Council committee eyes city projects up for provincial stimulus dollars

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City staff crafted the list after council agreed to a set of criteria earlier this year. All of the projects proposed for funding are still contingent on provincial approval.

The biggest-ticket items are $30.5 million for drainage improvements to mitigate flood risk and $22.5 million for major roadway maintenance.

There’s also a request for nearly $11 million to redevelop affordable housing units or increase the city’s supply. One option could be for the city to purchase “distressed assets” such as vacant hotels to create 80 new affordable housing units.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said spending on rehabilitation is one possibility to generate much-needed affordable housing in Calgary.

“Given where the tourism and hospitality industry is at the moment, perhaps it might make sense to acquire a distressed hotel or more.”

Affordable housing units owned by the city or Calgary Housing Co. would also get repairs, which are much needed for some of the city’s aging housing stock.

The Glenbow Museum and Telus Spark could also see a combined $18.9 million for renovations and upgrades. Another $11.5 million is proposed to address issues on the exterior of the Jack Singer concert hall and public building, where scaffolding has been up since 2016 after a piece of stonework fell to the ground.

The city is also proposing spending $13.1 million on bus rapid transit improvements on 52nd Street E. between the Saddletowne CTrain station and South Health Campus.

Nenshi said Calgarians will likely notice construction or other projects throughout the next year across Calgary’s four quadrants.

“It was the city asking for the province for really fast money, and not put a bunch of red tape and approval processes around it — let us get people back to work.”

Twitter: @meksmith

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