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Burnaby's finances remain strong: mayor

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan -
Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan
— image credit:

In a wide-ranging inaugural address Monday outlining Burnaby City Hall's many accomplishments over the past year, Mayor Derek Corrigan left perhaps the most impressive figures to the end.

That's when he said, "our fiscal position remains strong with our investment portfolio projected to return an annual yield of 5 per cent and income of $37.6 million by year end, Dec. 31.

"Sound investment practices have provided the city with steady income over the last decade, ensuring liquidity when needed and growth to help offset increases in our operating budget and providing funding for capital projects."

In the coming year, the city is "projecting a slightly lower annual return at 4.75 per cent, as challenging global economic conditions and constraints have not yet abated."

Also coming up is a renewal of Burnaby's transportation plan, one of the key initiatives that will become part of its sustainability strategy and updated Official Community Plan.

A traffic calming program will continue to be implemented in the Burnaby Heights and Capitol Hill neighbourhoods following a lengthy public consultation. The measures may serve as a model for other neighbourhood traffic safety plans, Corrigan said.

They include a reduction of the speed limit to 40 kph on all the roads in the two neighbourhoods, except for those shared with bicycle routes where the limit will be reduced to 30 kph. The new speed zones will be enforced by Burnaby RCMP traffic safety offices.

The long-awaited Edmonds Community Centre and pool, and an upgraded and newly renamed Edmonds Park next door, will open early in 2013.

Free public Wi-Fi access, which was provided for the BC Seniors Games at several city facilities, will also be made available in 2013, at city hall, Shadbolt Centre, Bonsor Recreation Complex, Burnaby Lake Sports Complex, Confederation Centre and Burnaby city golf courses.

Development in the city continues to remain at high levels, with 2012 building permits issued up by 2.5 per cent from 1,528 to 1,566 to the end of October, with total permit values during that period "an impressive $426 million, with an expectation that we will again achieve over $600 million in building permit value by year end."

A central theme of Corrigan's speech was Burnaby's practice of consulting with citizens in a way that will "involve and engage everyone in our uniquely diverse community in a meaningful and effective process.

"It’s not the fastest way to get things done, but it’s the best way—and it serves our city and citizens well."

Read the entire inaugural address at http://bit.ly/QIhH4N/.

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

twitter.com/WandaChow

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