Medicine Hat Minute: Gas Profits, Green Church, and Towne Square Grants
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
It’s going to be a steady week at City Hall with three meetings scheduled, starting with a meeting of the Public Services Committee this morning at 8:00 am. At this meeting, the Committee will designate the Medicine Hat Cenotaph as a Municipal Historic Resource. The Committee is also set to receive the Managing Director’s Service Area Update, and receive a report on outstanding Committee items.
- On Tuesday, a second Public Services Committee meeting is scheduled to take place at 10:00 am. The meeting is labelled as a City/School Site Planning and Joint Use Committee Meeting but no agenda is available yet.
- On Wednesday, there will be a meeting of the Municipal Planning Commission at 2:30 pm. At this meeting, the Commission will receive an application for a development permit and discuss two Land Use Bylaw Amendments.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
- Thanks to the rising price of utilities, profits at the City’s combined gas and power production division totalled $105 million in 2021. It was such a good year for the City’s energy division that it was able to provide a whopping $66 million dividend to City reserves. City officials are anticipating modest returns in the future and cautioning against spending money before it comes in. This is sage advice, but whether or not the City uses this money to pay debts and improve its fiscal situation remains to be seen. For now, Council will have to practice budgetary restraint amidst rosy utility prices and record profits.
- Speaking of budgets, last Tuesday City officials provided an updated financial picture on the redevelopment of Towne Square. The final cost of the development is expected to carry a price tag of no higher than $2.9 million, and will almost entirely be funded by grants. The update comes in the wake of an earlier announcement which provided a murky picture of the project, with a higher price tag and a different scope and design. While there has been confusion during the development process, City officials are confident that they have finally ironed out the details and that the project will stay within budget. We shall see!
- A local Church which found itself at the center of a carbon tax debate in 2018 has completed one of the largest solar power arrays in the city, thanks to local firm Terralta which installed the panels this winter. With the Hillcrest Church system operational, their carbon footprint has officially become “net zero” as the newly installed system produces as much power as the entire building uses for the whole year.
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