ENMAX and arena top agenda at final Calgary council meeting before the municipal election
Mayor Naheed Nenshi and his fellow councillors are meeting for the last time before the municipal election campaign begins and there are number of issues on the table.
The topic of a new arena hit the table as the mayor was criticized after releasing a video of his vision; the arena portion is part of his proposal for a cultural and entertainment district.
He refers to it as the “Rivers District” and it includes the East Village, Victoria Park and the eastern parts of downtown which includes expanding the BMO Centre at Stampede Park, rebuilding Olympic Plaza and expanding The Arts Commons.
Nenshi talked about his proposal in a video with Jon Cornish.
Ward 10 Councillor Andre Chabot, who’s also planning to run for mayor, says this is similar to what city administration has pitched to council and Chabot feels the proposal takes away from the real issues they should be focusing on such as sustainability and how to make the city livable.
Another Mayoral candidate, Bill Smith, says the Calgary Flames and the city are very far from a tentative deal and Smith speculates there won’t be one before election day.
Another issue under the microscope is public art but councilors didn’t get to the issue on Monday instead a notice of motion was submitted to change the current public art policy.
Recently , a few pieces pf art including the Blue Ring and the Bowfort Towers have drawn the ire of many Calgarians.
The motion by councillors Shane Keating and Sean Chu asks to immediately suspend further requests on new public art installations until a new framework for selecting public art concepts is developed.
Keating says there were similar discussions in 2014 to change the public art policy to allow for the public to be more involved but he says nothing really came of those discussions.
Monday’s meeting saw the issue of unusually high ENMAX bills on the table.
Some customers received bills that thousands of dollars higher than past bills.
Councillor Diane Colley-Urqhart submitted a motion to look into the inexplicably high water bills some people received and to create an appeals process for customers.
The current model assumes all water entering your home flows into eth sewer and that’s not true if you’re watering your lawn which Colley-Urquhart says results in a $1.5 million dollar windfall for the city.