Stelmach said the city is free to use money from an existing program called the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, noting municipalities can use the proceeds for any public infrastructure.
However, it would be up to the city to decide whether the money should go to the proposed arena rather than roads and bridges or other projects.
“It’s an existing program,” Stelmach stressed. “The program was available from day one.”
And Edmonton might actually not have to choose between an arena and new roads, because Stelmach said he’d consider adding more money to the fund after he has a look at its finances.
If true, this could clearly be a huge breakthrough in the Oilers arena plan, which has been stalled for months because of a $100 million funding gap. Or, if you’re a glass-half-empty kind of person, it could be another $100 million in public subsidies added to the existing taxpayer tab. But I’m sure none of our readers want to be that sort of person.