Mayor Lois E. Jackson's Community Update
May 28, 2015
Check your mail for Mayor Jackson's Community Update letter, which will be arriving with your 2015 Property Tax notice in the coming weeks.
As your Mayor, I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on our municipality and describe just a few of our many accomplishments over the past year.
For the first time ever, your newly elected Delta Council will hold a four-year term of office. The extra year provides an opportunity to further plan, consult and implement our long-term corporate and financial goals.
With our commitment to no new borrowing, we continue to stay on track for a debt-free Delta by the end of this Council’s term. However, our financial prudence does not come at the expense of projects and infrastructure improvements. To the benefit of the community, the 2015–2018 Capital Budget is currently set to fund upwards of $60 million in new projects annually.
As part of our fiscal strategy and infrastructure planning, this year’s budget includes a 2.99% property tax increase. Your additional contributions will directly fund:
Our strong financial position allows us to have a healthy contingency in preparedness for unforeseen issues and responsibly invest your dollars into projects and services for you.
Staff continues to leverage our project dollars by seeking provincial and federal grant funding opportunities. From 2009–2015, we successfully completed 16 large capital projects with a construction value of $66.8 million dollars at a cost to the municipal taxpayer of less than 43 cents on the dollar.
Recently, Councillor Ian Paton, CAO George Harvie, Fire Chief Dan Copeland and I travelled to Ottawa to meet with Federal Ministers and senior bureaucrats to further Delta’s interests and funding possibilities. These trips have proven to be invaluable in the past and a wise investment for our future.
Since being initiated in 2012, the Neighbourhood Road Improvements Plan has increased investment along our roadways and landscapes with the addition of new sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, signals, street lights and paving. Nearly 30 neighbourhood road projects have been completed to date, and 18 more are slated for this year.
Other current and future transportation infrastructure plans include implementing a South Delta Seniors Bus and a commuter shuttle for the Tilbury/Sunbury industrial areas. We are also working with our partners in senior levels of government on transportation upgrades related to key projects, including the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project.
Delta continues to invest in projects that will propel our economic development and enhance community services. We have identified a number of priority capital projects, including major improvements to Delta Street, Arthur Drive and 112 Street, and heritage rehabilitation work at the Delta Museum.
With completion scheduled for this fall, the North Delta Recreation Centre expansion will renew the glow of North Delta’s social heart. In South Delta, the recently completed renovations to the Ladner Leisure Centre provided a new CycleFit studio, improved air and thermal efficiency, and security benefits. Additionally, Delta will be undertaking a facility condition assessment of all 80 of our civic buildings. The results of the assessment will be used to prioritize a rehabilitation program that Delta can plan and budget for over the next four years.
Public safety is always our first priority, and in partnership with Delta Fire & Emergency Services and the Delta Police Department, we strive to set a high level of service. As Chair of the Delta Police Board, I would like to announce that after an intensive search, Neil Dubord has been selected as Delta’s new Chief Constable. He assumes the position vacated by former Chief Jim Cessford who retired earlier this year after 22 years of service. We welcome Chief Dubord to our community and look forward to having him continue our “no call too small” mandate and our distinction as one of the safest communities in the Lower Mainland.
Working out of seven fire halls, Delta Fire responded to 6,027 calls for service in 2014. To enhance the already superior service Delta Fire provides, preliminary planning for a new fire hall and training facility at Boundary Bay Airport to replace Fire Hall 4 is under way. The proposed project will include a new municipal Emergency Operations Centre and the construction will be to post-disaster standards.
It was great to see and talk to you at the recent #TalkDelta Municipal Open Houses held in Ladner, Tsawwassen and North Delta. Each event featured Town Halls hosted by myself and senior staff, interactive exhibits, and the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the people behind your local government and ask questions about your municipality. With more than 1,000 attendees, the events were a great success.
We want to continue this level of engagement and we encourage you to #TalkDelta and connect with us online at Twitter.com/CorpDelta and Facebook.com/CorpofDelta, or email us at email@example.com. You can also connect with me at Twitter.com/MayorofDelta and Facebook.com/MayorofDelta. We want to hear from you!
I consider myself very fortunate to continue serving you and the community as we work together to make Delta a great place to live, work and play.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office directly by telephone at 604-946-3210, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through social media.
Lois E. Jackson