The City of White Rock released its 2017 Annual Report, and council will listen to submissions and take questions from the public at its next regular meeting Monday evening.
According to the city, the report – compiled by CAO Dan Bottrill and communications manager Farnaz Farrokhi – is presented to provide the public the opportunity to review, comment or ask questions regarding information provided in the 100-page document.
The report is separated into three sections with 21 subsections. The document covers everything from expenses to department overview.
The document is introduced with messages from White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin and Bottrill.
“In the mid-1980s, our community went through a big change as the City constructed the Promenade,” his message said, adding that, today, the promenade is one of the most popular amenities in White Rock.
“I bring up the Promenade as a reminder that in the short-term, we recognize there will be some challenges and steps are taken to complete the capital projects that are underway. In the long-term we are confident that once complete, you, your family, and your friends will enjoy the new and revitalized amenities that are coming to our community.”
Bottrill highlighted, among others accomplishments, the city’s work with respect to taking over water-treatment operations from Epcor.
“The City significantly improved the aesthetic quality of its water through the use of monochloramine as the preferred method of providing secondary disinfection to the water supply. The use of chlorine, unfortunately, reacts with the naturally occurring manganese in the water supply which causes a discolouration of the water. The same reaction and resulting discolouration does not occur with the use of monochloramine,” Bottrill’s note said.
His message mentions that the city received a $11.79 million federal government grant towards a water treatment process to address the naturally occurring arsenic and manganese in White Rock water.
The document, published to the city’s website June 8, lists council’s corporate priorities, and marks each with an indicator that says whether the priority is either completed, in progress, or to be addressed.
One item that has been progress since at least 2016, and continues to be for this year, is the development of a Town Square. In April, White Rock council moved forward with the expropriation of land at 1510 Johnston Rd. for a Town Square, the document notes. The city’s plan for the property is to turn it into a meeting area, featuring tables, chairs, shade trees and other pedestrian-friendly features.
Another council priority highlighted in the document is rail relocation.
“The City is concerned about dangerous goods being transported by rail at our waterfront,” the document notes.
Actions to be addressed include scheduling a stakeholders meeting to develop a shared view of the project and to co-operate on research and best practices; and to pursue urban development and transportation plans as the Railway Relocation and Crossing Act requires, in collaboration with the Semiahmoo First Nation, the federal government, provincial government, City of Surrey and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway.
According to the annual report, White Rock held 24 regular/special council meetings in 2017 and 22 public hearings, as well as 20 “closed” council meetings. Over the course of the year, the city received 95 freedom-of-information requests.
The document notes the city received building permit applications for construction with the value of $358,560,486, compared to $82,770,598 in 2016.
During the year, 402 new housing units were built and 61 were demolished. The city received 211 building permit applications.
“In order to accommodate a high level of permit activity, and ensure timely and efficient permit processing, the building division added new staff resources, software upgrades, and mobile inspection devices,” it states.
The complete 2017 annual report: