Medicine Hat Minute: Organics Diversion, Road Bylaw, and a Funding Decision Deferred
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
The Public Services Committee will meet on Tuesday at 3:30 pm. The Committee will discuss the renewal period for the Fair Entry Program, extending it from one year to two years, in order to reduce barriers to accessing the program and reduce administrative time.
- The Administrative and Legislative Review Committee will meet on Wednesday at 3:45 pm. No agenda is available for this meeting yet. The Development and Infrastructure Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday at 1:00 pm. No agenda is available for this meeting either.
- Also on Thursday, there will be a meeting of the Energy, Land and Environment Committee at 4:00 pm. Much of the meeting will be held in-camera (in secret) to discuss an item listed as “Energy Transition”.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
Council deferred a decision on the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede's request for $22.5 million in funding from the City, seeking more details about the organization's plans. Council members expressed support for the request but emphasized the need for additional information, including a business plan, five-year expense projections, and repayment details for the proposed loan. The Stampede is seeking 60% of the $37.5 million project cost, with 40% as a grant from the City and 20% as an interest-free loan. Councillors said the request involves a significant amount of taxpayer money and they owe it to residents to make the best decision possible.
- Council unanimously approved changes to the Public Roads Bylaw to give residents more clarity over who has the right-of-way where the City’s trail system intersects with roadways. Previously, only pedestrians had the right-of-way, but the changes expand it to cyclists and users of other active transport methods (skateboards, scooters, and rollerblades). An amendment was also passed permitting children under 14 to ride bicycles on sidewalks. Initial implementation and monitoring of the new right-of-way rules will begin at locations along Carry Drive Southeast, with potential revisions based on forthcoming master transportation plans.
- A $1 million composting pilot program to collect food waste at the curb for select residents was approved by Council. The pilot is part of the 2023-2032 waste management strategy, and the City is looking to secure matching federal funding. The goal is to extend the operational lifespan of the landfill by 15 years to 2059, as about 35% of what is collected in the grey carts is actually organic waste that could be diverted.
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