Lethbridge Minute: Streets Alive, Cold Storage, and a Temporary Shelter Expansion
Lethbridge Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Lethbridge politics
This Week In Lethbridge:
- There will be a City Council meeting on Tuesday, beginning with a closed session at 9:30 am. The meeting will open to the public at 1:30 pm. During the open session, Council will discuss the Terms of Reference for the Downtown Lawlessness Reduction Task Force, give Second and Third Reading to a bylaw increasing parking ticket fines, and hear a presentation from the City Manager regarding 2023 accomplishments. At 3:00 pm, there will be a public hearing to discuss several land use amendments before Council heads back in-camera (behind closed doors) to address several confidential reports.
- There will be a meeting of the Safety and Social Standing Policy Committee on Thursday at 1:30 pm. The Committee will receive a presentation from the YWCA on the potential expansion of the Harbour House Emergency Shelter to include additional beds. A presentation will also be received regarding the Lethbridge Social Helping Organizations Coalition.
- The City of Lethbridge is seeking input from non-profits interested in leasing the Bowman Building, at 811 5 Avenue South. With approximately 12,000 square feet available, an online survey is open to gather details on potential tenant’s space requirements, operating hours, and openness to sharing the space with other tenants. Feedback will inform the Request for Expression of Interest (RFEOI), set to be released at the end of January. Qualified non-profits will be selected based on RFEOI responses for lease negotiations. The survey can be accessed online and remains open until December 22nd.
Last Week In Lethbridge:
The Interfaith Food Bank has received an upgrade. A significant donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was invested in two new cold storage units, much larger than the old ones. The units cost approximately $140,000 and were almost entirely paid for by the donation. The enhanced storage capacity has allowed for an increased intake of fresh and frozen food, accommodating a rise from 70,000 pounds to 188,000 pounds monthly. The upgrade also allowed the units to be installed flush to the floor, with doors big enough for forklift access to move pallets of food in and out with ease.
- Streets Alive Mission, an organization assisting the city’s vulnerable population, has filed an appeal after they were issued a stop order over potential contraventions to the land-use bylaw. The organization has been zoned as a “religious assembly” for two decades, but after complaints were lodged, the City investigated and found that weekly visits by community paramedics, offered services like hair care and Foot Fridays, along with a variety of other activities, were in contravention with the zoning. Streets Alive was told they needed to apply for three development permits - a resource centre permit, a personal service permit, and a medical and health office (outpatient) permit - in order to remain compliant. The organization believes their activities fall under their religious assembly zoning and chose not to apply for the permits. There will be an appeal hearing, open to the public, on December 21st. Written material can be provided by the general public, whether in support or opposition. The deadline to do so is December 18th and the material will be read at the hearing.
- The Province announced $1 million in funding for the City to create about 50 temporary winter shelter spaces in partnership with the Blood Tribe Department of Health. A modular trailer unit has been set up at the existing shelter site and has been equipped with heating and water services. The temporary shelter spaces will open on Tuesday and remain open until April 2024.
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