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04-12-2013, 02:22 PM
The Big Unit
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Originally Posted by Beerfish View Post
What you say about the U of A is true, i take major major issue with your 2nd statement though. It all goes back to the defining the core function of a municipal government.

Provide core services.
Provide core infrastructure.
Maintain these.
Everything else is secondary. Unfortunately these base services are not flashy or attention getting. Cities should stay out the the 'investment game' as far as projects goes because they get burned very badly at times and the tax payer has to foot the bill.

Our mayor rants about a pet project being needed to revitalize down town to get people to go there while at the same time ignoring the fact the place were people actual spend most of their time is going to hell in a hand basket.

The arena will get built, it will partially revitalize down town (though not nearly as much as rosy projections) hockey fans will be very happy. The team will be very happy and it will be a bad deal for the citizens of Edmonton.
LRT expansion in downtown includes a station for the arena/Grant MacEwan. Increased property tax revenues from the arena are likely going to be funneled to road construction down the road in exactly the same fashion city council is using $55M of the provincial infrastructure credit to help build infrastructure in the arena district. The province has repeatedly stated that the city can do what they wish with that money and it doesn't constitute direct funding of the arena project by the province and they will not fund the arena in any direct way.

As for the bolded at the do you know it's a bad deal for Edmonton? Governments aren't supposed to make money, like you said they're supposed to provide services. However, they're also supposed to ensure the city is an attractive place to visit and increase our quality of life while we live here, this is especially true for a municipal government. Do you not think a downtown revitalization project helps the city take big strides on both those fronts?

Back in 2006 I listened to a lecture given by the head of the city of Toronto's Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. He said that in order to bring all of the GTA's infrastructure up to 21st century standards it could cost up to an estimated $2 Trillion. That's right, with a T. You can't simply state that everything else is secondary because that means the city isn't fulfilling its duty to its citizens and should therefore scrap all projects and dump all their money into nothing but core services and infrastructure. That's just simply unrealistic and the city can't afford to do that anyway.

Say what you will about diverting funds from fixing infrastructure to building an arena but a major reason much of our infrastructure is crumbling is because of urban sprawl. They keep allowing developers to build new neighborhoods in areas further and further away from the city center. This has two negative effects. First, it costs a TON of money to lay and then maintain new infrastructure in these areas. New roads, new power lines, new sewage systems, new telephone lines etc don't come for free and it means that money isn't being spent to fix older neighborhoods. Second, it only spreads people out further from downtown exacerbating our issues with an already very low population density. This leads to less property tax being collected per sq km because way less people live/work/own businesses in the area.

We need more LRT, more condo buildings downtown and we need something for people to do when they decide to spend their time downtown. At least make it an attractive place for people to spend their time and maybe we can partially shed the reputation as an ugly ****hole in the prairies because our reputation matters too.

Last edited by The Big Unit: 04-12-2013 at 02:38 PM.
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