News Flash

City News

Posted on: June 3, 2022

City Accomplishments Highlighted in 2021 Annual Report

CITY-HALL-4337 - news flash

COQUITLAM, B.C., June 3, 2022 – Coquitlam has released its 2021 Annual Report to the public, offering a look back at the City’s focus areas and accomplishments last year. 

The statutory document is posted at www.coquitlam.ca/annualreport and provides a concise review of the City’s strategic goals, achievements, future priorities and the City’s financial position at the end of 2021. 

As our community became more accustomed to the uncertainty of COVID-19, many of the City’s activities centered around community support, recovery and resiliency. As Coquitlam’s response shifted from reactive to proactive, the City found innovative and creative ways to resume services while making progress on many other priorities. 

Highlights from 2021 include continued work on the Southwest Housing Review to expand housing options, the launch of the City’s Environmental Sustainability Plan, significant progress on our Development Application Process Review, completed renovations at the City Centre Aquatic Complex, and major improvements to Cottonwood Park and Buchanan Square. 

Coquitlam was named one of B.C.’s Top Employers for a fifth year in a row, and was recognized with a new Community Excellence Award by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) for the Community Support and Recovery Plan (CSRP), an innovative program providing targeted relief for all sectors of the community to help foster resilience and recovery. 

With a growing understanding of the need to consider social context and the experiences of those we serve, Coquitlam established four key themes, which guide all City work and activities: sustainability, growth and livability; equity, diversion and inclusion; reconciliation; and pandemic recovery. This lens informs how we work and provide services as a local government.

The City’s strong foundation of financial governance, long-term stability and flexibility has been instrumental in managing the ongoing financial impacts of the pandemic while supporting community recovery and growth. 

Building on 2021 Achievements

The City’s work in 2021 was structured around five goals in the Strategic Plan.

Efforts in 2021 to create safe and complete neighbourhoods included: 

  • Implementing the Housing Affordability Strategy; 
  • Completing the Southwest Fire Protection Strategy and the Community Wildfire Resiliency Plan; 
  • Conducting two phases of public engagement on the Hazel/Coy Neighbourhood Plan; 
  • Introducing regulatory improvements to provide more clarity, consistency and flexibility in the development application process; and
  • Integrating City and Metro Vancouver data to allow for real-time on-the-go bike map information.

Achievements related to the local economy and jobs included:

  • Introducing three pop-up green street locations;
  • Launching the Business E-Newsletter; 
  • Completing initiatives to help local businesses manage the impacts of the pandemic through the Community Support and Recovery Plan; and
  • Completing preliminary design and project schedule for the Fremont Connector.

Results from 2021 related to a healthy community and active citizens included:

  • Updating the Financial Assistance for Recreation Program, lowering barriers to participation in the City’s recreation programming;
  • Introducing the temporary shelter in outdoor spaces program to allow for covered spaces in City parks and facilitate outdoor connection within pandemic restrictions;
  • Restoring over 3,900 square metres of parkland and planted more than 1,800 native plants and shrubs; and
  • Making significant progress on the Major Recreation and Cultural Facilities Roadmap to integrate completed facilities with future planning initiatives.

In terms of sustainable services, environment and infrastructure, activities included:

  • Increasing the number of public electrical vehicle chargers to 25, leading to a 150% increase in charging minutes;
  • The adoption of an Energy Step Code compliant policy for new buildings;
  • Finalizing the design and route for upgraded water main capacity through Coquitlam in collaboration with Metro Vancouver; and
  • Contributing $25,000 to SHARE Community Services Food Bank. 

Achievements related to excellence in City governance included:

  • Launching the City’s Open Data Portal, allowing streamlined access to data sets and drawings;
  • Increasing customer satisfaction with overall service to an eight-year high of 91%; and
  • Launching Coquitlam OpenBook, a financial information visualization tool, increasing transparency of the City’s spending. 

Financial Statements

Coquitlam’s successful delivery of public services and capital infrastructure projects continued in 2021, with a high level of community growth and development.

The audited financial results show that the City’s financial position continues to remain strong, with an increase in financial assets from additions to capital and statutory reserves.

Consolidated revenues for 2021 totaled $468 million, up $48 million from 2020. While the City’s operations continued to be impacted by the pandemic in 2021, this increase is due in large part to a shift closer to pre-pandemic levels. The fees, rates and service charges increase from 2020 is primarily the result of a number of significant density bonus and affordable housing fees recognized in 2021. 

Expenses also increased from 2020 due to growing tax appeal refunds, extreme weather events, police contract increases and the costs associated with the addition of new assets and infrastructure.

Award-Winning Financial Reporting

For the 20th consecutive year, the City of Coquitlam received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Canadian Award for Financial Reporting (2020). The City has also received the Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Reporting Award (2020) and Distinguished Budget Presentation Award (2021). The 2021 Annual Report will also be submitted to the GFOA for consideration for this year’s awards.

City Budget Data Available Online

Learn more about City budgets and spending on Coquitlam’s online financial tool. View a breakdown of capital and operating budgets, annual expenses, and new and ongoing projects. 

Available data includes:

  • Capital Budgets – a breakdown of the 5-year capital budget down to the project level
  • Project Explorer – a highlight of select new and ongoing projects
  • Operating Budgets – a breakdown of the operating budget down to the business unit
  • 2021 Annual Revenues and Expenses – the City’s most recent audited financial statement data

Visit the online data tool at www.coquitlam.openbook.questica.com.

Media contact:
Chris Adams-Brush
Financial Services Manager
604-927-3925
CAdamsBrush@coquitlam.ca

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