Calgary Minute: Council's Back, Cycle Tracks, and Multiple Delays
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics.
This Week In Calgary:
Council is technically back from their summer break now but given today is Labour Day / Alberta Day, there's no Monday council meeting. There is an SPC on Planning and Urban Development meeting on Wednesday though, which will discuss the City's Chinatown plan, amongst other things.
There is also a Calgary Planning Commission meeting on Thursday which will primarily focus on Land Use matters.
On Tuesday, the City will finally release the results of their 2018 municipal census. The results are usually released in July - the City is refusing to say why there was a delay this year. Sure, delays happen sometimes, but what possible reason could the City have for not telling us *why* it's late? Just another example of the culture of secrecy at City Hall.
Last Week In Calgary:
- Less than a month ago, Council was assuring Calgarians that spending $300 million on a new arena wouldn't require any tax increases, but last week the City began priming Calgarians with news of a 10-year "infrastructure funding gap" in the Recreation Department. Approximately 44% of existing recreation buildings are said to be in poor or critical condition and it will cost an estimated $600-million to close the gap. Of course, Council could decide to close the gap by tightening their belts and cutting costs, rather than raising taxes, but after more than six years serving as a City Hall watchdog, we remain skeptical.
- Work began on another new Cycle Track in East Village. While clearly some business owners are excited by the prospects of increased traffic to a low traffic area, many Calgarians are confused by the mixed messages from City Hall. Last month we had to cut fire and police budgets, but this month we have money for luxuries like bike lanes?
Finally, the City announced that Crowchild Trail construction is now delayed to 2020 and that the Century Gardens redevelopment will be finished a year late and is already over budget. Delays and cost overruns are never a surprise when dealing with municipal infrastructure projects, but what is surprising is the City's attempt to "spin" the situation. The City claims that Century Gardens being over budget and a year late is "back on track". No wonder they think everything is "on track" if that's their standard!
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