Medicine Hat Minute: Neighbourhood Associations, College Funding, and a Sober Living Facility
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
This afternoon, there will be a regular City Council meeting. The closed portion of the meeting begins at 3:45 pm and opens up to the public at 6:30 pm. During the closed session, Council will discuss Strong Towns, attracting health care workers, Highway 3 twinning, and the Municipal Planning Commission, among other items. During the public portion, the Medicine Hat Curling Club will make a pitch to Council for just over $1.5 million in funding for necessary upgrades to restore operations after a series of facility failures in fall of last year. There will also be a public hearing regarding land use bylaw amendments and the Clean Energy Improvement Program.
- The City of Medicine Hat is in the process of setting up access to emergency services for those with hearing and speech impairments. Once the process is complete, likely around the end of the year, residents will be able to send a text to the 911 call centre.
- Medicine Hat College will be accepting more students into the practical nursing program after an investment from the Province. The College plans to open up 32 more places annually for the next three years, beginning in 2024.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
The City said it will be working with community partners to simplify the process of creating new neighbourhood associations. The City’s Community Vibrancy Advisory Board declared the associations a priority earlier in the year, and City staff have been working on how best to set them up. While the City is supporting the initiative, the associations will be resident-led and made up of individuals, businesses, public institutions, clubs, and organizations. More information on how to start a community association is available online, at the City’s website.
- A plan to use the former Champions Centre at 435 N. Railway St. as a supportive sober living facility has been approved by the Municipal Planning Commission. A previous application to use it as an emergency overnight homeless shelter was rescinded. The Mustard Seed will now house up to 10 people at a time, providing counselling until other housing becomes available. No rezoning is required so Council does not need to provide any further approval.
- The City’s Community Development Director showcased plans to enhance Medicine Hat’s event and entertainment options. There are plans to remove financial barriers by introducing as many free or pay-what-you-can experiences as possible, as well as keeping the location central by using downtown venues like the Monarch Theatre and Towne Square. Event attendance in the city has been steadily increasing since the pandemic, but both the Esplanade and Co-op Place currently operate at a deficit.
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