Neat to Know: November 21 2023

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Welcome to Neat to Know - the first edition of a new feature from the City of Medicine Hat to ensure you don't miss important info and some that is really, well... neat to know!

You can expect to see this feature regularly as we round up the week's most interesting content and even some that may not have been delivered through our regular channels.


In case you missed it...

City Council approved updates to the 2024 capital and operating budgets at their regular meeting on November 20, 2023. Here are some of the highlights:

  • There was no change to the approved 5% increase in property tax revenue to cover the costs of municipal inflation that was previously set out in the 2023-2024 budget.
    • 4% is an increase to existing homes and businesses (the current assessment base)
    • 1% is attributed to assessment base growth (new properties or businesses)
  • The update reduces the 2024 Municipal budget gap by $0.8M (from $7.0M to $6.3M when rounded), largely because of investment returns from a larger investment portfolio than previously anticipated.

Check out the Council mid-term report to see the progress your City Council has made in the two years since they were sworn into office and how they've advanced their six strategic priorities:

  1. Innovation
  2. Economic Evolution
  3. Service Orientation
  4. Partnerships and Governance
  5. Community Wellness
  6. Resilience and Sustainability
On November 20, 2023, City Council passed a new gas utility bylaw (Bylaw 4798) to provide consumers with a single Market Reference Price based on wholesale market commodity prices (the weighted average cost of the natural gas purchased for that particular month of consumption) plus $0.07/GJ to recover transactional costs and a small rate of return. This new rate will take effect January 1, 2024 and be in effect until a third-party review of the City's energy business (COMCO) is complete.

Consumers may still enter Fixed or Variable natural gas contracts up until December 31, 2023, at which time all contracts will expire in favour of the new rate. You may choose to return to your contract that was in effect prior to January 1, 2024 by contacting customer_accounts@medicinehat.ca by email by February 1, 2024 and will be subject to the terms of that contract for the duration of the initial contract.

Upcoming Events

Text "Fixing the housing crisis here at home"
Fixing the Housing Crisis Here at Home

Since January the Local Action Team and other community members have been working diligently to develop solutions that address the needs of the community.

November 28, 2023
7 p.m.
Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre
401 First Street SE

Join us for this final public event where we discuss housing. To ensure a better future for Medicine Hat, we’ve got to make sure future residents can find a home here. The answer to the housing crisis won’t be found at the federal or provincial level. The answer to the housing crisis is right here in Medicine Hat.

Text "Mobilizing your community to become a strong town"
Mobilizing Your Community to Become a Strong Town

Join us for a FREE public workshop!

November 29, 2023
1 p.m.
Medicine Hat Public Library
414 First Street SE

In this presentation, Norm Van Eeden Petersman, member advocate for Strong Towns, outlines a path forward and draws upon his 10 years of congregational leadership and community outreach to provide tools that you can use to mobilize your community for change.

Shorts

HotSpot parking at Esplanade
Esplanade patrons can now pay for parking with the digital HotSpot platform through the mobile app or QR code. The current cash parking meter system will be phased out after December 31, 2023.
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Transit Route 56

Transit Services are currently piloting Route 56 to address peak traffic challenges on Dunmore Road, offering direct access from Southlands Boulevard and Masterpiece Lodge areas to prime shopping locations including the Medicine Hat Mall and the Walmart area. Riders can provide feedback to help inform a decision in the new year.

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NW Riverside Trail
The City announced the reopening of the Northwest Riverside Trail, a development made possible through a $100,000 contribution from the Trans Canada Trail program. This funding supported remediation efforts to revive the trail, ensuring it is safe and accessible for everyone.

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