The 2018 Annual Municipal Report by the City of Chilliwack is chock-a-block with facts and figures.
In the “Message from the Mayor” section of the annual report, Mayor Ken Popove notes that it contains a financial overview, city accomplishments, and the progress made so far on council’s strategic goals for 2018.
“The successes highlighted in this report wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of our former Mayor and Council and I look forward to continuing that legacy,” Popove said.
Evidence that the mid-sized community continues to grow can be seen in the population numbers, which hit 91,797 in 2018, up from the 90,000 reached at the end of 2017.
“You have all helped to keep Chilliwack a great place to work, live and play, and I thank you. I hope you will think of this report as a summary of your achievements, in addition to an outline for what we plan to do next,” Popove told readers of the annual report, also crediting the contributions of council, committee members, volunteers and city staff.
At the top of that list of council achievements was the contract for the long-awaited downtown redevelopment of the 3.75 acre site at Five Corners negotiated with Algra Bros Developments Ltd. The project features mixed retail, commercial, and residential elements as part of the multi-year, multi-phase project bringing jobs, amenities and new housing to the downtown.
In total, building permits amounted to $273 million for 2018, compared to $309 million the year before. And housing starts hit 839, compared to 934 in 2017.
Popove said moving ahead with the Homelessness Action Plan, in collaboration with the more than 40 members of the Chilliwack Healthier Community, is paying dividends.
“As a result, we have seen several successes, including funding from the Province for two modular housing projects totalling 92 units which began construction in 2018,” Popove said in his message.
Rewriting Chilliwack’s zoning regulations to allow secondary suites within the R1-A (One Family Residential) Zone is one of the concrete actions taken toward creating more affordable rental housing stock.
The year 2018 also saw further expansion of the cycling network. The Valley Rail extension from Luckakuck Way north over the Trans-Canada Highway and Chilliwack Creek to Airport Road was completed thanks, in part, to funding support from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“This extension provides cyclists of all abilities with a protected cycling trail that connects the north and south sides of the highway.”
More recreational opportunities were added to Chilliwack’s amenity list in 2018. Crossing Park was established on the south side of the Vedder River near the Vedder Bridge and Lexw Qwò:m Park opened in the Eastern Hillsides on Hack-Brown Road.
On the parks and rec front, outdoor fitness equipment was added to Crossing, Fairfield and Sardis Parks, bringing the number of parks with green gyms in Chilliwack to six, and the brand new Chilliwack Curling and Community Centre opened its doors.
See the annual report here