Committee puts off final decision on future of Rossdale power plant
Published Monday, August 19, 2013 1:17PM MDT Last Updated Monday, August 19, 2013 7:18PM MDT
A city committee received an outline of possible options for handling a historic building in Edmonton’s river valley Monday – but asked city officials to go back to the drawing board.
The City of Edmonton Executive Committee was presented with the report Monday that contained three options to stabilize the Rossdale power plant, but after reviewing a number of options and hearing from speakers, ultimately decided to have city officials come up with a long term plan for the building and site.
The options range from not investing any money to work on the building, to completing minor repairs, to replacing and upgrading much of the facility.
Those options range in cost from zero dollars, to $2.9 million and $7.3 million respectively.
Each of the cases also includes a $450,000 per year cost for heating and security of the building, that money would be slated to come from the city – and in the two more expensive options, the city would acquire the buildings after two years.
In addition, documents outlined a range of costs to upgrade and renovate each of the buildings on the power plant site – according to the documents total costs to upgrade the buildings range from $42.5 million to $80 million.
Aside from the report, a number of groups were slated to speak before the committee, including a group called Rossdale Regeneration – which hopes to save the building.
The power plant was decommissioned as a power plant several years ago, and the group says it’s a valuable and unique piece of history that could serve another purpose, such as offices and restaurants.
“It’s also kind of an iconic building because of its beauty, just as you come downtown from the south side, it’s a building that most people see,” Michael Phair, a former city councillor with the Rossdale Regeneration group said. “It was built a bit to look like a ship, and it does with the style.
“It is remarkable in terms of an industrial building.”
Mayor Stephen Mandel said the city will not let the building fall down, and says the city will ask the province for help in considering the site’s historic designation.
“I think the reality is we will work with the province to come up with some solutions and retain the building,” Mandel said. “Then, over a period of time there will be a program to see how it’s retained.”
City officials had recommended council approve $3 million to maintain the building over 10 years.
The committee asked city officials to come up with a more detailed cost analysis, funding update and a capital profile to sustain the power plant over a period of time, so that it won’t deteriorate beyond repair.
With files from Nicole Weisberg