The City of Surrey is facing a financial shortfall of over $40 million dollars. The City has made some significant decisions to reduce this expected shortfall – but the Surrey Board of Trade says the shortfall could be greater than originally anticipated.
The Surrey Board of Trade has continually asked the City of Surrey to consider waiving property tax increases for fiscal 2020, re-configuring the local government budget to focus on economic recovery projects only – and that included some of the recently cancelled capital infrastructure program items that would have created good quality jobs.
“The news of the City of Surrey dissolving and transferring the assets and operations of the Surrey City Development Corporation, a for-profit development company owned by the City, brings into question what Surrey’s future economic strategy will be. The purpose of a city development corporation was to inspire creative planning that enhances value, purpose and vision for each project to ensure Surrey is an opportunity city for all businesses and residents,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.
The Surrey Board of Trade thanks the leadership of the Surrey City Development Corporation in leading and partnering with many development projects from acquisition to completion. Without this entity, the downtown core of Surrey and many other development projects would not have happened in Surrey.
2020 Capital Program Elimination/Deferral
Newton Athletic Fieldhouse $2M
Newton Urban Park $1M
On-going Capital $1M
Temporary Cost Savings Plan
Departmental Savings $8M
Cautious Reopening of Major Civic Facilities $6M
Deferral of Opening of the Clayton Community Centre to Q1 2021 $2.5M
Vacancy Gapping $2M
Reduction in Services Related to Provincial/Federal Mandated Responsibilities $.05M
Subtotal: $31.3M + one time borrowing (currently estimated at $8.7M) from non-statutory reserves
The City of Surrey needs to focus on a transparent, collaborative strategy for Surrey and its businesses to ensure Surrey is an opportunity city.