This Week At City Hall: Stadium, Stuff, Downtown Plan, More Stuff

It’s a big week at city hall but I have to be quick so I’ll stick to the highlights.

First up, I really didn’t think this was ever going to happen but city staff are finally — after three years — bringing the Downtown Neighbourhood Plan bylaw to Regina Planning Commision on Wednesday. I know… crazy, right? I haven’t had time to read it closely to see if anything has changed from that old final draft but after a quick breeze through it really doesn’t look like a whole lot is different in there. Which makes me wonder… why did this take three years again?

Second, tonight, city council will be considering the stadium Memorandum Of Understanding. There will be 10 delegations speaking about the project. Only one seems to be in favour. Here’s a good bit from Colin Stewart’s presentation (slightly edited):

What $278,000,000 could mean for the City of Regina:
• Provide 11,173,633 nights of shelter at Souls Harbour Rescue Mission’s shelter.
• Cover 139 years of entirely funding SHRM’s operation.
• Upgrade Regina’s sewage treatment plant twice.
• Pay for 10% of the cost of updating the city’s fresh water supply.
• Construct 1,000 affordable housing units.
• Based on an average rent of $800 per month, would pay one full year’s rent for almost 29,000 tenants.
• Cover the current shortfall in the City of Regina pension plan entirely.
• Assuming $70,000 per year for a first year constable, would pay for 397 new police officers for 10 years.
• Average salary of a Regina Transit bus driver is $30,000 per year. We could hire 926 bus drivers for ten years.
• Fees for curbside recycling for 158,333 households for ten years.

Council will also be considering Phase One of that Downtown Transportation Strategy that, as discussed at length last week, proposes we sort of put one-way car traffic on the plaza but sort of not really. It’s confusing.

And, of course there is the preservation of the Davin Fountain to consider, a land sale to Habitat for Humanity, a parking study, and lots and lots more. Should be a long but worthwhile meeting.

That’s Monday night. Starts at 5:30. Be there and (thereby) be square.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

12 thoughts on “This Week At City Hall: Stadium, Stuff, Downtown Plan, More Stuff”

  1. Way to go Colin Stewart! There are these and a thousand other better ways to spend our tax dollars. So frustrating that the Council and Mayor want to prioritize the stadium above all else when we have so many other needs in this City.

  2. Other needs will always be there whether money goes to fund a new stadium or not. You have a CFL team. You have a stadium that is 80 years old and is close to being obsolete for professional sports. Deal with it or lose a professional sports franchise and stadium that is a tourist attraction,and a contributor to the economy.

  3. I hear they’re hiring Bane and the League of Shadows to build the stadium. Man, doesn’t City Council go to the movies?

  4. Yes indeed, Manchester United are really a struggling franchise in their 102 year-old Old Trafford. And those poor,poor Boston Red Sox, stuck in their 100 year old Fenway Park.

    Where does BT think the Riders will go if forced to stay in renovated Taylor Field?

    As studies indicate, professional sports teams (particularly in the CFL with its modest TV contract) don’t generate that much revenue from outside the community, they just suck up the revenue that would otherwise go to other things purchased in the community.

  5. BT: I think what some find frustrating about this stadium spectacle is that for years, when council has dealt with many of these other priorities, like affordable housing, we’ve been told things such as, “That’s not our responsibility,” “We can’t afford that,” “The public won’t tolerate a tax increase for that,” “We don’t want to set a precedent here,” “This is a provincial matter,” “Our hands are tied,” etc.

    But now the city is building a stadium — something that is purely for entertainment purposes — and Fiacco and Wall are not only planning to raise taxes to cover the costs, they’re crowing about it.

    Also, I think some are bothered by the fact that this council seems intent on approving this MOU and making this as a funding priority mere months before a municipal election. Fiacco isn’t even running (and he’s only been showing up for 40 per cent of council meetings) and yet he’s willing to commit the city to over $170 million in spending (probably closer to twice as much more when you add in interest payments) on his way out the door.

    And all of this has been done without any meaningful public engagement.

  6. Well said, Paul! Good Alternatives, Colin!

    Has the MOU has appeared on the City website yet? I have not found it, but I am very clumsy on the website. Thanks if anyone can supply a direct link. (it is hard to respond without having seen the document – we have only heard the summaries.)

  7. Jeannie: The MOU is included in the council agenda. You can download it here….

    http://regina.ca/residents/council-committees/meeting-calendar-agenda/

    It should be in the “Upcoming Meetings” window. You can then click on “Agenda” and that will bring you to a screen with all the reports and delegations that will go before council tonight then all you have to do is click on the link to “CR12-102 Regina Revitalization Initiative – Non-Binding MOU”. (It sounds more complicated to get to than it actually is.)

    Alternately, in the Upcoming Meetings window, you can just click on the council meeting “Packet” and get everything in one pdf bundle.

  8. “I know… crazy, right?”

    In the immortal words of Mr. Will Smith, “Please, don’t ever do that again.”

  9. #8 Thanks for that TFjr.

    #2 BT you must be from “out of town”.

    The west side was built in 1980,not 80 years ago. The endzone seats are barely 1 month old.

  10. Yeah you’re right Ron I am from out of town but I still want to see my hometown of Regina get a world class stadium in my lifetime because it only happens once in a lifetime. Every other CFL city has or is getting a far superior stadium than Mosaic and taxes did pay for some portion of those. If your okay with being the joke of the CFL then your crappy 1 month endzone seats that snapped off first game of the season will do nicely.

    Paul,correct me if I’m wrong but the deadline for citizens application to hold a referendum on the stadium was July 1st,not? You all had your chance to put it to a vote but nothing was done. Any thoughts on that?

  11. So where is Colin Stewart’s posting? I’m not seeing it here. Was it removed?

    BT. Yes the football site itself has existed since 1927. The first stadium grandstand was completed in 1936. The stadium itself isn’t 80 years old. It’s been built up/expanded/added on/ renovated/upgraded over the last few decades including the surface with different types of turf. Too bad it wasn’t planned out very well. There are older parts of the stadium itself which are aging and can’t be renovated easily (ie) certain stairs and stairwells.

    Sure, people can argue that a stadium shouldn’t be a top priority and we can wait another 50 years until all Sask problems are dealt with first. That’s not a realistic option.

    If other CFL cities such as Winnipeg, Hamilton and possibly Ottawa (again?) are getting new stadiums, then why can’t we?
    Are these cities not experiencing similar city issues of infrastructure, crime, social issues, etc. as Regina is and yet they have new stadiums under construction?
    This new stadium can be dealt with along every other day city problems.

  12. What ever happened to the Metrodome? When was that thing built. Researching this, and when it was replaced addresses this “once in a lifetime” stuff.

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