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Sewer systems, a New West stadium space, and frameworks for funding

These topics were discussed at the Monday, Sept. 11 council workshop

Some of the seating you can find at the Stadium at Queen’s Park. Ria Renouf

Sewers in New West

As outlined by staff on Monday afternoon, two-thirds of the city’s sewers are in fair, good, or very good condition, but the rest of the city’s systems are in need of some TLC. The team responsible for the sewer and drainage asset management plan are looking for some changes to the way they do their work to keep track of sewer works-related conditions, along with other methods by which to add more funding to mitigate the city’s costs on this.

Above: a chart by city staff based on a recent look at the local sewer systems. City of New Westminster.

These changes include:

  • Adding some process changes and enhancements to support service level indicator tracking

  • Make the asset data gathering more accurate so that better planning and costing can be done

  • Develop strategies for long-term funding and to build reserves

This all went ahead and was approved without opposition.

Queen’s Park

This is a relatively older space that has parts reaching end of life. That, combined with the change in how these spaces are being used, were recently studied. Some of the highlights include:

  • Deteriorating wooden elements

  • Exposed rebar

  • From time-to-time, pooling rainwater on the floor

Based on discussions with the users of the stadium, there is a two-part ask here: fixing and/or replacing the seats, and having no more than 500 permanent seats. That being said, there would need to be more planning being done—including how to fix and/or replace the seats, considering the potential costs.

Climate Action Reserve Fund

This part of the workshop looked at how best in the future to figure out how to earmark money in the Climate Action Reserve Fund. The city is working with KPMG, an accounting and auditing firm, to come up with best practices which are still very much in the early stages—the opening slides for this presentation noted it could take about two years to come up with a road map. That being said, work started in June.

Mayor and council had quite a bit of feedback related to some of the other aspects that might not necessarily have been thought of. This process is expected to go for a couple of years.

The team also noted that this framework wasn’t necessarily for fulsome public review, but rather for the citizens’ assembly group.

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