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Vancouver council approves quarter-billion dollar capital budget cut amid COVID-19

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WATCH: The city of Vancouver has announced millions of dollars in budget cuts to help deal with a financial crunch caused, in part, by the pandemic.

Vancouver city council has approved cuts to its four-year capital plan that the city says will save more than a quarter-billion dollars.

The cuts, announced Friday, come as the city grapples with a financial crisis brought on by COVID-19.

According to the city, the $254-million capital budget reduction will see “some large, multi-year projects scaled back or postponed” to help ease COVID-19 funding pressures.

Read more: Vancouver mayor ‘disappointed’ at purchase of high-end furniture for city hall, asks for review

A report presented to council on Wednesday showed the city facing $219 million less in projected development and partner financial contributions brought on by the pandemic economic downturn.

Click to play video 'Vancouver’s renewed plea for financial support' Vancouver’s renewed plea for financial support
Vancouver’s renewed plea for financial support

The cut brings the city’s total spending over the four-year term down from $2.9 billion to $2.6 billion, and the city says it could result in a $10-million to $29-million reduction in property taxes in 2021 and 2022.

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Several high-profile projects will be either scaled back or deferred following the move.

READ MORE: Vancouver mayor says 25% of city may be unable to pay property taxes due to COVID-19

That includes a $3.25-million upgrade to Vancouver’s Manitoba Works Yard and City Hall campus buildings, $26.3 million in construction in city parks, and “complete streets” upgrades for Gastown ($7.2 million) and West Georgia Street ($4.5 million).

Major upgrades to the Granville Street bridge will proceed, though with a budget reduced by $9 million.

The capital budget cuts came the same week that Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart pledged to review a renovation project for city hall that included more than $300,000 in spending on new high-end office furniture.

Stewart had previously pleaded for a provincial bailout citing the pandemic’s effect on city finances.