City Council Meeting Highlights

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June 17, 2019

Grant MacKay, Manager of Land & Business Support gave a presentation on the Land & Business Support 2018 Annual Report. It was noted that the report has been prepared in accordance with the 2014 Business Model to provide information to various stakeholders and highlight performance relative to established objectives. The report also serves to provide Council with mandated reporting as outlined in Council approved policies that govern Land & Business Support functions.

Following a public hearing, City Council approved, Second and Third reading of Bylaw #4587, a Bylaw of the City of Medicine Hat to amend Bylaw #4168, the Land Use Bylaw. Bylaw #4587 re-zones a portion of 1650 South Boundary Road SW from Future Urban Development (FUD) To Low Density Residential (RLD). The proposed rezoning will help achieve City Council’s Strategic Priority of Economic Vitality by allowing the property owner to pursue their development aspirations without compromising the opportunity for future urban development of the subject lands. 

City Council received for information, through Corporate Services Committee, the Land & Business Support (L&BS) 2018 Annual Report. The report was summarized in a presentation to Council at the beginning of the evening by Grant MacKay, Manager of L&BS. 

City Council, through Energy & Utilities Committee, approved an increase of $7,409,100 in debenture funding to the 2018 Electric Distribution Substation capital budget for the installation of equipment used to provide additional substation capacity. Of the total, $6,038,000 is to be funded by debenture and $1,371,100 to be funded by third party. The original substation budget was approved in 2018, but since that time, significant growth and development has taken place in the City’s northwest quadrant. Two major customers will be coming on stream shortly which will see the capacity at the planned substation fully allocated. The request for a budget amendment will increase the capacity at this substation ensuring adequate supply for continued growth in the area and provide reliable and sustained service to current customers. 

Also through Energy & Utilities Committee, City Council approved a 2019 budget amendment to purchase an existing LM6000 standby engine (that is currently being leased) that Electric Generation (Genco) can use to backup both Unit 14 and Unit 15. To provide reliable backup and ensure generation is available to maximize value, Genco has procured a backup engine for the two LM 2500 engines on site. Currently, Genco is relying on the leased engine which is due to go back to the original equipment manufacturer. 

City Council also approved an Energy & Utilities Committee recommendation for a 2019 budget amendment of $1,274,070 to purchase and install a waste heat recovery unit (WHRU) for Unit 16 (funded through the operating budget). A waste heat recovery unit improves overall efficiency of the generating unit as it captures current waste heat from the unit and utilizes that heat during winter months to heat incoming ambient air to prevent the unit from icing up. 

Through Public Services Committee, City Council approved the recommendation to award Special Cultural Events Assistance Grants totaling $5,310. Special Cultural Events Assistance Grants for May 2019 will be allocated as follows, based on 50% being provided up-front, and the balance after receiving a financial statement indicating a deficit. 

Organization/Representative

Project

Applicant Request

 

Recommended Funding

Southern Alberta Pop Up Parks Association

Thomas Fougere & Amanda Oberarcher

Street Display & Live Painting

$1,000

$1,000

 

Medicine Hat Public Library

Gillian Reimer & Kris Samraj

Table Tennis Grand Opening

$1,000

$1,000

 

Southern Exposure Photography Club

Dianne Finch

APAN Art Display

$750

$750

 

The Hive Artists’ Hub Society

Wendy Struck

Public Art for APAN Summit

$800

$800

 

GX Dance Studio

Aaron Melanson

‘Last Standing’ Breaking Competitions

$1,000

$1,000

 

Visual Arts Student Society

Jordan Rose

Public Art Project

$760

$760

 

 

Totals

$5,310

$5,310

  

City Council received for information an update on dog park planning through Public Services Committee. Following the change of the Saamis Archeological site to an on-leash, on-trail environmental reserve on January 1, 2019, management committed to return to City Council to provide an update on the development of designated off-leash options in the community. A preliminary evaluation of 14 potential dog park sites within the city has been completed. One site has been identified for immediate development - Westview Area (north of Hillside Cemetery), and two sites have been shortlisted for further review (Goodyear and Tourist Centre areas.) The criteria used in evaluating the sites included: consideration to existing dog park development research, City of Medicine Hat Dog Park Development Plan, water access or availability, public suitability, legislative requirements, environmental impacts/ecological health, and historical site use. Informal public and stakeholder input was gathered from groups such as Gas City Canine Cruisers Club, SEAWA, and the provincial government. 

Through Public Services Committee, City Council received for information an update from Parks & Recreation on service level adjustments (based on parks utilization.) As a result of management’s commitment to explore opportunities to seek financial savings and sustainable resource practices in parks maintenance, an in-depth examination was completed. As a result, service levels have been adjusted in some parks based on type and volume of utilization. Through this work, an annual cost reduction of $200,000 will be realized. Management will monitor feedback from the community and return to committee with an update in mid-summer of 2019. A final report be complete in the fall of 2019. 

Also through Public Services Committee, City Council received an update on the ‘Wingapalooza’ event hosted by the Canalta Centre on June 15, 2019. The report acknowledged that the event did not meet resident and patron expectations, and indicated that management is actively working with SMG to understand what happened to ensure similar circumstances are avoided in the future. 

Through Administrative Committee, City Council received for information the RFP Recommendation IC19-23 Cellular Wireless Devices and Services. The RFP was awarded to the tender meeting best evaluated bid specification, Bell, in the amount of $1,550,000 for City of Medicine Hat and $286,000 for Medicine Hat Police Services (subject to an agreement satisfactory to the CAO and City Solicitor). 

City Council received for information the minutes of the Police Commission Meeting from May 16, 2019. 

City Council approved first reading of Bylaw #4592, a Bylaw of the City of Medicine Hat to amend Debenture Borrowing Bylaw #4488 sponsored by Energy & Utilities Committee. The Bylaw will see an increase of $7,409,100 in debenture funding to the 2018 Electric Distribution Substation capital budget for the installation of equipment to provide additional substation capacity; $6,038,000 of which to be funded by debenture and $1,371,100 by third party. 

Councillor Samraj introduced a notice of motion to amend the Community Spirit Awards Policy (#0113) to adjust the procedure allowing the selection committee discretion in awarding more than four recipients in the Awards of Service category, and more than one recipient in the Award of Excellence categories. The change will allow for more opportunity to highlight community contributions. City Council voted unanimously to approve the amendment.

  

More Information

Next City Council meeting to be held in City Hall Council Chambers
Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at 6:30 PM


City Council Meeting Highlights is an informal summary of the information presented to, and decisions made by, Medicine Hat City Council at its regular meetings. Click here to view official meeting minutes.