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City Council Meeting Highlights

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May 4, 2020
Director of Emergency Management, Merrick Brown, provided City Council an update on the City’s COVID-19 response. The City activated the Municipal Emergency Management plan on March 13 and has since worked closely with Alberta Health Services to support their leadership during the pandemic response. Mr. Brown reviewed the timeline of City-related activities that have occurred during the pandemic and spoke to Province of Alberta’s relaunch strategy and the implications for the City of Medicine Hat as well as the need to continue to prepare for the possibility of a second event such as a flood.

General Manager of Planning and Development Services, Kent Snyder, presented to Council on Bylaw #4594 – Hamptons Area Structure Plan. The presentation summarized proposed changes to the Area Structure Plan.

Following a public hearing, City Council approved 2nd and 3rd reading of Bylaw #4594 – a Bylaw of the City of Medicine Hat to amend Bylaw #3617, the Hamptons Area Structure Plan. The amendment will allow for improvements to the manufactured home park (existing Medicine Hat Village Manufactured Home Community), and the potential development of additional units in the vacant and underutilized areas of the existing development.

Following a public hearing, City Council approved 2nd and 3rd reading of Bylaw #4626, a Bylaw of the City of Medicine Hat to close roads in the City of Medicine Hat. The amendment will allow for the closure of part of Viscount Avenue SW for redevelopment of the entrance to the Medicine Hat Airport.

Through Energy and Utilities Committee, Council approved the updated quality management plan (QMP) for Utility Distribution Systems – Gas Distribution. The updated plan ensures that the City of Medicine Hat is continuing to provide an equal level of service as compared to other gas utilities as regulated by Alberta Rural Utilities. 

Through Public Services Committee, City Council approved a recommendation from the Arts and Heritage Advisory Board to have staff prepare for adoption a “Statement of Acknowledgement, Recognition and Respect” to address a recommendation from the Truth and Reconciliation Committee Report indicating the need for municipalities to acknowledge First Nation and Metis heritage. 

Through Corporate Services Committee, City Council approved the following recommendations:

  • Allow the Hat Horizons Radio Operators Club’s antenna to be installed onto the McCoy tower, subject to negotiation of an agreement with terms and conditions satisfactory to the CAO and the City Solicitor. The Club has requested that the antenna be installed onto the City’s McCoy radio tower, and installation and maintenance of the antenna would pose no capital or operational cost to the City.
  • The cancellation of a portion of the 2018 property taxes for the property at 549 3 St SE in the amount of $5,678.66 due to an incorrect assessed value used for the 2018 taxes. 
  • The establishment of a formal insurance reserve. In early 2020, the City contracted a third party to review the City’s insurance program limits, coverage and terms and seek cost reductions due to rising premiums in the insurance industry. The revised insurance program is forecasted to result in $600,000 in savings annually. The newly established insurance reserve of $6 million is intended to cover future large insurance claims. If the reserve funds are utilized, the reserve will require ongoing additional funds to replenish its minimum target balance of $6 million.

Council received for information through Corporate Services Committee an update on the repayment options for utility customers following the 90-day utility deferral program. The City recognizes that customers may be unable to pay the accumulated lump sum of the deferred months of utilities and current charges, and have identified options to address individual circumstances. Customers who are experiencing financial challenges affecting ability to pay are encouraged to contact the Collections Department to discuss options (collections@medicinehat.ca).

Through Administrative Committee, City Council approved a recommendation from Heritage Resources Committee to designate Saratoga Park a Municipal Historic Resource. Saratoga Park is highly valued for its connections to First Nations use of the area, Medicine Hat's early industrial development and, more recently, Medicine Hat’s Métis community.

Also through Administrative Committee, City Council approved the 2019 Annual Report. The annual report communicates the City’s financial story and summarizes the accomplishments and challenges of 2019.

City Council received for information through Administrative Committee tender recommendation EU20-44 – Kipling and Spencer Street Corridor Rehabilitation. The tender was awarded to the best evaluated bid meeting specification: BYZ Enterprises Inc. in the amount of $4,779,400.

City Council received for information through Administrative Committee Tender Recommendation – MW20-34 Finlay Bridge Rehabilitation. The tender was awarded to the best evaluated bid meeting
specification: Horseshoe Hill Construction Inc. in the amount of $1,737,460.00.

Through Administrative Committee, Council received an update on the 2020 construction season. 

City Council approved 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reading of Bylaw #4629, a bylaw to amend Bylaw #3198, the Tax Discount Bylaw; and #4630, a bylaw to amend Bylaw #3191, the Tax Penalties Bylaw. The amendments include the following:

  • update of the 2020 tax discount and tax penalties to align with the deferred tax due date of September 30, 2020, and
  • penalties will not be imposed in 2021 for arrears for customers who sign up for the tax arrears payment plan (TAPP).

More Information

Next City Council meeting to be held in City Hall Council Chambers
                        Monday, June 1, 2020 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.