July 20th, 2018

Council runs through readings of 2018 mill rate

By Collin Gallant on April 17, 2018.

Medicine Hat News

While most of the items on Monday night’s council agenda were overshadowed by the announcement of a new cannabis production facility, several important items were handled in other business.

Council gave three readings to the 2018 mill rate bylaw that will determine property tax amounts owing at this year’ June 30 deadline.

Administration’s proposal to increase taxes by 4.4 per cent will now be applied to tax assessments mailed out last month, with administrators saying the added tax bill for a median home valued at $266,000 this year would be $68.

That home’s total tax bill, including provincial educational portions, would be $2,472.

Council also voted to cancel a four-year-old borrowing bylaw that would have funded the removal and reconstruction of a private sewage lift station at the River Ridge condo complex. The owners of several condos attached to the station lost a court decision asking that the city be made responsible for the station as well as all adjoining pipes in the five-parcel subdivision. That decision is being appealed.

The city’s 2017 financial statements were also presented to council. A tertiary examination of the document shows revenue was about $30 million less than budgeted at $296.8 million, but $8 million less than 2016.

Spending was almost $50 million under budget at $397.9 million, and also $10 million under the previous year’s actual amount.

City debt rose to $323.5 million, up $21.6 million from 2016, with about 85 per cent related to utility operations.

City councillors also unanimously approved a land zoning change that would allow Mudrack Concrete to build a storage yard that encroaches into flood fringe area near the Seven Persons Creek at 851 Industrial Avenue.

Council also accepted the annual report from the Destination Marketing Organization, the city’s contracted tourism service provider.

While accepting committee reports, council also approved a move to lower lot prices for residential lots in the Flats, acquired during a flood-damage buyback program in 2013 as well as a number of Multi-family building sites.

The authority to negotiate a minor land sale with Cypress County to build the Veinerville Water Vault was delegated to city chief administrator Merete Heggelund.

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