Saturday, October 10, 2009

Maddness of the Mendel - Saskatoon Economics 101

The Mendel Maddening Crowd first approached council asking for about 12 million for an expansion. They asked the city for a share and hoped for city assistance in getting cost shared funding from other levels of government. It would be topped up with fundraising. It was a tough slug luring six people out of the sports arena and into Bohemia. Over time the costs escalated with the insanity. In the beginning some councillors argued that expansion of the gallery would increase the operating costs - although the Mendel operated on a shoestring budget thanks to a large contingent of volunteers. And the Mendel had the conservatory - the poor man's winter get-a-way.

Now we are up to 55 million, if we're lucky and this mega project can be held on budget. The feds and province are giving 26 million, leaving the city with a 29 million dollar tab. We have no indication of what the horrendous operating costs will be and since River Landing appears not to be generating new tax revenue in the near future I assume we are into "up the mill rate." The conservatory will not move with the Mendel. Oh yeah, I forgot there won't be a Mendel and maybe not a conservatory either.

Obviously there will have to be admission fees and, like CUC and TCUP, only those who can afford the fee will get beyond the lobby.

The cost of moving the MVA into the Medel site is a story for another day.

As for Ottawa demanding new rather than expanded - bull. The bureaucrat probably doesn't know where Saskatoon is located.

The absurdity of this tale - be careful of what you ask for 'cause you might get more. Who woulda thunk!

1 comment:

  1. This issue has been mismanaged, I agree. What could've been a fantastic boon to urban redevelopment has turned into a public money sink. As I said on my facebook page while discussing this with a supporter, "It's a good idea, but now is not the time".


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