Edmonton Minute: Bus Ranges, Derelict Homes, and an Operating Budget Update

Edmonton Minute: Bus Ranges, Derelict Homes, and an Operating Budget Update


Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics


This Week In Edmonton:

  • City Hall remains closed to the public, with no indication as to when it might reopen. As such, most of the meetings this week will be virtual. Meetings will begin on Tuesday on account of the Family Day holiday today. On Tuesday, at 8:30 am, there will be an Agenda Review Committee meeting, followed by a City Council Public Hearing at 9:30 am. At the Hearing, there are several zoning amendments up for debate, including a proposed road closure at 127 St. and 26 Ave.

  • On Wednesday, at 9:30 am, there will be a City Council meeting. Council will hear several reports, including an Operating Budget Update and a Major Capital Project Update. It was anticipated that the City was going to use 81.2% of its tax-supported debt servicing limit and 64% of its total debt servicing limit by the end of 2023, so, we'll be watching the current update closely and will have more to say in the coming weeks. If the meeting doesn’t conclude on Wednesday, it will continue on Friday at 9:30 am.

  • The City is seeking over $82 million in damages from Proterra, the manufacturer of the City’s ill-fated electric buses. The City claims that the buses failed to meet the operating range specified in the contract and experienced significant defects, including mechanical issues and body structure problems. Apparently, the contract specified that in Edmonton’s climate conditions, the buses would have an operating range of 328 kilometres (268 kilometres in extreme cold), but on average, the range has been approximately 165 kilometres in the cold and, at best, 250 kilometres in warmer weather. The City said they were “blindsided”. Really? We hate to say we told you so...


Last Week In Edmonton:

  • Council voted unanimously to send the proposed Public Spaces Bylaw back to Administration for revisions and further research, including a climate review and comprehensive rationale for any changes to fines. The bylaw aims to consolidate existing rules for things like panhandling and public behaviour, but faced opposition from some speakers at a Council meeting. Critics argued that imposing fines won't stop drug use and may displace it to other areas of the city, increasing the risk of overdose. Some business representatives endorsed the bylaw, emphasizing the need for clear rules to address public safety concerns related to drug use in public spaces. Others suggested that the bylaw would stifle free expression by limiting the ability to gather peacefully.

  • The City has identified 203 homes in 54 neighbourhoods as derelict, sending property assessments to owners indicating their status as such. Council approved a new tax on derelict homes in October, making Edmonton the first Canadian city to do so. The tax applies to dilapidated or unliveable homes in mature neighbourhoods, aiming to incentivize owners to address the properties. The new tax rate will be determined in the spring when the tax bylaw is passed, but the derelict properties could be taxed at triple the normal rate.

  • Over 5,000 pothole repairs have been made since the beginning of the year, fewer than the same period in 2023. The City received 156 calls to 3-1-1 calls about potholes as of February 15th, down from 697 reports during the same time last year. The City repaired 624,663 potholes in 2023 and 583,380 in 2022. Crews prioritize repairs based on safety, considering factors like road type, traffic volume, and pothole size. High-priority potholes are inspected within 24 hours and repaired within two days, while low-priority locations are inspected within five days and repaired within a month.




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  • Common Sense Edmonton
    published this page in News 2024-02-18 17:38:33 -0700