Lethbridge Minute: Downtown Dragons, Housing Affordability, and Unwelcome Land Speculation
Lethbridge Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Lethbridge politics
This Week In Lethbridge:
City Council is clearly still busy chasing summer, as while there were originally two meetings scheduled for this week, they've both been cancelled.
The meetings cancelled were an Audit Committee meeting originally planned for 1:30 pm on Wednesday, and a Civic Works Standing Policy Committee meeting planned for 1:30 pm on Tuesday. As of today, City Council is scheduled to return next week, though perhaps those meetings will be cancelled as well? We'll let you know!
- The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce is looking for feedback from local business owners and operators on whether the City should make COVID vaccines mandatory for in-person access to government services or non-essential businesses and events. What do you think the City should do?
Last Week In Lethbridge:
- City Council could have made Lethbridge more attractive to entrepreneurs and to new business by lowering taxes and cutting wasteful spending but instead, they've decided to whip out the taxpayer-funded credit card for a "Dragons Den"-style competition that will see entrepreneurs compete for a year of free rent in Lethbridge's downtown core. Would a year's free rent be nice for whoever wins the completion? Sure! But helping create a better business environment for every business should be the priority.
- The City has tightened their control over City-owned land after Council moved to deter real estate speculators from buying City-owned industrial land with the intention of flipping it to sell for a higher value. Under the new system, purchasers of City-owned Industrial land will be required to develop the land within a five-year period or relinquish their ownership and sell the land back to the City for the lesser of the original purchase price or market value.
- Finally, City Council is also eyeing funds from the City's COVID-19 rent subsidy as a way to give the Lethbridge Housing Authority a $90,023 tax break. While the Lethbridge Housing Authority cites inflation as their primary pain point, Council fails to recognize that inflation is also impacting the ratepayer as well.
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