News Online: New report on downtown arena calls for policy on resident issues

Published online at on May 10, 2012.

Linda Hoang, CTV Edmonton: Thursday, May 10, 2012

New report on downtown arena calls for policy on resident issues

The city is planning to develop a “good neighbour policy” to address potential issues for residents living in the area surrounding the proposed downtown arena, according to a new report on the arena project.

The policy would manage issues such as parking, noise, litter and safety.

“This is trying to be more forward-thinking and looking at issues before they become significant issues so that we can have that dialogue early on before they become real thorns in everyone’s sides,” said Rob Smyth with the city’s community services department.

Community groups and residents in the area say problems related to parking, noise and safety already exist and will only get worse if they’re not properly addressed.

The city also has plans to create a community advisory committee to promote ongoing communication with residents.

“We want to see if we can get some traction by bringing all of the groups together that could be impacted by the arena,” Smyth said.

The report suggests there may be employment opportunities for low income Edmontonians living in the area as well.

It’s all part of a number of community benefits that the city said was necessary as part of the arena agreement.

“If these guys are going to be neighbours to a project like this then they deserve to get some benefit back,” said Coun. Ben Henderson.

“We had insisted that there be a community development agreement negotiated and this is the first report we’re having back saying that that process is underway.”

Four city-wide open houses are also being organized to gather public opinion on schematic designs for the arena project.

The meetings are scheduled for May 29, June 5, 6 and 7.

Feedback will also be collected online and through 311.

According to the report, the overall maximum budget for the design and construction of the new arena remains at $450 million, however it cites additional costs to the city over and above that figure:

  • Land for the Arena: $25 million
  • LRT Link: $17 million
  • Pedestrian Corridor: $15 million
  • 104 Avenue Crossing: $25 million

The report will be presented at next week’s city council meeting.

With files from Veronica Jubinville

Click here to read the article on the CTV Edmonton website.

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