Fraser budget focuses on public spaces

Water, wastewater projects planned for 2022

Heading into 2022, Fraser is prioritizing affordable housing, investing in public spaces and the public works department in next year’s $7.3 million budget.

Buoyed by increases in the town’s revenue sources, including sales and property tax, Fraser estimates more than $9.3 million in revenue next year. Town trustees approved the budget on Dec. 1.

One of the top priorities for the town is affordable housing, which has more than $1.3 dedicated to project, including $75,000 for the creation of a regional housing authority. Fraser budgeted $800,000 for housing initiatives on top of the town’s committed reserves of $595,000 left over from 2021.

The housing funds could be used by Fraser to purchase more deed restrictions or participate in other affordable housing initiatives.

Slightly more than half a million dollars will be used to improve various town properties, including town hall, the Headwaters Trails Alliance building, mural park, the public works facility and the Fraser Historic Church.

Around $700,000 will go toward street projects, such as paving Wapiti and Rendezvous Roads, while the town also plans to build bathrooms and install utilities at the Cozens Meadow Open Space, which will cost around $460,000. Fraser is planning to use grant money on the project.

Another $185,000 will be used to repave and maintain the Fraser River Trail and $150,000 is budgeted for a comprehensive land use plan.

In an effort to address town staffing shortages, Fraser is planning a 9% raise for staff, as well as an increase in the town’s match to employee retirement plans, which is estimated to cost $143,560. Currently, the town is down six employees, mostly within the public works department.

For Fraser’s continuing lawsuit with Grand Park, the town is planning $175,000 in legal fees. Fraser and Grand Park have both filed lawsuits against one another in a dispute over whether a conservation easement is required over Cozens Meadow.

Water Funds

Fraser also oversees water and wastewater proprietary funds and is planning millions in improvements to the treatment plants in 2022.

Water projects are expected to cost $2,528,980 next year, with a majority of the money going to a water main replacement on Byers Avenue and system repair and maintenance.

Additionally, the town plans to spend $200,000 on pressure reducing valves, $225,000 for a blow-off on Ptarmigan and $105,000 for water studies.

In the wastewater fund, Fraser is budgeting $1,419,660 in projects. System repairs and maintenance is expected to cost $150,000, while $55,000 is dedicated to equipment repair and replacement and $70,000 will go to design work for a sewer line replacement.

Several surveys are also included in the wastewater budget, such as a rate study, an infiltration and inflow study and a capital improvement program study.


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