Medicine Hat Minute: Parking Stalls, Solar Park, and an Ambiguous Energy Project
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
A Public Services Committee meeting is scheduled for 8:00 am on Tuesday. The Committee will hear an update regarding City-delivered entertainment and events and will also discuss recommending approval of a budget amendment in the amount of $133,170 to support hiring of a Community Inclusion Coordinator. The Managing Director’s Service Area Update presentation will include information about the Low-Income Transit Pass Program and Family and Community Support Services.
- The Municipal Planning Commission will meet on Wednesday at 2:30 pm and the Corporate Services Committee has a meeting scheduled for Thursday at 4:30 pm. There are no agendas available for either of these meetings yet.
- For Western Christians, today is Easter Monday. The Easter weekend is always observed alongside Passover celebrations in Judaism, but this year, Ramadan comes at the same time. Because Judaism and Islam keep different lunar calendars, Easter, Passover, and Ramadan will only overlap three times per century, as they do this year. From all of us at Common Sense Medicine Hat, may you have a joyous day, whichever holiday you’re celebrating.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
The Alberta Utilities Commission set a hearing date to consider the Saamis Solar Park in northern Medicine Hat. July 11th will be the first day of the virtual hearing into what would become, if approved, the largest urban solar power farm in Canada. DP Energy wants to place 310,000 solar panels on more than 1,600 acres just north of Rotary Centennial Way, along with a substation. Some residents, however, are expressing concern about visual impacts, glare, and effect on property values.
- Council agreed to put $7 million towards pursuing “an early phase clean energy project” but, citing “commercial sensitivities”, no more information was released. An outline of the City's clean energy strategy was provided, indicating that the City could take part in partnerships or pilot projects and will concentrate on “proven methods”. Mayor Linnsie Clark said the City’s energy division is developing a plan to lower emissions and that their work will eventually require funding. Council also approved $3.24 million in maintenance for the rotor on the generating unit at the river valley station.
- The City has decided to relax some of its parking regulations for new developments. As part of the "Strong Towns" recommendations, the City will be more flexible with imposing a minimum number and size of parking stalls on developers. Now, each project can be assessed individually. Things like bicycle racks, EV charging spaces, pickup and drop-off areas, or proximity to a bus stop could impact planners' decisions as to how many parking spots are required.
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