Lethbridge Minute: Ag Expo, Budget Disappointment, and Clean Energy Improvements
Lethbridge Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Lethbridge politics
This Week In Lethbridge:
- On Tuesday, at 12:30 pm, there will be a City Council meeting. The first portion of the meeting is a closed session, but it opens up to the public at 1:30 pm. During the open session, Council will review various committee reports before addressing the main item of business - a proposal to lower the term limits for City Councillors sitting on boards and commissions from four years to three years. Additionally, Council will discuss the need to consolidate the Fee Assistance Program, which supports low-income residents to participate in Recreation and Culture programs, and the Refugee Bus Pass program. Also on the agenda are increases to the deposit and signature requirements for municipal election candidates and a funding allocation request for an outreach program at Streets Alive Mission.
A meeting of the Audit Committee is scheduled for 1:30 pm on Wednesday, during which the unaudited financial information for the year 2022 will be presented. However, the information in question is listed as confidential.
- On Thursday, at 1:30 pm, there will be a meeting of the Community Safety Standing Policy Committee. The General Manager of Regulatory Services will make two submissions, one regarding drone regulations and another about taxi rates and regulations.
Last Week In Lethbridge:
Mayor Blaine Hyggen expressed some disappointment with the Province’s 2023 budget, wondering if it was “missing a page”. Hyggen said there were some Lethbridge-specific projects that didn’t get funding, like a catheterization lab at Chinook Regional Hospital. The Mayor had written a letter to the Province last year, requesting funding specifically for the lab. Still, Lethbridge will receive $11.2 million dollars over the next three years for the hospital’s renal dialysis program expansion, $5 million this year for irrigation planning, as well as cash for a new Catholic elementary school and upgrades to existing schools.
- Applications have already started rolling in for a program to help Lethbridge homeowners make eco-friendly home improvements. The City has partnered with Alberta Municipalities to adopt the Clean Energy Improvement Program. Homeowners can receive low-interest financing from the City to cover costs associated with eco-friendly retrofits such as new windows, doors, and solar panels, provided the costs are between $3,000 to $50,000, and repay the loan over 20 years. Other grants, like the federal Canada Greener Homes, are also available to offset costs, and the City is offering an $800 incentive to residents who complete projects on a first-come, first-served basis.
- The 2023 AgExpo and North American Seed Fair took place at the Lethbridge and District Exhibition, attracting hundreds of agricultural industry experts who showcased the latest in farming technology and machinery. The event featured various workshops, presentations, and demonstrations covering topics such as crop production, livestock management, and farm safety.
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