Medicine Hat Minute: Information Delay, Ratepayer Meeting, and Budget Planning Begins

Medicine Hat Minute: Information Delay, Ratepayer Meeting, and Budget Planning Begins


Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics


This Week In Medicine Hat:

  • This afternoon, at 3:45 pm, there will be a meeting of the Public Services Committee. The Committee will receive the Destination Marketing Organization 2023 Annual Report as well as the Managing Director’s Service Area Update regarding planning for transit service detours.

  • On Thursday, the Development And Infrastructure Committee will meet at 2:30 pm, followed by a meeting of the Energy, Land And Environment Committee at 4:30 pm. No agenda is available for either meeting yet.

  • The Medicine Hat Utilities Ratepayer Association is having its Launch Party and Power Meeting on Tuesday at 7:00 pm at the Grandstand Banquet Room on the Stampede Grounds. This event will celebrate the official launch of MHURA, and the group will share the latest info regarding what is happening on the utilities and taxes front in the city. 


Last Week In Medicine Hat:

  • Council approved a property tax increase of over 4% this year, with multi-unit housing properties seeing a slight increase in their tax contributions. The tax increase, part of the budget finalized recently, sets municipal tax hikes at 4.4% for residential properties and 4.2% for commercial properties. The City's tax ratio - the comparison of tax rates between residential and commercial - remains at 2.38, with ongoing efforts to bring the ratio closer to 2. Tax bills will be mailed in May and payment is due June 28th.

  • Speaking of taxes, Council initiated the budget planning process for the 2025-26 fiscal years. Council heard that the City is currently in good financial health with significant energy profits, but that those funds are being conserved for potential future challenges. Administration noted that the federal push towards a net-zero carbon emission electrical system may impact the profitability of the City's electrical assets. The identity of Medicine Hat as the “Gas City” also came up - let’s hope that Council doesn’t blow a bunch of cash on rebranding itself like the City of Calgary just did. (Editor’s Note: Calgary spent $4.8 million to come up with a new slogan nobody likes. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen here!).

  • Mayor Linnsie Clark's request for detailed financial information was delayed again by Council. This time, the reason for the delay was apparently due to her submitting legal justification for wanting such information nine minutes before the scheduled Council meeting. Councillor Ramona Robins, who moved to delay the discussion, said that Council did not have sufficient time to review the five pages of material submitted by Clark. The delay was supported by a council vote of 7-1, with Mayor Clark opposing the motion. This decision came after a previous postponement when Council ran out of time to discuss the request, which includes data on employee turnover, severances, and expenditures for top City Managers. Sure, she should have submitted the paperwork earlier, but why is a legal justification necessary to get this data? Taxpayers are owed transparency - that’s reason enough in itself.




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  • Common Sense Medicine Hat
    published this page in News 2024-04-29 00:11:56 -0600