Hay River council approved an updated version of its ten year capital plan, and includes new spending forecasts for big infrastructure projects, including the new water treatment plant.
Capital spending spiked this year, and is set to jump in even more in future years.
But Deputy Mayor Robert Bouchard said there may not be a tax increase to cover the costs, because a large proportion of the capital spending is going towards housing developments.
“It’s forecast to increase our tax base, so there may not even be a tax increase because you’ll be able to maintain, sell land and avoid a tax increase,” he said in a council meeting on December 7.
Capital spending is set to jump from $11.6 million in 2023 to $21.6 million in 2024.
There are a number of developments scheduled for development over the next few years.
The Fraser Place development is a large chunk of the money that’s going towards new capital projects, around $2.7 million.
The Sundog development is set to enter the design phase in 2021, with the design work Evergreen Development set to begin design work in 2025 and construction in 2026.
Mayor Kandis Jameson called the plan “optimistic.”
“If we develop two areas that big in ten years, Hay River’s booming,” said Jameson.
The subdivision developments are part of the town’s efforts to prepare for a large population boom that could bring the population up to 6,000, according to estimates from Hay River’s 2019 community plan.
The increase in spending is covered partly by $7.4 million carried over from previous years. Hay River is projecting to have more than $3 million in their financial reserves, that will help fund the increase in spending — around $1.5 million is coming from the reserves in the 2021 draft budget.