The 2023 Capital Budget Pre-Approval was approved by Markham city council in September. The budget was prepared by Jay Pak, acting senior manager of financial planning. The total budget allocated for pre-approved projects was $48,879,300.
Approval of projects in advance of their implementation in 2023 is required to avoid delays in design or construction, meet operational requirements and allow for a procurement process.
Pak explains the overall aim of the budget, “Markham’s 2023 Capital Budget pre-approvals cover a wide variety of projects across various commissions required to keep the city’s infrastructure and amenities in a state of good repair and are guided by the principles outlined in the city’s Strategic Plan: Building Markham’s Future Together (BMFT).”
The report lists forty-nine projects that align with the city’s strategic priorities, specifies the portion of the budget allocated to the department responsible for a project and summarizes the rationale for the pre-approval.
The departments include recreation, roads, parks, corporate fleet, utility inspection, infrastructure, stormwater, waterworks, IT services, finance, sustainability, theatre, and building services.
A representative sample of the pre-approved projects for which different departments are responsible include pool repair at community centres, water quality improvements, replacement of water meters, updating software, asphalt resurfacing, Markham Trees for Tomorrow, play structure replacement, new vehicles, roof replacements and theatre-dressing room renovations. According to the report, all business units were consulted during the pre-approval submission and review process.
About half of the almost $49 million budget was allocated for existing road and bridge repairs and one-quarter for waterworks. The remainder was distributed fairly evenly between park construction/maintenance and community centres. $300,000 was designated for stormwater assets.
There were six funding sources for the budget. About 40 per cent of the budget was from Life Cycle Replacement and Capital Reserve, 26 per cent from Waterworks, 18 per cent from Reserve Fund and 12 per cent from external sources. The smallest source was development charges and fees.
Pak reflects on balancing priorities, “Both staff and city council are committed to providing high standards of service levels while maintaining fiscal responsibility during these challenging times.”
The report states that the 2023 Capital Budget will likely be approved in February or March 2023.
Story submitted by Andrew Fuyarchuk.