Medicine Hat Minute: Economic Development, Microgrant Money, and Permanent Washroom Paused
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
There will be a Regular Meeting of City Council on Tuesday. As usual, the meeting begins in a closed session at 3:45 pm. During the closed session, Council will discuss government relations priorities and the City Manager performance appraisal process, among other things. When the meeting opens up to the public at 6:30 pm, Council will receive a presentation from the SPCA and Alberta Pound and Rescue Centres regarding Trap, Neuter, and Return programs for feral cats. Council will also receive an update on the Medicine Hat Curling Club’s funding request, and discuss a 2023 Tangible Capital Asset budget amendment for $250,000 for the Saamis Heights Special Use Access construction project.
- The Energy and Infrastructure Committee will meet on Thursday at 4:30 pm. No agenda is available for this meeting yet.
- Prospect Drive between Chinook Drive SW and Sixth Avenue SW will be closed to both vehicles and pedestrians starting on Tuesday. The Prospect Drive Rehabilitation Project will begin, consisting of, among other things, asphalt surface removal and upgrades to the storm system. No completion date is available yet.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
The City has decided to pause plans for a permanent public washroom at Towne Square. Instead, they want to pay for security and extend access to washrooms at the transit terminal to 24 hours. Originally, a permanent public washroom was set to be part of the facilities at 603 First Street, but cost overruns on the redevelopment of the parking lot to an event space meant the washroom was left out of the final plans, upsetting businesses in the area who are dealing with non-customer requests to use their washrooms. The City added portapotties as a summer pilot project, but significant vandalism, break-ins, drug paraphernalia, and other “misuse” were reported. The cost of adding security guards to monitor the transit washrooms for the remainder of 2023 is $48,000, with the full-year cost in 2024 coming in at $100,000. Council must still approve this plan at Tuesday’s meeting.
- A new Economic Development Director for Medicine Hat has been named. Selena McLean-Moore will begin in the role on July 3rd, having most recently served as the Government of Alberta’s Southern Alberta Economic Development Specialist. Her goals include workforce development, business retention and expansion, and investment attraction. McLean-Moore said she sees opportunities for growth in the defence and aerospace, petrochemical, and agri-food sectors.
- The City offered a series of “microgrants” for community groups whose projects were designed to either boost community connections or promote arts, culture, and heritage, but they still have a lot of money available. Three-quarters of the $20,000 set aside for the program remains. Only 10 applications for the $500 microgrants were made.
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