Mayor Malcolm Brodie outlines “bold future” for Richmond


The City of Richmond is beginning to realize the “bold future” outlined in its Official Community Plan, Mayor Malcolm Brodie said Friday in his Annual Address.

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“2015 was an important year in a remarkable time of growth and transformation for the City of Richmond,” Mayor Brodie said in his address, which was delivered at a special Richmond Chamber of Commerce luncheon. His speech reviewed the first year of Richmond City Council’s current four-year term and outlined its agenda for the coming year.

Brodie cited an unprecedented level of new construction, the rapid transformation of Richmond’s City Centre and steady job growth as examples of the changing face of the city. An all-time record $1 billion in building permits were issued in Richmond in 2015 – 23% higher than the previous record. In addition to continued strong growth in multifamily residential construction, a number of major new and pending commercial developments, a record year for filming and strong growth in tourism have also fuelled job growth in Richmond.

The City is matching the growth by heavily investing in new civic infrastructure and amenities to meet the community’s growing needs. Richmond’s 2016 capital budget will exceed $100 million, for a total of about $500 million invested in renewing and upgrading civic infrastructure over the past five years.

“Sound financial planning has enabled us to add to our community amenities while we enhance civic services and innovate to improve customer service experience,” Brodie told the audience. “City Council is investing millions of dollars to expand our green spaces, parks and recreational areas.”

The Mayor went on to outline ongoing major investments by the City in recreation facilities, affordable housing, flood protection, transportation and alternative energy. He noted construction is also underway on two new Richmond fire halls. When complete, all of Richmond’s public safety buildings will have been replaced or upgraded since 2002 to meet modern seismic standards and the changing needs of the community.
Although Council has an ambitious and progressive agenda, the Mayor said the City continues to provide taxpayers with “good value for their money”, while holding the line on property taxes.

“The City has among the lowest property taxes and business to residential tax ratio among Metro Vancouver’s largest municipalities,” Brodie noted.

Brodie added that Richmond is also facing a number of challenges tied to growth, but that Council has acted proactively to address those challenges.

“From over-sized new single-family homes to threats posed by port expansion on agricultural land, Richmond City Council has counteracted initiatives that might undermine our community’s quality of life.”