Surrey Mayor Watts ups the TransLink ante – ‘We’re redefining Surrey’

Following on from Zweisai??i?? earlier posting of the Vancouver Sunai??i??s reporting of Mayor Dianne Wattsai??i??s state of city address

`Surrey looks to light rail to ease huge growth’

`SkyTrain is too expensive, Mayor Dianne Watts says’

the Surrey Now paperAi?? published the following article on Tuesday:

‘We’re redefining Surrey,’ mayor says at annual State of City address



By Ted Colley, Surrey Now April 12, 2011 Ai??

SURREY – “We are building B.C.’s next metropolitan core.”

That was the message delivered by Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts in her State of the City report Tuesday. The message was well-received by the audience of nearly 500 gathered in a Guildford banquet room as the mayor recapped the successes of the past five years and outlined what is still to come.

“We are redefining Surrey and creating B.C.’s next metropolitan core by fostering a strong investment climate and implementing innovative social, economic and community initiatives for our residents and businesses,” Watts said.

She pointed to initiatives such as the city’s economic investment action plan, its sustainability charter, the crime reduction strategy and others as key elements of Surrey’s present, and future, success.

“Creating the right social fabric sets the foundation for a strong economy and makes it possible to effect real and lasting change,” Watts said.

Surrey has the lowest property taxes and the second-lowest business taxes in Metro Vancouver, she said, and has 48 per cent of the region’s industrial land. These factors and the city’s aggressive $2.8-billion Build Surrey construction program combine to attract significant investment to the city and the accompanying jobs.

“We will not be raising taxes to pay for that construction,” Watts promised, citing a list of revenue sources, including infrastructure fees, a new parking authority, new secondary suite fees, gaming revenue and more that will provide the needed funds.

A significant component of the building program is the construction of a new city precinct in City Centre. A new library is well underway and ground has been broken on a new city hall and public plaza to be opened in 2013.

It’s not enough, Watts said, to develop a new downtown core and upgrade Surrey’s other town centres. They must all be connected with useful, efficient rapid transit.

“In order to create healthy communities, we need to provide safe and accessible walking and cycling opportunities. We also need to provide alternatives to vehicle transportation and are actively advocating for TransLink to build light rail rapid transit in Surrey.”

Surrey saw the value of building permits issued in 2010 rise to $1.2 billion, a 41-per-cent increase over the previous year, creating hundreds of construction jobs in the city.

Another boost to Surrey’s economy, Watts said, was the recent India mission to forge links between business here and customers on the sub-continent.

“This is an exciting time for Surrey as we build a city from the ground up,” the mayor said.

“We will continue to be an economic generator for the region, as well as a city where you can get a great education, a great-paying job and raise your family in a strong, vibrant community.”


Ai??We’ll see if Translink will listen to Mayor Watts


One Response to “Surrey Mayor Watts ups the TransLink ante – ‘We’re redefining Surrey’”
  1. Kirti says:

    At this stage city council in Surrey has to relaly step up to the plate and state no more suburban developments in our major town centers or Central Surrey. It’s fine if they do it in some of the outline areas because let’s face it the price demand isn’t there to develop anything else.But Guildford? Newton? South Surrey? Fleetwood?I completely agree. Heck in Fleetwood near my place they just build a new strip mall on the corner of Venture and Fraser Highway and in that mall they did example what you’re saying above, put the parking AT THE BACK. If they can do that in Fleetwood they sure as heck should be doing that in Guildford. I hope the planning report recommendation is deny.We have to remember the planning department doesn’t recommend every development that comes across their table. I’ve read plenty this year that were recommended as denies and were in fact denied. Even 1 about a sign simply being head onto the road (an eyesore in Central Surrey) vs side profile (less intrussive). The developer refused and the plan was denied. It was a sign.So hopefully this Guildford development is denied if the developer doesn’t want to budge.You’re right though, Surrey council needs to relaly take a stand in its major town centers especially the big 3, Central Surrey, Newton, and Guildford.