approved a list of urgent capital projects during an open meeting Wednesday, from Bastion Street parkade upgrades to formal dam inspection. The list totals $11.5 million, with 15 per cent of the projects potentially affecting taxes.

According to Brian Clemens, the city’s director of finance, it’s too early to tell how the latest decision will influence this year’s tax rate. Elected officials are in the midst of a new budget process, which isn’t expected to wrap up until March. There are still major expenditures and service levels to decide, including staffing levels for the RCMP, he said.

The latest collection of projects were initiatives that needed to get underway early this year, before the financial process wraps up.

“If it was not approved [we ran] the risk of not being able to get our work done this year,” Clemens said.

The early approval list includes projects like a $152,650 roof replacement for the city’s public works building and $48,330 in recreational dam inspections required by the B.C. Dam Safety Branch.

Close to $2 million of projects will be covered by taxes, including $200,000 upgrades to Bastion Street parkade and drainage work in the Sherwood Forest area, a project totaling $336,000.

Five city councillors who were present for the meeting voted unanimously on the capital project list. Councillors George Anderson, Diane Brennan and Jim Kipp were absent.

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