Medicine Hat Minute: Pottie Pilot, Hydrogen Report, and Shelter Plan Rescinded
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
There are two meetings scheduled this week, beginning with a meeting of the Public Services Committee today at 8:00 am. Representatives from BIRD will be on hand to provide a presentation about their e-scooter program. The Committee will receive an implementation update on the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Also on the agenda is the Managing Director’s Service Area Update, which will touch on the goats in Police Point Park, public pools, and more.
- On Wednesday, there will be a meeting of the Municipal Planning Commission at 2:30 pm. The Commission will discuss land use amendment bylaws that will see the City adopt the Coulee Ridge Outline Plan and rezone lands within it. There will also be an overview of the development permits that were approved between June 13th and July 3rd.
- Hatters now have easier access to public toilets in Towne Square thanks to a partnership between the City and the Medicine Hat Police Service. The new portable toilet pilot project saw the installation of three porta potties in the downtown core, one of which is accessible. During the ongoing consultation process between the City, businesses, and stakeholders in the area, access to toilets was identified as a key issue.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
- Council was informed of a $9 million budget gap that Administration said could explode to $30 million in the next two years if the problem isn’t addressed. The City blamed cuts in provincial funding, interest rates, market volatility, and the financial challenges of COVID-19. The tax stabilization reserve fund is also set to run out by 2024. Several options are on the table, including a 4% property tax increase and user fees for City facilities. Might we suggest cutting back on spending?
- A long-anticipated report on the potential for a hydrogen hub in Southeastern Alberta was released and discussed during a press conference at City Hall. The 213-page report provided valuable insights into what is needed for hydrogen production and sales to thrive in the region. While there is great potential for success, plenty of work is still needed. Medicine Hat is ahead of the curve as the City is already studying hydrogen blending in its gas-fired power plants along with using hydrogen fuel cells in its vehicle fleet.
- Plans to convert a storefront on N. Railway Street into an overnight homeless shelter have been rescinded by the Mustard Seed, who had hoped to operate the shelter. The Province may re-tender the contract to provide the service, however the immediate future for the shelter remains unclear. If no operator steps forward, there may not be any shelter services in the City next winter.
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