The city’s three-year Capital Works Program (PTI) 2020-2022 has surpassed the billion-dollar mark for the third consecutive year.
Laval’s $1.1 billion PTI is almost evenly divided over the next three years, with $336 million slated for spending next year, and the city declaring it is making “maximum use” of its reserves to control borrowing.
Big ticket items include a $196 million Bio-methanization and dryer plant ($100.2 million over three years); $137.4 million in the water network; the dormant Aquatic Complex will get $43 million in spending–$3 million next year–“as applications for grants are processed from other levels of government for this infrastructure that the city is determined to build and that is desired by the population”; construction of a new gendarmerie post in western Laval ($29 million over three years, and $13.4 million later); construction of a new municipal court building ($20 million) and two fire stations ($28.5 million).
“In 2020, we expect to invest $72.1 million in road, cycling and pedestrian systems and $25.9 million in sewer and water systems,” said Mayor Marc Demers. “We have a responsibility to upgrade our infrastructure, which has been neglected for many years.”
Over the next three years Laval will spend $57.8 million on sewer and water rehabilitation; 49.2 million on road repairs, and $15.7 million on water overflow controls.
Some of the acquisitions will be made with surplus cash, said Demers, who has opposed a tax freeze that the opposition has been calling for. “If your accountant tells you you’re a millionaire without talking about your mortgage, your debts, your bills and your credit line, you’re going to call him back... The city’s infrastructure, roads, parks, aqueduct’s, sidewalks, were all neglected for years. We all know that, and we have to have the funds dedicated to bringing it up to an acceptable standard.”
Demers adds that next year, $147.1 million in capital spending will be paid from cash reserves, meaning taxpayers will only be stuck with a current bill for $129.4 million. The reserve payout has increased $35 million more than 2019.
Council will vote on the budget at a special council meeting next Wednesday, December 11.
The city budget and PTI can be viewed at https://www.laval.ca/Documents/Pages/Fr/A-propos/finances/budget-2020.pdf