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Month: December 2010

Elect Jamie Post, Ward 1 – Community Survey

During the campaign, I ran surveys on my campaign site for both community residents and business owners.  The statistics from the community survey are available below.  “Accessibility of transit to, and parking at local businesses”,  “Community Policing”, “Public Transit”, and “Fiscal Accountability” were the top issues/concerns for respondents.

Elect Jamie Post, Ward 1 – Community Survey Statistics

Elevating Meadowlark

On December 8th, City Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee held a non-statutory public hearing regarding conceptual plans for the proposed West, Southeast, and Downtown LRT lines.  Over 60 speakers were in attendance, including myself who delivered the Glenwood Community League’s recommendations for creating a 100ave/SPR couplet and access modifications along 156st.  There were obviously a number of concerns expressed regarding pedestrian, residential, and business impacts for the the Downtown Connector and Southeast Line which were not expressed during the last public hearing regarding the proposed LRT routes in December of 2009.  The Southeast conceptual plan was forwarded to Council with a recommendation for approval.  We’ll have to wait and see for the downtown connector, but looking at the some of the concerns, one can’t help but think of the mitigating affects of an elevated track.  More costly to build, yes it is, however I believe we should be placing a dollar value on some of the impacts created by a surface running system, which could be avoided through elevation (such as the proposed elevated track from WEM past the Misericordia hospital).

As expected, the recommended change in the WLRT conceptual from using Meadowlark Road (as was established in Transportation Bylaw 15101) in favor traveling eastbound directly to 156st and then heading north, has raised some concerns.  I am leery about the proposed change myself, particularly in regards to accessibility of businesses along 156st facing Meadowlark Mall, and the fact LRT along 156st will face the rear of the new Jasper Place Library, however all pros and cons must be considered, and there is an opportunity here to serve Whitehall Square, the more active side of Meadowlark Mall, and to encourage some densification to the east and south of 87th.  However, to preserve an acceptable level of business access north of 87th, and residential access south, I believe an elevated section of track will be required, which would, in my opinion, make this a preferable alignment over Meadowlark Rd.

Arena District & City Council (Round 2)

On Friday, December 10th, the downtown arena will be back on Council’s agenda.  The meeting package is available, and includes answers to written questions submitted by Councillors following the Katz Group’ first trip to city hall late last spring.

One the more interesting reports included is background information on all the NHL arena’s currently in use.  The currently proposed funding model, a city-funded, city-owned arena with 100% of revenue going to the primary tenant, with the city left to collect revenue in the form of property taxes from new developments surrounding the site would seem to be a fairly unique situation in the NHL.  That said, the report does include a few similar scenario’s which currently exist in the league:

Anaheim Ducks
The team plays in the Honda Center owned by the City of Anaheim and operated by
Anaheim Arena Management, LLC. The facility opened in 1993 and was built by Huber,
Hunt & Nichols for $123 million. The facility was 100% publicly financed and Ogden
Entertainment is assuming the debt for the bonds issued by the city through a 30-year
agreement. On December 13, 2003, the City of Anaheim reached a 30-year Facility
Management Agreement with Anaheim Arena Management, LLC, which gave AAM the
right to manage, maintain, and operate the Honda Center. In the nine years leading up
to the new agreement in 2003, the City had to expend a total of $40.2 million more than
it received in revenues for arena operations. The new agreement was crafted to reduce
the public sector’s responsibilities. Maintenance is now the responsibility of the
franchise through its management company.

Phoenix Coyotes
The team plays at Jobing.com Arena owned and operated by the City of Glendale. The
facility opened in 2003 and was built for $220 million. The arena was funded by a $180
million contribution from the City of Glendale ($30 million in general obligation bonds
and $150 in excise tax funding). The city planned to repay its debt from revenues
generated from activities surrounding the facility. The Coyotes’ owner agreed to pay for
any cost overruns and to repay the city for its investment if the commercial property
surrounding the arena did not generate enough money to offset the city’s investments.
The entire financial plan has collapsed and the team filed for bankruptcy protection.
The City of Glendale is responsible for all maintenance and the costs for the facility’s
construction and new potential owners have each submitted bids that would require
Glendale to assume responsibilities for all construction related expenses and
maintenance. No new ownership group has yet been designated and that team and the
matter remain under the oversight of the bankruptcy judge and the NHL that is operating
the team.