Now that 2018, and my fifth year on Edmonton’s City Council, is coming to a close, I am thinking towards the future. There are a number of things I am looking forward to in the upcoming year that I want to share with you!
Moving Forward on the Lewis Farms Recreation Centre and Library
The motion to fund the construction of the Lewis Farms Recreation Centre and Library was amended to set aside funding for this project and to have a report come back in November 2019 with the results of a value engineering exercise. This exercise will allow us to tweak the design if there are areas that can help drive costs down. This gives us that final check-in point on what is going to be a significant project. Setting aside the funding for this project is a big deal. It sends a clear message that this project is a priority and even though we are going to review the total costs, we believe in it enough to set aside the borrowing room. It’s also important to note that this motion does not impact the construction schedule. The plan is to start construction in mid-2020 so having this report come back in November 2019 does not delay that. I am looking forward to this conversation which will hopefully mean final approval for this needed project.
Edmonton is planning on becoming a city of 2 million people. We are creating a new City Plan to guide our organization towards this. The bulk of this plan creation will be happening in 2019, and armed with the new 2019 – 2022 budget, will dictate how our city grows. I am excited to work on this plan more and hear the results from it’s public engagement process.
The Provincial and Federal Election
2019 marks an election year for both the provincial and federal government. These election outcomes will have a major impact on the City of Edmonton as we partner on many issues with other orders of government. I am pleased that consistent Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding has been determined with the Government of Alberta, which ensures that municipalities in Alberta are financially supported. Ward 1 falls within the ridings of Edmonton-Riverview and Edmonton- West Henday provincially, as well as Edmonton-West federally. I encourage all Edmontonians to educate themselves on issues they care about prior to these elections. I have made myself available to candidates running in all parties overlapping with Ward 1 and am looking forward to discussing our community’s issues.
Valley Line Construction
Thanks to the provincial announcement which dedicated over $1 Billion to the Valley Line LRT, construction on this exciting addition to the City’s public transportation is expected to get underway in 2020. I am excited to see this project get up-and-running to serve residents in the West-End of Edmonton. I am dedicated to staying updated on the project to ensure target deadlines and outcomes are met throughout the phased process. As we get ready to become a city with over 1 million people, it’s time to move forward with this critical project and I’m excited to begin this next phase.
Door Knocking and Increased Engagement
Something I always look forward to is door knocking. There are few things I enjoy as much as talking face-to-face with people passionate about our community. Over the next year, I have already dedicated plenty of time in my calendar to going around the community to talk about issues that matter to you. I am also determined to maintain and improve my ways of soliciting public feedback in the coming year. I intend to keep my social media, website, and newsletter regularly updated as well as use a variety of surveys to ask constituents how they feel about issues as they come up.
Thank you very much to everyone who helped make 2018 such an impactful year. I am excited to continue working as your Ward 1 City Councillor in 2019!