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NorthernBillsFan
20-12-2007, 02:52 PM
The new arena portion of the SW Rec complex to be built in Terwillegar is going to be operated as a P3 (public private partnership) and this is wrong.

P3s end up costing cities and taxpayers more money in the long run. The users will have to pay approx $300 or more per hour for ice time. The Edmonton Minor Hockey Association has subsidized ice time and if the private operator wants $300+ for an hour of ice, the city will have to offset the cost by selling it to EMHA yet paying the private company the difference. Using current rates that would cost taxpayers a minimum of $215 per hour for EMHA ice.

Take a walk around city run arenas and you will see how clean they are and the ice is in great shape. Go to Kinsmen, KC or CAC areans and you can see the difference in a private run facility. Kinsmen arena is a perfect example of how NOT to run a facility. My son does not look forward to having a practice at CAC arena or Kinsmen due to the ice and smell in those places.

There is no money to be made in running an arena and the operators of these private facilities often leave the contract within a few years causing major costs to the administration to bail them out.

The Federation Of Canadian Municipalities just released a report condeming the use of the P3 model in recreation facilities showing more then 100 failed P3s and the cost impact to communities. Full report (http://www.fcm.ca/english/media/backgrounders/p3report.pdf). Now the FCM requested this report and since it's findings are negative toward the P3 model, they are not endorsing the findings.

The bottom line here is that council thought it was going to save taxpayers $30 million when in fact it is still going to cost us the same in overruns, extra fees, subsidized ice rates, and more.

If you feel this is a bad move, contact your council member and let them know you are against this model. If you feel this is a good move, then I encourage you to read the report and see if it changes your mind.

oscar
20-12-2007, 03:25 PM
I think it is a great idea. People that want to use the facilities should have to pay for them. I don't play hockey or have a kid that plays hockey and I don't want my tax dollars subsidizing these kinds of facilities. User fees should be implemented for all public facilities and then we will see how many people really want to use them.

Ice Dupree
20-12-2007, 03:34 PM
Maybe I see hockey through rose coloured glasses, but I absolutely love playing those arenas (KC, CAC, and Kinsmen). I have no problem lacing up at Argyll or the Icebox (Winterburn) either.
Kinsmen is set up magnificently for adult tournaments having a lounge, with viewing area, as well as golf shop/virtual golf on site. As is Icebox, though they likely have some of the worst indoor ice and change rooms in the city.
I have never had an issue playing at KC or CAC arenas... not even smell. Come to think of it, I've never said no to a game of hockey, citing smell as one of the reasons.

As long as the joint venture is arranged with due care, P3s can be successful. I would love to have 8 more rinks of the quality of KC or CAC, and am happy to see that we've got at least 4 on the way!

LindseyT
20-12-2007, 03:42 PM
I was luckey enough to be playing in high school when Kinsmen was just built and it was easily my favorite rink from a players perspective.


Take a walk around city run arenas and you will see how clean they are and the ice is in great shape.

the ice might be in great shape, but the facilities are aweful. Try fitting more than 8 guys in a dressing room at places like Micheal Cameron, Tipton, Oliver, etc.

It might cost more, but keep in mind these new rinks have much more than those old shells and they haven't had 40 years to pay off the construction costs.

NorthernBillsFan
20-12-2007, 03:48 PM
I guess I was not thinking about the shells. On the city of Edmonton's website, they have a masterplan that looks at teh arena crisis and it includes plans to close the shells and consolodate these to more central areas IE closing Donnan, Tipton and South Side and building a new 4 plex in and around South Side's current location.

bagould
20-12-2007, 03:50 PM
User fees should be implemented for all public facilities and then we will see how many people really want to use them.
No, you'll see how many people can afford them. You're telling poor kids who want to play hockey that they just don't want to play bad enough.

oscar
20-12-2007, 04:00 PM
User fees should be implemented for all public facilities and then we will see how many people really want to use them.
No, you'll see how many people can afford them. You're telling poor kids who want to play hockey that they just don't want to play bad enough.

No, I'm saying that if you want to use a public facility there should be a fee for it that covers the operating costs of the facility. There are many ways to help the disadvantaged through support programs. People have to begun to understand that eveything they want costs money.........ie pot hole, snow clearing, rec centres. A city cannot continue to increase taxes across the board and have general revenue put towards facilities that are only accessed by a few. There are many low income families living in small apartments that cannot continue to have there taxes go up to fund rec centres.

240GLT
20-12-2007, 04:04 PM
I don't have kids, so I don't want to pay school taxes anymore.

Of course, I pay them, becuase I understand the inherent societal benefit to making sure that all kids get educated.

I may not play hockey, but I want to support those who do. I WILL go to the new art gallery, and I expect EVERYONE in the city, even those who won't go, to pony up for it. Facilities like these make Edmonton a better place, even for people who won't use them.

No hockey arenas, no art galleries means people like me won't want to live here. It's a spiralling effect of lower tax bases and worse services.

newfangled
20-12-2007, 04:12 PM
I don't have kids, so I don't want to pay school taxes anymore.

Of course, I pay them, becuase I understand the inherent societal benefit to making sure that all kids get educated.

I may not play hockey, but I want to support those who do. I WILL go to the new art gallery, and I expect EVERYONE in the city, even those who won't go, to pony up for it. Facilities like these make Edmonton a better place, even for people who won't use them.

No hockey arenas, no art galleries means people like me won't want to live here. It's a spiralling effect of lower tax bases and worse services.

Communist.



Oh wait. Actually those were the exact points I was going to make. :)

bagould
20-12-2007, 04:20 PM
No, I'm saying that if you want to use a public facility there should be a fee for it that covers the operating costs of the facility. There are many ways to help the disadvantaged through support programs. People have to begun to understand that eveything they want costs money.........ie pot hole, snow clearing, rec centres.
So why does your user fee logic only apply to rec centres? Apply it to your potholed roads and we'll talk.


A city cannot continue to increase taxes across the board and have general revenue put towards facilities that are only accessed by a few. There are many low income families living in small apartments that cannot continue to have there taxes go up to fund rec centres.
Or we could tax proportionally to income?

There's a big difference between everyone being able to use the rinks and being taxed proportionally to paying user fees or having your fees waived.

It's like subsidized housing; wouldn't it be better to pay less tax and have an array of options that are affordable by design, not subsidy?

NorthernBillsFan
20-12-2007, 04:21 PM
The FCM reports cites that municipalities can and should borrow to fix the crumbling infrastucture all across the country and the cost of such borrowing equals the costs associated with P3s. However the cities have more control over the costs and the running of these facilities.

In Denver the private arenas are giving the prime ice 6pm-10pm to adults and having kids practice at 4 or 5 in the morning on weekdays and after 10 for the older kids on week nights. This is already starting to happen in Calgary with the so called community run ice rinks.

Do we want to go down that road?

Ice Dupree
20-12-2007, 04:47 PM
Finally some prime time ice for us adults! I'm tired of the 11pm starts on Monday night! :lol:

oscar
20-12-2007, 04:55 PM
No, I'm saying that if you want to use a public facility there should be a fee for it that covers the operating costs of the facility. There are many ways to help the disadvantaged through support programs. People have to begun to understand that eveything they want costs money.........ie pot hole, snow clearing, rec centres.
So why does your user fee logic only apply to rec centres? Apply it to your potholed roads and we'll talk.


A city cannot continue to increase taxes across the board and have general revenue put towards facilities that are only accessed by a few. There are many low income families living in small apartments that cannot continue to have there taxes go up to fund rec centres.
Or we could tax proportionally to income?

There's a big difference between everyone being able to use the rinks and being taxed proportionally to paying user fees or having your fees waived.

It's like subsidized housing; wouldn't it be better to pay less tax and have an array of options that are affordable by design, not subsidy?

I'm not saying it should only apply to rec centres it is just the example that I used. I think it should apply to all facilities. Roads etc are accessed by everyone that leaves their home and they need to be maintained.....going to a rec centre or art gallery etc are choices and not requirements and therefor I don't think should be funded by all.

What percentage of citizens use a rec centre? I have no clue but will take a stab at maybe 20-25%. I don't think that 100% of citizens should be paying for something used by a minority nuber of people.

noodle
20-12-2007, 04:57 PM
Be glad you're getting any at all! Friends of the family have taken to practicing out of town rather than deal with the odd hours in the city.

newfangled
20-12-2007, 06:07 PM
I'm not saying it should only apply to rec centres it is just the example that I used. I think it should apply to all facilities. Roads etc are accessed by everyone that leaves their home and they need to be maintained.....going to a rec centre or art gallery etc are choices and not requirements and therefor I don't think should be funded by all.

What percentage of citizens use a rec centre? I have no clue but will take a stab at maybe 20-25%. I don't think that 100% of citizens should be paying for something used by a minority nuber of people.

I have good night vision. Why do I have to pay for all these streetlights?

Or:

You live in a society. Beyond that, you live in a city, and presumably you have chosen to live in a city. If you don't think that you're getting any benefit for your tax dollars, then why are you here when there's all that empty muskeg out there?

RichardS
20-12-2007, 07:53 PM
Moving to politics. This is more about funding than the arena.

kona
20-12-2007, 09:55 PM
User pay all the way for a portion, with appropriate subsidies for those whose current circumstance have them unable to do so. This way people understand that these facilities cost money.

Replacement
24-12-2007, 05:46 AM
User fees should be implemented for all public facilities and then we will see how many people really want to use them.
No, you'll see how many people can afford them. You're telling poor kids who want to play hockey that they just don't want to play bad enough.How many poor kids exist in Terwillegar in comparison to other neighborhoods that forever exist on makeshift facilities?

Your argument is perhaps poorly suited to this particular P3.

But I'll go further. When current governments are done their run of funding public infrastructures today on the backs of tomorrows funding ironically to balance todays budgets(in boom years..)to fund such things as highways, bridges, Schools, rec facitities how many poor kids/families/drivers in the future will be deprived by todays known P3 impacts?

Balance those budgets, meet the new economic boss, same as the ol debt boss..

moahunter
24-12-2007, 09:28 AM
]How many poor kids exist in Terwillegar in comparison to other neighborhoods that forever exist on makeshift facilities?

So only poor neighborhoods should get funding for facilities? How much tax revenue does the city generate from a poor neighborhood versus a wealthy one? Is that the right logic you suggest - reward failure?

We are a winter city. IMO all neighborhoods should receive indoor sporting faciclities - it is part of what makes Edmonton special. Mature neighborhoods have issues with aging facilities, but over time, these will be replaced. Seems to me, that if it is a choice between no facility for 20 years, or a facility via a P3, I'll take the P3 any day.

On the flip side, I do think there is scope for developers of new neighborhoods to be required to set up a fund, or similar, to build the cost of such facilities into the price that new residents pay for. I think if you asked Riverbend residents if they would have minded paying an extra $5,000 or similar, built into the cost of their house, at the outset to guarantee a sports facility that would have been built 10 years ago, most would have said yes. Not such a stretch on a $500k plus house, if done at the outset as part of the cost of financing. This wasn't done in Terwillegar / Riverbend sadly, so all our cities residents have to pay the price of the lack of foresight by our Cities planners / leaders. Maybe we will learn from this? Probably not, developers see better marketing in building lakes and beaches than arenas :roll:

kcantor
24-12-2007, 09:53 AM
...On the flip side, I do think there is scope for developers of new neighborhoods to be required to set up a fund, or similar, to build the cost of such facilities into the price that new residents pay for. I think if you asked Riverbend residents if they would have minded paying an extra $5,000 or similar, built into the cost of their house, at the outset, to guarantee a sports facility that would have been built 10 years ago, most would have preferred this. This wasn't done in Terwillegar / Riverbend sadly, so all our cities residents have to pay the price of the lack of foresight by our Cities planners / leaders. Maybe we will learn from this? Probably not :roll:
sorry moahunter - the answer from riverbend residents then would be the same as those in blue quill or bear's paw at the time, the same answer as glenora or crestwood decades earlier, and the same answer you would get today in brintnell or the grange or lewis estates or anywhere else. yes, that vision you envision would "just have the developers pay" - as if the end price would not have to reflect that, as if develpers are santa claus with no cost attached to the "gifts" you would like to extract. why don't you just add a $5,000 tax to the price of every home sold in the city, new or used regardless of where it is? surely all of those purchasers wouldn't mind either - and perhaps you could convince them they would actually prefer it as well. :roll:

moahunter
24-12-2007, 09:58 AM
why don't you just add a $5,000 tax to the price of every home sold in the city, new or used regardless of where it is? surely all of those purchasers wouldn't mind either - and perhaps you could convince them they would actually prefer it as well. :roll:
I would be comfortable with that, for every new home. I have friends in Riverbend who tell me they wish this had been done, it is a joke that they have not had facilities for so long. It is not the stretch you imagine if it is built into the initial cost / financing for a home. But, I wouldn't charge it on neighborhoods that already have facilities, or are not demanding money for them. Riverbend and Terwillegar may be in that category soon.

Note - I am not saying make the developer pay. I am saying, make the new home owner pay. To guarantee a community facility 20 years sooner, I don't see why this would generate such opposition. I would pay it, and I am sure others would too.

kcantor
24-12-2007, 10:09 AM
why don't you just add a $5,000 tax to the price of every home sold in the city, new or used regardless of where it is? surely all of those purchasers wouldn't mind either - and perhaps you could convince them they would actually prefer it as well. :roll:
I would be comfortable with that, for every new home. I have friends in Riverbend who tell me they wish this had been done, it is a joke that they have not had facilities for so long. It is not the stretch you imagine if it is built into the initial cost. But, I wouldn't charge it on neighborhoods that already have facilities, or are not demanding money for them. Riverbend and Terwillegar may be in that category soon.
yes it is often a stretch, particularly at the beginning. i would guess that many of those homes were bought for $200,000 or less with a 10% down payment. an extra 5,000 would be a 25% or greater increase in that down payment - a virtual impossibility when you are already maxed out on your mortgage qualification. and are your friends "original purchasers" who would have paid or resale purchasers who would of course wish that others would have paid for them first? that's why these things should be built with tax dollars collected from throughout the city providing services throughout the city. anything less starts to base the provision of services on something i would not like to see as a criteria.

moahunter
24-12-2007, 10:12 AM
yes it is often a stretch, particularly at the beginning. i would guess that many of those homes were bought for $200,000 or less with a 10% down payment. an extra 5,000 would be a 25% or greater increase in that down payment - a virtual impossibility when you are already maxed out on your mortgage qualification. and are your friends "original purchasers" who would have paid or resale purchasers who would of course wish that others would have paid for them first?.
I bet when houses were only $200,000 to build in Riverbend, sports facilities were a lot cheaper too. I am just guessing $5,000 today, but even $1,000 from every Riverbend purchaser would have probably gone a long way to them having had a facility for 20 years now already.

Yes, in an ideal world the city would just magically allocate tax revenues from new neighborhoods to the cost of financing to build new sports facilities in new neighborhoods, but it hasn't happened for some time now, and the politics won't allow it any time soon. So we need a new solution. If it is presented right, "this will guarantee your community a new Arena in 10 years", an extra 1% or so, on the cost of a home, will not break the bank of anyone.

kcantor
24-12-2007, 10:18 AM
yes it is often a stretch, particularly at the beginning. i would guess that many of those homes were bought for $200,000 or less with a 10% down payment. an extra 5,000 would be a 25% or greater increase in that down payment - a virtual impossibility when you are already maxed out on your mortgage qualification. and are your friends "original purchasers" who would have paid or resale purchasers who would of course wish that others would have paid for them first?.
I bet when houses were only $200,000 to build in Riverbend, sports facilities were a lot cheaper too. I am just guessing $5,000 today, but even $1,000 from every Riverbend purchaser would have probably gone a long way to them having had a facility for 20 years now already.
and $1,000 divided by 20 is $50 per year on a property tax bill. and if there are just 100 times as many homes in total in the city as there are new ones, that same amount would be raised at $0.50 per home per year which seems to support my position rather than yours. and the city could have borrowed those funds from the province at favourable terms and built the facility when it would have been a lot cheaper too. and it could have been enjoyed for the last 20 years and paid for by now and we could be doing the next ones the same way.

moahunter
24-12-2007, 10:22 AM
and $1,000 divided by 20 is $50 per year on a property tax bill. and if there are just 100 times as many homes in total in the city as there are new ones, that same amount would be raised at $0.50 per home per year which seems to support my position rather than yours. and the city could have borrowed those funds from the province at favourable terms and built the facility when it would have been a lot cheaper too. and it could have been enjoyed for the last 20 years and paid for by now and we could be doing the next ones the same way.
I would pay that in my property tax, and many others would too. But, it is not politically possible, some would rather build a new homeless shelter, fill pot holes, or similar. By contrast, it is politically possible to have new home owners finance new Arenas for new commnuities.

I just think Riverbend has been a disgrace. The environmental cost alone, of having residents commuting over the entire city to find Arenas over the last couple of decades, probably would have paid for an Arena. As said, if you ask residents there, many would rather something like this had been done. An upfront charge, which they could afford, would have made life easier for them. Rather than living in hope that Councilors in other neighborhoods, would see the need to provide facilities in a "wealthy" neighborhood.

kcantor
24-12-2007, 10:51 AM
and $1,000 divided by 20 is $50 per year on a property tax bill. and if there are just 100 times as many homes in total in the city as there are new ones, that same amount would be raised at $0.50 per home per year which seems to support my position rather than yours. and the city could have borrowed those funds from the province at favourable terms and built the facility when it would have been a lot cheaper too. and it could have been enjoyed for the last 20 years and paid for by now and we could be doing the next ones the same way.
I would pay that in my property tax, and many others would too.
well i'm glad to have convinced you of that at least. :)


But, it is not politically possible, some would rather build a new homeless shelter, fill pot holes, or similar. By contrast, it is politically possible to have new home owners finance new Arenas for new commnuities.
...
except that if you and many others would pay as you say, it is indeed politically possible as long as we have a council with vision. :)

moahunter
24-12-2007, 10:58 AM
except that if you and many others would pay as you say, it is indeed politically possible as long as we have a council with vision. :)
If only we did :wink: Sadly, due to the political system, without voting blocks or similar, we will never get this. You will never convince a Councilor representing a poor neighborhood that we should be paying for a new facility in "rich" riverbend. It's only when our system reaches breaking point, as it is now in the SW, that action starts to happen. And even then - we can't reach a decision to make it happen.

Riverbend is an interesting example, as the residents had the wealth to pay for a new facility, and on the whole, were willing to do so. But there is no means to do this once a neighborhood has been built. Communities don't have the power, so they end up just living in hope for 20 plus years that the City, and residents in other neighborhoods through their Councilors, will see the need.

The same scenario now repeats itself in other "wealthy" new neighborhoods like Summerside. They will be waiting 20-30 plus years too, driving all over the city in the meantime. It's just not good enough IMO, we need some new solutions, as the old ones don't work anymore, fair or not.

kcantor
24-12-2007, 11:07 AM
except that if you and many others would pay as you say, it is indeed politically possible as long as we have a council with vision. :)
If only we did :wink: Sadly, due to the political system, without voting blocks or similar, we will never get this.

i have never been a proponent of ward politics and never been opposed to party politics at the municipal level (and believe we have them now in fact, just that those that are most "active" in this regard choose to stay under the radar to our detriment).

i hope it's not just the season and the egg nog that sees us agreeing on so much this morning.

moahunter
24-12-2007, 11:14 AM
i hope it's not just the season and the egg nog that sees us agreeing on so much this morning.
Not being able to drink anymore, I miss the egg nog (a novel thing to me when I came to Canada). Can't say I enjoy it without Rye though... :cry:

The only other solution I can think of, other than setting up an up-front fund when communities are built, is to somehow give local communities the power to control a small portion of property taxes for community needs. Whether that be an Arena, a homeless shelter, or whatever it is that community wants. We might create even more politics, at even more levels, then though... :oops:

kcantor
24-12-2007, 11:33 AM
i hope it's not just the season and the egg nog that sees us agreeing on so much this morning.
Not being able to drink anymore, I miss the egg nog (a novel thing to me when I came to Canada). Can't say I enjoy it without Rye though... :cry:

The only other solution I can think of, other than setting up an up-front fund when communities are built, is to somehow give local communities the power to control a small portion of property taxes for community needs. Whether that be an Arena, a homeless shelter, or whatever it is that community wants. We might create even more politics, at even more levels, then though... :oops:
oops... we seem to have slipped sideways here. :) we need less micro-control and more vision at council for the overall health of the city and the services needed across the city. we need more accountability at council to the entire city and less - not more - ward politics. it's because of ward politics that the dollars were often not made available when they should have been in the first place - the votes aren't there yet when it comes to new neighborhoods (not communities by my definition, the real community we live in here is edmonton, not a local neighborhood and that is to take nothing away from neighborhood pride and sense of place). and after the fact, those same politics dictate that we can't do something elsewhere because we don't have it here (riverbend?) yet. :(

ralph60
24-12-2007, 11:55 AM
This whole discussion shows the strength of the regions current suburban structure.
If you want a new house in a new neighborhood with all the recreation facilities in place, just move to St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove or Fort Saskatchewan. All these places have recreation centers already built.
There is no need to wait 20 years for the City of Edmonton to get it's act together.

RichardS
24-12-2007, 12:04 PM
:lol: ....and Servus is such a model for success :lol:

ralph60
24-12-2007, 12:11 PM
/\ Servus may be losing money but at least it is open and operating. As a side note, Servus Place and the S.W. Rec center were both approved within a year of each other.

kcantor
24-12-2007, 12:13 PM
:lol: ....and Servus is such a model for success :lol:
now, now RichardS. ralph60 did say "built", he didn't say at what cost and he didn't say paid for.

Replacement
24-12-2007, 01:17 PM
[quote="Replacement"]]How many poor kids exist in Terwillegar in comparison to other neighborhoods that forever exist on makeshift facilities?
[quote]
So only poor neighborhoods should get funding for facilities? How much tax revenue does the city generate from a poor neighborhood versus a wealthy one? Is that the right logic you suggest - reward failure?Where do you get that from what i wrote? I was responding to th notion that user fees would stop poor kids in Terwillegar from using the facility by asking how many poor kids there would be in that situation. You inferred the rest.


Maybe we will learn from this? Probably not, developers see better marketing in building lakes and beaches than arenas :roll:They do this because people get duped by it everytime and have this waxed over vision of being at home and at the lake at the same time and expecting the city to do the rest. in a region with a very low density of housing not sure why such an expectation is so automatic.

RichardS
24-12-2007, 03:23 PM
/\ Servus may be losing money but at least it is open and operating. As a side note, Servus Place and the S.W. Rec center were both approved within a year of each other.

kcantor said it right...open, yes, operating and at what cost, I guess that is not prudent.

So, if we want to take open and operational rec centers, shall I start lsiting off the several in Edmonton?

...and I could take it as a sign that Edmonton wanted to be prudent vs "devil may care".