A consultant Regina is considering hiring to help plan the Dewdney Avenue corridor between Albert Street and Broad Street is expected to cost more than $750,000.
Regina's executive committee voted on Wednesday to enter into a contract with the consultant. City administration anticipates the cost could be up to about a million dollars. It's part of the $14 million total expected cost for improvements to the corridor.
Regina's city council will have the final vote on the proposal next Wednesday.
City administration said the land use plan has been previously approved by council, but could change based on who comes forward to build. Regardless of what's on the land, there are infrastructure, plumbing and other needs that the consultant would look at.
Councillor Lori Bresciani raised concerns about the consultant. She said council has heard of some proposed projects, including a new Red Sox baseball diamond on the former Canadian Pacific Railyard lands. The proposed stadium will come before council in the next few months. Bresciani asked what would happen if the proposed amenities changed.
"We don't really know what's totally going on the land yet, I guess I'm a little confused. It almost seems like we're putting the cart before the horse. Why wouldn't we develop what we know, what's going to go on the lands in the neighborhood, and then adjust it to that?" Bresciani asked.
City administration said the underground infrastructure needs to be done before the above-ground pieces begin, otherwise the finished above-ground aspects would have to be torn up soon after being finished.
The $14 million isn't all on city taxpayers. Through a funding agreement, the city is on the hook for one third, the provincial government is responsible for one third, and the federal government is responsible for one third. The money needs to be spent by March 31, 2028.
The proposed improved corridor is meant to be more pedestrian friendly and make it easier to cross Dewdney Avenue. City administration said hundreds of canopy trees are planned for the corridor, similar to the Cathedral neighbourhood.
Councillor Cheryl Stadnichuk said she's looking forward to the hundreds of trees.
"It's needed, especially with climate change, the kind of heat wave that we've had, it's really important," Stadnichuk said.
City administration said it wants Dewdney Avenue to be a catalyst, where the city's investment inspires others to build.