By John Devine
Special to Ontario Construction News
The City of Barrie is facing a transportation infrastructure gap of more than $48 million a year until 2030 as demands related to growth and renewal outpace budgeted spending, according to a report from Kelly Oakley, the city’s manager of corporate asset management.
The city, says the report, “has substantial gaps between needs and available funding forecasts for growth/upgrade and renewal activities over the next ten years. The City also has a substantial backlog in road renewal and reconstruction and must plan for increased operations and maintenance costs to accommodate new transportation assets.”
Ward 9 councillor Sergio Morales said the report represents the most significant challenge facing Barrie over the next 30 years, calling it extremely scary.
Forecast needs for growth and upgrades, renewal, as well as operations and maintenance from 2021 to 2030 total $128.2 million a year. Planned yearly funding comes in at $79.8, leaving an annual shortfall of $48.4 million. Of the gap, $41.9 is tied to growth and upgrades, $5.8 million to renewal, and $700,000 to operations and maintenance.
The gap relating to growth and upgrades is largely due to slower-than-anticipated growth, a factor outside the city’s control, says the report. It continues that growth-related capital will be recovered from development charges to the “greatest extent possible, as regulated by the Development Charges Act, and expended as growth proceeds.”