Medicine Hat Minute: Town Hall, Monarch Sale, and Major Operating Expenses
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
This evening, there will be a City Council meeting at 6:30 pm. Council will receive a presentation regarding the Asset Management Strategy for Water, Sewer, Storm, and Transportation. There will also be a Public Hearing regarding a Direct Control Development Permit Application. If approved, a development permit will be issued for Self Storage at 1222 Allowance Avenue SE.
- There are also several pieces of new business that will be dealt with at tonight’s Council meeting. Council will discuss the approval of the 2024 Medicine Hat Economic Development structure with an operating budget increase of $279,000. This includes an increase in staff and brings the department’s total operational budget to $1.814 million. Administration is also recommending that Council approve three new Economic Development Major Operating Expenses - a northern and regional economic development program, an immigration-focused labour market program, and a settlement, integration, and language project. The total for all three projects comes in at almost $1 million, and will be funded by third party grants of $565,000 and City of Medicine Hat Operating Reserves of $374,175. It also appears that the Monarch Theatre negotiations went well, as there is a proposal in front of Council to approve the sale of the space for $100,000.
- The Municipal Planning Commission will meet on Wednesday at 2:30 pm, followed by a meeting of the Administrative and Legislative Review Committee at 3:45 pm. No agenda is available for either meeting yet.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
A dispute within the Medicine Hat Stampede Board has resulted in the removal of its president Darlene Keeler - a 7-2 board vote ousted her from the role. Keeler remains a board member and said she will be seeking legal advice as she feels she was wrongly dismissed. Specific details about the dispute have not been disclosed, though Keeler noted the issue was rooted in ego and economics. A former director of the Stampede says that the organization needs to better manage internal conflicts to ensure its future stability.
- City billing officials have started talks with condo associations to determine how to extend the recently passed cost-pressure relief program to individual unit owners who pay bills through condo fees. The program offers $800 over three months for residential unit owners and $2,000 for businesses on their utility bills - the number of units in each condo building will now be calculated and a single cumulative payment applied to the building's account. Condo associations will decide how to distribute the credits, either by reducing utility payments typically covered by condo fees or through another method.
- A town hall meeting was held at the Medicine Hat Public Library, with around 50 Hatters engaging with local elected officials, including Mayor Linnsie Clark and six council members. The discussion covered various topics, including the Strong Towns initiative, leadership, absentee property owner responsibilities, downtown marginalized populations, and safety issues. Issues like police personnel and low wages, as well as the maintenance of boulevards and future development plans, were also addressed at the meeting.
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