Both the city and the feds are getting ready to talk funding that will climb into the millions of dollars.
In Ottawa, parliamentarians are slogging their way through the budget, and at City Hall the finishing touches are being put on a proposal to supply ‘green’ energy for tens of thousands of residents.
Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi confirmed the work is progressing on a newly created Infrastructure Bank.
“It’s part of the Budget Implementation Act. Once the budget is approved, the bank will be established and the bank will also be approved.”
The bank will be backed by private sector pension funds and institutional investors, who will be looking to make a return on investment.
“We feel that the bank can play a role in building major public transit systems, and energy infrastructure, in trade and transportation infrastructure,” Sohi said at a funding announcement at NorQuest College.
“There has to be revenue attached to the projects that will be funded by the bank. We’re working through the details of it,” Sohi said as legislators continue to work on it through the spring in Ottawa.
“It’s early days yet but I think the district energy system at Blatchford is the one that has the most obvious convergence,” Mayor Don Iveson said. “It’s a utility system with a return on investment and it helps achieve the government’s environmental goals.”
What Edmonton has in mind is for 90 per cent of the Blatchford District Energy project to be shared by both the feds and the province. The goal in this green energy vision is to have infrastructure that is heated, and cooled through renewable energy.
“We floated it with them before. They’re well aware,” Iveson said. “As the opportunity to apply to work with the feds on any new program that comes forward we’ll certainly spring on that.”
Iveson also has in mind the much talked about railway crossings at 50 and 75 Streets, because of the economic pay off for improved goods movement. Together the cost of those projects is estimated at $138 million.