Balancing investment in infrastructure for today and tomorrow.
The long-term Infrastructure Plan outlines the City's infrastructure needs from now to 2030. The 2030 Infrastructure Plan is used to develop the 10-year Capital Plan which is updated annually to remain accurate and reflect emerging issues along with the community’s changing priorities. In turn, the 10-Year Capital Plan is used to support infrastructure investment decisions in the annual budget presented to Council for endorsement each year in December.
Staff is exploring a variety of ways to fund an infrastructure deficit identified in the 10-Year Capital Plan. As part of the proactive approach, staff will be making a recommendation for Council to consider the introduction of a 1.95 per cent infrastructure levy as part of the 2019 and 2020 budget cycles. The introduction of a levy is one of the ways we can take action and be resourceful in investing in our future so that Kelowna continues to be a great place to live. At this time, no decision has been made by Council.
In July 2018, Council endorsed the 10-Year Capital Plan which forecasts a total general fund infrastructure investment of $1.05 billion required to renew existing infrastructure and to put in place the necessary infrastructure to accommodate growth and meet our community’s evolving service expectations. The City’s general fund is forecasted to provide funding of $573 million leaving a $477 million infrastructure deficit in the general fund.
Similar to an aging house, which needs to be maintained with a roof replacement or new appliances, City infrastructure needs to be renewed to ensure service continuity.
As we evaluate our existing assets and future needs to sustain growth, we know that the funding deficit is manageable at this time and the responsible thing to do is to address it today. Over the years, we’ve improved our data collection, including with improvements to our asset management program, which keeps us better informed about the renewal needs of our existing infrastructure.
We need to be responsible and resourceful in investing to renew important community assets such as Parkinson Recreation Centre, roads, bridges and City Park to name a few examples. It is more cost effective and efficient to renew this infrastructure while we still can, rather than wait for a point where it would need to be replaced with an even more expensive new-build.
If approved by Council, the proposed 1.95 per cent infrastructure levy would cost $40 for the average single-detached household in 2019, and an additional $40 in 2020.
Funding opportunities being looked at include, but are not limited to: Development Cost Charges (DCCs), user fees and public/private partnerships. In 2019 staff will explore new ways of funding the deficit to maintain, renew and expand roads, parks, recreational facilities and other city infrastructure.
At this time, no decision has been made by Council. Staff will introduce and present an outline of the proposed levy to Council during a Dec. 3, 2018 meeting. The levy will be included as a budget request in the 2019 Financial Plan that Council will deliberate on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.
On July 16, 2018, Council endorsed the 10-Year Capital Plan that forecasts the City’s infrastructure needs from 2018 – 2027. Kelowna's population is expected to grow by 20,000 over this timeframe and this plan details the infrastructure necessary to accommodate growth, improve services and renew existing infrastructure assets.
The 10-Year Capital Plan is guided by Council's direction set in the 2030 Infrastructure Plan, however it is updated regularly to be responsive and practical to our changing needs. Since being endorsed by Council in 2016, changes needed to be made to the 2030 Infrastructure Plan. The purpose of the 10-Year Capital Plan is to reflect these changes and strikes an affordable balance of infrastructure projects that maintain services, preserve existing assets and provides opportunity for growth and economic development of our city.