Medicine Hat Minute: Mayoral Address, Winter Rentals, and Recreation Facility Upgrades
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
The Emergency Advisory Committee will meet today at 10:00 am. On the agenda are revisions to the Municipal Emergency Management Plan and amendments to the Emergency Management Bylaw. The Energy, Land And Environment Committee Meeting will meet on Thursday at 4:00 pm. No agenda is available for this meeting yet.
The City is considering a pre-approved building program to address the housing crisis, according to BILD Medicine Hat. The proposed program involves pre-developed plans meeting construction standards, aiming to streamline and expedite the building process. Mayor Linnsie Clark mentioned the proposal in her State Of The City speech (more on that below!), with further details expected to be presented to the Council later this year.
- The Medicine Hat Utilities Ratepayer Association will be hosting a town hall on Tuesday at 6:30 pm at Higdon Hall at the Stampede Grounds. Our own Kristy Koehler from Common Sense will be speaking at the event, too, so we hope to see you all there!
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
It was announced that facilities at the Big Marble Go Centre will undergo upgrades this summer. The Cenovus Arena will see a $100,000 reconstruction of its ice plant, resulting in closure from mid-April to July. During this period, the Hockey Hounds Arena will remain open for skating. The Kinsmen Aquatic Centre faces a temporary closure, from mid-May to mid-September, for a $2.8 million renovation project, involving the replacement of water and pool filters, fixing a water storage reservoir, and addressing staff safety concerns. Alternative facilities, extended hours, and an extended season for outdoor pools are planned to mitigate the impact on local swim clubs. The comprehensive renovations are expected to extend the facility's lifespan and streamline future maintenance efforts.
- Mayor Linnsie Clark gave her State of the City address. She said that affordability and the housing supply are top priorities for Medicine Hat City Hall. Facing challenges alongside other Canadian communities, Clark attributed the historically poor year for local residential building to factors such as interest rates, construction inflation, and population growth, leading to higher housing costs and rental increases. With only 29 single-family homes started in 2023, down from previous years, Clark outlined potential solutions, including local tax incentives, zoning changes, and land-use bylaw amendments to increase housing supply.
- Due to aging equipment and increased liability concerns, the organization that previously operated cross-country skiing and snowshoeing gear rentals from the Interpretive Centre at Police Point Park has stopped offering this service. The Grasslands Naturalists, who ran the program, said equipment replacement is currently unaffordable. They hope to find a way to offer the rentals again in the future, and residents are already expressing their disappointment.
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