City, province, still talking about LRT funding, Mayor Don Iveson says
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson says he spoke with Finance Minister Doug Horner last night about the possibility of getting funding for the southeast LRT expansion.
"He pointed out to me where he thinks some of the money could come from within the budget," Iveson said. "Some of it is out beyond the three years that's outlined in the budget that they released yesterday, but we really need the big commitments in years four and five.
"They seem willing to work with us on that so I'm glad that they're reaching out to us, they've heard disappointment in the community and from my council colleagues, they seem to want to try to work with us."
Earlier on Friday, Horner faced questions from Edmonton city councillor Mike Nickel about the lack of cash for LRT expansion in the provincial budget.
Nickel challenged Horner in a question and answer session that followed his address at a $100-a-plate breakfast meeting in Edmonton.
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“We’re ready to roll, we’ve got the plans, show us the money,” was how Nickel summed up his message.
Horner said that Edmonton can apply for funding under the existing Green Trip fund.
But Coun. Amarjeet Sohi, who chairs the city’s transportation committee, says that money has already been spoken for and new money is needed now.
“If we don’t have money in place by the end of April, then we lose one construction season, which means an additional $60 to $80 million to the cost of the project.”
The budget was met with disappointment by Mayor Don Iveson on Thursday.
Iveson let out a deep sigh and said “that’s how I feel about it.”
An image of a downtrodden Iveson made the rounds on Twitter afterwards under the #saddoniveson hashtag.