Medicine Hat Minute: Curling Grant, Water Shortages, and a Happy New Year
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
Happy New Year! This year, our resolution is to fight for a City government that champions common sense solutions and fiscal responsibility. Thank you for all the support you showed us in 2023. If you’d like to make a contribution to our continued production of these newsletters, please click here to make a donation. May the year ahead be marked by thoughtful spending, transparent governance, and a commitment to making Medicine Hat the best city to live, work, play, raise a family, and retire!
- There are no Council or Committee meetings this week on account of the Christmas holidays. Official business resumes at City Hall on January 15th.
- A local group is running a campaign to raise funds for the basic hygiene items stocked at the Medicine Hat Public Library. The Library’s social work office has wash kits and clothing items like toques, mitts, and socks available to anyone who asks. Despite critics of the integration of social work services at the library, the Chief Librarian says that social workers don’t create new problems, but they do help to address the needs of individuals already present in the library. Contributions to support the cause can be made at the library's help desk, online, or through designated donation boxes within the community.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
The City began engaging in discussions with the Province and other municipalities regarding potential water shortages and contingency plans for next spring due to the persistently dry and warm winter weather. The South Saskatchewan River essentially missed its traditional June peak, leading to concerns about water scarcity. Alberta Environment has issued a request for proposals to aid in the creation of water-sharing agreements. With the possibility of a challenging spring and summer ahead, Medicine Hat officials emphasize the importance of participating in water management talks and preparing for potential water shortage strategies in the coming months.
- The Medicine Hat Curling Club has received approval for a grant totalling more than $871,000 from the Province's Community Facility Enhancement Program, significantly alleviating its financial challenges. The funds will be used to replace the Club's ice plant and brine line. Unlike the previous brine lines set in concrete, the new ones will be positioned atop the concrete surface, offering both cost efficiency and the flexibility to relocate if needed. The Club is targeting a resumption of curling activities in the fall of 2024. Despite successfully raising over $1.7 million through the grant, sale of their building to the City, and additional fundraising, negotiations with the City of Medicine Hat regarding a lease agreement are currently underway.
- The Medicine Hat Police Service recapped a busy year. In 2023, they welcomed a new Chief of Police, hired seven officers, and introduced a new police service dog named Bronx. Despite a rise in violent crimes and an increase in online and phone scams, the police made several arrests related to serious assaults and scam operations. The partnership with ALERT and the RCMP resulted in significant drug and weapon seizures, and a collaboration with Medicine Hat College focused on studying the effectiveness of utilizing drones in policing. Police Chief Alan Murphy expressed pride in the service's professionalism and wished the community a safe and happy holiday season.
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