P3 Projects, how do they work and are they a benefit to municipalities? Since the inception of the proposed replacement of our aging arena through a public/private partnership, the community has had many conversations on the topic.
Ten years ago when I was first elected to Town Council I had never heard of this method for delivering infrastructure. The province has repeatedly suggested this method as the correct way for municipalities to not only catch up on infrastructure deficits while maintaining debt limits, but also mitigate huge tax increases to their residences.
Much to my surprise, the provincial government has been doing these partnerships for over two decades.
Yes there have been great partnerships as well as the not so successful ones.
Through my research, the resounding factor in the successful partnerships comes down to contractual obligations from both sides.
So what does that mean for Sundre, as we look to the future knowing we need a new arena facility, more recreation fields and the need to bring more economic development to our community?
The prospect of having a developer come to our community, develop not only the facility, but having new business attached and costing the taxpayer a fraction of what it would cost to build only an arena facility is exciting.
As a council and a community we need to take a serious look at this benefit, we need to move forward cautiously to ensure the financial protection of our community.
At this point in time, council is working exploring options for a P3 facility investment.
However, we have not made any contractual commitment to this type of endeavour with any proposed developer; we as council are committed to ensuring that should we move forward, it will be an open process with the involvement of our community.
The facilities committee is working diligently to set the foundation for a process and will be coming to the public soon.