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OUR VIEW: How much will Surrey’s ‘brass ring’ cost?

‘It’s going to be a heck of a ride, Surrey,’ Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke said, ‘so everyone buckle up!’
A City of Surrey-issued “conceptual image” of the kind of 12,000-seat stadium/arena that could be in the works in Surrey, timed with the launch of an economic/feasibility study. (Image: City of Surrey)

Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke received a standing ovation after delivering an upbeat State of the City Address last Thursday, Feb. 15.

The “brass ring,” as she put it, “is for Surrey to grab.”

Locke delivered her speech to an audience of 430 during a sold-out luncheon hosted by Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce, South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce and Surrey Board of Trade. Tickets sold for $150 apiece and $1,650 for a table of 11.

Some highlights were the launching of a “feasibility study” toward developing a 12,000-seat stadium in the city centre, Newton or Cloverdale, as well as the creation of two entertainment districts for the city centre and Cloverdale.

Beside this feast of bread and circuses, Locke also served up the approval of $105 million for road infrastructure projects that involve widening “major and overburdened” arterial routes like 72 Avenue, 80 Avenue and 132 Street, and replacing the Nicomekl Bridge, among other fine and arguably necessary stuff.

READ ALSO: Surrey plans 12,000-seat stadium, mayor says ‘groundwork already begun’

And yet, behind the curtain lurks the Surrey policing transition – which did not factor into Locke’s address – and the City of Surrey’s responsibility under the Community Charter Act to approve and finalize its 2024 budget.

The writing is already on the wall, or rather, on the billboards.

In December the city launched its $500,000 PR campaign against the “NDP police transition” including electronic billboard displays that, under the heading “NDP police transition WILL COST YOU MORE,” claims it will cost $464 million more over the next 10 years, and forecasts a MASSIVE DOUBLE-DIGIT tax increase meaning LESS $ for schools, health and transit.

In January council approved utility rate hikes across the board for 2024.

Locke concluded her Feb. 15 address with an invitation for “all of you to join me on this exciting journey because it is for you and generations to come.

“It’s going to be a heck of a ride, Surrey,” she said, “so everyone buckle up!”