Our residents enjoy a high level of municipally-provided services that is equal to or greater than any community of our size in Alberta, while benefiting from lower property taxes and utility bills.
A decrease in service levels is one option to help fill the funding gap created by a decrease in financial contributions from our energy utilities to the municipal services budget.
In late spring of 2016, residents were asked to consider various City core services and provide feedback that will help us understand how services are valued in the community. The feedback was provided to Council for use as they made decisions as part of the 2017/18 budgeting process.
Heald Pool closure – City Council voted to permanently close Riverside Heald Pool, saving approximately $80,000 in annual operating costs and eliminating future associated capital cost requirements estimated at $250,000 over the next two years. Heald Pool saw the lowest percentage of outdoor pool use in Medicine Hat. Aquatics programming that would take place at Heald Pool will be accommodated at the other swim facilities in the City.
The Arena closure – City Council voted to close the Medicine Hat Arena at the end of the 2016/17 operating season, saving approximately $700,000 in annual operating costs and eliminate future associated capital cost requirements estimated at $2.5M over the next ten years, which included a $1.2M ice slab replacement scheduled for 2017. The 1700 hours of ice time lost from the closure of the Arena will be accommodated at other city rinks, including the Canalta Centre.
Transit Review – A review of the Transit system was conducted and new routes and schedules implemented with a goal of saving $650,000. However, after receiving feedback from riders and general public, Council voted to revert back to the way the City provided Transit before the change while continuing to seek a better solution.