Edmonton Notes for March 1, 2020

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

  • "Budget 2020 cuts operating expenses by about 2.5% over three years," reports Global News. "Alberta is left with an overall debt of just under $88 billion by 2022." For Edmonton, the budget includes $14 million for a train crossing on 50 Street (but not until 2022-23), $60 million for upgrades to the Misericordia Hospital, $230 million over three years for a new hospital in south Edmonton, no change in LRT funding (deferred until 2022-23), and decreases in MSI funding to $191.5 million in 2020-21 and $178.3 million in 2021-22.
  • As part of Budget 2020, funding of $68 million over the next three years for new affordable housing projects is on pause pending a review. "Sadly, reducing social disorder on our streets which we are hearing directly from our business community is critical to attracting investment to Edmonton and remains unaddressed in this budget," said Mayor Don Iveson in response. "We urgently need to build supportive housing for Alberta’s most vulnerable people."
  • After hearing from more than two dozen speakers on Wednesday, City Council’s Community & Public Services Committee chose not to make a recommendation on speed limit reductions. The item will be discussed at the next City Council meeting on March 9. Troy and I spoke all about it on the latest episode of Speaking Municipally.
  • The City of Beaumont, City of Edmonton, and Leduc County have signed a memorandum of agreement to approve the Intermunicipal Planning Framework which "sets the course for the next 50 years with a unified sub-regional vision for land use, transportation, water, wastewater and stormwater servicing across the shared municipal boundaries."
  • The Valley Line Southeast LRT is now expected to be operational sometime in 2021 as the project continues to track behind schedule.
  • The Edmonton Public School Board has voted to "cut five teaching days, extending the 2021 spring break by one day and the May long weekend by two days." The measure will save an estimated $2.7 million.
  • The Italian Centre Shop has announced that its fifth location will open at 8005 Emerald Drive in Sherwood Park’s Emerald Hills in the fall 2021.
  • According to the Realtors Association of Edmonton, total residential sales in the Edmonton area increased 0.5% compared to January 2019. The most expensive home for sale is 108 Westbrook Dr. NW, at $8.5 million.
  • Biera, RGE RD, Uccellino, Bündok, and Corso 32 have been named the 5 Best Overall Restaurants for 2020 by Avenue Edmonton.
  • The Oilers traded Sam Gagner to Detroit, "because he was one of the prices to pay to get Andreas Athanasiou from the Red Wings," reports the Edmonton Sun.
  • The Edmonton Police Foundation and Alcanna Inc. have announced the Liquor Store Theft Challenge, a $250,000 challenge to "focus on finding solutions to address the chronic problem of liquor store thefts in Edmonton." It’s the first challenge issued under the Community Solutions Accelerator.
  • The Edmonton Police Service says it is going to submit "a few" DNA samples to "genetic genealogy services that have helped identify suspects in cold cases across North America," reports the Edmonton Journal.
  • Get the latest on Media, Tech, Food, Health Innovation, the Region, Music, Arts, Business, and Council with Taproot Edmonton’s latest roundups.

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