News Flash

City News

Posted on: June 11, 2021

City Accomplishments Highlighted in 2020 Annual Report

Lafarge Lake Wooden Platform at Sunset

COQUITLAM, B.C., June 11, 2020 – Coquitlam released its 2020 Annual Report to the public today, 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 2020. 

Last year was unprecedented and, in addition to significant work in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, as well as community support and recovery, Coquitlam was able to make progress on many other priorities. Highlights from 2020 include the adoption of a new City Centre Area Plan, ground breaking on the new YMCA building, and a number of improvements to infrastructure and parks consistent with the public’s increased use of outdoor spaces. 

Coquitlam was named one of B.C.’s Top Employers for a fourth year in a row, and received a MarCom Award for website redesign as well as an Organizational Safety Excellence Award. This showcases the adaptability and resilience of City staff, who continued to innovate in challenging times. 

In order to continue to deliver essential services within a pandemic environment, many City services were moved online. Changes to protect the health and safety of staff and of the public were coordinated through an Emergency Operations Centre, which involved cooperation from all departments. At the same time, the City worked closely with municipal neighbours, regional partners, Provincial staff and the Fraser Health Authority to manage changing pandemic conditions. 

A fiscally-cautious approach in 2020 not only protected City services, it also helped Coquitlam to support community-wide recovery by providing direct relief to people, businesses and groups in need. Ongoing efforts to build a strong financial position through a cautious and methodical approach has helped to lay the financial foundation that is supporting the City during these challenging times.  

Building on 2020 Achievements

The City’s work in 2020 was structured around five goals in the Strategic Plan.

Efforts in 2020 to create safe and complete neighbourhoods included: 

  • Completing the City Centre Area Plan;
  • Finalizing design and began construction on the Burke Mountain Village Discovery Centre;
  • Continuing to advance community mental health response initiatives; and 
  • Began work to introduce ‘Pop-Up Green Streets’ throughout the city.

Achievements related to the local economy and jobs included:

  • Completing an update of the City’s Commercial Zones;
  • Adding more than 24,000 square metres of commercial, industrial and institutional space;
  • Leveraging media partnerships to maximize the value of economic development campaigns;
  • Hosting a six-part virtual summer concert series featuring artists that highlight Coquitlam’s cultural diversity; and
  • Connecting nine new buildings to the City’s QNet fibre optic network. 

Results from 2020 related to a healthy community and active citizens included:

  • Completing nine new or upgraded parks;
  • Introducing $2 drop-in fees  as part of the Community Support and Recovery Plan to reduce financial barriers to City recreation programs;
  • Restoring over 3,800 square metres of parkland and planting over 2,400 native plants and shrubs in City parks; and
  • Providing virtual activities and guides as part of the CoquitlamSPIRIT initiative to facilitate at-home learning and recreation for all ages. 

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

  • Finalizing the City’s Climate Adaptation Strategy; 
  • Developing community grants for not-for-profit groups that address pandemic-related service delivery challenges and revenue loss;
  • Expanding the City’s park spaces;
  • Planning for the investment of approximately $140 million in parks and facilities upgrades; and
  • Finalizing the design and route for upgraded water main capacity through Coquitlam.

Achievements related to excellence in City governance included:

  • Increasing the City’s online service offerings, including new payment methods;
  • Developing and launching a new City website;
  • Continuing to refine and adapt the City’s public communication practices to respond to the unique communication needs of the COVID-19 pandemic; 
  • Winning a BC Municipal Safety Association Organization Safety Excellence Award; and
  • Being named one of B.C.’s top employers for the fourth year in a row. 

Financial Statements

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Coquitlam’s successful delivery of public services and capital infrastructure projects continued in 2020, 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 2020 totaled $420 million, down $58 million from 2019. This decrease is attributed in large part to the global pandemic. To support public health and mitigate financial impacts, facilities were closed, programs and services were adapted, and additional health and safety protocols were implemented. Financial impacts included the loss of capital and operating revenues, and increased pandemic response and recovery expenses.

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

Award-Winning Financial Reporting

For the 19th consecutive year, the City of Coquitlam received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Canadian Award for Financial Reporting (2019).  The City has also received the Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Reporting Award (2019) and Distinguished Budget Presentation Award (2020). The 2020 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 new 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
  • 2020 Annual Revenues and Expenses – the City’s most recent audited financial statement data

Visit the online Data Visualization Tool.

Media contact:
Shelly Edwards
Financial Services Manager
City of Coquitlam
604-927-3036
sedwards@coquitlam.ca 

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