Budget 2023

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Each year, the District prepares a Five-Year Financial Plan to deliver services and programs to support Squamish today and into the future. The Financial Plan is informed by a series of master plans, a strategic plan, and guided by the Official Community Plan. It reflects key principles to achieve fiscal responsibility and financial stability, and ensure taxes do not fluctuate greatly year to year.

The Financial Plan impacts us all, everyday. Each time you turn on a tap, visit a District park, or walk down a street, you are seeing your municipal budget at work.

You can see what is proposed in the draft budget here.

We are seeking community feedback to better understand public priorities. We invite you to:

  • Share your ideas and priorities for the budget.
  • Ask questions about the 2023-2027 Five Year Financial Plan.
  • Follow along as budget discussions continue through to budget adoption in December 2022.

Up Next:

Tuesday, November 29, 5-8 p.m., Brennan Park Recreation Centre – Opportunity to meet your new Mayor and Council in person in a casual setting.


Each year, the District prepares a Five-Year Financial Plan to deliver services and programs to support Squamish today and into the future. The Financial Plan is informed by a series of master plans, a strategic plan, and guided by the Official Community Plan. It reflects key principles to achieve fiscal responsibility and financial stability, and ensure taxes do not fluctuate greatly year to year.

The Financial Plan impacts us all, everyday. Each time you turn on a tap, visit a District park, or walk down a street, you are seeing your municipal budget at work.

You can see what is proposed in the draft budget here.

We are seeking community feedback to better understand public priorities. We invite you to:

  • Share your ideas and priorities for the budget.
  • Ask questions about the 2023-2027 Five Year Financial Plan.
  • Follow along as budget discussions continue through to budget adoption in December 2022.

Up Next:

Tuesday, November 29, 5-8 p.m., Brennan Park Recreation Centre – Opportunity to meet your new Mayor and Council in person in a casual setting.

Ask Us About the Budget

Do you have a question about this project? Please ask us here.

  • Your question will be public once we have answered it. If your question contains personal information we may not make your question public and may respond privately. 
  • Your username and question may appear in reports to Council as part of engagement reporting.
  • Questions that do not contribute to a safe and respectful space for others, or are unrelated to this topic, will not be answered. Please review our moderation policy.
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    Is the district finally going to really and I mean really and truthfully help the most needed with family housing ? Affordable housing that it, not the sea 2 sky new trend of 3000 dollars for a 3 bedroom. But real affordable housing.

    Dedonder Jan asked 5 days ago

    Thank you for this question. Affordable housing is critical to ensure we can maintain a diverse and equitable community. It is important that people of all income levels can continue to live in Squamish. While it takes time to build and secure affordable housing units, this has been a primary focus of the District since 2014.

    Squamish Community Housing Society

    In December 2021 the District created the Squamish Community Housing Society. The Society will work to increase the supply, availability and access to affordable housing options across the community. It will serve as a single point of access for residents to access non-market and affordable housing rentals, and will work with the District of Squamish, non-profit housing agencies and the community to grow and sustain a diverse range and supply of affordable housing options.

    The Squamish Community Housing Society will:

    • Establish a single point of contact and waiting list for affordable housing in the community
    • Manage affordable housing units that are being provided to the District from new developments as part of rezonings
    • Begin development of a new housing project in the community within the next few years


    Affordable Housing Units Built or Underway Since 2017:

    Since 2017, 309 units of non-market affordable rentals have been built. Non-market rentals are units that are rented below the current market rates for rental housing. There are also 141 units of affordable non-market rentals currently under construction.

    The District is also working to increase the supply of rental housing in our community to meet the strong demand for rental housing in town. Since 2017, 40 units of purpose-built rental housing have been built in Squamish. Another 271 units of purpose-built rental housing are currently under construction. 

    You can learn more about how the District is working to create more affordable housing here: squamish.ca/yourgovernment/projects-and-initiatives/affordable-housing/

    If you would like to speak to Council directly about this, or anything else in the budget, we hope you will drop-in to join us on Tuesday, November 29, anytime between 5-8 p.m. at Brennan Park Recreation Centre. It will be an opportunity to meet the new Mayor and Council in a casual setting and to chat about the budget and our community.

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    Squamish has grown exponentially over the past several years. We sit on the ocean at the end of howe sound., but yet there is no public access to the water with a public boat launch. What is the district doing in regards to this issue and what funds have been allocated to an actual boat launch in the future? This is now over 35 years in the request. We have a launch on private land used by recreational boaters, seafood, commercial businesses, kayaker paddleboarders, and more. Yet at some point somebody will shut that down. And then what???

    Rich Duncan asked 15 days ago

    Thank you for your comments and questions. The District is currently doing a Downtown Marine Access Review, which began in early 2022. The project is looking at marine access needs for all marine users in our community. This includes examining boat launching needs and specific infrastructure priorities. When complete, this project will present recommendations about where to locate future boat launching amenities.  

    During winter 2022, the District engaged the community to learn more about access needs for all marine users. A summary of ‘what we heard’ from the community is available here. These results were reported to Council in April 2022. Before proposing budget for any specific marine access improvements, the District will first bring a suite of marine access recommendations to Council for review in Spring 2023.

    You can learn more about this project on the Downtown Marine Access Review project page.

    If you would like to speak to Council directly about this, or anything else in the budget, we hope you will drop-in to join us on Tuesday, November 29, anytime between 5-8 p.m. at Brennan Park Recreation Centre. It will be an opportunity to meet the new Mayor and Council in a casual setting and to chat about the budget and our community.

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    Why not build the district building/school board building in the school districts bus lot?

    M asked 14 days ago

    Thank you for this comment. The District is in conversations with the School District about partnering on a shared facility to determine what might be possible between the two organizations. Your feedback on this topic will be shared with Council as part of the budget conversations. 

    If you would like to speak to Council directly about this, or anything else in the budget, we hope you will drop-in to join us on Tuesday November 29, anytime between 5-8 p.m. at Brennan Park Recreation Centre. It will be an opportunity to meet the new Mayor and Council in a casual setting and to chat about the budget and our community.

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    Can you elaborate on what the breakdown is for the $320,000 for new pickleball courts? They already exist in behind Eaglewind, where are these new ones going and why is the budget so high for it?

    CS asked 21 days ago

    Hi there, and thanks for this question. The existing pickleball courts at Eaglewind will be decommissioned due to the noise impacts on nearby residents. The new courts will be located within the Brennan Park fields and lands. The proposal is to build 6-8 courts to support the popularity of the sport in our community and provide a permanent home for pickleball players in accordance with the Brennan Park Fields and Land Master Plan. The $320,000 cost will cover estimated project costs of building the new courts, including a playing surface, fencing, line painting and any additional netting required.   

    If you would like to speak to Council directly about this, or anything else in the budget, we hope you will drop-in to join us on Tuesday November 29, anytime between 5-8 p.m. at Brennan Park Recreation Centre. It will be an opportunity to meet the new Mayor and Council in a casual setting and to chat about the budget and our community.

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    Does the $100,000 covered structure for parks include a covered structure in the dog parks? It would be great to be able to have a shelter for the dog parents during the long rainy months. Lots of chatter about this among people who go to the Eaglewind dog park. It would be much appreciated!

    CS asked 21 days ago

    Thank you for this question. The $100,000 for covered structures in parks is proposed to be used to create more covered spaces to gather in municipal parks. This could include a number of things to provide shelter from the sun and rain. At this point, no locations have been selected. Your feedback about the Eaglewind dog park being in need of shelter will be shared with Council for their consideration. 

    If you would like to speak to Council directly about this or anything else in the budget, we hope you will drop-in to join us on Tuesday November 29, anytime between 5-8 p.m. at Brennan Park Recreation Centre. It will be an opportunity to meet the new Mayor and Council in a casual setting and to chat about the budget and our community.

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    Hi there, I'm a resident of Depot Road in Brackendale and I am very concerned about the need for traffic calming. Depot is an arterial road with no continuous sidewalk, no separated bike lane, no pedestrian activated crosswalk and very poor street lighting. It is a school route and a connecting bike route. The need for traffic calming on Depot Road has been identified in multiple District Reports. This is an urgent and overdo need. I see that $1.5 Million is dedicated to traffic calming on Perth Drive Phase 1 DCC R10 in the highlands, and $1.5 Million is dedicated to Active Transportation Improvements for the balance of Squamish, despite many other high priority areas -- including Depot Road. Is this the appropriate balance to strike? Is there money in the budget available in 2023 for safety improvements and traffic calming on Depot Road? If not, can additional budget be made available?

    EmmaHume asked 21 days ago

    Hi there and thank you for reaching out with this question. Depot Road is one of the District’s “major collectors in residential areas” and is high on the list for improvements. 

    For this type of street, the District would typically consider improvements like sidewalks, improved bike lanes, improved crosswalks and sometimes features that narrow the travel lanes. Traffic calming features like speed humps or chicanes are typically only considered for smaller, lower volume local roads. 

    The process for improvements on major collectors, such as Depot Road, typically includes an initial concept design, decisions on funding (prioritization, may include grant applications), inclusion in the District budget and finally detailed design and construction. 

    This process occurs over several years. The District hasn’t begun this process yet for Depot Road, but there is budget allocated for a couple of concept designs in 2023. Depot Road is on the list from which the projects will be selected. 

    Each year, there are a number of traffic needs to balance in the budget. For active transportation and traffic calming projects, the District typically relies on the Active Transportation Plan, school travel plans, coordination with other capital projects, funding availability (some funding can only fund certain types of projects), input we receive from the public, schools, RCMP and ICBC on problem areas, as well as some consideration for balancing projects across different neighbourhoods.

    Your feedback about the need for improvements on Depot Road will be shared with Council for consideration as part of the budget process.

    If you would like to speak to Council directly about this, or anything else in the budget, we hope you will drop-in to join us on Tuesday November 29, anytime between 5-8 p.m. at Brennan Park Recreation Centre. It will be an opportunity to meet the new Mayor and Council in a casual setting and to chat about the budget and our community. 

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    Is the south end of Bailey Street going to be re-opened in the near future? Or rather, what is going on with this? Bailey Street provides an excellent access to downtown, without the usual congestion that can arise from Hwy 99 traffic onto Cleveland or congestion that builds because of traffic trying to pass Howe Sound Secondary School on Buckley.

    Squamish Commenter asked about 1 month ago

    Hi there and thank you for this question. Bailey Street was closed to fulfill a long-standing agreement with CN Railways dating back to 1979 that has allowed the District to use Bailey Street as an emergency access route.

    The agreement required that the two rail crossings be gated to allow for emergency traffic only. The condition to gate the railway crossings had not been met since the original agreement was signed. Due to noticeable deterioration of the rail crossings from increased public use, the gates are now required by the historical agreement.

    In the event of an emergency, the gates can be opened. All emergency service responders have keys to be able to use the road as needed.

    Any future public use of the road would require designing the crossings with CN Railways. An application would then need to be made to Transport Canada for approval as a public crossing.

    There would be significant costs to meet Transport Canada standards. This is estimated to be several hundred thousand dollars for basic crossings. The costs escalate substantially if items such as automatic barriers are needed. The District does not consider this a cost-effective solution in the short-term since emergency access is maintained, but this could be considered in the future.

    You can learn more about this closure here: https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/statement-closure-of-bailey-street-gravel-road-planned/

    A future second entrance to downtown is being planned, which will connect Laurelwood Road via a bridge to Pemberton Avenue. This bridge will provide additional access to downtown, without an at-grade rail crossing. You can learn more about this here: https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/projects-and-initiatives/second-downtown-entrance/

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    I would be very curious to know if the District has any plans to fund additional animal control officers? Specifically, for places like Valleycliffe where problems with off leash dogs has become very troubling.

    Coyote asked 3 months ago

    Hi there and thanks for reaching out to us. Your comments will be shared with Council as they consider the 2023-2027 Five Year Financial Plan. At this time, there are no plans in the budget for additional animal control officers. 

    The District is creating designated off-leash areas for dogs in our community. These locations will be a pilot project and follow a phased-in opening. The first off-leash area, Merrill Park in the Garibaldi Highlands, opened earlier this summer. 

    The current budget process is considering two additional off-leash areas. One is in Brackendale under the BC Hydro lines. The other is a fenced dog park at Brennan Park. The 2024 budget process will consider a fenced off-leash dog area in John Hunter Park in Valleycliffe.  

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    Could you please let me know if it's normal to ask about funding for parks or playgrounds on a budget survey? i.e. has this been done for any other park or playground development. The area of the Northyards has been identified by staff as needing another park for over 6 years, when it was discussed at council as part of a development application for townhouses. Multiple developments have been built and approved in that time. Our area is zoned for townhouses. Why does this need to be discussed at this time? This has been an identified need for a long time.

    s.b. asked 3 months ago

    Hi there, and thanks for this question. The five projects featured in the survey are proposed to receive funding through community amenity contributions (CACs) in the 2023-2027 Five-Year Financial Plan. CACs are cash or in-kind contributions that developers provide to the District to help address community needs that result from population growth.

    So far, the District has focused on using CAC funds to secure affordable housing units for our community. However, a portion of CAC funds are directed towards general amenities which can be used to fund things such as parks. The District is now in a position to begin using these general amenity CAC funds to pay for several important projects in Squamish. As this is the first time the District is considering spending CAC funds in this way, we felt it was important to check-in with the community to ensure this direction aligns with community priorities. 

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    Stop wasting our money on useless projects! $400K to replace three swings in the North yards community park, really? $1.8M to build a playground one kilometer away from another one that usually sits empty, for real? If you're swimming in money, fix marine access (that you destroyed) in this factually-coastal but seemingly-landlocked town.

    raquo asked 4 months ago

    Thanks for these comments. Your feedback will be shared with Council as they consider the 2023-227 Five-Year Financial Plan. Much of the work discussed in the financial planning process is guided by master plans and strategies, which are long range plans that guide decisions on everything from waste-water treatment to active transportation to facilities.  

    The 2012 Parks and Recreation Master Plan identified the lack of parks in the Northyards neighbourhood. As you mention, there is currently a private citizen’s initiative to build a playground in the Northyards. However, it is not a municipal standard playground. The population of the Northyards has grown since 2012, which has increased the need to develop a municipal neighbourhood park in this area. The $400,000 budget is to create a new park and playground at the end of No Name Rd. The budget amount includes costs for public engagement, design work and construction.

    The $1.8M budget amount is for a destination playground and spray park at Brennan Park Recreation Centre. This community need was identified in the 2012 Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and in the recent Brennan Park Fields and Land Master Plan (2018-2021). The playground and spray park will be centrally located close to a number of activities at Brennan Park. This budget covers community engagement, design work and construction.

    In terms of marine access in Squamish, the Marine Action Strategy guides the District’s work. The District recently began a Marine Access Review to better understand ocean access needs in our community and improve ocean access for all ocean users. A first round of public engagement took place in Spring 2022. The results from that engagement and early recommendations presented to Council in April 2022.

    You can learn more about this work at letstalksquamish.ca/marine-access-review. This marine access work will continue in the fall. This includes work to consider specific boat launch options (interim and long-term facility plans). This work will be done alongside government agencies, landowners, marine sectors, and the community.

     

Page last updated: 17 Nov 2022, 01:10 PM