Monday, May 20, 2013

Edmonton's new Arena-30 million bucks out of municipalities!

The CRB is made up of communities surrounding Edmonton.  A regional board to sound ideas and make joint plans.   Each community as I understand it has one vote except for Edmonton which has a number of votes how many exactly I don't know.

The remainder 24 communities not wanting to face this as an election issue have come up with a proposal to back the idea of these same communities contributing to the Edmonton Arena.

What are we going to be on hooks for?
Mandel says they are short 30 million dollars to make the deal.  Each of these communities are going to be on hooks for 1.25 million dollars if this is the case!

Newer figures out are talking making up the 25 million dollar shortage (coincidentally there are 25 members in total to this organization) Which means each of these communities is going to be on hooks for 1 million dollars.   Paid over 3 years isn't that bad says Mayor Fisher.  Actually it is 416,000 dollars per year I personally would like to see go to other, local projects.


Capital Region Board arena vote prompts council debate

The effects of the vote, in which Capital Region Board (CRB) members were asked to approve, in principle, an application for $25 million over three years in Regional Collaboration Grant funding for the City of Edmonton, which would be used towards the arena project, have proved controversial.

In a close and disputed vote at the CRB’s Thursday, May 9 meeting, the body seemed to approve the motion, which had been added to the agenda less than 24 hours before the meeting. Normally, such motions require seven days notice.

Devon Mayor Anita Fisher was among those voting to approve, though earlier in the same meeting she had also voted to defer the motion to the CRB’s June meeting in order to first consult Devon town council members.

The motion to defer was defeated, and the motion to the agreement in principle was then debated and passed.

Fisher’s vote did not commit any resources or funds from Devon for the potential funding, and no formal application for the funding is yet being made, but coun. Sheila Aitken protested Fisher’s vote at the Monday, May 13 Devon council meeting, asking why she would vote to approve the motion without first consulting council.

“A yes vote, when you don’t have enough information, and this council had no opportunity for input… The mayor is speaking on behalf of this council. You should have voted ‘no’, until you could have discussed it with this council.”

Fisher replied to Aitken, saying that the vote did not commit the town to any action or monetary obligation.

“(The vote) was in principle, and with the assurance that the Regional Collaboration Grant application requires an endorsement of council,” Fisher said. “I knew that there was no commitment that would be required from this municipality.”

Fisher also said that she believed that a new downtown Edmonton arena would be an economic driver for the region that would benefit the Town of Devon.
“I believe the saying is, ‘economic development floats all boats’. So I have mixed feelings with regards to this. I believe that we need to collaborate more effectively in regards to economic development in our sub-region as well as our entire region. I think the arena is an economic driver.”

Additional provincial funding under the Regional Collaboration program is expected to be announced later this month, which Edmonton would likely then apply for. Fisher said that would depend on a second vote at the next CRB meeting, booked for June 13. Though Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel has already said that he would be using the previous vote, which had support from 16 CRB members representing 95 per cent of the population in the region, for the application, the application would also require letters endorsed by the councils voting in support.

Council debated whether to require a council vote before any future CRB vote that does commit any kind of resources from the town.

That motion was not put on the floor, though council did vote to send a letter to the CRB expressing its displeasure with how the vote was handled.

“They clearly circumvented their policy by allowing a motion to be put on the floor and put a collective group of municipalities in a position of having to vote yes or no. I’m absolutely stunned that the board would even accept the motion,” Aitken said.

Some other councillors, including coun. Ray Ralph, agreed that the CRB should not have accepted the motion, but were not opposed to the motion per se, and cautioned council against tying the hands of its CRB delegate.

“The CRB’s been around for several years now and this is the first time something like this has come up, and unfortunately it came from the city of Edmonton, and the way it was brought forward was not the appropriate way to be brought forward in the first place, which did put a lot of mayors in a bad situation,” Ralph said.

“But I don’t want to tie our mayor’s hands at the table for doing regular duties that she’s been doing for the last five years. That wouldn’t make sense either.”
Council will be revisiting the matter, including whether to support the motion and whether to require council approval for certain future CRB votes, at its next meeting on Monday, May 27. That meeting will occur before the next CRB meeting.

On Wednesday, May 15 Edmonton city council finally reached a deal with the Oilers over funding for the arena. The team is to pay $161.5 million, while the city is kicking in $279 million, assuming the city is successful in the grant application.

Edmonton is also planning on applying for another $14 million in other grants, and a further $125 million is to come from a ticket tax.

Mandel expressed relief after the meeting as the fate of the arena, which has been in question for several years, was seemingly decided.
He said that he is expecting that ground will be broken early next year
The above article is out of the Devon Dispatch which also ran a story about the Town of Devon about to review the long term lease of the Devon Lions Club on the now famous Devon Lions Park!
The Devon Lions through volunteer efforts has built the park into  a Famous stop for visitors and is producing a decent  profit to sustain itself.  This is a non profit organization.
It seems rather obvious Mayor Fisher is about to do an end run on the park; take it over; increase fees; charge citizens for access to the park and so on.   All this to turn up coin to put into an Arena in Edmonton which serves the real purpose of stroking Mandel's ego
Town of Devon should really examine why they voted Fisher into this office; this is certainly not looking after the town of Devon.
People should contact their own councils and find out how this rip off is going to be paid.  Probably, on  your tax bill.
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