Let's be honest, civic politics isn't about making people happy, it's about minimizing dissatisfaction. Here's an example.
Donated to the City of Regina in the 1980s by the German community, the Glockenspiel was removed during the construction of the downtown plaza from Victoria park in 2010. (Note: it was purchased and transported to Canada for $85,000.) It's the City's responsibility to make up for that mistake. No one seems to know why it was left to deteriorate, or whether or not the City was responsible for reinstalling the cultural artifact. That's why institutional memory is important. I plan on following up with the Mayor and Councillors who were around at that time.
Now we have an opportunity to atone. Administration put together a report and an estimated cost for restoring the Glockenspiel. The total projected cost: $511,900, not including the initial landscape design. Broken down, the cost looks like this:
Structure, mechanical, and detailed design: $368,100
Recommended 30% contingency on construction: $110,400
Additional landscaping: $15,000
Some suggest this is why municipal taxes are going up. It's not. The total cost is about 0.001% of the civic budget, and will be included in the 2018 budget. Specifically, "up to" $512,000. And no, we aren't shelving twinning projects or road construction to take this one. Arguably the project also aligns with the City's Cultural Plan, and will add to the cultural infrastructure in Regina's downtown core. We need more of this. Also, there is reason to believe that the actual cost will be much lower, and with luck a competitive bidding process will solicit more affordable estimates.
The German community was justifiable pleased with the Community and Protective Services Committee's decision to advance Administration's recommendation, with the slight change of reconstructing the Glockenspiel and bringing the chime system on-line all at once. I put forward that amendment, which was approved with unanimous consent. What's the point of having a bell that doesn't ring, right?
Now concerns are being raised about the noise downtown. Who expects downtown living to be quiet, I don't know, but rest assured that the chimes, etc., if brought on-line, will ring in accordance with civic noise bylaws. In the long run, I, along with the Downtown Business Improvement District, believe that the Glockenspiel will add to downtown.
Check out the full agenda item and report here.
Have questions or concerns? Give me a shout 306-570-1402.