April 18, 2018 10:04 pm
Updated: April 19, 2018 5:45 am

Report shows Edmonton facing nearly $4B capital shortfall 2019-2028

Edmonton's skyline on Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017.

Global News File

A new report at Edmonton City Hall says council will have a $3.8-billion shortfall over the next 10 years between what is needed for infrastructure spending and how much money it will have available from the province and Ottawa.

The report says the city can count on $15 billion by the year 2028, but will need almost $4 billion more.

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What’s complicating matters, according to the mayor, is that the province’s Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) runs out in 2021, three years into the city’s 10-year plan. At this point, he sees the lack of a baseline, making things complicated for city planning over the coming decade.

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“I can see some major initiatives going on hold if the funding is not in place through this revenue-sharing deal,” Don Iveson said.

“If we don’t get sufficient funding through this revenue-sharing deal this year — if we don’t have certainty about that — then from my perspective, we’d have to stop building new things for a few years until we’re fully caught up.”

Both Edmonton and Calgary have been in discussions with the Alberta government about firming up the replacement for MSI by the end of this year. The broad framework is in the most recent provincial budget, however it lacks detail.

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“This revenue-sharing deal that we need is going to put roofs on libraries and existing rec centres, help us build new rec centres that communities are waiting for and deal with roadway widening that we can’t recover through development charges, for example (from developers), and patch roads and look after infrastructure.”

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Iveson said it would be disappointing because he’s made improved infrastructure an economic development initiative to attract people to Edmonton who want to work here and build a life here.

“We’re still catching up on roadway maintenance — we’ve put enough money in but we’re still catching up on it. If we start short-changing that now, we’ll fall behind again.”

Council will debate the report at its next meeting on April 24.

Councillors will be asked to consider building less, rehabilitating older facilities instead of building new, or borrowing more.

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