The following is a statement from Mayor Naheed Nenshi (Wednesday, April 20th):
Today, your City Council received a detailed report on the feasibility of the CalgaryNEXT project proposed by the Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC). This is a thorough expert report and I am pleased to share it with you. City Council will discuss this report on Monday, April 25, and we will make decisions on the recommendations at that time.
I know many Calgarians are looking for a better arena space, but this is just one option.
This report explains that there are significant challenges with the current proposal including:
- the overall cost ($1.8 billion),
- the cost to taxpayers ($1.3 billion),
- the timeline for environmental remediation (completed by 2022 to 2026), which must be completed prior to development; and
- the revenue from a Community Revitalization Levy ($345 – $435 million over 20 years).
I’ve always said: public money must be used for public benefit and Council will have a robust discussion about this on Monday. City Administration has also identified a potential alternative for Council’s consideration that may accomplish the same objectives, but at a lower cost.
My colleagues at The City of Calgary and Calgary Municipal Land Corporation have done an excellent job answering Council’s many questions. This report gives us a much better understanding of how we can remediate the creosote contamination in the area of West Village so that we may eventually redevelop one of Calgary’s future great communities.