Medicine Hat Minute: Building Purchase, Underpass Closed, and the Energy Innovation Challenge
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
There are no Council or Committee meetings this week. Council is taking a summer vacation - the next City Council meeting will take place on August 21st.
- The Kid Find booth at the Medicine Hat Stampede is looking for volunteers. The booth is run through a collaborative effort with local search and rescue crews and the Medicine Hat Police Service. It's open on the grounds every day of the Stampede, from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and aims to reconnect kids and guardians who get separated from each other. To lend a hand, you can reach out to the Medicine Hat Safe Community Association through Facebook messenger.
- The pedestrian underpass that connects North and South Railway Streets will be closed between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am, beginning on September 4th. A gate is being built on both sides of the tunnel that will be locked to prevent unwanted evening activities.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
Council voted 6-1 to purchase the Medicine Hat Curling Club building for $870,000. A new ice plant and ice mats costing $1.74 million are needed, and the Curling Club had asked the City for financial assistance. In lieu of a large loan, money from the City’s purchase will allow the Club to make a down payment on the items. The Club will now have to raise the remaining funds for the new equipment, or, if unable to do so, the City may provide a loan with the equipment as security. One Councillor argued that the City has no real long-term plan regarding the building. There are discussions about building a twinned arena or a new curling club in the next five to seven years, and it is unclear how this new acquisition will fit into that plan.
- The City is spending $850,000 to participate in the Next Generation Energy Innovation Challenge, a project spearheaded by Decentralized Energy Canada. The three-year challenge is designed to develop support for energy transition and diversification of the energy economy. The City will outline challenges in the region related to the energy transition, and then applicants will submit proposals to deal with the challenges. Six of the successful proposals will launch small pilot projects, funded 50% by the City. The project begins on September 1st, 2023 and wraps up on August 31st, 2026.
- Council approved funding for HALO Air Ambulance, providing the organization with $500,000 each year for the next two years. HALO has operated out of the Regional Airport for over 16 years, but this is the first time Medicine Hat has joined surrounding municipalities in contributing financially. Council also agreed to advocate to the Province for more stable operational funding for HALO.
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