Contact: Dean Miller, Commissioner of Corporate & Financial Services, 905-771-2497, firstname.lastname@example.org
Richmond Hill Council Invests $38.2 Million In Town Assets
Council approves Capital Budget and 10 Year Capital Forecast with focus on responsible fiscal planning
RICHMOND HILL – Richmond Hill Council approved the 2012 Capital Budget and 10 Year Capital Forecast at its meeting on November 28, representing $38.2 million in strategic investments in Town assets over the next year.
“The 2012 Capital Budget represents over $38 million worth of new investments in assets and infrastructure for our residents,” said Budget Chair, Regional & Local Councillor Brenda Hogg. “Richmond Hill residents take great pride in their town and these investments represent tangible expressions of what it takes to build a community that has strong connections, offers better choice and is vibrant and well managed.”
The 2012 Capital Budget and 10 Year Capital Forecast assists Council and staff in identifying and addressing the Town’s issues of rising infrastructure needs for Richmond Hill’s growing population as well as maintaining existing assets.
“Our Strategic Plan states that Richmond Hill is a place where people come together to build our community, and some of the best evidence of our commitment to that vision is in the investment choices that we make through our Capital Budget,” said Councillor Hogg. “Investment choices like new asset investments such as the Oak Ridges Community Centre and the Gamble Road fire station that will open in 2012; investments that preserve our heritage through investments such as the restoration of the original Yonge Street post office building; investments to expand and maintain our roads, bike and pedestrian ways, and water and wastewater infrastructure; and investing in our natural environment with new and redeveloped parks, open spaces and water courses.”
The 2012 Capital Budget has 223 new asset and infrastructure projects valued at $38.2 million. Some of the capital projects that will commence in 2012 include:
· $6.9 million – Highway 404 fly-over bridge construction (at East Beaver Creek Road & East Pearce Street)
· $5.3 million – Bond Crescent reconstruction (Yonge Street & King Road)
· $4.6 million – Rumble Storm Water Management Pond rehabilitation (Bathurst Street & Mill Street)
· $4+ million – various parks construction and redevelopment projects
· $3.5 million – Gas Tax funded projects (all of which have modern, environment-friendly components)
While the 2012 Capital Budget consists of projects the Town will be designing, building or tendering within the next 12 months, the 10 Year Forecast represents longer term projects for that planning horizon with a stronger focus on the first four years of the forecast. A number of Town planning processes, documents and multi-year master plans shape the development of the 10 Year Capital Forecast, including the Strategic Plan, Official Plan, Development Charges Background Study and approved Council motions. Future choices will also be guided by the Town Task Forces that are currently underway such as the Economic Development, People Plan and Civic Precinct Task Forces.
“Our 10 Year Capital Forecast is an integral piece of the Town’s planning process, a ‘living plan’ that helps us see and prepare for the reality we may be facing in the coming years,” said Mayor Dave Barrow. “Although Richmond Hill is currently debt free, prudent financial forecasting and increasing contributions to reserves now will ensure that infrastructure like our community centres and roads are looked after for our future generations.”
Currently, the Town maintains significant repair and replacement reserve funds and gives prudent consideration as to how these funds are used. However, the 10 Year Capital Forecast process has identified that these reserve funds, at current allocation levels, have a limited lifespan of 15 years. In order to sustain the Town’s approximately $4.4 billion worth of assets and infrastructure in the future, Council is working towards developing a contribution strategy to prolong the life of these reserve funds to support future sustainability of the Town.
This year marked the first time that the Capital Budget and 10 Year Capital Forecast have been adopted outside of the regular budget process, which is typically approved in March or April of the budget year.
“By adopting the Capital Budget ahead of the Operating Budget, Council and staff were able to strictly focus on major corporate priorities and choices that are important to Richmond Hill residents,” said Councillor Hogg. “Early approval of these capital projects also gives the lead time they require for planning so we can get shovels in the ground as soon as ‘construction season’ begins.”
The Capital Budget is primarily funded from various reserve funds, development charges, Federal Gas Tax grants, contributions from property taxes and interest on investments. Impacts on the Town’s overall property tax rate are factored into the four-year operating outlook that is prepared each year. Richmond Hill is fiscally responsible in its financial planning, leverages all available grant funding and strives to maintain current service levels throughout the budget process.
For more information on the Town’s 2012 Capital Budget, please see the attached Backgrounder: 2012 Capital Budget.
Council and staff are now seeking public input on the 2012 Operating Budget, expected to be approved in the first quarter of 2012. For more information and to provide feedback, visit RichmondHill.ca/Budget.
Backgrounder: 2012 Capital Budget
Capital Budget Highlights - $38.2 million
Recreation & Culture
Grant Funded Project Highlights - $3.5 million
Richmond Hill will see greater utilization of alternative funding sources in order to maximize the deliverance of capital infrastructure. Some of the capital projects include the following:
Gas Tax Fund
2012 Capital Budget Funding