Edmonton Minute: Provincial Budget, Gondola Contingency, and a Leaking Roof That Took Two Years To Fix
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
Today at 9:30 am there will be an Executive Committee meeting to consider reports on Edmonton Health City, and growth options for LRT and City-Wide Transit, amongst other items.
On Tuesday at 9:30 am there will be a meeting of the Urban Planning Committee, while on Wednesday at 9:30 am there will be a meeting of the Community and Public Services Committee and at 1:30 pm there will be a meeting of the Emergency Advisory Committee.
- Finally, on Thursday at 9:30 am there will be a Non-Regular Council Meeting to discuss changes to Bylaw 19613 - City Administration Bylaw Amendment and receive a verbal Intergovernmental Update. City staff haven't disclosed what the update will be about, but we think it's pretty likely it will be about the provincial budget.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- The provincial government introduced their 2021 budget which includes an increase in the Municipal Stabilization Initiative for the City of Edmonton of $43 million in 2021. However, in the next two years, the City will also have to deal with a 44% reduction in MSI. Currently, about 33% of Edmonton's approved capital budget is funded through MSI and that number keeps growing each year. As we've mentioned previously, relying on other levels of government to substantially fund City projects can be a dangerous game and Budget 2021 has proven this. Mayor Iveson said the City will prepare a report to outline the impacts of this MSI reduction on the City's planned capital projects.
City Hall approved a controversial gondola project which will take people several stops from Rossdale to the Whyte Avenue area. The proponents of the project, Prairie Gondola, say that no public money will be used in the project. Skeptics, including some Councillors, disagree and convinced Council to require the company to create a contingency fund in case they go bankrupt and the City is left with the liability. While the contingency fund is a good idea, we're not completely convinced that taxpayers won't end up paying for this project somehow.
- Finally, after two years of fixing leaking roofs, City Police in NW Edmonton were given the go-ahead to move into their new facility. The City approved a complete roof replacement last May for what was a brand new building and is now taking the construction company to court to recoup costs.
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