Mayor Wayne Baldwin gives his state-of-the-city address to a sold-out crowd.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin gives his state-of-the-city address to a sold-out crowd.

White Rock mayor shares council’s priorities

Mayor Wayne Baldwin went through a list of council's priorities at his annual state-of-the-city address Thursday evening.

It was standing room only as White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin went through a list of his council’s priorities at his annual state-of-the-city address Thursday evening.

Baldwin – hosted by the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce – also noted council accomplishments at the mid-way point of its four-year-term.

About half of Baldwin’s speech was dedicated to projects the city has planned, and the second half was dedicated to recognizing “community builders.”

Of the city projects, the mayor spent the most time talking about the city’s purchase of water utility from Epcor last year for a yet-to-be disclosed price.

Baldwin said the province had given Epcor the right to realize financial returns on investment of 10.25 per cent.

“This meant the more they invested, the more they could charge White Rock residents,” Baldwin told the crowd gathered at White Rock Community Centre.

He said council responded by purchasing the utility.

“Then, once the debt is paid off in 20 years, the water rates can be reduced,” Baldwin said.

A followup benefit of the purchase, Baldwin added, is that the city now has control of its own water quality.

Baldwin’s speech on water utility was followed by an applause from the audience.

Upcoming construction projects the mayor mentioned included Johnston Road reconstruction, the East Beach waterfront plan, Memorial Park on West Beach and a parkade for Marine Drive.

He said the East Beach plan has “two main goals.”

The plan involves climate proofing the east end of the promenade and to “enhance the attractiveness and the attractions of the East Beach area.”

A conceptual plan for the reconstruction of Johnston Road from North Bluff Road to Roper Avenue will “shortly be going to the public for input and comment.”

Baldwin said work for the road rehabilitation is expected to be completed by 2018.

The overhaul of Memorial Park “could be built in 2017, perhaps by the summer – in time for the Canada 150 celebrations.”

Baldwin also talked about a plan for a tiered parking structure at the corner of Vidal Street and Victoria Avenue. When finished, there will be parking for “up to 300 cars.”

The project should be carried out by mid-2018, he noted.

Baldwin commented on council’s desire to ban train whistling during the night. He said that to ban whistling, the city needs to install flashing lights and bells at eight crosswalks, noting Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway is supposed to pay for a large share of the $4-million project.

“Hence, the slow negotiation process which is heading into its third year.”

He talked about the city – in partnership with Surrey – advocating to relocate the tracks from the waterfront. The first step would be a feasibility study to the tune of $700,000 “in conjunction with Surrey.”

Before talking about “community builders”, Baldwin said council has had no problem hearing “dissenting points of view.”

The mayor spent a few minutes talking about each community builder, including: Lorraine Ellenwood, Ellen Kennett, Vin Coyne, Terry Ross, Michael MacKay-Dunn, Barbara Cooper, Joe O’Malley, Tom Kirstein and Chip Barrett.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

rcmp
South Surrey neighbours’ calls to police lead to break-and-enter arrest

‘Prime example’ of RCMP and public working together, constable says

Members of the Wheeling 8’s dance group go on a roll at Surrey’s Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in 2018, during the club’s 45th-anniversary event. If not for the pandemic, such activities could be socially prescribed as part of a new program involving Fraser Health and DiverseCity Community Resources Society. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
‘Social prescriptions’ connect Surrey seniors to activities and other services they need

Fraser Health-backed program involves GP referrals to a Seniors’ Community Connector with DiverseCity

Linda Annis, Aug. 12, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Annis wants independent auditor general for Surrey

‘Surrey taxpayers deserve the best possible oversight of the tax dollars they send to city hall,’ Surrey councillor says

SkyTrain’s end of the line, for now, in Whalley. (File photo)
Provincial budget watchers lament no mention of Surrey SkyTrain expansion

But $1.66 billion is earmarked for a second hospital for Surrey, in Cloverdale

Artist Jim Adams pictured in 2017 in the “cockpit” of his home studio in White Rock. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
‘Vancouver Special’ show a home for art by one Surrey Civic Treasure starting May 22

White Rock’s Jim Adams welcomes the ‘major exposure’ at Vancouver Art Gallery

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Playland at the PNE is set to reopen this May, with COVID-19 health and safety measures approved by the province. (Website/Playland)
VIDEO: Playland at PNE scheduled to reopen this May to masked customers

British Columbians are discouraged from travelling outside of their local health authority to visit the theme park

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Most Read