Edmonton Minute: Budget Debate, Park Closing, and Valley Line Delayed Again
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
This week kicks off with a meeting of City Council from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm to discuss a 15-item agenda, including the ongoing budget adjustments and a review of City reserves. Also on the agenda will be the annual budgets of the City's business improvement areas. If required, the budget adjustments debate will continue Wednesday at 1:30 pm, and Friday at 9:30 am.
Tuesday promises to be busy with a City Council meeting to discuss an "intergovernmental update" from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm. This is an in-camera (in secret) update, so we don’t know any details. This will be followed by a City Council Public Hearing to discuss zoning amendments from 1:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
- The Utility Committee will meet on Thursday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm to discuss Blatchford utility rates and the 2022 waste rates schedule. The good news is that single family homes won’t see an increase in garbage collection rates. Multi-unit dwellings that are transitioning from communal collection to individual collection will see a small increase.
Last Week In Edmonton:
In somewhat shocking news (we’re joking!), TransEd announced yet another delay to the opening of the Valley Line LRT. The line was originally slated to be open to passengers in December 2020, but an earlier announcement pushed that back to the end of 2021. Then, in October, it was announced it wouldn’t be until the first quarter of 2022. Now the latest announcement says Summer 2022. TransEd appears to think “this time” they’ve got it right. We’ll believe it when we see it.
- The City proposed a total closure of Hawrelak Park starting in 2023 for a "three-year" construction project, upgrading infrastructure in the park. The City indicated this was one option, the other was to have 10 years of ongoing construction in various areas of the park with the park still being open. Given our previous story, how likely is it that the three-year full closure to avoid a ten-year partial closure ends up being a ten-year full closure?
- The Province of Alberta announced a 2-year extension of the ban on new photo radar sites, saying this and some other changes - such as prohibiting photo radar on streets where the speed limit is less than 50 km/h (with the exception of school zones) and prohibiting photo radar in transition zones - will stop municipalities from treating photo radar as a cash cow. This was met by skepticism from some on Edmonton City Council, as many Edmonton streets were moved from 50 km/h to 40 km/h this past summer.
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