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Stories to watch in 2014
PORT MOODY - OFFICIAL COMMUNITY PLAN DOCUMENT
Port Moody council is expected to pass its updated Official Community Plan in 2014 — a document to help the city plan for changes that are expected to come with the completion of the Evergreen Line. With a civic election also this year, the future of higher density in certain neighbourhoods and along the waterfront is likely to be up for discussion.
SCHOOL DISTRICT 43 - FINANCIAL OUTLOOK
School District 43 finances will be top of mind in 2014 as officials look for ways to balance the budget while paying for $1.7 million in anticipated wage hikes for CUPE employees who recently ratified a deal. The district's finances will also be under the microscope when a forensic audit is made public, likely in January, and trustees will be considering whether to sell school land to generate funds for new school buildings.
PORT COQUITLAM - DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT
Port Coquitlam will begin community consultation on a new plan for 15 acres of land encompassing the Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex, Terry Fox Library, Wilson Centre and parking and residential lots on Mary Hill Road. A new pool, fitness centre, ice sheet, residential, commercial and other community uses will be considered with a conceptual plan to be prepared by the fall of 2014.
EVERGREEN LINE - ONGOING CONSTRUCTION
The $1.4-billion rapid-transit system from Burnaby to Coquitlam Town Centre — better known as the Evergreen Line — started its dig in earnest last year and, in 2014, things will get more active as the tunnelling under the Seaview neighbourhood in Port Moody is expected to get underway next month. A caution to commuters: Prepare for more traffic delays and business disruptions. The end date? Still on track for the summer of 2016.
RIVERVIEW - PUBLIC CONSULTATION
Last fall, BC Housing took the reins of Riverview Hospital, a 102-year-old former mental health institution that Mayor Richard Stewart described as "extremely precious to Coquitlam." As a measure of goodwill, the agency began to upkeep the property and to reach out to civic and health reps. BC Housing officials have also given their word to talk to the public on the future of the grounds; consultation on the visioning process is expected to start this spring.