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Katz Group asks to speak at council meeting

12/10/2012 06:41 EST | Updated 02/09/2013 05:12 EST
Officials from the Katz Group have asked to speak to Edmonton city council on Wednesday about the downtown arena.

Mayor Stephen Mandel welcomed the overture but doesn't know what they plan to say.

"I don't want to prejudge things. I don't want to put everybody's hopes up that something major is going to happen, and then all of a sudden nothing happens," he said.

"Let's hope that at the end of the day that ... we take one step forward, rather than one step back."

This is the first time Oilers' owner Daryl Katz has made any public overtures since frustrated councillors ended negotiations in October.

According to the city, talks took a turn for the worse In August when Katz officials added new demands to the October 2011 framework agreement, including a $6 million annual operating subsidy.

When Katz refused to attend the Oct. 17th council meeting to explain why the existing framework was no longer suitable, councillors unanimously passed a motion that ended the talks

Coun. Dave Loken believes that sent Katz a message.

"I have no idea what they're going to say to us on Wednesday. I hope that they come and realize that they're not going to get this subsidy that they were asking for," he said.

"Even if they have a case for it, I still don't see council going that way. It's a lot of money and it just doesn't make sense to the deal."

Mandel says that discussions with council must take place in public.

"It will not be done in private unless there's something absolutely delicate, from my point of view, that should be done in private," he said.

"People need to know what's going on."

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