After announcing plans to build an $890 million arena, event centre and fieldhouse, the next step for Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. officials will be to begin meeting with various levels of government, said president and CEO Ken King, while city officials will start engaging Calgarians and looking into the cleanup of the creosote-contaminated site.
“Essentially this is the
Formal request,” said King. “What we want to do now is begin the dialogue on a (Community Revitalization Levy), that’s a dialogue that takes place between the (Calgary Municipal Land Corp., which manages cityowned lands) the city and the province.”
A CRL is used to fund development, with a loan covering the upfront cost and future business and property taxes collected in a set area then used to repay it.
The proposed deal is a complicated one, said King.
“Everything in this file that we move will be interdependent or contingent upon another,” he said.
King has had a preliminary discussion with Finance Minister Joe Ceci, who has said he is keeping “an open mind” around the proposal and potential provincial involvement.
While no meetings are scheduled, King said he would like to sit down with Premier Rachel Notley.
From a city perspective, engaging Calgarians in an indepth discussion about the plan and its financial implications is key, said Coun. Evan Woolley, whose Ward 8 covers the West Village area.
“The Flames will be pitching this around and we will start a formal engagement process in some way,” he said.
“Who leads that is to be determined, I think the (CMLC) would probably be the best fit to lead some engagement.”
CMLC officials are to hire a consultant by the end of the month, who will prepare a report by the end of the year on contamination of the area from a Canada Creosote plant which operated there from 1924 to 1962.
Creosote has been found as far away as 19 St. N.W., on the north side of the Bow River.
Woolley said his first step will be to formally engage with the communities surrounding the project.
“This is upward of a billion dollar project so there has to be a lot of conversations,” he said. “This is going to be a negotiation and my role in it is two-fold, get the best possible project for the surrounding communities, as well as the best possible deal for Calgarians.”