Council approves stadium deal
The public gallery was packed at as Regina city council approved a memorandum of understanding for a proposed stadium project at Monday night's meeting.
Published Monday, July 23, 2012 8:18AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, July 24, 2012 7:43AM CST
Regina city council unanimously approved an agreement surrounding a proposed stadium project to a chorus of boos from a packed public gallery at Monday night’s meeting.
Prior to the vote, council heard from more than a dozen delegates, many of them ordinary citizens, who came out to voice their concerns about the memorandum of understanding.
Several pointed to what they say is a lack of public consultation surrounding the project, and some asked that the issue be put to taxpayers in the form of a referendum or plebiscite.
Many also questioned why council is pushing ahead with the multimillion-dollar stadium plan when the city faces an acute shortage of affordable housing.
In addition, there were concerns about the burden the proposal could have on taxpayers, and the prospect of the city plunging further into debt.
Under the proposal, Regina residents would see their property taxes go up by as much as 4.5 per cent over a 10-year period.
The 33,000-seat, open-air stadium is estimated to cost $278 million to construct. The province would provide $180 million in grant and loan money, the city would spend $73 million, and the Roughriders would kick in $25 million.
While some citizens suggested renovating the existing Mosaic Stadium, several councillors noted that doing so would cost an estimated $150 million.
What’s more, city politicians say the province isn’t willing provide any funding to renovate the aging facility.
In the coming months, council is expected to consider a procurement model and conceptual design for the project.