As reported on Global News, city council has formally approved the spending on a whole bunch of long-talked-about construction projects.
The series of votes taken Tuesday on several bylaws total more than half-a-billion dollars, and Councillor Mike Nickel suspects at some point the province will come in and pull some funding to send a message to rein in spending.
“I think I’ve got a bunch of what I call ‘economic crisis deniers’ going right now,” Nickel told reporters after the meeting.
Bylaws to trigger spending over the next four years included the Lewis Farms Recreation Centre and Library, a fleet of electric buses, an upgrade to the Stadium LRT Station, to start work on building the Terwillegar Expressway, some Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) projects downtown, improvements to an eastern portion of Jasper Avenue and neighbourhood rehab work along Alberta (118) Avenue, Central McDougall, Highlands, Inglewood and Royal Gardens.
Nickel split his vote, saying yes to the “got to have” list of neighbourhood projects but saying no to the “nice to haves.”
“I didn’t support the rec centre. I don’t support the west line LRT. We just got to wait. We can have them but just not today.”
Before it was over, council voted to approve borrowing authority by half a billion dollars. They didn’t approve the money Tuesday, just the first reading of the bylaw. Aaron Paquette and Jon Dziadyk joined Nickel in voting against going deeper in debt. Mayor Don Iveson was out of the city and did not participate in the vote.