Medicine Hat Minute: Utility Talks, Appeal Review, and Taxes Mailed Out
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
There are two meetings scheduled at City Hall this week. The first is a regular City Council meeting today at 6:30 pm. Council will receive two presentations from the Director of Parks and Recreation, and one from the City Assessor. Council will also receive reports from various committee meetings, as well as give second and third reading to Bylaw 4692, to adopt the Northwest Industrial Area Structure Plan.
- On Thursday there will be a meeting of the Corporate Services Committee at 11:00 am. No agenda was posted at the time of writing.
- A report on future prospects for southeast Alberta to become a hydrogen production hub is coming soon. The report is in its final stages of completion, coming after the City’s declaration that the “hydrogen hub” would be a key component of its economic development strategy. Roughly 20% of Alberta’s hydrogen production already occurs in the Medicine Hat area. We're all for new businesses coming to the region, but we're worried this will turn into yet another taxpayer-funded money pit.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
- The Canadian Pacific Railway appealed to Alberta’s Energy Regulator, contending that they are not responsible for the cost to rework a leaking historic gas well in the middle of Medicine Hat. The railway took the position that the well, drilled in the 1900s, was transferred out of their hands before being discovered by City road crews. The submission to the regulator asks that the City of Medicine Hat be considered the owner.
- Direct engagement between City Administrators and the public over skyrocketing utility rates took place last Wednesday. Utility officials are eyeing potential changes, but no decisions will be made until a full analysis is concluded. This doesn’t do much to help ratepayers looking for relief from rising rates that have been, at least in part, influenced by bill deferrals that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Property tax assessments were mailed out last week, and Hatters will have until June 30th to pay their taxes without incurring a penalty. The 2022 budget amendments passed earlier this year assume a 3% increase in tax revenue, made up of increases related to assessment growth, inflation, and a cut in tax-related grants by the provincial government.
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