Metro Transit needs to get past the whole paper-based ticket/pass system anyway.
It's time to look into an RFID-based system, with prepaid options to subscribe to a monthly plan (to replace passes, with the ability to opt-out of premium services in exchange for a lower price), and/or hold a dollar balance (to replace tickets, and to make up the difference for one-off access to premium services when subscribed to a lower-tier monthly plan), with built-in automatic accounting of transfers within a fixed interval from initial boarding.
Does it really make any difference how proud one is, when one's love life - surely the central element without which there is no demonstrable distinction between being queer versus straight - is essentially in limbo?
I'm not exactly in the closet. I've reached the point where I willingly discuss it with anybody who brings it up. But frankly, for the vast majority of people I meet, it never seems to occurs to them to consider the possibility that I might be gay in the first place.
No, the $56M is NOT a legitimate representation of the actual construction cost.
The $56M is purely the city's share (split 3-ways with the Feds and the Province) of a 25-year lease (and apparently the associated leasehold improvements) on the Convention Centre component of the new development.
Beyond that, the city and province will be sharing the costs of actually operating the Convention Centre within the space they are leasing. These costs will clearly vary depending on commodity and labour prices, and also depending on the Centre's ability to recover some of its costs through its bookings.
Actual construction costs must be dealt with in the context of the cost to build the entire development (of which the Convention Centre will be but one tenant). This has been estimated at around $500M. Ramia's company will finance these costs as a private operation. I would expect that number to fluctuate somewhat, but I would not expect the city's $56M share of the lease to move significantly.
I am curious, though, what the exact source was for the estimate of $600K in property taxes due to the "Convention Centre". Is that the tax bill for the entire Nova Centre development as a whole, or is it only against the portion of the development that would be dedicated to Convention Centre operations? I ask because the current commercial property tax rate in the downtown urban core is a little more than $3 per $100 in assessed value, suggesting that a tax bill of $600K would correspond to an estimated property assessment of a little less than $20M. Is that a reasonable estimate for the property value of the overall development? (For reference, HRM's mapping services webpage tells me that the lot housing the neighboring Prince George Hotel and associated businesses is assessed at just a little less than $20M.)
The Halifax Common was, and to this day, still is, not chartered to be used exclusively as open space. Rather, it was chartered for common use.
The HRM government acknowledges the entire track of land defined from Cunard Street in the north, South Street in the south, Robie Street to the west and North Park/Ahern/Bell Road/South Park Streets to the east, as part of the current Halifax Commons. Some of it has been put to institutional use, such as hospitals and universities. Some of the land was granted to private ownership to encourage growth of the city. Overall, 200 of the total 235 acre grant that comprise the Commons are still under public ownership and put to use for the public benefit.
From what I've read, a large part of the original reason why the North Common was not developed was because it would interfere with the firing lines from Citadel Hill and thus the military objected to their development.
Cranky: "The cut to the southend isn't being used by anything except trains."
EXACTLY! The cut to the south end is used by trains... including the VIA passenger rail station. It could be one terminus of an overall commuter rail service including connections to BLIP, connections along the Bedford highway and beyond, connections in the north end of the peninsula via the old Kempt Road line as far as the Halifax Forum (with some land re-acquisition), connections along the north end of the waterfront as far as HMCS Dockyard...
Such plans would have to start somewhere. For example, with strategic acquisition of the necessary rights-of-way. Better to take possession of and preserve existing infrastructure before it's torn up.
Why would any protected wilderness area have to be bounded by the path of the 113? There are examples of wildlife right-of-ways being incorporated into new highway construction or added to existing roads, above- or below-grade, designed to encourage wildlife to cross the highway safely, and barriers to deter them from crossing the road at-grade where it isn't safe.
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