3 things to watch at city hall Monday
More of a normal-sized council agenda is on tap for Monday's meeting. But never underestimate this group's ability to turn a five hour or a nine hour agenda into a 12-hour meeting.
The Priorities and Finance Committee spent some time last week talking about a couple of key flood reports... and council as a whole will consider them Monday. The reports are from the City's flood mitigation panel and the flood recovery task force. The mitigation panel report includes the recommendation that City get the province to examine a proposal for a diversion tunnel to drain excess water from the Glenmore Reservoir east to the Bow River. The tunnel would be built under the Heritage Drive corridor, ending in the Bow River by the Deerfoot Meadows shopping area. The panel recommends the province compare this $500 million project with two water storage proposals west of the city. The committee approved these reports last week and it directed they come to this meeting as an item of urgent business.
Two councillors, Andre Chabot and Ward Sutherland, want the city to slow down what they call the rapid pace of repaying its current $3-plus billion in debt. Their argument is that by slowing down the payments on the principal, the city will have more money to spend on much needed infrastructure. But not everyone is convinced that's a good idea. Druh Farrell is against the idea. She says the city might be coming up to its self-imposed debt limit but it still has $400 million in potential borrowing room. She fears the city could be jeopardizing its credit rating if council goes along with this plan... so even though she's against it, she's calling for careful study.
Historic Edworthy... oops!
Earlier this year, city council approved designating Edworthy Park as a municipal heritage resource. Calgary pioneer Thomas Edworthy homesteaded in the area and it was also the site of quarries which provided sandstone for many early Calgary buildings. But in designating Edworthy Park, the report mistakenly included the southwest corner of the property, land just to the northeast of the intersection of Sarcee Trail and Bow Trail. Seems some of that land is actually going to be needed for a future interchange so today, council will be asked to quickly slice off that corner from the designated land for this important future project.