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Staff Report on Stadium Debate: East Mountain More Costly, More Risky, and Diverts Funds From Economic Development

Posted August 06, 2010

A staff report (PDF) released for the August 10th, Committee of the Whole confirms media reports that the East Mountain stadium would costs tens of millions of dollars more than one built in the West Harbour location, even after factoring in a last minute offer by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to pay for 6,000 parking spots.

In addition, the report shows that on an annual basis, the East Mountain site will cost taxpayers $1.2 to $4.8 million in forgone taxes. The additional capital costs are a combination of site servicing (e.g. road infrastructure), and forgone revenues the City would receive if the land is developed for other uses.

While the report included two East Mountain scenarios (Full Precinct and No Precinct), it doesn’t go into detail about what a full precinct development would look like other than to say "adjacent uses" that would likely be Big Box development.

The report also warns of significant financial risk to the city with the East Mountain site if full precinct development does take place in the future, as it would "represent a significant financial pressure and shortfall" since the extra capital required to support the stadium would have been spent upfront by the City with the expectation they would be paid back over time through growth.

In addition, in order to help pay for the City’s portion of servicing costs, the report suggests that funds are not currently available and that $10 million of previously committed grants in support of the Glanbrook Industrial Park would have to be diverted towards the East Mountain development.

More analysis of the report to come.

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