Regina City Council meeting – Deadblog

(Liveblog notes, but no wifi to upload in real time so this is a deadblogging instead.)

First attempt at council being paperless. When we entered the chamber we were all handed a paper package. Paperless fail. Still, good an effort is being made with their iPads.

City Manager Davies asked their iPad techie Jonathan to not tweet during the meeting, jokingly.

First up is talk of a dog park in industrial park. Seems like an okay placement to me. It would be nicer if it were closer to residential housing so it wouldn’t require motor vehicle access for the majority of users. In the planning stages yet, they didn’t know exactly how parking would work out, but figured the on-street wasn’t utilized in the area.

As a side note, I see some mayoral candidates in the crowd, and not many council candidates (as I may soon become). I’ve been to council meetings at least four times in the last year or so, and Mayor Fiacco hasn’t been at one I’ve attended.

Fifty eight single family lots seeking R1 designation by The Creeks. Sprawl alert. As the city builds outward, the infrastructure costs for the future get more expensive for taxpayers. People living in the new areas have new infrastructure, while those living in older areas pay as much in taxes for older servicing.

2100 people living in The Creeks when development is done. Fifty percent done now.

Some land in Glencairn sold for just over $100K.

Hawkstone apartments and condos discussed next. About 184. North of Argyle Park, Walmart and east of Capital GM. Intention to make it livable and include employment in the area. Complete neighbourhood concept (like from Design Regina, good).

Professional property managers cited by the delegation as wanting to maintain this new development as rental accommodations for the long term. Not sure which one, they are all over Western Canada apparently. Not sure if they mean Boardwalk or another.

Now with rents so high, apartment buildings are being built, which will address supply, and indirectly affordability. They are not affordable per say. Some units will be “barrier free” meaning wheelchair accessible I think.
Clipsham points out correctly the same, that these are not “affordable housing” units at Rochdale and Elgaard Dr.

City Council May 2012 Novak Delegation
-Novak delegation in Rider jersey

RRI talked about first by Chad Novak who is running for Mayor, then RDCC John Hopkins. 112 responses to a survey. Not very many for a sound survey, in my opinion (, but apparently lots for the average conducted by his org.).
The CP main line would remain.
Shortage of labour to build the stadium is a serious question. And where is the labour going to live? The record-low rental rate in Canada was cited many times this entire meeting.

O’Donnell suggests that the question is now if we build a stadium with a dome, or without a dome. I ask, if no dome, why not simply renovate Taylor Field for a quarter of the cost of new? Do we have the money to build a dome? “It doesn’t appear that we do.” (shocker comment) Comparing a stadium to an old Ford: “At some point you need to get a new car.” (You can buy a motorbike instead, or walk. I wonder if Italy feels that way about the Coliseum?)

He also hopes we don’t leave the project to the next generation, and “shirk our responsibility”. Well, we should instead leave a debt for the next generation to pay instead, without the prospect of jobs building the stadium even? I understand leaving a legacy, and infrastructure is a sort of legacy project so I sympathize with that aim, but ~$450M-$995M would go a long way to eliminating poverty in Saskatchewan, which is a stronger legacy than a single sports facility.

One thing that hasn’t come up as a question from council about all of these new building projects is what sort of plan is there to operate the buildings if energy prices double as expected within the next ten years.

Clipsham does say the key question will be affordability.

Terry Hinks makes a jab at Novak for not having grown up in Regina. Hinks knows what Regina is about, hew grew up here. WTF? Where’s The Friendliness? Insulated much?

Wade Murray takes a jab at a five year Macleans article. The lack of vacant lots to build affordable housing in North Central, and much higher property values are indications of a “revitalization” or Regina, apparently. Taylor Field is never going to be a “hybrid” to continue the old car metaphor. His attempt at a stirring speech, whilst claiming Taylor Field could never be renovated with energy efficient components was so awkward I had to stifle laughter. It sounded like a person trying to speak a language where they have no experience with the nouns. I heard “rainwater retention” and “LED lights” with no context for how they fit the car metaphor or what a complete stadium and neighborhood rebuild had to do with his words.

Szarka talks about “sustainability, that word we use” very often. I don’t get the sense that he’s seriously considering financial sustainability of Regina when he invokes the word to imply the stadium would be ecologically sustainable in some manner.

2007 the Riders said it would take $110M to refurbish Taylor Field, says Louis Browne. He says sometimes you have to build new. Income taxes and consumption taxes are high contributions to the province from Regina residents, so he doesn’t feel bad about asking for a return to help fund the stadium construction.

$985 Million for the Vikings new domed stadium, says O’Donnell. Still need to negotiate with CP for land.

Left to catch bus. Went for the #3 and missed it by one block. Should have gone for the #4.


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