Medicine Hat Minute: HALO Funding, Curling Club, and an Urban Wildlife Bylaw
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 this evening. As usual, the meeting begins with a closed session at 3:45 pm. On the agenda for the closed session is an energy opportunity, the Strategic Goals and Objectives Process, the City Manager Performance Appraisal Process, and the Process for Appointments to Boards, Committees, and Commissions.
- At 6:30 pm, the City Council meeting opens up to the public. Administration is recommending that the City approve a budget amendment for $870,000 to purchase the Medicine Hat Curling Club building. The Curling Club has asked the City for assistance to the tune of $1.74 million in order to replace equipment and resume club activity, and are open to options other than taking on a large amount of debt. If the City were to purchase the building, the Club would have to raise the funds for the new equipment, or, if unable to do so, the City would provide a loan with the equipment as security.
- Also during the meeting, Council will discuss an Urban Wildlife Management bylaw to address the concern of residents feeding deer within city limits. If passed, Hatters could face fines of $500 for providing food to the deer, as well as fines of $2,500 for chasing, poisoning, killing, or keeping a wild animal on public or private property.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
The Public Services Committee heard that the City could find the money in its operating reserve funds to support the HALO Air Ambulance for the next two years. Last month, HALO requested that the City join other regional municipal donors and provide an annual grant of $500,000 for the next five years. The Committee agreed that future contributions beyond the next two years would be considered as part of the 2025-2026 budget and business plan process, and has recommended that the City advocate to the Province for 50% of HALO’s operational funding on an ongoing basis. Council will make a final decision at tonight’s meeting.
- Strong Towns' speakers argued that changes to properties should proceed as a “matter of right”, and without weight given to adjacent landowners’ input. During the last Strong Towns consultations, presenters expressed a preference for development rules to allow property owners the right to expand buildings as they wish, turning duplexes into small- to mid-sized apartments, and so on. One speaker noted that you don’t get a say in the kind of vehicle your neighbour drives, so why should what they do with their property be any different?
- A new playground has opened at the Big Marble Go Centre. The play structure was designed following extensive feedback, which found a desire for adventure-centered and natural-style play structures. The playground was also designed with inclusivity in mind. It's closer to the facility entrance than the old playground, and this one offers some sun and wind protection on account of the trees.
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