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Washrooms, water fountains and repainting a rail underpass on Port Coquitlam councillors' wish list

Councillors explain where they want money to be spent as the city gears up for 2022 budget planning this fall and big construction projects already underway.
Reeve roundabout
Workers put the finishing touches to a roundabout to slow traffic on Reeve Street and Welcher Avenue near Riverside Secondary and Gates Park. The work was among dozens of projects carried out this summer in Port Coquitlam, as part of the city’s capital plan.

Port Coquitlam council may be taking a break for August, but not before laying out their wish list for next year’s budget.

The city’s budget is one of the biggest projects undertaken by the city each year — a mammoth effort to quantify city operating and capital needs and what taxpayers will pay.

The base operating budget is established on the anticipated cost of providing necessary service levels, with expected changes including labor contract increases, inflationary pressures, the cost of emergency services such as the RCMP and other requirements as well as staff identified savings and efficiencies.

Operating costs will be discussed this fall; the public will also be consulted in January — with a budget expected to pass in March 2022 (this year's operating budget is approximately $95 million).

Added to the mix are individual council priorities, and while it’s not known if they can be included, it never hurts to ask.

Here’s what councillors would like to see added to next year’s budget, according to a recent staff report:

  • Coun. Steve Darling: $25,000 for an animated video to help explain how to navigate the development world
  • Coun. Nancy McCurrach: A restoration or vegetation management plan for Blakeburn Lagoons, grip strips to prevent slippage on park bridges, including Hyde Creek and the lagoons, and a washroom at the Blakeburn lagoons; reinstatement of Birchwood playgrounds; wraps on hydro boxes; website or app enhancements, including for parks; rain barrels for residents
  • Coun. Darrell Penner: Development of a Port Coquitlam trail network strategy and development of a virtual tour and information app for the PoCo trails
  • Coun. Glenn Pollock: Expand garbage pick up to multi-family developments; expansion of unfenced off leash dog areas; addition of a social planner in the Development Services Department to implement the recommendations that come out of the housing needs report and other social issues; more public water fountains
  • Coun. Dean Washington: Painting the Shaughnessy underpass light grey and upgrade lighting on the west side


Meanwhile, PoCo is moving ahead on numerous road, lighting and sidewalk improvements this summer.

Other major capital projects include:

Prairie Avenue

  • Improvements between Coast Meridian Road and Fremont Street including new curb and gutter, sidewalk and pavement, vegetated boulevards, curb bulges, a multi-use path (MUP), and a roundabout at Newberry Street. Work is starting this month on the multi-use path from Fremont Street to Burns Road which is required to be constructed during the fish window starting early August when work won’t affect juvenile fish.

McAllister Road improvements

  • Work is ongoing to turn the existing two-way road into a one-way, tree lined promenade. The project is expected to be substantially completed by the end of December, according to the city.

Civic Precinct Revitalization project

  • A budget of about $525,000 is needed for designing a public space that integrates the Donald Street path, Leigh Square and Veterans Park with new pathways and open space. It includes expanding and repurposing Leigh Square to accommodate community events and public performances of varying sizes, and relocation of the bandshell and the Veterans Park cenotaph. Construction costs of $5.8 million are anticipated.