On the agenda: Police annual report, rezoning, Rice Howard Way

This week, council will consider creating a permanent clean energy retrofit program, review the Edmonton Police Service's annual report, and decide if it will establish a pedestrian-friendly entertainment district downtown.

There is a public hearing scheduled for May 13 and a city council meeting scheduled for May 14 with a continuation on May 15.

Here are key items on the agenda:

  • Council is set to vote on turning part of Rice Howard Way into a downtown entertainment district on Saturdays starting June 1. Council's community and public services committee recommended giving the bylaw three readings at a meeting in April.
  • Edmonton residents who responded to a survey felt about as safe in their community after dark in 2023 as they did in 2022, according to the Edmonton Police Service's 2023 annual report. The overall crime rate decreased in 2023, but there were more violent crimes, leading to a rise in the crime severity index. There was a 13% decrease in occurrences of social disorder, which includes mischief, noise complaints, and public disturbances. The report attributes part of this decline to more visible police presence in areas that typically see a lot of social disorder. City council is scheduled to look at the annual report at a meeting on May 14.
  • Council could create a permanent Clean Energy Improvement Program during a vote at a public hearing on May 13. Under the proposed program, property owners could borrow from the city to add energy-efficient upgrades on their homes and repay the loans through their property taxes. Previous pilots of this program have been popular, with money budgeted often running out ahead of schedule. If council approves the bylaw to create the program, applicants could receive loans of up to $50,000 for residential projects and up to $1 million for commercial projects.
Rice Howard Way in downtown Edmonton.

Council is scheduled to debate a bylaw that could turn Rice Howard Way into a pedestrian-only zone on Saturdays this summer. (Stephanie Swensrude)

Here are some other items on the agenda:

Meetings stream live on YouTube on the Chamber channel and River Valley Room channel.