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City Council Highlights

​​Welcome to City Council Highlights, a concise digest of newsworthy decisions and issues from City Council meetings. CLICK ON A DATE TO WATCH THE VIDEO AND READ THE MINUTES. 

Most Recent Council Meeting


September 7, 2021

  • Council voted unanimously in favour for the City Manager and administration to work with interested community stakeholders to explore the possibility of participating in the National Urban Parks program and report back with their findings by December 8th, 2021
  • Council voted 5-3 (Councillor Jeff Carlson was not present) in favour of a resolution that the Municipal Planning Commission be dissolved as of January 1, 2022, and the necessary amendments to the Land Use Bylaw and the Subdivision and Development Authority and Municipal Planning Commission Bylaw be done; and Planning and Design in consultation with the Building Industry and Land Development Association bring an updated Outline Plan approval and amendment process to the Civic Works Standing Policy Committee on December 2, 2021
  • Council voted 5-3 to defeat a proposed resolution that the City of Lethbridge require that masks be worn in all city owned facilities until December 31, 2021
  • Council voted 6-2 in favour on second reading and on third reading to Bylaw 6326, a Bylaw to set up the Rider for collection of the Provincial Utility Payment Deferral Program within the City of Lethbridge
  • Council voted 6-2 to defeat Bylaw 6291, a Bylaw to repeal Bylaw 6129 and remove the designation of the Bentley Block as a Municipal Historic Resource (MHR). The property will remain a MHR
  • Following a Public Hearing, Council voted unanimously to defeat proposed Bylaw 6288 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: 4403 & 4505 24 Ave. S at second reading, encouraging the applicant to re-apply once they have had further engagement. The purpose of this proposed Direct Control Bylaw was to allow the development of a drive-in movie theatre with the potential to host outdoor concerts and events on a portion of a site that is currently used for RV sales and storage
  • Council voted unanimously to approve an amendment to 2022-2031 CIP – D-6 Lethbridge Airport Improvements in the amount of $583,480 from the RATI federal government grant
  • Council voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the agreement that will delay the implementation of the scheduled fee increase to the Recreation Excellence Aquatics Agreement. This will be reviewed in six months
  • Following a Public Hearing, Council voted 7-1 on both second and third readings in favour of Bylaw 6293 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment Re: Signs and Murals. The Land Use Bylaw amendment will amend the Land Use Bylaw definitions in order to differentiate more clearly between Murals and Signs. Murals will no longer be regulated through the Land Use Bylaw, while a definition and regulations for a new type of Sign, the Painted Wall Sign, will be added to address Signs applied directly to a building face.
  • Following a Public Hearing, Council voted unanimously on second and third readings in favour of Bylaw 6303 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment Re: 3401 26 Avenue N. The purpose of the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) amendment is to allow the development of a large scale, master-planned site consisting of large warehouse-type buildings on the captioned parcel at 3401 26 Avenue N
  • Following a Public Hearing, Council voted unanimously on second and third readings in favour of Bylaw 6304 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment Re: 539 18 Street South. The Land Use Bylaw amendment will allow the existing church to continue operating as place of worship and for the existing single detached dwelling to be occupied by non-church staff
  • Following a Public Hearing, Council voted unanimously (Councillor Ryan Parker recused himself due to conflict) on second and third readings in favour of Bylaw 6305 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment Re: 520 18 Street South. The Land Use Bylaw amendment will facilitate the development of 23 residential apartments units
  • Following a Public Hearing, Council voted 4-4 (a tie vote is defeated) in second reading to defeat proposed Bylaw 6321 - Amendment to the Sherring Business and Industrial Ares Structure Plan (Sherring Area Structure Plan)
  • Following a Public Hearing, Council voted unanimously on second and third readings in favour of Bylaw 6292 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment Re: Child Care Definitions. The Land Use Bylaw amendment will amend the Land Use Bylaw definitions for Child Care, Major and Child Care, Minor, removing the restriction on overnight accommodations to align with Provincial legislation
  • Following a Public Hearing, Council voted unanimously on second and third readings in favour of Bylaw 6295 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: Minor errors
  • Council voted unanimously to receive a report on the meeting with Economic Development Lethbridge as information


August 24, 2021

  • City Council voted 8-1 to direct the Mayor's Office to issue a permanent declaration proclaiming October 4 as Sisters in Spirit Day in Lethbridge. The Sisters in Spirit Vigil honours the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, supports grieving families, provides opportunities for healing – and is a movement for social change encouraging education and understanding related to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirited Persons. In January 2021, Lethbridge City Council approved the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Recommendations and Work Plan. One of the specific recommendations was that City Council and the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee continue to support Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls through the annual Sisters in Spirit Vigil and pursue a permanent declaration for Sisters in Spirit Day. Read more here
  • Lethbridge City Council unanimously approved an enhanced budgeting process that will align the approvals of the 4-year cycle of Operating Budget and the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) into the same year. This change will also add an annual review and adjustment of the budgets for years 2, 3 and 4 of the cycle. This will be a change from current practice where Council debates and approves a 4-year budget cycle every two years – alternating between CIP and Operating Budget. Council most recently approved the 2022-2031 CIP in June 2021. This new process will aim to reduce the complexity of preparing and presenting budgets to Council and the community. Among other administrative efficiencies, community engagement activities can also be consolidated to gather feedback from residents on all aspects of the City's budget. Read more here
  • Council voted unanimously in favour of a resolution from Mayor Chris Spearman on Industrial Land Sales. Council voted to direct the City Manager to ensure: All City of Lethbridge industrial land sales include a requirement for a development plan that demonstrates intent to commence development; the development plan be completed within five years or that substantial development be completed; the City of Lethbridge include a clause in every industrial land sales agreement that states that the City of Lethbridge will retain the right of first refusal in the event that the land remains undeveloped and is made available for sale and; the City of Lethbridge will have the right to re-acquire the undeveloped industrial land at the original selling price or market value, whichever is less and; the right of re-purchase be retained by the city for up to 99 years in the event that the land remains undeveloped or substantial development does not take place
  • Council voted unanimously in favour to cancel the Public Hearings for Bylaws 6275 and 6276, as the applicant had withdrawn its rezoning application
  • Council voted 7-2 to authorize a project funding increase by $450,000 for the Lethbridge Transit Fare Collection System Replacement. The original Corporate Systems Lifecycle replacement cost of this project was $1.5 million and it is recommended that the additional $450,000 will be reallocated from existing Transit Lifecycle Funds in the amount of $450,000
  • Council voted 7-2 to accept the amended City Council Advocacy Framework and Terms of Reference for a permanent Standing Committee, to adopt the Advocacy Framework and establish the Advocacy Advisory Standing Committee effective November 1, 2021, and that up to $10,000 in one-time funding be allocated to producing a marketing video for the City of Lethbridge. Funding will come from the Governance Standing Policy Committee Operating Budget
  • Council voted unanimously to receive as information a report and presentation from Mike Warkentin, CEO of Lethbridge & District Exhibition, on the Lethbridge & District Exhibition Annual Review of Financials
  • Following a Closed Meeting Report, Council voted unanimously to delay the implementation of paid parking at the Enmax Centre until Fall 2022, with the forecasted revenue for the Enmax Centre being funded from the Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve. Council further directed that the closed meeting reports, presentations, discussions and documents with respect to Enmax Centre Parking Update remain confidential pursuant to Section 24 (Advice from Officials) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • Council voted unanimously to approve a partial tax cancellation refund of $1,065.26 for 11 Trent Road West due to a fire
  • Council voted unanimously to approve a referral motion to Administration on a request from the Lethbridge Housing Authority for a tax cancellation of $90,023.56 for 2021 on their affordable housing inventory. The item will return as a presentation at the September 7 Council meeting
  • Council voted unanimously to adopt a selection process for the next Deputy and Acting Mayors, each for a six-month time period
  • Following a Public Hearing, Council voted unanimously in favour of second and third readings of Bylaw 6290 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: 310-12 Street South
  • Following a Public Hearing, Council voted unanimously in favour of second and third readings of Bylaw 6299 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: 2500 Westside Drive W (West Lethbridge Employment Centre)
  • Council voted unanimously in favour of second and third readings of Bylaw 6322 - Amendment to Bylaw 5801 due to Organizational restructure


August 10, 2021

  • In a 7-1 vote (Councillor Rob Miyashiro was away), City Council approved managing the Lethbridge Airport as a City of Lethbridge Department. The YQL management team will remain as it is, with the Airport Manager reporting to the Director of Corporate and Customer Services. This model will remain in place until YQL reaches the key triggers of: two consecutive years of $500,000 net operating profit and more than 150,000 annual passengers. Upon reaching these critical thresholds, implementation of a management contract directly administered by City management, or in combination with a Government‐owned Corporation or Not‐for‐Profit Authority or Commission, would be revisited. With a post-pandemic lens, the YQL Business Plan 2021-2024 focuses on increasing passenger traffic and revenue diversification through land development. When fully developed, the YQL lands could provide $10 million annually in lease revenue and an additional $10 million in tax revenue. As part of Tuesday's approval, the City's Airport Committee will be dissolved. This governance structure will be reviewed every two years at the Economic Standing Policy Committee. The existing Modalis Advisory Services Agreement will remain in place under its current form, with the Director of Corporate and Customer Services overseeing contract delivery and management. Last week, the City was awarded $583,480 from Western Economic Diversification Canada's Regional Air Transportation Initiative to support critical improvements at the Lethbridge Airport that will enhance the customer experience. Previous to that announcement, Lethbridge City Council invested $2.6 million which was leveraged to secure $23 million in Provincial and Federal funding to helping eliminate safety risks, fast-track critical projects and position the airport for post-pandemic recovery
  • After being added during Adoption of Agenda as an urgent official business item, Council voted unanimously for the City of Lethbridge second the City of Grande Prairie's proposed 2021 AUMA resolution, requesting for a dedicated funding stream for municipalities who serve as a regional service centre
  • City Council voted unanimously to receive a presentation and report from Dave Ellis, General Manager - Parks & Cemeteries, on the Peenaquim Disc Golf Course Follow up, as information
  • Council voted unanimously to postpone a submission from Robin James, CAO – Lethbridge Housing Authority re: Request from Lethbridge Housing Authority until the August 24 meeting
  • After being discussed at a Public Hearing, second and third readings for Bylaw 6250 - Procedure Bylaw, both carried in unanimous votes
  • After being discussed at a Public Hearing, second and third readings for Bylaw 6296 - Clean Energy Improvement Bylaw, both carried in unanimous votes
  • After being discussed at a Public Hearing, second and third readings for Bylaw 6297 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: 3105 44 Street South, 4310 24 Avenue South (Southbrook Phase 2), both carried in unanimous votes
  • After being discussed at a Public Hearing, second and third readings for Bylaw 6298 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: 4302 24 Avenue South, 4310 24 Avenue South (Southbrook Phases 5 & 6), both carried in unanimous votes


July 27, 2021

  • Council voted 6-3 to place a question on the October 18, 2021, General Municipal Election Ballot that reads: "Do you agree that city council should approve plans to construct a 3rd bridge prior to 2030 as a municipal capital project priority?" As part of the approved resolution, Council directed Administration to provide objective and neutral information on the City website on the following: Expected capital cost; Current traffic volumes including peak and non-peak times of day; Impact of borrowing required funding on municipal taxes; Impact of external grants, if received from provincial and/or federal governments; Expected economic benefit due to construction; Expected economic benefit post construction; Ongoing budget pressure associated with ongoing maintenance; and Estimated impact of greenhouse emissions and environmental impact. The Chinook Trail River Crossing (Preliminary Design) was included as part of 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Program (CIP). In June, Council approved the first four years (2022-2025) of the 10-year capital plan. The Chinook Trail River Crossing is currently set for a $4-million preliminary design in 2027, which is outside of the four-year approval window. Projects scheduled beyond 2025 would come back to the next CIP deliberations.  An election ballot question is non-binding and the next Council can potentially further debate direction moving forward based on question results
  • In response to resident concerns, as well as the general aesthetics of City parks and open spaces, Council voted 5-4 to re-invest funding back into the Parks budget this year. To address immediate concerns, Council will add $100,000 back into the Parks budget for 2021. It will be funded from the Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve (MRSR). Through the Operating Budget Review in November 2020, City Council voted to reduce the Parks budget by $590,500 annually. As part of the resolution, City Manager Craig Dalton is also to report back to Council in Spring 2022 for information on the outcomes of these budget changes and their impact on the general aesthetics of the City's parks and open spaces. The original resolution was split after a motion to divide, proposed by Councillor Rob Miyashiro, carried 6-3. Part 2 was defeated in a 6-3 vote. It would have added $404,500 back to the Parks budget in 2022
  • Council voted unanimously to approve the Digital Customer Service (DiCE) Program to a maximum $2.816 million through existing funding. A new citizen portal, improved e-commerce experience and a website transformation with expanded online services to improve customer service, will be among the areas of improvement through DiCE. Implementing DiCE (an acronym designed to simplify and promote Digital Customer Experience) will meet City Council's strategy, the Corporate Strategy, the Digital Transformation Master Plan and the KPMG Fiscal & Operational Review recommendations. The City of Lethbridge website is built on aging technology that will not be supported after April 2023 and lacks functionality that is becoming standard in modern municipal websites. In updating the technology and website, there will be vast improvements so residents can have personalized customer experiences, make financial transactions more easily and engage with City Council and administration online. The City will expedite the implementation of this system during a 12- to 18-month timeframe, using a combination of internal and external resources. The City of Lethbridge's operating budget processes places a high priority on maintaining, replacing and enhancing core technology infrastructure through lifecycle funds. Funding for this project will utilize existing technology lifecycle funds and is consistent with the May 3, 2010, City Council resolution funding of the existing website
  • Following a Public Hearing, Bylaw 6301 - A Bylaw to Provide for the Closing of Certain Roads, Council voted unanimously in favour on both second and third readings
  • Following a Public Hearing, Bylaw 6128 - Land Use Amendment re: 2200 44 Avenue N (Blackwolf 2), Council voted unanimously in favour on both second and third readings


July 13, 2021

  • Council voted unanimously to direct Lethbridge Transit to implement the cityLINK network starting on August 25, including modifications proposed through the community engagement process. The cityLINK project represents a total redesign of transit in Lethbridge and intends to improve the lives of Lethbridge residents through physical, economic and social mobility. After an initial project announcement in May, a series of engagement opportunities was held to gauge the potential impact of the network redesign. The cityLINK system will provide fixed route service more frequently to areas with high ridership potential, while areas with lower ridership potential will be provided demand response service. Residents will be able to get from the University to the Downtown core faster and enjoy improved access to destinations areas such as the ATB Centre, Chinook Regional Hospital, and the Mayor Magrath commercial area. To learn more visit www.lethbridge.ca/citylink
  • Council voted 8-1 to place a question on the October 18, 2021, General Municipal Election Ballot that reads: "Do you support using a ward system to elect City Councillors (other than the Mayor) starting with the 2025 municipal election?" Lethbridge City Council is currently elected at large, meaning that eight councillors and one mayor serve the entire City and all of its residents – and during the municipal election, residents vote for eight councillors and one mayor and have representation from them all. A ward is a local authority area, or electoral district, within a municipality. An election ballot question would be non-binding and the next Council can potentially further debate direction moving forward based on question results
  • Council voted 7-1 (Councillor Blaine Hyggen was not present for vote) in favour of a resolution from Councillor Jeff Carlson to approve the following projects for submission inclusion in the Canada Community Revitalization Fund: 1) Casa Community Arts Centre Rotary Square Revitalization. Alignment to grant criteria: 86%. Project Budget: $215,000. Federal Share (75%): $161,250. City Share: $53,750. Funding Source: D-8 Public Art $25,000 and $28,750 from the remaining funding available at the end of CIP Budget Deliberations. 2) Galt Gardens Accessible Playground Alignment to grant criteria: 67.5%. Approved Budget*: $500,000. Federal Share (75%): $375,000. City Share (25%): $125,000. Funding Source: D-20 in 2022-31 CIP. This presentation was added at adoption of agenda. Administration was seeking approval from Council regarding the ranking and the municipal share of funding for proposed projects. A federal grant opportunity exists to secure up to $750,000 from the Canada Community Revitalization Fund for shovel-ready, small community infrastructure projects that build or revitalize community infrastructure, safely bring people pack to public spaces post-COVID, and stimulate local economies. This program provides up to 75% of eligible project costs and would require the municipality to fund the remaining 25% of project costs. The program indicates that eligible projects will be prioritized in the following order: revitalize downtown cores and main streets; reinvent outdoor spaces; create green infrastructure; increase the accessibility of community spaces. The federal grants include a submission deadline for grant applications of Friday, July 23, with a completion date of by March 2023 for successful applicants
  • Following a presentation from Dave Ellis, General Manager - Parks & Cemeteries, on the Peenaquim Park Disc Golf course, Council voted unanimously that "this item be referred to the City Manager to provide a further update at a future meeting of City Council."
  • Council voted unanimously to receive as information a report on workforce adjustment and organizational restructure initiative at the City of Lethbridge. In response to the findings of an independent organizational structure review, City Council directed a reduction in the size of the corporation by 60 full time equivalent (FTE) positions last November. Implementation of the organizational restructure and workforce adjustment began in June and will result in a consolidation of departments from 35 to 22 and a reduction of 61 (FTE). Nearly half of the FTE will be realized by cutting positions kept vacant during the pandemic as a result of prudent planning and hiring restraint
  • Council voted unanimously to approve a submission from Michael Kelly, General Manager - Opportunity Lethbridge, on the KPMG Operational Review - Joint Venture Policy

 

June 29, 2021

  • In an effort to ensure consistent enforcement and understanding of public safety messaging, Council voted unanimously for the municipal Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw 6239 to be repealed alongside Alberta's Open for Summer Plan Stage 3 effective date of July 1. The Government of Alberta's easing of COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines on July 1 includes the lifting of the general indoor provincial mask mandate. However, masking will still be required in specific settings, as determined by the Government of Alberta, including at acute and continuing care settings, as well as on public transit and in taxis or rideshare cars. Under the Open for Summer Plan, the Government of Alberta has been easing restrictions in a phased approach triggered by increased vaccinations and decreased hospitalization rates. Council's repeal Bylaw 6302, which carried all three readings at this meeting, also includes a clause that says: "City Council has the ability to bring back a mandatory face covering bylaw if COVID-19 numbers surpass a level of concern as advised by local health authorities."
  • Council voted 6-3 to proceed with a revised plan for Municipal Stimulus Program (MSP) funded projects which include the Lethbridge Airport renovations and Festival Square Market Plaza. In fall 2020, City Administration reviewed more than 25 potential projects against the Provincial MSP funding guidelines and submitted three for Council's consideration. City Council approved the $12.06 million in funding to the City of Lethbridge be allocated to the Lethbridge Airport Renovation – Airfield Lighting & Pavement Rehabilitation ($11.163 million) and Festival Square Market Plaza ($900,000). These were submitted and approved by the Province. On June 15, administration provided an update to Council identifying that the Festival Square project would come in over the $900,000 budget due to a combination of inflation and revised scope. Council requested administration reach out to the Province to explore all options with the MSP funding and provide a report back to Council. The Alberta Government has since advised that while there was no additional funding available and a firm December 31, 2021, completion date for approved projects was expected, that flexibility would be provided to shift money between approved projects. As administration returned to Council on June 29, a recap of the Government of Alberta correspondence and an update of budget projections for all three MSP-funded projects was provided. The two Airport projects are able to be completed as scoped with a $1.9-million surplus and therefore, administration recommended to shift unspent funds on the Airport projects to the Festival Square project. This will allow Festival Square to proceed – without any City funding – to ensure that the project is delivered as an economic catalyst for downtown – and that no MSP funding will be left unspent. From the $1.9 million Airport project surplus, Council has approved: $810,000 for Festival Square: $485,000 as tendered for water/wastewater servicing, lane rehab, community lighting, entry sign and decorative column lighting, plus $325,000 for additional components such as an interactive stage, a secondary entry sign, programmable lighting and site furniture (tables, chairs, and planters); $1,090,000 for extended airport pavement rehabilitation
  • Council voted 7-2 on third reading for Municipal Development Plan (MDP), Bylaw 6265, setting the City's vision for sustainable growth in the present and future. More information on the MDP is here. The full MDP can be found here
  • Council voted 6-3 to approve the Consent Agenda, which included the adoption of recommendations contained in the following Standing Policy Committee reports: City of Lethbridge Transportation Safety Plan; 5 Avenue North and 13 Street Functional Planning and Design; Industrial, Commercial & Institutional (ICI) and Construction & Demolition (C&D) Sectors Waste Diversion Implementation Strategy 2020 Annual Report; Waste Collection Efficiencies – Cart Relocation Project Update; Lethbridge Transit cityLINK Engagement Presentation; 2021 Community Capital Project Grant Recommendations; Galt Museum and Archives Strategic Plan Engagement Session; and Affordable and Social Housing Capital Project Grant
  • Council unanimously approved the donation of 2010 ARBOC Low-Floor Paratransit Bus to the Green Acres Foundation
  • Council unanimously approved the payment of the 2021 Annual Membership (effective January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021) with the Highway 3 Twinning Development Association in the amount of $4,500 to be funded from Council Contingencies
  • Council voted unanimously in favour of second and third readings to Bylaw 6289 - Land Use Amendment re: 2604 & 2702 24 Street North (Sherring Business and Industrial Park)
  • Council voted 8-1 in favour of third reading to Bylaw 6236 – Area Redevelopment Plan Adoption re: Westminster Area Redevelopment Plan, as amended
  • Council voted unanimously to amend 2021 Council and Committee Meetings Calendar by adding a Governance Standing Policy Committee meeting on July 15, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.  


June 15, 2021

  • Council voted unanimously in favour of a resolution from Councillor Jeff Coffman to advance the Indigenous Place-making Strategy a year ahead of its originally-scheduled start to now begin work in 2021. Council had previously approved this Strategy – that includes a review and audit of the public spaces, markers and language used by the City – as part of the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Program (CIP). A minimum two-thirds vote was required to re-open the CIP. The City of Lethbridge is responsible for the public spaces in our community, such as City-owned parks, neighbourhoods and facilities, certain historical markers, as well as the naming of public infrastructure and spaces. In order to advance the Indigenous Place-making Strategy, Council had to amend the June 1, 2021 Regular Meeting of Council decision on the Indigenous Place-making Strategy – Section D, page 17 of the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Program. The full details can be found on page 117 here. As part of the resolution, Council voted to revise the funding source for the Indigenous Place-making Strategy to Major Capital Projects Reserve from the Community Project Unfunded Section. As well, the City Manager is to include regular updates on the work of the Indigenous Place-making Strategy as part of City Council's Work Plan and present City Council with the findings of the public spaces audit and recommendations for further action, no later than February 28, 2022
  • In a 5-4 vote, Council defeated an amended proposed resolution from Councillor Blaine Hyggen on repealing Bylaw 6239 - Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw. Councillor Joe Mauro proposed an amendment that the main motion be amended by amending the operative clause with: Administration present a repealing bylaw at the next Council meeting immediately following the Government of Alberta of the effective date of Stage 3 of Alberta's Open for Summer Plan. It carried 7-2, but the main motion was defeated
  • Council voted 8-1 to refer the item Festival Square Market Plaza (CIP D-44) Construction Tender Update to Administration to look into options and return back to the June 29 meeting. The initial proposed motion was: 1. Approve the funding strategy for the Festival Square Market Plaza, allocating an additional $485,000 from previously approved funding sources, as proposed in submission 2. Direct the City Manager to proceed to construction of the project. Councillor Belinda Crowson made the referral motion that carried
  • Council voted unanimously to approve an amended 2021 Council Orientation & Transition Program. Councillor Jeff Carlson's proposed amendment: That the Advocacy session be moved from November 22 up to October 27 and include Team Lethbridge and AUMA convention and that a fees for service session be added as a new session to November 26, carried unanimously
  • Council voted 8-1 in favour of a resolution from Mayor Chris Spearman on possible Electronic Voting for the 2025 Municipal Elections. The resolution will now be forwarded to another Alberta member municipality for adoption as to the seconder of the resolution, as required by Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. It would then go to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association for consideration at their Annual Convention November 17 – 19, 2021 in Edmonton
  • Council votes unanimously to pass both second and third readings to Bylaw 6279 - A Bylaw to Designate the Lanz Residence of 721 - 3 Street South Lethbridge as a Municipal Historic Resource
  • Council voted unanimously to receive the report and attachment on the 2021-2022 Operating Budget Review Final Document as information
  • Council voted unanimously to authorize that David Kunst, as the founder, receive unclaimed found money of $200 and to direct Administration to return to a future Meeting of Council with an amendment to the City Manager Bylaw delegating the City Manager the authority to allocate requests for unclaimed found money, under $5,000, to the founder, in consultation with LPS
  • Following a Public Hearing, second reading to Bylaw 6277 - Amendment to Bylaw 5798 - The West Lethbridge Employment Centre Area Structure Plan was defeated 6-3. 


June 1, 2021

  • This City Council meeting began with Mayor Chris Spearman introducing Elder Dr. Leroy Little Bear, who spoke about attending residential school, about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, about offering support to Indigenous communities, about providing understanding to the non-Indigenous community, as well as to help the City build better relations. Council then held 215 seconds of silence. Additionally, City Hall will be lit orange this week and flags have been flying at half-mast since May 31 and will until further notice.
  • Council voted unanimously to approve supporting towards a proposed Alberta Coal Restriction Policy. The two key principles in the Policy, that would be effective November 15, 2021, are: 1) No further coal exploration or development to be permitted on the Eastern Slopes of Alberta. There would no longer be categories within this area and instead there would be one area defined as the Eastern Slopes and 2) Reclamation of lands disturbed by coal exploration activities by companies with coal exploration permits issued prior to February 8, 2021, must be reclaimed and restored no later than December 31, 2025. The Mayor will also submit a letter stating this policy to the Coal Policy Committee.
  • After hearing a presentation from Peter Hurd-Watler, President and CEO of Veras Technologies INC. on Secure Voting, Engagement and Communication Systems, Council voted 7-2 to submit a resolution to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. It will request that they engage in discussions with the Government of Alberta with the goal of amending the Alberta Municipal Government Act to permit secure electronic voting in time for the 2025 Alberta Municipal Elections. The resolution will also have the City Manager consider using secure forms of electronic public consultation, such as those provided by Veras Technologies Inc. as part of the City of Lethbridge future processes that include public engagement. Following a split motion made by Councillor Joe Mauro, which carried, Council also voted with unanimous approval that Veras Technologies Inc. be thanked for their presentation.
  • Council voted unanimously to approve a submission from Travis Hillier, Corporate Customer Service Manager, re: Electric Energy Procurement for 2023 up to 2026 for City Facilities.
  • Following a Public Hearing, Council voted 8-1 if favour of both second and third reading to Bylaw 6287 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: 1025 30 St W &1 Abitibi Rd W (Garry Station).
  • Council voted unanimously in favour of both second and third reading to Bylaw 6262: Amendments to The Development Fess and Charges Bylaw 5197, and the City of Lethbridge Safety Codes Permit Bylaw 6110.

 

May 18, 2021

  • Council voted 8-1 to postpone voting on Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funding recommendations from the May 10-14 Economic Standing Policy Committee deliberations until the June 1, 2021, Council meeting. There were two additions to the recommendations and one approval. Council voted 6-3 in favour of an amendment from Councillor Jeff Carlson to recommend Waste & Recycling Curbside Organics Collection change funding source to unrestricted grant funding in place of borrowing, in the amount of $10,629,000. Council voted 7-2 in favour of an amendment from Councillor Rob Miyashiro to recommend an increase supply of safe, appropriate and affordable housing in Lethbridge. Total funding would be $5 million. Council voted 6-2 (Councillor Ryan Parker recused) to approve Sustainability Enhancements (pages 196-197 here). This vote took place after a motion to divide and before the general postponement vote.
  • Council unanimously voted to approve and sign a Memoranda of Respect, Understanding and Partnership (MOU) with Kainai/Blood Tribe. The MOU focuses on four areas of shared interests: Health and Wellness (including Housing, Education, Justice, Racism and Discrimination); Economic Development and Employment; Community Planning (including Land Use Planning, the Environment, Cultural Resources Management and Emergency Response); and Communications. The implementation of the MOU will be carried out through joint working committees with representation from the City and Kainai/Blood Tribe Administrations. Working committees will report bi-annually to joint meetings of the Councils. A public signing and celebration of the MOU will take place at a later date when public health restrictions allow gatherings and events.
  • Council voted unanimously to proceed with a micro-mobility pilot project featuring rentable, battery-powered e-scooters, to see if they can be viable in the city. The intention of the micro-mobility pilot is to be cost neutral to the City, while community engagement is to be conducted during the pilot. Timelines for a launch date are in the works. Micro-mobility riders would use a smartphone app to locate, pay for and unlock a ridable device, then ride it within a designated area and park it when they're done. The pilot project would determine a competitive process in order to select a micro-mobility service provider, define pilot parameters and measures of success, where the units could travel (geo-fencing), as well as where and how to park them, then issue a report back to the Civic Works Standing Policy Committee with findings from the pilot.
  • Council voted 8-1 to combine all funding provided from three independent urban core incentive program allocations into one fund. As part of the streamlining, Council also approved an additional $2 million from the Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve (MRSR) towards the urban core incentive programs. The combined funding for all urban core incentive programs into one fund frees up $561,759.87 that remains in the Urban Core Housing program, which is experiencing much less demand. It is anticipated that the $2 million allocation will see the program to the end of 2022, at which time its future could be considered as part of the next Operating Budget.
  • Council voted unanimously to approve an overall guidance plan to help with the ongoing realities of Urban Forest Management in the city. Based on a recommendation from the May 6 meeting of the Civic Works Standing Policy Committee, the guiding principles, Strategic Goals, Objectives and recommended priorities contained in the 2021-2041 Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMB) will now start to be implemented.
  • Council voted unanimously 8-0 (Councillor Rob Miyashiro recused) to directs the City Manager to bring forward a plan to possibly change the budget cycle process for the Operating and Capital budgets.
  • Council voted unanimously to endorse a 988 crisis line initiative in relation to a Federal project. The motion was co-sponsored by Councillor Belinda Crowson and Councillor Rob Miyashiro.
  • Council voted unanimously to second reading of to Bylaw 6265 - Municipal Development Plan, after about 80 amendments were brought forward. There will be another Public Hearing before third reading.
  • Council voted unanimously to second reading Westminster Area Redevelopment Plan Re: November 2nd, 2020 Official Business Resolution Completion Report, after several amendments were presented and approved. There will be another Public Hearing before third reading.


May 4, 2021

  • Council unanimously approved both second and third reading of Bylaw 6284. The bylaw outlines the 2021 municipal tax rate (or mill rate), which is determined by taking the City's budget divided by the total value of all properties within the City. An individual tax bill is calculated by multiplying tax rate with the assessment value of the individual property to ensure all property owners pay their portion of funds required to operate the City. In December, City Council approved a zero per cent increase in the operating budget helping to minimize tax increases in Lethbridge.  However, residents may see a tax increase on their bills for other reasons including a change to their property assessment (the value of your home, business or multi-family complex) or change in taxes collected by the Government of Alberta for the education tax and the Green Acres Foundation budget. All 2021 property tax notices will be mailed out at the end of May with a due date of June 30, 2021. Last month, Council voted unanimously to approve changes to the 2021 property tax penalty dates. More information here: https://www.lethbridge.ca/NewsCentre/Pages/City-Council-approves-changes-to-2021-property-tax-penalty-dates-.aspx
  • Council unanimously voted to postpone for two weeks a presentation by Hailey Pinksen, City Treasurer, re: Operating Budget Resource Requirements. A proposed resolution to receive the presentation as information and be provided to the next City Council after the 2021 election had a motion to divide, which carried 7-2. Both subsequent split motions were defeated, 5-4 and 8-1 and respectively. A further proposed resolution of: "For the purpose of good governance, City Council accept the timing strategy from the City Manager on the change to the budget cycle process. And that City Council instruct the City Manager to review and, where possible, streamline the operating and capital budget processes to reduce the complexity and cost of assembling and presenting budgets to Council and the Community. And that the City Manager present his review and recommendations to CIty Council no later than August 31, 2022" was presented. Before vote happened, the motion to postpone for two weeks was introduced and passed
  • Council voted 7-2 in favour of item 10.5 (added during agenda adoption): Due to the comprehensive public engagement that has occurred, City Council waive the Procedure Bylaw to limit public participation to written submissions only for the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Deliberations at the Economic SPC meetings of May 10-14, 2021
  • Council unanimously passed both second and third readings for Bylaw 6283 - 2021 Downtown Business Improvement Area Tax Rate

April 20, 2021

  • Council voted unanimously to approve the development of a Community Wellbeing and Safety Task Force. This important initiative will bring together community leaders and key stakeholders to develop a collaborative approach to achieving social change in Lethbridge. The Community Wellbeing and Safety Task Force is part of Phase 2 of Lethbridge's Community Wellbeing and Safety Strategy (CWSS) and will aim to create a community governance model founded on a shared vision, common objectives and efficient use of resources. This will be a made for Lethbridge solution developed by the community for the community. Approved by City Council in 2019, the CWSS is a five-year strategic plan that identifies community priorities to inform and improve wellbeing and safety in Lethbridge. To coordinate and implement these strategies, the City of Lethbridge acts as the backbone administrative organization by convening, collaborating and advocating for a streamlined and integrated social service system. The City, as the facilitator of the Task Force has one seat at the table and is introducing the idea of community governance. Twelve individual meetings have been organized over the last several weeks to engage community stakeholders, gather feedback and measure the level of interest and support. As the Community Wellbeing and Safety Task Force is being developed, the City will also be working with community partners and stakeholders to establish two short-term working groups to address immediate needs. The first will work to ensure that the City is better prepared to integrate social services into the community in a way that best balances the needs of individuals accessing services, service providers, private business owners and citizens. The second will focus more specifically on public safety concerns
  • Council voted unanimously to approve up to $40,000 to provide businesses city-wide with expanded outdoor seating options for patios or parklets. Business owners can apply for a 50 per cent matching grant, up to $1,000, for improvement-related costs such as furnishings, barriers, heaters, plants and planters. As per an amendment from Coun. Blaine Hyggen, which carried unanimously, this funding will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2021, for those businesses who have already added new patios or parklets. Funding will come from the Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve (MRSR). Council also included in the motion that a program status report be provided by December 31, 2021, or at such time the funding is depleted, if earlier
  • Council voted unanimously to pass second and third readings to Bylaw 6286 - amending Bylaw 6253, 2021 Incentives for Prepayments, Penalty and Tax Deferral Bylaw. It approves changes to 2021 property tax penalty dates, similar to measures last year, to help residents impacted by the ongoing financial effects of COVID-19. All 2021 property tax notices will be mailed out at the end of May with a due date of June 30, 2021. For residents who are unable to pay their property taxes by that date, penalties will not be applied to unpaid tax balances until October 1. As in 2020, the new penalties on outstanding balances will be three per cent on October 1, four per cent on November 1 and five per cent on December 1. Penalties are only applied on the unpaid part of the tax bill so paying what you can before October 1 helps eliminate or reduce additional costs later in the year. Property owners that can pay all or part of their property taxes by June 30 are asked to do so
  • Council voted unanimously to approve the 2020 City of Lethbridge Annual Report – a document that reflects on efforts made during a year unlike any before it. The Annual Report is a cornerstone of the City's commitment to open, transparent government and helps residents understand how their tax dollars and other municipal funds are managed. It outlines the money needed to operate and grow our City, as well as the taxes and grant money collected to pay for these expenses.  Many City departments, including Parks, Transit and Bylaws, had to make significant changes in 2020 due to the new challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Section 276 of the Municipal Government Act requires for each municipality to prepare annual financial statements of the municipality for the immediately preceding year. The Audit Committee reviewed the City of Lethbridge Annual Report at the March 31, 2021 Meeting and recommended its approval
  • Council voted 6-3 to pass second and third readings to Bylaw 6278 - Amendment to Bylaw 6239 - Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw. It harmonizes the City of Lethbridge Bylaw exemptions with the Chief Medical Officer of Health Order exemptions
  • Council voted unanimously in favour of second reading and third reading to Bylaw 6281 - Bylaw to Provide for Pre-Authorized Tax Installment Pre-Payment Plan. This Bylaw establishes the rate of discount on prepayments at 0.75% for the 2022 tax year; maintaining the same discount for 2021 TIPP prepayments. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has maintained their rate at 0.25% for the past year which has lowered the short term rates that individual taxpayers earn in their term deposits. The reason the City is offering a rate that is higher than the rate taxpayers would receive on 120-179-day term deposits is to provide a bit of an incentive for people to sign up or remain on TIPP, given the economic environment caused by the pandemic
  • Council voted unanimously in favour of second reading and third reading to Bylaw 6282 - 2021 Downtown Business Improvement Area Tax Bylaw, which authorizes City Council to impose a 2021 tax on all businesses operating in the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA)
  • Council voted unanimously in favour to support a submission by Coun. Belinda Crowson, Chair, Civic Works Standing Policy Committee, re: Transportation Master Plan - Visioning Session and Vision Statement. The statement will read: "Connect Lethbridge with a well-balanced, integrated and maintained transportation network that serves all residents, businesses and visitors safely, efficiently, and equitably while focusing on sustainable multi-modal solutions that are adaptable to the future needs of the City and is embraced by the community." 
  • A submission by Michael Kelly, Real Estate & Land Development Manager, on Joint Venture Policy, was unanimously refered back to administration to return to Council at a later date
  • There were four items at a Public Hearing: Bylaw 6263 – Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: Text Amendment to the Mixed Density Residential (R-M) District; Bylaw 6266 – A Bylaw to Provide for the Closing of Certain Road; re: 6269 - Amendment to Bylaw 6300 – The City of Lethbridge Land Use Bylaw; and Bylaw 6273- Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: 155 Metis Tr. W (Copperwood 2). Second and third reading for each item was approved unanimously by Council later in the meeting


April 6, 2021

  • Council voted 6-3 to extend the municipality's Temporary Mandatory Face Covering Bylaw until December 31. Council has the ability to rescind Bylaw 6239 prior to the extension date of December 31, 2021, should it not be required. Council also passed first reading for an amending Bylaw to harmonize the City of Lethbridge Bylaw exemptions with the Chief Medical Officer of Health Order exemptions. Bylaw 6278 - Amendment No. 1 of the Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw, includes sections regarding active case numbers, the Provincial R factor ­–  and that personal precautions in public spaces will continue to be recommended until after population immunity is achieved. Second and third readings will take place at a future Council meeting. A proposed amendment by Councillor Joe Mauro to change the end date to May 31, 2021, was defeated 6-3. Bylaw 6239, which was enacted on August 24, 2020, states that a face covering must be worn at all times while in an indoor, enclosed, or substantially enclosed public place or in a public vehicle. This includes places like malls, grocery stores, retail businesses, churches, taxi and ridesharing businesses. On December 8, 2020, the Province of Alberta enacted a province-wide mandatory mask requirement – which is also still in effect. The Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw 6239 came into effect last August, as the World Health Organization, Chief Public Health Officer for Canada and the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta identified face coverings as a way to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.  It was originally set to expire Jan. 12, 2021, unless extended by Council resolution. On November 30, 2020, City Council voted 6-3 to extend the Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw until February 23, 2021. On that date, Council voted 6-3 to extend it to April 30, 2021
  • Council voted unanimously in favour of a resolution from Councillor Belinda Crowson to advocate to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) for them to advocate to both the Provincial and Federal Governments for a National Early Learning and Care Program that will be high-quality, inclusive, affordable and accessible, developed with significant long-term sustained funding and which will create a Canada-wide early-learning and child-care system. The resolution will be forwarded for consideration at the AUMA Annual Convention November 17-19, 2021, in Edmonton
  • Council voted 7-2 against a proposed resolution from Councillor Blaine Hyggen for Council members to cease being publicly remunerated between Nomination Day and Election Day. On March 23, 2021, Lethbridge City Council voted 5-4 to cancel the two Council meetings between Monday, September 20 (Nomination Day) and Monday, October 18 (Election Day)
  • A submission by Maureen Gaehring, Manager of Planning and Development, on a report back on fees and charges bylaw re: OBR January 26, 2021, was passed unanimously
  • During a Public Hearing, Bylaw 6270 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: 2425 30 Street West, was presented. Both second and third readings carried unanimously later at Council

March 23, 2021

  • After a lengthy Public Hearing with more than 30 speakers, Council voted 7-2 to defeat a rezoning application under Bylaw 6267 – a Land Use Amendment to 110 13 Street South. The proposed bylaw involved rezoning to the site, which has two single-storey buildings, one along 13 Street South and one farther west, from General Commercial (C-G) to Direct Control (DC) to allow for a drop-in centre, food bank, resource centre, shelter and soup kitchen, as permitted uses, to be operated as part of a merger between the Mustard Seed and the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen. Before the bylaw decision, after the Public Hearing, a motion to table a decision was lost 6-3
  • Council voted unanimously to receive an Audit Committee report with highlights of the 2020 General Fund, Utility Fund and Reserve Fund Operations for the year ended December 31, 2020. Part of the report involves a $14 million Line of Credit from the Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve to fund the commitments for the expansion of the Sherring Industrial Park and the Airport Commercial Development­­ – and that the funds be repaid from future industrial lot sales and revenues. Also included is the approval of the Municipal Operating Support Transfer (MOST) Funding eligible costs and funding allocations as outlined in the 2020 MOST Grant Funding Schedule of the unaudited financial report. The unaudited financial reports for 2020 were reviewed by the Audit Committee on March 3. The audited financial statements are scheduled to come to the April 20 City Council meeting. The financial statements and the auditor's report of the financial statements are to be made available to the public by May 1 (Section 276 of the Municipal Government Act)
  • Council voted unanimously to adopt the Recreation and Culture Master Plan and to direct Administration to implement the outlined directions. The previous Recreation and Culture plan was presented in 2013 and a review and update was required. Throughout 2020, Recreation and Culture, along with consultants RC Strategies, worked with community groups, community partners, internal and external stakeholders and the community as a whole to engage them during this process. Input into the plan included recommendations from the KPMG report and resulted in significant efficiencies being realized. The Master Plan also discusses potential impacts that Recreation and Culture programs and services can have on climate change and the environment, as well as the possible impacts climate change may have on the future of programs and services. Recreation and Culture will continue to work with internal and external stakeholders in an effort to reduce Green House Gas Emissions (GHGs) and adapting to the impacts of climate change. The document will be updated to include an amendment by Councillor Jeffrey Coffman to include the City's full Reconciliation Statement. The full 108-page plan will be posted to the City's website soon
  • Council voted 7-2 to approve the 2021 Public Art Work Plan. To enable greater clarity and increase transparency, Council will now approve public art projects before they are initiated. On September 21, 2020, City Council approved changes to Public Art Policy CC30 which include the adoption of a new "gating" process. Approval of the 2021 Public Art Work Plan is the first step in transitioning to the new Policy language. All recommendations presented in the Work Plan are supported by the City's Public Art Committee, which serves as an advisory committee under the Recreation and Culture Department. This one-year plan will also bridge the gap to the next CIP cycle. Beyond 2021, the Public Art Program will return to Council with four-year work plans following each CIP funding allocation. The Public Art Program will also return annually to Council with reports on work completed in the previous year. The full plan will be posted to the City's website soon. Counicllor Joe Mauro proposed an amendment to postpone until Nov. 1, 2021, any Public Art Work Plan funding that has not been committed to this point. It was defeated 5-4
  • Council voted 5-4 to cancel the two Council meetings between Monday, September 20 (Nomination Day) and Monday, October 18 (Election Day). The Council Code of Conduct Bylaw 6125 requires City Council members to perform their functions and duties in a conscientious and diligent manner with integrity, accountability and transparency. City Council wishes to act in a manner which is perceived to provide equal opportunity for visibility for all candidates for the municipal election. The 2021 Council Calendar will be amended by cancelling the following meetings: Council meeting of Tuesday, September 21, 2021, and Council meeting of Tuesday, October 5, 2021
  • Council voted 7-2 for the City Manager to report back to Council by the end of April, examining the structure and resource requirements for future direction of the Capital Improvement Program and Operating Budget timelines
  • Council voted 8-1 to support the use of available funding from the Urban Core Housing Incentive Program to support the Modified Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Program. Council voted 8-1 in each instance to support TRIP Municipal Tax Cancellation to 704 4 Avenue South, 316 5 Street South and 704 4 Avenue South
  • Council voted unanimously to amend the 2018-2027 Capital Improvement program to include the following projects: D-45 Facility Renewal and Upgrade Program; D-46 Fibre Connectivity Pilot – Industrial Parks; D-47 Legacy Park – Discovery Playground; D-27 Legacy Park (Additional Amenities)
  • Council voted unanimously to approve the 2021 Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone (DBRZ) Budget
  • At a Public Hearing, Bylaw 6268 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: 15 MicMac Boulevard West was presented in order to change the zoning. The amendment would allow the applicant to open a retail cannabis store within a commercial unit in the existing building. Second and third readings both carried unanimously later at the Council meeting.


March 9, 2021

  • Council voted unanimously to declare April 7 as Green Shirt Day, recognizing the impact Logan Boulet's legacy has had in inspiring Canadians to talk to their families and register as organ donors. Council voted to provide an exception to issue and declare proclamations and request the Mayor's Office proclaim April 7th, 2021, as Green Shirt Day. Councillor Blaine Hyggen, who brought the resolution forward, said six lives were saved by Logan donating his organs and because of his selfless act, it is estimated that almost 150,000 people registered to become organ donors in the days and weeks that followed. Green Shirt Day was created to honour, remember and recognize all the victims and families of the fatal crash and to continue Logan's legacy by inspiring Canadians to talk to their families and register as organ donors
  • Council voted unanimously to direct the City Manager to look at creating a municipal workforce that is broadly reflective of the citizens and communities it serves ­– and to look at its hiring practices and policies in order to accomplish the goal. Councillor Belinda Crowson, who brought the resolution forward, says he City of Lethbridge recognizes that a diverse work force makes full, effective use of the broad range of talents, abilities and perspectives found among our residents. The City of Lethbridge believes that all residents should be respected and valued members of the community with a stake in the future of Lethbridge. As part of the resolution, City Council also directed the City Manager to report annually on efforts and achievements related to creating a workforce that reflects the community and that the City Manager ensures an equity, diversity and inclusion lens is applied to City hiring and employment policies, procedures and practices
  • Council voted unanimously on a resolution from Mayor Chris Spearman for the Mayor to have a discussion with the Mayor of the Town of High River about collaborating on a resolution to be proposed to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and that City Council authorize discussions on possible collaboration with municipalities who share the concerns approved and communicated by Lethbridge City Council
  • Council voted unanimously on a resolution from Councillor Mark Campbell for new dates for a Public Hearing on Bylaw 6265 - Municipal Development Plan to be March 29-31, April 1 and June 1 (for second Public Hearing). The City of Lethbridge made an error in the advertising for the original Public Hearings date of March 1 to March 5 and needed to reschedule
  • At the start of the meeting, Councillor Joe Mauro proposed to remove the Recreation and Culture Master Plan and the 2021 Public Art Work Plan from the Consent Agenda. The motion was carried unanimously to table them both to the March 23 meeting for full presentations
  • A resolution proposed by Councillor Jeffrey Coffman on Tax Relief for Vacant Lots was defeated 8-1
  • An option proposed by Councillor Jeff Carlson: Council to approve the full amount to waive penalties and credit the account for $501.05 for 11 Kings Pl S, Roll # 1019400110001, was defeated unanimously
  • Second and third readings both carried unanimously for both Bylaw 6271 - Local Improvement - Lane Paving Petition No. LP-19-03 and Bylaw 6272 - Local Improvement - Lane Paving Petition No. LP-19-04


February 23, 2021

  • Council voted 6-3 to extend the municipality's Temporary Mandatory Face Covering Bylaw until April 30. Council also voted for Administration to prepare an amending Bylaw to harmonize the City of Lethbridge Bylaw exemptions with the Chief Medical Officer of Health Order exemptions. During Consent Agenda, Coun. Miyashiro proposed to separate item 2.5: Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw, for a vote at this meeting. The first resolution was then read during Bylaws as item 7.1: that the Community Safety SPC recommend that City Council allow Bylaw 6239 - Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw to expire. It was defeated 5-4. Coun. Miyashiro then proposed a resolution to continue local Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw to December 31. A postponement motion from Coun. Mauro was defeated in 5-4 vote. An amendment from Coun. Mauro to change the date from December 31 to April was carried 5-4. Bylaw 6239, which was enacted on August 24, 2020, states that a face covering must be worn at all times while in an indoor, enclosed, or substantially enclosed public place or in a public vehicle. This includes places like malls, grocery stores, retail businesses, churches, taxi and ridesharing businesses. On December 8, 2020, the Province of Alberta enacted a province-wide mandatory mask requirement – which is also still in effect. The Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw 6239 came into effect last August, as the World Health Organization, Chief Public Health Officer for Canada and the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta identified face coverings as a way to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. It was originally set to expire Jan. 12, 2021, unless extended by Council resolution. On November 30, 2020, City Council voted 6-3 to extend the Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw until February 23, 2021
  • Council voted 7-2 in favour of directing the City Manager to gather further information to inform any possible actions for Lethbridge moving forward following a recent decision by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) to attempt opting out of centralized EMS dispatch. The items to be explored include: possibility of the City of Lethbridge taking similar action as RMWB and opting out of centralized dispatch; determining if it would be advantageous to lend Lethbridge's support to the RMWB legal case; and monitoring future legal proceedings between Alberta Health Services (AHS) and RMWB
  • Council voted unanimously to accept a presentation from Rob van Spronsen, Chair of Lethbridge Police Commission, on the Police Budget Reduction Impact. Coun. Crowson had a revised resolution stating that City Council receive the annual plan and Budget Implementation Strategy 2021 as information and that the Strategic Plan being developed by the Police Commission form part of the 2022 annual plan to Council, which carried unanimously. The Lethbridge Police Commission will not be looking at reducing the service level at this time and van Spronsen said the funding shortfall will be addressed by using the Budget Appropriation Unexpended (BAU) funds. The Police Commission will be working over the next year to develop a strategic plan in coordination with the Lethbridge Police Service, City Council and the public. The results of the KPMG Operational Review will be considered an important part of that plan
  • A proposed Rescindment of the November 2, 2020 Decision Removing Council Representation from Exhibition Board was defeated in a 5-4 vote
  • Council unanimously voted to direct that a meeting for the purposes of review and approval of the Lethbridge Downtown Business Revitalization Zone 2021 Budget be set for March 23, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chamber at City Hall. The 2021 DBRZ Budget was presented, discussed and approved by the membership at the Annual Budget meeting held on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, via online methods. The City Treasurer clarified that the City just collects/administers the budget on behalf of the BRZ


February 9, 2021

  • City Council voted unanimously to support other communities in their ongoing efforts on current and future coal mining projects on the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies and directed the Mayor to write a letter to Premier Kenney, as well as the Ministers of Environment and Energy and the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. The resolution had many amendments to include: Thank the Government of Alberta for re-instating the 1976 Coal Policy; Bring forward a comprehensive public consultation on proposed changes to the 1976 policy; Complete a thorough and complete analysis of potential watershed impacts that will result from allocating water to mining operations that could impact the supply of water to existing and future downstream users; Complete a thorough and complete analysis of potential water quality impacts from mining operations, including but not limited to, higher levels of selenium in the river systems; To review the Mine Financial Security Program to ensure that it is properly financed to ensure reclamation of any project that may go ahead; A full stop on any and all Watershed Water Allocation amendments, including those in the Oldman Watershed, pending Public Consultation on a new Alberta Coal Policy and comprehensive review of the potential watershed impacts on the Oldman Basin; Support on the Stop Work Orders for all existing exploration; Invite the two Lethbridge MLAs and the Member of Parliament for Lethbridge to a conversation with Council on these matters, and to forward a copy of the letter to them
  • Council voted unanimously that Bylaw 6261 – Land Use Bylaw Amendment regarding 1303 Mayor Magrath Drive South, be abandoned. First reading was given to Bylaw 6261 at the January 12, 2021, City Council Meeting, and a Public Hearing for Bylaw 6261 was scheduled for February 9, 2021. Councillor Rob Miyashiro says this was for public notice that the Applicant submitted a written notice on Jan. 28 that they have withdrawn their rezoning application
  • Council voted unanimously to authorize the City Manager to make the necessary changes to allow for home builders to pour aprons in new residential developments, that the application process be incorporated into the City's existing e-Apply system without creating additional applications or point of contact or expense over the existing process and to City direct the City Manager to draft any necessary amendments to Bylaw 3446 – The Streets Bylaw, to achieve this outcome
  • After a motion to divide the item from Consent Agenda, council voted 6-3 to pass first reading on Bylaw 6267 – Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: 110 13 Street South
  • City Council passed first reading for Bylaw 6265, which is a new and updated Municipal Development Plan submitted to be reviewed and considered for approval by Council. A public hearing is scheduled from March 1-5 for Council to listen to the public's feedback and ask clarifying questions. Changes to the MDP may be made during second and third reading, which will be scheduled at a later date
  • After a public hearing, second and third readings on Bylaw 6264 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: 482, 484, 486, 490, 492, 494, 496, 500, 504, 508, 512, 514, 516, 520 & 522 Couleecreek Blvd S. (Southgate), carried unanimously
  • Council voted 7-2 to rescind the motion from the Nov. 2, 2020, organizational meeting that removed three members of council from the Performing Arts Centre Steering Committee

 

January 26, 2021

  • City Council voted unanimously to receive phase three of the operational review from consultant, KPMG. This report explores the operations of Lethbridge Police Service, Lethbridge Public Library and Economic Development Lethbridge to identify potential opportunity for efficiencies, cost improvement, innovation and reinvestment. All three of the reviewed organizations are governed by a volunteer board/commission but receive operating funding from the City. The entire phase 3 report can be found here. In November 2018, City Council unanimously approved a resolution instructing Administration to conduct an operational review of all City operations. Phase 1 and 2 included a general review of all City departments as well as comprehensive reviews of 17 selected departments. The City of Lethbridge is now two years into the three-year operational review process and has been working through the close to 90 opportunities already identified through the first two phase
  • City Council voted 6-2 in favour of Bylaw 6251 – Establish Alternate Methods of Public Notification and Advertisements. This was the second and third reading of the bylaw. Under Section 606.1 of the Municipal Government Act, which was added in 2017, a municipality has the option to use advertising methods other than a local newspaper or print publication for legislated advertisements if Council sees it as expedient and efficient at reaching a significant portion of the population. These changes will not eliminate any current channels used for public notices – rather, more transparency will be seen by spreading out the budget to different channels and reaching people where they are getting their information. The City will still be advertising in print media. This diversification and flexibility around communications about legislated public notices will involve a mix of print and digital formats. The full bylaw can be viewed here: https://agendas.lethbridge.ca/AgendaOnline/Documents/ViewDocument/BYLAW%206251%20-%20AS%20AMENDED%20FROM%20NOVEMBER%2016%2C%202020.pdf?meetingId=2899&documentType=Agenda&itemId=73848&publishId=59999&isSection=false
  • In a 4-4 vote (in the case of a hung vote, the motion is defeated), City Council defeated a motion involving the potential of moving all council meetings, public hearings and Standing Policy Committes to electronic participation until such time that the current Public Health Order on mandatory work from home is no longer in effect
  • City Council voted unanimously in favour, as per the terms and conditions, to set the reserve bids for each parcel of land offered for sale at the Public Auction of Properties in Tax Arrears on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 11 a.m. in Council Chambers with the opportunity to participate virtually. As part of the tax recovery process pursuant to section 419 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), City Council must set a reserve bid for each parcel of land offered for sale at the public auction and any conditions that apply to the sale. Due to COVID-19 and the closure of City Hall in the spring of 2020, the 2020 Property Tax Auction was Adjourned by Ministerial Order and an extension was allowed to be no later than March 31, 2021. Properties included in the 2020 Public Auction have outstanding taxes from 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020
  • City Council voted unanimously in favour, as per the terms and conditions, to set the reserve bids for each parcel of land offered and designated manufactured home offered for sale at the 2021 Public Auction of Properties in Tax Arrears on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 11 a.m. in Council Chambers with the opportunity to attend virtually. As part of the normal tax recovery process pursuant to section 419 and 436.1 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), City Council must set a reserve bid for each parcel of land and designated manufactured home offered for sale at the public auction and any conditions that apply to the sale. Properties included in the Public Auction have outstanding taxes from 2018, 2019 and 2020. Designated manufactured homes have outstanding taxes from 2019 and 2020
  • City Council voted unanimously in favour to direct the City Manager to monitor the Police Act Review for implications to the City of Lethbridge and to design and recommend a consultation process for a review of the Police Commission Bylaw
  • City Council voted unanimously in favour of Bylaw 6260 – A Bylaw Amending the Sewerage Service Charge Bylaw 3250. This was the second and third reading of the bylaw


January 12, 2021

  • Council voted 6-3 to approve the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Recommendations and Work Plan, along with a one-time budget request of $435,000 to be used during a three-year period. This Work Plan builds upon Council's existing commitment to Reconciliation as outlined in the Reconciliation Implementation Plan and provides an overall implementation strategy for the 25 recommendations first presented to Council in October 2020. It also aligns with Council's Strategic Plan with deliberate community engagement, development of and leveraging relationships, and enriching the community through diversity, inclusivity and culture. Implementation of the MMIWG Work Plan – which includes the creation of Indigenous awareness training for City Staff, an anti-racism campaign and an expansion of employment and economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples – will be managed by Indigenous Relations staff, with the advice and support of Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee (RLAC) and community partners. Funding will come from the Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve (MRSR)
  • Council voted 7-1 to direct the Mayor to write to the appropriate Provincial Ministers and the Premier requesting that the usage fees for app-based food delivery services be capped at 15%. Coun. Miyashiro brought forward the resolution. Coun. Mauro proposed an amendment: Further it be resolved that the letter also urge the Provincial Government to ease the current COVID restrictions to allow restaurants to allow for dine-in service. The proposed amendment was defeated 6-2
  • First reading of Bylaw 6261 – Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: 1303 Mayor Magrath Drive South, was carried 7-2. A resolution that all written correspondence received by Mayor and Council received up to Feb. 8 on the subject be included in the Public Hearing process and included as part of information for second reading on Feb. 9, with permission of the sender, carried 5-4
  • Council voted 8-1 to put Coun. Hyggen's name forward as Council's representative on the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association board
  • Second and third reading both passed unanimously for Bylaw 6257 – Land Use Bylaw Amendment re: 501 13 Street South
  • Council voted 6-3 to postpone second and third reading of Bylaw 6251 - A Bylaw to Establish Alternate Methods of Public Notification and Advertisement - to the Jan. 26 meeting


December 14, 2020

  • City Council voted 7-2 to adopt the Finance Committee's recommendations to amend the City of Lethbridge's 2021-2022 Operating Budget. Before the final vote, a proposed amendment by Coun. Hyggen that City Council not accept the Finance Committee recommendation to reduce the Police budget by $1 million was defeated in 6-3 vote. Also a proposed amendment from Coun. Carlson asking to reduce to the council salary reduction from 10% to 5% was defeated unanimously. Coun. Parker requested a motion to divide due to a pecuniary interest on A-85 (management salary freeze). Motion to divide was carried unanimously and A-85 carried unanimously. Finance Committee met in November to deliberate the Operating Budget with the goal of reducing spending to see a 0% property tax rate increase for the next two years and a 0% utility rate increase in 2021. With the Operating Budget approval, the 2021-2022 average annual change in municipal tax rate is 0% per year. A full recap of the Operating Budget Review can be viewed here: https://www.lethbridge.ca/NewsCentre/Pages/2021-2022-Operating-Budget-Review-daily-recap.aspx
  • Council voted 6-3 in favour of an expanded Rent Subsidy Program for 2021. The City of Lethbridge currently provides $252,000 annually in funding through the Housing Rent Supplement Program. Council voted to allocate an additional $500,000 from MRSR to the Housing Rent Supplement Program as one-time funding in 2021. Community and Social Development will disperse these funds equitably among housing organizations that deal with residential rent subsidies. The City Manager will develop, implement, monitor, administer and report back to Council on a program/plan to achieve the goals identified above. An update will be provided in January.
  • Council voted unanimously to approve the amended capital budget for the Lethbridge Airport enhancements consisting of: terminal renovation; water service upgrade; rehabilitation of pavement and drainage for taxiway A, taxiway C, aprons I, apron II and threshold 05; and an upgrade to the existing airfield ground lighting infrastructure. The funding of $18.683 million for the project be broken down in the following manner: Grant – Municipal Stimulus Program $11.163 million Grant - Municipal Sustainability (MSI) $5.62 million; PAYG – Community $0.7 million; Subdivision Surplus $1.2 million.
  • Council voted unanimously to approve the capital budget for detailed design and construction of the Festival Square Market Plaza and that the funding of $900,000 be broken down in the following manner: Grant – Municipal Stimulus Program $900,000
  • Council voted unanimously in favour of adopting the amended 2021 Council and Committee Meeting Calendar
  • Council voted unanimously to amend the City Council Committees CC46 Policy and Recordings of Legislative Meetings CC48
  • Council voted unanimously in favour of accepting the Healthy Choice Initiatives and recommendations for increased healthy choices at City operated concessions and vending
  • Council voted unanimously, in accordance with the Municipal Government Act, authorize the Lethbridge Police Service to donate unclaimed items and acquire unclaimed unique items for Police use that would benefit police operations, investigations or training
  • Council voted unanimously to accept as information a presentation on the KPMG Operational Review for Real Estate and Land Development, as well as to send this to the new Governance Standing Policy Committee.
  • Council voted unanimously to cancel the tax penalties in the amount of $227.04 on 1511 – 13 Street North
  • Council voted 6-3 to approve the commissioning of the recommended artwork for the Japanese Garden Community Facility
  • Council voted 8-1 to extend the temporary changes to Policy CC56 - Fee Assistance Policy, that were approved on August 10, 2020, from December 31, 2020 to June 30, 2021

There was not a Council Catch-up this week.


November 30, 2020

  • City Council voted 5-4 to table recommendations of the Finance Committee Meeting of November 23-27, 2020, to the December 14 City Council meeting. A proposed amendment by Coun. Crowson asking to maintain the 0% tax increase, as per Nov. 16 resolution, and use remaining tax savings to support social programs, housing initiatives and the vulnerable during the pandemic, was lost 6-3. Coun. Hyggen proposed an amendment asking that Council not accept the Finance Committee recommendation to reduce to the LPS budget by $1 million. Before that could be voted on, Coun. Mauro proposed the tabling motion.
  • City Council voted 6-3 to extend the Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw until Feb. 23, 2021. The Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw 6239 was set to end Jan. 12, 2021, unless extended by Council resolution. Many residents have requested an opportunity to provide their views to council on this topic. City Council recently adopted a new Standing Policy Committee structure to help allow for more public input, such as this. Specific engagement opportunities will be announced at a later date. The Community Safety Standing Policy Committee would be the new avenue for allowing this information to come forward to Council. Given the first meeting of this committee is not until February, the Temporary Mandatory Face Covering Bylaw has been extended. Bylaw 6239 came into effect on Aug. 24, 2020, as the World Health Organization, Chief Public Health Officer for Canada, and the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta identified face coverings, in circumstances where physical distancing may not be possible, as a way to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
  • City Council voted 7-2 to pay for EMS Dispatch in Lethbridge. This recommendation, for the City to pay $1.2 million per year during the next two years to cover the AHS costs in order to maintain and operate local EMS dispatch, was brought forward by Finance Committee. This was accommodated in the recent budget deliberations on a one-time basis from MRSR funding for 2021 and 2022. It is subject to final approval along with the Operating Budget recommendations on December 14.
  • City Council voted unanimously to approve the 2021-2022 Lethbridge Airport Operating Budget.
  • City Council voted 4-3 (Mayor Spearman and Coun. Parker recused) to a second public hearing on Bylaw 6251 – A Bylaw of the City of Lethbridge to Establish Alternate Methods of Public Notification and Advertisement. This is anticipated to take place in January.
  • City Council voted unanimously that Administration be directed to prepare an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw (Concerning the Location of Secondary Suites) to specify that when rezoning to R-M land use from any other land use that preferred locations be: Across from or adjacent to parks; Corner lots; Parcels within 100 metres of low-med-high density multifamily districts; Across from or adjacent to commercial districts; Parcels with lanes across from or adjacent to P-R and P-B; Not in negation of the merits of rezoning at other locations within the block. 
  • City Council voted unanimously that administration proceed with implementing the Facility Asset Rationalization plan and preliminary schedule as outlined in the proposed schedule and in accordance with the process noted in the Facility Divesture Policy CC62. In support of KPMG's Operational review recommendations, the City developed a Facility Divestiture policy and Facility Asset Rationalization framework which was approved by Council and became effective on July 27, 2020. Implementation Plan would involve: Complete the Asset Rationalization process on the identified facilities between January 2021 and March 2022, followed by a report of the results and recommended actions to inform future decisions.
  • City Council voted 7-2 in favour of an Advocacy Advisory Adhoc Committee.
  • City Council voted unanimously to approve and implement the Lethbridge Land Revised 2020-2023 Work Plan and Project Expenditures.
  • City Council voted 7-2 to deny a request for cancellation of tax penalty for College Newco.

There was not a Council Catch-up this week.


November 16, 2020

  • City Council votes unanimously in favour to set a target for a zero per cent property tax rate increase and a zero per cent utility rate increase for 2021. Council has asked the City Manager to propose options based on the approved target to amend the 2021 Operating Budget by eliminating the scheduled 3.64 per cent increase for the 2021 municipal tax rate (2020 and 2021 combined), which would reduce the tax rate increase to zero per cent in 2021. While this target would be applied to the municipal portion of your tax bill, individual properties may see a tax change on their bills for other reasons, such as: A change in property assessment (the value of your home, business or multi-family complex); An increase to the Green Acres Foundation budget or to the Alberta School budget; and New construction or demolition. Council's Finance Committee will begin the 2021-22 Operating Budget Review deliberations on November 23.
  • Coun. Hyggen brought forth Workforce Reduction Initiatives of: 1. 10% salary reduction for City Council for 2021; at a projected savings of $77,300 2. Direct the City Manager to implement a 0% wage increase for management non-union staff for 2021; at a total projected savings of $513,000 ($403,000 tax-supported and $110,000 utility-supported and self-supported). 3. Direct administration to implement KPMG-identified workforce reductions over a three-year period, using a combination of attrition and retirement, to achieve a $5M savings in salaries and benefits. 4. 50 % reduction to mayor and council travel budget in 2021 with a projected savings of $56,000. Coun. Crowson proposed a divide and defer motion, to see only No. 3 discussed and defer the others to Budget Week, which passed 6-3. No. 3 on the original OBR passed unanimously.
  • City Council voted unanimously to receive a submission by Joel Sanchez, General Manager, Waste & Recycling Utility, on Apartment, Condo and Multifamily Recycling, as information and that City Council consider the Draft Amendment to Bylaw 6146 – The Waste Bylaw.
  • Doug Kaupp, Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Manager, presented a report on Phase 2 Operational Review opportunity regarding in-home wastewater services. An amendment carried 7-1 to add "blockages on the private portion of the property line." A referral motion from Coun. Hyggen then passed 8-1. This item will be added to the Operating Budget Review.
  • Council voted unanimously to refer a presentation from Conrad D. Westerson, Commander PSCC, on a Public Safety Communications Centre Staffing Request to operating budget week. Questions from council will be coming next week during operating budget deliberations.
  • City Council voted unanimously to receive as information a presentation from resident Roy Remus, on Opposition to Lethbridge Overdose Prevention Society (LOPS).
  • At a public hearing presentation, Ryan Westerson, Legislative Services Manager, Chloe Crisanti, Legislative Services Assistant, and Maureen Gaehring, Manager of Planning, presented on a proposed Bylaw 6251 - A Bylaw to Establish Alternate Methods of Public Notification and Advertisement. Coun. Coffman later asked for a two-week postponement and Council voted unanimously in favour.

There was not a Council Catch-up this week.


November 2, 2020

  • City Council unanimously approved Round 2 of funding allocations for the Lethbridge Community Wellbeing and Safety Strategy (CWSS), providing almost $4 million to community agencies. The approval on the allocation of $3,917,011 builds on the integrated investment framework combining municipal, provincial and federal funding, as well as the nearly $6 million from Round 1 allocated last month. There are no City of Lethbridge dollars in Round 2. The anticipated community impacts include: Programming dollars are focused on priority populations; Centralized access and enhanced client experience that tailor individual needs to services in the community; Strategic investment to build capacity in a Blackfoot organization for community-wide access to cultural expertise, knowledge and programming; Decreased service duplication through an integrated delivery model; and a Strategic push to end homelessness by 2022. The next steps for the CWSS involve written notice of results to community and all proponents; contracts executed in November and December; transition planning and implementation as required; and new programs starting on or before Jan. 1, 2021.
  • City Council unanimously approved a series of Development-Based Incentive Programs to support investors as well as business owners and their employees. Many of the ideas originated at meetings of the Lethbridge Recovery Committee of Council, where ongoing discussions with the business and development community have identified potential opportunities that fit Lethbridge. The six areas of focus include: Real Estate Sales and Leases; Affordable/Social Housing Capital Project Grant; Urban Core Housing Incentive Program; Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Program; Urban Core Property Improvement Grant Program; and Industrial Municipal Tax Incentive. Five of these are existing programs that are being redeveloped for the present situation. These incentive programs will dedicate $4,015,475 in funding to support economic recovery. These dollars have been committed from existing funding sources and will not impact residential taxes. Council also voted unanimously to add an amendment that the "City Manager be directed to report back to City Council on the uptake of these programs no later than March 21, 2021."
  • City Council unanimously voted in favour of several requests by the Royal Canadian Legion General Stewart Branch. They included: to declare Remembrance Week from Thursday, Nov. 5 to Wednesday Nov. 11; that the City is to fly the Poppy Flag with Flag Raising on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 11 a.m., with representation by the Mayor and/or Councillors who wish to attend, and that during Remembrance Week 4th Avenue between 9th and 11th Street South be named Veterans Avenue and a banner be installed on 4th Avenue (provided by the Legion) with costs funded by the City. Legion members said the ceremony at Exhibition Park will not take place this year, but a modified ceremony will go ahead at the Cenotaph near City Hall. Additional precautions will be added including an area for no more than 100 people to be blocked-off and reserved around the Cenotaph and 25 chairs for Veterans in the reserved area.
  • During the agenda adoption, item 6.1 was withdrawn. The proposed Lethbridge Transit Modified Service Reduction will not move forward at this time. The City Manager said other funding has been identified and no changes will happen at this time.
  • Council heard a report on a Phase 2 Operational Review opportunity regarding in-home wastewater services. It was proposed that Council choose an option: 1. Continue to provide In-Home Services on demand 24/7 free of charge; 2. Continue to provide In-Home Services on demand 24/7, but implement a charge in the Sewer Charges Bylaw, effective Jan, 1, 2021; 3. No longer respond to customer requests – inspection and clearing only as required for utility purposes, using a phase-out period. Coun. Jeff Carlson proposed option 2. A member of the public not on the agenda entered chambers. Council debated procedure then a motion to postpone this item for two weeks has carried 5-4. It will return at the Nov. 16 Council meeting.
  • A motion to approve a Submission Report from Performing Arts Centre Steering Committes was carried in a 6-3 vote. The resolution read that City Council direct the Performing Arts Centre Steering Committee to finalize the business plan and to update the project estimate, within its exisitng approved budget of $375,000, for a traditional Performing Arts Centre.
  • Council voted unanimously to pledge support for a National Early Learning and Care Program. The request involved the Mayor contacting other mid-sized mayors in Alberta to encourage them to also support a National Early Learning and Care Program, with accompanying letters of support sent to the provincial and federal governments. An amendment also passed, which included that a resolution be drafted to present at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association as well as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
  • During the consent agenda, there was a change added to move the Enmax Centre governance report to return at a later date.
  • Stemming from in-camera discussions, Council voted for both the Lethbridge Curling Club and University of Lethbridge Conservatory of Music have their lease amounts deferred to the respective organizations and administration to work on payment schedules.
  • Second and third readings of Bylaw 6249 – Land Use Bylaw Amendment re:1101 & 1165 Abitibi Rd W, passed in 8-1 votes.
  • Second and third readings passed unanimously for Bylaw 6245 - Land Use Bylaw Amendment re:3419 Parkside Drive South, 3417 Parkside Drive South, and 625 34 Street South (Exhibition Park).
  • Second reading, with amendments, passed for Bylaw 6236 – Area Redevelopment Plan Adoption re: Westminster Area Redevelopment. The amendments included that third reading is to happen before May 31, 2021, in order for further information.
  • During an organizational meeting of council, the Standing Policy Committees (SPC) Governance Model resolution passed unanimously. This will involve a change to the council and committees schedule for 2021. Administration will bring respective Procedure Bylaw amendments to Council for first reading at the Nov, 30, 2020 Meeting of Council, to be effective Jan. 1, 2021; Amend the Terms of Reference or Bylaws for the Boards, Commissions and Committees (BCCs) to be effective Jan. 1, 2021, to allow for: a) reporting of those BCCs to the respective SPC; b) amendment of Council appointments on BCCs; Dissolve the following Committees effective Dec. 31, 2020: City Manager Search Committee; Open and Effective Government Committee; Finance Committee; and Community Issues Committee; and Provide citizen and/or administration recommendations to Council on or before Dec. 14, 2020.
  • Council votes 7-2 to direct the City Manager to bring back to Council recommended changes to Bylaw 5969, Municipal Police Commission Bylaw, by the end of January 2021.
  • The Administrative Appointments to Boards, Commissions, and Committees (2021) were approved unanimously.
  • Coun. Jeff Carlson made a referral motion to send Bylaw 6203, Code of Conduct for Citizen Members Appointed to Boards, Commissions, and Committees to the Open and Effective Government Committee. It passes unanimously.
  • Council approved the Citizen Member Appointments to Boards, Commissions and Committees and thanked the outgoing members. 

There was not a Council Catch-Up this week.


October 19, 2020

  • City Council debated a presentation from Kim Gallucci, Acting Transit Manager for the City of Lethbridge, regarding a potential modified service reduction for Lethbridge Transit. The proposal involves a possible Transit Service Reduction with a projected cost savings of $1,067,578 in Transit, and $364,770 in Access-A-Ride over a 52-week period as a result of low ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the return to full transit service on August 4, ridership on Lethbridge Transit is at about 30 per cent of what it was at the same in 2019. Council ultimately voted 8-1 in favour of referring to this item to administration then back to council on Nov. 2. 
  • City Council heard a presentation from Michael Kelly, Real Estate & Land Development Manager for the City of Lethbridge, regarding a Development Based Incentive Program as part of economic recovery efforts. The Lethbridge Community and Economic Recovery Committee of City Council has been discussing opportunities for development-based incentives to support business owners and potential investors The incentives involve: Real Estate Sales and Leases; Affordable/Social Housing Capital Project Grant; Urban Core Housing Incentive Program; Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Program; Urban Core Property Improvement Grant Program; and Industrial Municipal Tax Incentive. Coun. Coffman made a motion to refer this item to the Nov. 2 council meeting. The motion passed 7-1.
  • Shahin Mehdizadeh, Lethbridge Police Service Chief, provided reports on the Watch, the Community Peace Officers, and the Police and Crisis Team New Initiatives as funding was provided for a two-year period and is under consideration for 2021 and 2022. Council voted for the reports to be accepted as presented and the information be forwarded to the Nov. 23 Finance Committee Meeting for consideration.
  • Following a public hearing, Bylaw 6237, an amendment to Bylaw 3899 for the Railway Relocation Lands Area Redevelopment Plan, and Bylaw 6238, Land Use Bylaw Amendment, in relation to a proposed 341-unti condo building at 102 Scenic Drive North, both passed second and third reading unanimously.
  • Council unanimously approved the payment of the 2020 Annual Membership (effective January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020) with the Highway 3 Twinning Development Association in the amount of $7,500 to be funded from Council Contingencies.
  • Council voted unanimously to have the Mayor send a letter to the Alberta Minister of Environment & Parks, copying the Premier of Alberta and the MLA for Lethbridge East, highlighting City Council's concerns regarding water quality and also referencing the Oldman Watershed Council Submission to the Joint Review Panel on the Grassy Mountain Coal Project and Proposed Open Coal Mining in the Headwaters Region of the Oldman River.
  • Bylaw 6243 authorizing City Council to borrow $17,824,000 for the expansion and renovation of the Lethbridge & District Exhibition Agri-Food Hub (Trade Centre), pursuant to the Capital Improvement Program D-42; Bylaw 6244 authorizing City Council to borrow $ 8,000,000 for expansion and renovation of the Lethbridge & District Exhibition Agri-Food Hub (Trade Centre), pursuant to Capital Improvement Program D-42, and Bylaw 6247 authorizing City Council to lend money to the Lethbridge & District Exhibition, a non-profit organization for the expansion and renovation of an Agri-food Hub (Trade Centre), all passed second and third reading unanimously.
  • Council voted 6-3 against a proposed OBR on postponement of Section D Items of Capital Improvement Program.

There was not a Council Catch-Up this week.


October 5, 2020

  • City Council unanimously approved round one of funding allocations for the Lethbridge Community Wellbeing and Safety Strategy (CWSS), providing almost $6 million to community agencies. The approval on the allocation of $5,981,529.91 is the first tangible outcome for an integrated investment framework combining municipal, provincial and federal funding. Round 1 of the Integrated Request for Supplier Qualifications (RFSQ) process leverages funds from Family Community Support Services (FCSS), Outreach Support Services Initiative (OSSI), Reaching Home (RH), and City of Lethbridge to address community wellbeing and safety within Lethbridge. Out of the nearly $6 million, the City of Lethbridge's financial contribution is about four per cent to the FCCS component, which itself is a 20 per cent contribution along with 80 per cent from the Government of Alberta. The remainder is from the Federal and Provincial governments. 
  • City Council voted unanimously in favour on a proposal and direction to Administration to prepare impacts of: moving to a seven-day publication period with Agenda Review Committee on Thursdays; placing CIC and Council meetings combined on one day; moving all meetings of Council to Tuesdays. The changes would take effect beginning January 1, 2021.
  • City Council voted unanimously to receive and file a presentation by Pamela Beebe, Indigenous Relations Coordinator, on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG) Draft Recommendations.
  • City Council voted 6-3 against an Amendment to Lethbridge Housing Authority Ministerial Order.
  • City Council voted unanimously to receive and file a presentation by Karrie Nightingale, Facility Services Manager, on Administrative Prioritization Criteria for CIP.
  • City Council voted unanimously to receive and file a presentation by Trevor Butler, General Manager, IT, for an Intelligent Community Update.
  • Council voted to forward submission items 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5 & 5.6 to the November 23, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting.

There was not a Council Catch-Up this week.


September 21, 2020

  • City Council voted 8-1 to pass a referral motion sending a request from the Performing Arts Centre Advocacy group to the steering committee for a recommendation back to council by Nov. 2. Dianne King, on behalf of Performing Arts Centre Advocacy Group, asked that council defeat a resolution to discontinue the project and authorize the steering committee to continue working on the project. The motion stated that the City of Lethbridge is undergoing operational reviews to look for efficiencies and opportunities for reinvestments, and that the Province of Alberta has signaled austerity and has not supported expressions of interest for all of our projects submitted through the CIP. Coun. Jeff Carlson then proposed a referral motion, which was passed, to send this OBR to the PAC steering committee, then back to council with a specific recommendation.
  • City Council voted unanimously 8-0 (Coun. Blaine Hyggen recused) to allow the Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club to defer their 2020 annual contribution toward the Enmax Centre renovation. The Canes are trying to ensure their cash flow and expenditures are in a positive position to ensure its near term future operations through the COVID pandemic.
     
  • City Council voted unanimously to direct administration to look further into potential options in relation to an OBR on Recycling and Large Condominiums.

  • City Council voted unanimously in favour of an agenda add-on OBR proposed by Coun. Rob Miyashiro regarding local EMS dispatch. The passed motion includes that the Mayor send a formal request to AHS and the Provincial Government urging them to continue with local dispatch of EMS services.

  • City Council unanimously passed second and third reading on Bylaw 6240 – Electronic Transmission of Assessment and Taxation Documents Bylaw. It establishes a formal, secure and transparent process on how the Assessment and Taxation department is collecting and using taxpayers' personal information. The process is simple, secure, and 100 per cent driven by the taxpayer.
     
  • City Council voted unanimously to provide continuing support regarding the implementation of the Municipal Housing Strategy, following a presentation from Martin Thomsen, Manager, Community Social Development. homsen says safe and affordable housing is foundational in ensuring a community thrives. All of society suffers when there is not an adequate supply of safe and affordable housing.

  • City Council voted unanimously to approve recommended changes to Public Art Policy CC30, following a presentation by Jillian Bracken, Community Arts and Culture Manager, and Suzanne Lint, Allied Arts Council Executive Director. Following the City Manager's direction, the Recreation and Culture Business Unit worked closely with the Art Committee to prepare a report that outlines several recommended changes to Public Art Policy CC30. These changes are rooted in four steps: Clarify roles/responsibilities for all parties involved in the Public Art Program; Maintain sustainable/clearly understood funding source for the Public Art Program; Properly administratively resource the Public Art Program; Update the Art Committee's Terms of Reference.
     
  • Following a presentation from Maureen Gaehring and Genesis Hevia Orio, City Council voted unanimously for the City Clerk to organize Community Issues Committee meetings on Oct. 26 and Nov. 9 on the five themes, and invite the appropriate organizations to make presentations as directed by council, on the Municipal Development Plan. The MDP is a guiding statutory strategic community document of the City of Lethbridge. City Council at the MDP Review kick-off workshop indicated a desire to hear directly from stakeholders.
     
  • City Council voted 8-1 to receive and file a presentation by Dr. Abdelbasat Aborawi, president of the Lethbridge Muslim Association. Aborawi was requesting council to waive a rezoning fee for the mosque on 13 Street S as the association wants to convert it to a residential unit.
     
  • City Council voted unanimously to refer to administration a presentation by Michael Kelly, Real Estate and Land Development Manager, on the Affordable/Social Housing Capital Project Grant. Kelly says the Community and Economic Recovery Committee have been discussing opportunities for development-based incentives to support business owners and potential investors. Council policies have been proposed to be amended to provide those opportunities. Proposed changes are: Name changed to Affordable/Social Housing Capital Project Grant; Social Housing in Action Committee has been decommissioned so references are deleted; No maximum level of funding available for a project; Eligible projects extended to Social Housing.
     
  • At a public hearing, City Council voted to defer to the Nov. 2 meeting second and third reading for Bylaw 6236 – Westminster Area Redevelopment Plan.

Listen to the highlights of decisions, discussions and deliberations of Lethbridge City Council with Council Catch-Up, the new post-meeting debrief with your Lethbridge City Council.


September 8, 2020

  • City Council unanimously approved piloting a new Transit On Demand system combined with more direct routes, based on recommendations from both the 2019 KPMG Operational Review, as well as the 2017 Transit Master Plan. These changes will look to help increase ridership, reduce costs and make the most efficient use of resources. Transit On Demand will allow for service in areas where fixed Transit routes are not financially viable. Using technology to book rides, Transit On Demand will help increase ridership, expand service area coverage and build in flexibility to create efficiencies. The details of the Transit On Demand trial include: Transit On Demand will operate a one-year trial in east Lethbridge only; Monday to Saturday after 7 p.m.; 30-minute frequency from 7 p.m. to midnight; City Link is developed by realigning routes 12, 23 and 24; All west Lethbridge routes and frequencies remain unchanged from the current level of service; and Saturday and Sunday service remains unchanged from current level of service. Implementation of this new system will take up to 12 months to be fully operational. Once the changes are in place, the one-year trial will begin. Transit will report back to Council on the success of the pilot after the trial has been completed.
  • City Council unanimously (with Coun. Coffman recused due to a conflict of interest) approved Administration to develop eligibility criteria for Access-A-Ride programs, in an effort to improve the clarity and defensibility of the eligibility requirements and to target the Access-A-Ride service for those users who truly require the assistance. Implementation of this new system will take up to 12 months to be fully operational. Transit will report back to Council on an annual basis.

  • City Council voted unanimously in favour to direct the Mayor's Office, as a one-time exception, to issue and declare a proclamation, proclaiming October 4 as Sisters in Spirit Day. Sisters in Spirit is an organization that raises awareness of the violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited individuals in southern Alberta and across the country.   

August 24, 2020

  • In an effort to limit spread of COVID-19 and to keep the local economy moving forward, City Council approved a mandatory face covering bylaw to include all indoor public spaces. Bylaw 6239, which took effect immediately after passing third reading in a 6-3 vote, states that a face covering must be worn at all times while in an indoor, enclosed, or substantially enclosed public place or in a public vehicle. This will include places like malls, grocery stores, retail businesses, churches, taxi and ridesharing businesses. While those not adhering to the bylaw could be fined $100, the City will focus on education, encouraging residents to wear a mask as a way to protect those around them. The bylaw does state several exemptions to the mandatory use of face coverings. For more information on Bylaw 6239, visit: www.lethbridge.ca/facecoverings.
  • As part of its economic recovery plan, City Council unanimously approved several significant requests by the Lethbridge & District Exhibition, including funding of $25 million and provide a 30-year loan to the Exhibition for up to $17.8-million, for a 268,000-square-foot Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre. The $25 million will come from various funding sources and a combination of grants, reserves, internal and/or external borrowing, and the pay-as-you-go program. There is no additional impact on taxation to Lethbridge residents from this project. As part of the $17.8-million loan, which will be available for transfer to Lethbridge & District Exhibition on Jan. 1, 2022, the City has agreed to waive the 0.25 per cent administration fee. As part of the new agreement, ownership of the Exhibition Park site is to remain the property of the City of Lethbridge, but the City will grant a site lease to Lethbridge & District Exhibition for the term of 50 years, expiring in 2070, with an option to extend for an additional 50-year term expiring in 2120. In addition, the City of Lethbridge will provide debt forgiveness for the remaining value of the previous loan of $3.8 million, in exchange for the title to the 155.71 acres of owned land by Lethbridge & District Exhibition. The balance of $3.8 million will be funded from the Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve (MRSR).
  • Inspector Russell Lawrence of the Lethbridge Police Service made a Quarterly Report to City Council on The Watch, Community Peace Officers, and Police And Crisis Team (PACT). As a condition of City Council approving funding for The Watch, Community Peace Officers, and PACT in the 2019-22 Lethbridge Police Service (LPS) Budget, it was directed LPS must report quarterly on the operational progress & financial status of each program.
  • City Council voted unanimously for the June 2020 Operating Forecast, presented by City Treasure Hailey Pinksen on variance for 2020 based on operations to June 30, 2020, as well as the impact of COVID-19, to be received as information and filed. And $12,068 to be funded from the Airport Reserve for the Sand Storage Shed project as matching funds for the ACAP grant.
  • City Council unanimously passed unanimously a motion for the University of Lethbridge's Lease Agreement for the Conservatory of Music in CASA. The Agreement will run until 2023, with an option for renewal at that time.
  • City Council unanimously approved a motion for an Allied Arts Council Fee for Service and Lease Agreement. This Agreement will formalize the second of two working relationships between the City of Lethbridge and the Allied Arts Council. Through this Agreement, the City leases Casa to the AAC and provides funding support for its programming and operations. The Agreement formalizing the other working relationship with the AAC (Leadership of the Arts and Communications Management) was approved by Council on Feb. 24, 2020.
  • City Council unanimously passed as information a Public Art Inventory Report. On Feb. 3, 2020, the Public Art Committee presented a Public Art Committee status report to Council sitting as Community Issues Committee. At this meeting, Council directed the Committee to determine the inventory of the Public Art within the City of Lethbridge, with values specified. The attached report offers an inventory with total values of the following art collections which are managed by the Recreation and Culture Department and Public Art Committee, in accordance with Public Art Policy CC30: the City of Lethbridge Public Art Collection, and the City of Lethbridge Fine Art Collection. As of August 2020, the City of Lethbridge Public Art Collection includes fourteen pieces. The total value of the Collection is $1,398,775. Values are based upon acquisition prices. As of August 2020, the City of Lethbridge Fine Art Collection includes 83 pieces. The total value of the Collection is $591,650. Values are based upon a 2019 appraisal completed by art appraiser Doug Maclean.

There was not a Council Catch-Up this week.

 

August 10, 2020

  • City Council passed first and second reading of Bylaw 6239 - Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw. A vote was carried to have the first reading moved from the consent agenda to the primary agenda. With several amendments, a second reading ultimately carried in a 6-2 vote. Third reading also went 6-2, but needed a unanimous vote in order for all three readings to be carried in one meeting. Third reading will take place at the Aug. 24 council meeting.
  • Representatives from the Lethbridge and District Exhibition presented a series of requests to council for its proposed Agri-food hub. The provincial government recently invested $27.8-million into this project. Part of the Ex Park requests to council include a 30-year loan from the City of Lethbridge for $17,824,000 and a grant site lease for a 50-year term, with an option for an additional 50-year term. A motion to postpone this presentation carried with a 6-2 vote. It will return to council at the Aug. 24 meeting.
  • Council voted unanimously in favour of an Official Business Resolution which includes that Lethbridge City Council re-affirm its commitment to preserving EMS response operated by the City of Lethbridge and invite support from citizens and other communities. Council also voted in favour of an amendment to instruct the City Manager to investigate the legal, financial and operational viability of the City of Lethbridge continuing to provide integrated EMS service.
  • Council voted unanimously on a motion brought forward by the Lethbridge Community and Economic Recovery Committee regarding parking enforcement downtown. They voted to resume enforcement on parking fees downtown beginning Sept. 1 with a warning period until Sept. 14.
  • Council voted 5-3 for a Lethbridge Housing Authority Ministerial Order Change Request to be referred to a future Open and Effective Government Committee meeting. The LHA's Ministerial Order states that all nine board members are to be appointed by the City of Lethbridge: one from the City Council and eight at large. The LHA has asked that the Ministerial Order be changed so that the eight public members are appointed by the Authority.
  • Council voted 7-1 to retain Crown Strategic Consulting for an additional six months at a rate of $5,000 a month, plus $1,000 a month for expenses, with funding to continue out of mayor and council's travel budget. The request for this continuation of Engagement and Advocacy Support was in a report back from Open & Effective Government Committee. 

  • City Council voted unanimously to receive a report from the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce on The Economics of Childcare for information. Two clauses will be forwarded to the Recovery Lethbridge Committee for recommendations, then back to council no later than Oct. 5. No. 1: Set up a grant through which qualified childcare centres can be eligible to receive protective equipment such as cloth face coverings, procedural (disposable) face masks, medical-grade gloves and sanitizer. No. 2: Continue to monitor, publicize and/or locally post the list of daycare providers that the Government of Alberta maintains to aid in the search of parents seeking childcare possibly through the Community Wellbeing and Safety Strategy.
  • Council voted 7-1 in favour of a motion updating the City Council Inquiries Form. A Governance Review identified a need to develop a written format for submissions for Council inquiries in the Council Agenda to support the overall governance process. It would assist Council in preparing, submitting and receiving a response on inquiries of Administration.
  • Council voted unanimously in favour to approve the Operational Review Implementation Plan as presented and direct the City Manager to provide monthly updates.
  • Council voted unanimously to approve the proposed Council Work Plan 2020-21 as presented and direct the City Manager to provide monthly updates to Council.

There was not a Council Catch-Up this week.


July 27, 2020

  • Following a lengthy debate, City of Lethbridge council unanimously voted to mandate face coverings for riders of Lethbridge Transit beginning Aug. 4 when regular routes and fares resume.
  • Council also voted 8-1 in favour of asking the City Manager to implement mandatory masks in public areas of all City of Lethbridge facilities as soon as practicable, and be directed to prepare appropriate legislation, no later than Aug. 10, mandating the mandatory use of masks city-wide should it be required.
  • Council voted unanimously to receive as information a presentation regarding a Drug Treatment Court coming to Lethbridge later this year.
  • Coun. Belinda Crowson provided an update and recommendations from the Lethbridge Community and Economic Recovery Committee. The motion was passed unanimously. It included: that training and travel by the City be minimized until December 31, 2020 and that a review be done on its efforts before the expiry date; That any hiring by the City be done at the sole discretion of the City Manager until December 31, 2020 and that a review be done of its efforts before the expiry date; that the City Manager provide options for economic stimulus and strategic investment opportunities, reporting back to City Council by August 15, 2020; and that the City Manager direct Corporate Communications to work with the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce on their Post Promise Campaign to promote the health of the citizens and the businesses.

There was not a Council Catch-Up this week.


July 13, 2020

  • In a 7-2 vote following a lengthy debate, City Council passed second and third reading to Bylaw 6228: A Bylaw to Prohibit the Business Practice of Conversion Therapy in Lethbridge. The bylaw includes a $10,000 fine for a violation. It states "no person may engage in or operate a business that provides the offering or provision of counselling or behaviour modification techniques, administration or prescription of medication, or any other purported treatment, service or tactic used for the objective of changing a person's sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or gender preference, or eliminating or reducing sexual attraction or sexual behaviour between persons of the same sex." Earlier at council, a co-sponsored motion by two members of council asked to delay final reading and hold a public hearing for residents to provide further input on the wording. The motion was defeated in a 6-3 vote.
  • In a unanimous manner, City Council voted to receive phase two of the KPMG operational review. Phase two takes an in-depth look at opportunities for service changes in the community, internal structure changes and areas for cost savings while considering the impact of COVID-19 on City operations. The review also offers comparisons from other municipalities and takes into account the expertise of the KPMG team and input from City Council, staff and stakeholders. Phase two of the operational review was undertaken between December 2019 and May 2020. The report provides key findings and opportunities related to Water and Wastewater, Electric Utility, Utility Services, Waste and Recycling, Transportation, Infrastructure Administration, Parks, Fleet Services and the Galt Museum. City Council has directed the City Manager to look at the opportunities in both phases and come back with an implementation plan by August 10. The full report is here: www.lethbridge.ca/Phase2OperationalReview
  • City Council voted unanimously to approve the Mobility/Accessibility Master Plan -- a long-term strategy to plan a community accessible for all people, but particularly for those with physical, sensory and cognitive challenges. It also provides guidance when it comes to optimizing infrastructure that allows for equal access to programs and services for all people. The plan is the result of two years of work and community engagement on how to create better access to City-run facilities and services for its residents.

There was not a Council Catch-Up this week.


June 29, 2020

  • In a unanimous vote, City Council ratified the appointment of Shahin Mehdizadeh as the new Police Chief for the Lethbridge Police Service. Mehdizadeh was unanimously chosen for the position by the Lethbridge Police Commission, which provides civilian oversight to the police service. He is currently serving as the RCMP Chief Superintendent, Central Alberta District where he is responsible for a large geographic area that has 24 detachments, including the City of Red Deer and numerous First Nations communities. The Police Chief position was left vacant following the resignation of Chief Rob Davis in July of last year. Chief Davis was replaced by Interim Police Chief Scott Woods in October 2019. Mehdizadeh will officially take on the role of Police Chief on Aug. 31.
  • In a unanimous vote, City Council authorized the Lead Water Service Action Plan project with funding from operations and identified Water Utility CIP Surpluses. Doug Kaupp, Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Manager, reported to council that there are 84 known Lead Service Lines (LSLs) and 110 suspected LSLs of 34,000 total properties in Lethbridge. Kaupp says all lead lines can be removed in the city by 2022. Effective Jan. 1, 2020, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) adopted the March 2019 Health Canada Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of 5ug/L. All approved water systems in Alberta must comply within 5 years. Kaupp says this is not a widespread problem in Lethbridge and that "it is of a manageable scale."
  • In a unanimous vote, City Council supported a proposal by Coun. Carlson, which includes asking the City Manager to investigate and report back to Council at the Nov. 23 meeting on ways and means to enact a corporate-wide expense reduction by 5% or 10%. The proposal also includes City Council, through its Recovery Committee work, striving to ensure that the City (Corporation) creates sufficient fiscal flexibility to respond to a rapidly evolving and uncertain fiscal environment.
  • In a unanimous decision, City Council voted to receive as information a report on a Lethbridge Substance Use Discussion Paper. City Council had previously passed a resolution on Sept. 16, 2019, to hire a qualified researcher to use existing data and literature to develop a Discussion Paper on addiction, substance abuse and SCS trends locally with an overview of intervention options. This was originally resolved for submission to Council no later than March 31, 2020; however, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the expert panels' limited availability during the outbreak, the Senior Management Team approved an extension to the deadline.
  • City Council voted unanimously to thank City Treasure Hailey Pinksen for two reports on an Operating Forecast and CIP possibilities. Pinsken said an April 2020 Operating Forecast is not typically part of the annual reporting schedule as we are only four months into the fiscal year. Due to the pandemic it has been prepared to provide City Council with financial forecasts of the General Fund, Utility Fund and Reserve Funded operations. Highlights of the Operating Forecast COVID impact include: airport, parking, rec & culture facility closures, Development and Inspection Services, Parks, ENMAX Centre and Lethbridge Transit and Accessible Transportation. For the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) 2018-2027 Project Update, Pinksen listed potential projects discussed by council at various times in various capacities, depending on future scenarios for funding.
  • A motion of notice was announced for City Council to consider second and third readings of Bylaw 6228 – A Bylaw to Prohibit the Business Practice of Conversion Therapy – at the July 13 meeting of City Council.


June 15, 2020

  • In a 7-2 vote, and with economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as a major focus, City Council was in favour of providing $1 million in cash and in-kind support for a bid to bring the Tim Hortons Brier to Lethbridge in 2022. The annual Canadian men's curling championship is regarded as the world's premier curling event, as well as the best-supported curling competition in terms of paid attendance and attracting large crowds in-venue and on TSN. The documented economic benefits from the 2020 Brier held in Kingston, Ont. estimate a direct spin-off of between $10 million and $15 million.
  • In a unanimous vote, City Council rescinded a $1.7-million project on Pathway 24 (Six Mile Park) from Capital Improvement Program Project D-11 – Pathway System Connections and Extensions. City staff will now continue to work with user groups to come up with an acceptable alternative to improve the safety and sustainability on the popular trail system.
  • In an 8-1 vote, City Council affirmed its commitment to combatting the effects of the Opioid Crisis by formally providing support to a Class Action Lawsuit filed by the City of Grande Prairie. The $10-Billion Class Action Lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies was recently filed in the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta by the City of Grande Prairie as representative plaintiff on behalf of all Canadian cities and municipalities that have been affected by the Opioid Crisis. Council agreed to participate on a contingency fee basis, which is a fee limitation clause to protect the City from any costs, and to explore the possibility of becoming a representative plaintiff in the litigation.
  • In a 7-2 vote, City Council passed a motion which aims to have the Alberta government consider a one per cent provincial sales tax as a means to generate revenue specially for capital projects for Alberta's cities and towns. The PST resolution will be presented for consideration to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association this September.

Listen to the highlights of decisions, discussions and deliberations of Lethbridge City Council with Council Catch-Up, the new post-meeting debrief with your Lethbridge City Council


June 1, 2020

  • In a 5-4 vote, City Council tabled for two weeks a proposal to rescind a $1.7-million project on Pathway 24 (Six Mile Park) from Capital Improvement Program Project D-11 – Pathway System Connections and Extensions.
  • City Council unanimously passed a motion supporting 2020 Community Capital Project Grants requests for a total of $377,958.81 to financially assist capital enhancement projects for eight local non-profit groups and their community-use facilities.

  • In a 6-3 vote, City Council was in favour of directing the City Manager to work with the bid committee to find recommended sources to potentially financially support a bid for the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier, the national men's curling championship. The ask is for $1 million, between cash and in-kind services. The matter will return to council on June 15.

  • In a 6-3 vote, City Council authorized the reassignment of $250,000 from the Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve for the cancelled 2020 Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open PGA event to the proposed 2021 edition.

There was not a Council Catch-Up this week.


May 19, 2020

  • City Council officially approved the appointment of Craig Dalton as the new City Manager (Chief Administrative Officer) for the City of Lethbridge. Council also revoked the contract with Jody Meli as City Manager and thanked her for her service for the last five months during the search for the new City Manager.
  • City Council unanimously approved a motion to undertake an operational budget review in November in order to discuss COVID-19 related changes, the KPMG operational review and the possible amendments to the Alberta provincial budget.
  • City Council approved a motion to create the Lethbridge Community & Economic Recovery Committee of Council, a new councilor-led committee to lead the City's longer term economic recovery from COVID-19. It is designed to provide community coordination and leadership.

Listen to the highlights of decisions, discussions and deliberations of Lethbridge City Council with Council Catch-Up, the new post-meeting debrief with your Lethbridge City Council


May 11, 2020

  • Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant financial impact on residents and business owners, City Council directed the City Manager to update the 2020 operating budget on a one-time basis to eliminate a 1.82 per cent tax rate increase.
  • City Council approved the cancellation of the 2020 annual levy from the Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone. The $219,000 will be taken on a one-time basis from the Heart of Our City internal funding.

This was a special council meeting, so there was not a Council Catch-Up this week.


May 4, 2020

  • City Council approved changes to 2020 property tax penalty dates to help residents impacted by the financial effects of COVID-19. All 2020 property tax notices will be mailed out at the end of May with a due date of June 30, 2020. For residents who are unable to pay their property taxes by that date, penalties will not be applied to unpaid tax balances until Oct. 1.

  • City Council unanimously approved the donation of a decommissioned ambulance to the Sunrise Rotary Club Los Amigos Project in Mexico to support community emergency services, school children, and people with disabilities in four states in Western Mexico, valued at $8,000 and funded from Council Contingency and allocated to the Fleet Reserve.

  • Council approved funding for the 2020 –2023 Lethbridge Land Work Plan and Project Expenditures from Subdivision Surplus.

Listen to the highlights of decisions, discussions and deliberations of Lethbridge City Council with Council Catch-Up, the new post-meeting debrief with your Lethbridge City Council.


April 20, 2020

  • City Council approved a motion to have a special Council meeting on May 11 to provide second and third readings on multiple bylaws related to taxation, which must be adopted before tax notices may be distributed.

  • City Council approved the 2019 City of Lethbridge Annual Report. 

  • City Council approved a motion to send a letter to the Alberta Legislature in support of Bill 201, the Strategic Aviation Advisory Council, for Lethbridge Airport advocacy.
  • City Council approved second and third readings to Bylaw 6219 and Bylaw 6220 in relation to the 2020 Downtown Business Improvement Area Tax Rate Bylaw and Tax Bylaw.

Listen to the special edition of Council Catch-Up to hear Mayor Spearman address the issue of property taxes and the upcoming discussion on the May 11 meeting.


April 6, 2020

  • City Council approved a bylaw to increase the City of Lethbridge's current line of credit from $10-million to $60-million for any needs as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
  • City Council approved a bylaw to give residents a temporary waiver of late utility payment fees on due to the extenuating circumstances that COVID-19 is bringing to many households.
  • City Council voted to continue CIP funding of $2.9 million for the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden's new community facility.
  • City Council voted to send the Cycling Corridor Functional Planning Study to the next Capital Improvement Program (CIP) deliberations for consideration. The corridors selected for the functional planning study would build a bicycle network through the downtown and into north Lethbridge, extending out from the existing 7 Avenue south bike boulevard.
  • The Lethbridge Region Economic Recovery Task Force presented to City Council on how they intend to help the business community move forward in a post-COVID period. While there was no official ask of City Council during the presentation, the information was accepted by Council and they will now consider the recommendations while examining ways to support business through and following the COVID-19 public health emergency.

There was not a Council Catch-Up this week due to messaging regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and because three members of Lethbridge City Council dialed-in from home for the meeting


March 23, 2020

  • City Council approved a motion to allocate up to approximately $3-million in short-term provincial grant funding to continue vital programs for the city's most vulnerable population during the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary three-month funding framework will support 15 local organizations which largely support transitional and permanent supportive housing in Lethbridge.

  • City Council gave first and second reading to a motion which would allow for the City of Lethbridge to extent its current line of credit borrowing from $10 million to $60 million to potentially proactively maintain its operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Third and final reading of the motion is scheduled for the April 6 Lethbridge City Council meeting.
  • City Council voted unanimously to approve the Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone 2020 Budget.

There was not a Council Catch-Up this week due to messaging regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and because four members of Lethbridge City Council dialed-in from home for the meeting


March 9, 2020

  • City Council approved a motion to improve public communications for Public Hearings. The update from Planning and Development Manager, Maureen Gaehring, included a review of best practice from six municipalities including Red Deer, Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat and interviews with residents. The improvements include increasing the notification buffer zone to 100m from 60m for re-zonings and development applications, a neighbourhood letter send-out and providing additional information to assist residents on the website as well as a template for submitting concerns.

  • City Council voted to continue with CIP project D- 11 - Pathway System Connections and Extensions after postponing the decision from the Feb. 24 meeting.

  • As a member of the Partners fro Climate Protection, City Council voted to adopt a goal to reduce corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent as based on the 2018 emissions level by the year 2030. This was done in an effort to encourage and promote continuous improvement with respect to environmental goals and targets.

February 24, 2020

  • An improved passenger experience and upgraded water service are set to move ahead at the Lethbridge Airport as City Council approved funding for phase one of the detailed design and rennovation. Approving the roughly $7.5 million-dollar budget will see the an expansion to the current boarding area to accommodate new bathrooms, upgrades to the existing bathrooms along with the water service and HVAC systems being upgraded. Work is expected to start in the summer this year.

  • City Council has approved a transfer of provincial dollars to a new housing project aimed at supporting vulnerable women in the community. The 20-bed transitional housing facility will be operated by local not-for-profit, Streets Alive and will provide safe, supportive and affordable housing for women as they participate in a recovery program. Council approved $300,000.00 in Municipal Blocking Funding and a further $125,000.00 in funding from the City's Housing Fund which aligns with the Municipal Housing Strategy.

  • Support to seek a World Health Organization designation for the city as an Age-Friendly Community received unanimous support from City Council. The ask from the Age Friendly Committee included City Council's approval of the committee's strategic plan, support and promote the efforts of the committee along with a letter of support to aid the committee's submission to the Provincial Government to seek the international designation.

  • City Council reviewed four Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects from Section D of the plan in an effort to align fiscal restraint with the current economic cliamate. The four community projects, Pathway System Connections and Extensions project, the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden Programming and Community Facility project, the Performing Arts Centre project and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) Facility Enhancement project were all debated by members of Council. The Pathways and Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden projects were deferred for decision for two weeks and will come back before Council on March 9. The Performing Arts Centre project was deferred for decision until June as the final finding of the feasibility study are expected to be presented to Council on in May. The SAAG project was unanimously voted to be discontinued and removed from the CIP plan due to the organization changing the scope of their originally-approved project. This would require them to resubmit their application to the CIP process again for Council's approval and will be reconsidered during a future CIP process if submitted.

    Listen to the highlights of decisions, discussions and deliberations of Lethbridge City Council with Council Catch-Up, the new post-meeting debrief with your Lethbridge City Council.

February 10, 2020

  • City Council voted today to direct administration to draft a bylaw to ban the practice of conversion therapy in the city. During discussion of the official business resolution, a motion was approved in a 5-4 vote to split the resolution into two parts. The first part of the resolution asked the Mayor to send a letter on behalf of City Council to advocate to the Provincial Government to ban the practice of conversion therapy within their jurisdiction. The second part directed administration to draft a bylaw which prohibits the business practice of conversion therapy, including a fine for those advertising or offering conversion therapy services within Lethbridge. City Council unanimously supported advocating to the Provincial Government to ban the practice. The vote to direct administration to draft a bylaw resulted in a 7-2 vote. Administration is to draft the proposed bylaw which is to come back to City Council for first reading no later than June 1.

  • City Council voted unanimously to forward the Indigenous Culture Centre for future deliberations and considerations in the next Capital Improvement Program budget after hearing the final report from the feasibility study. The report outlined next steps for consideration which included possible location factors and size of the proposed project.

  • City Council voted 8-1 to withdraw as a shareholder and member of the Canadian Badlands Tourism Association. Some of the reasons sighted for the withdrawal include the increased funding requirement from $5,000.00 when the City first joined the Association in 2007 to the $28,000.00 fee it is today. Included in the decision making was also the City's ongoing operational reviews which are looking at fiscal responsibility measures and the work the Lethbridge Destination Management Organization is already doing on the City's behalf.

Listen to the highlights of decisions, discussions and deliberations of Lethbridge City Council with Council Catch-Up, the new post-meeting debrief with your Lethbridge City Council.

January 27, 2020

  • In an effort to better facilitate the transition of ownership of school busing in the city, a one-year contract with the school districts was approved today by City Council. The new agreement will take effect after the expiry of the current contract and end on or before July 31, 2021.

  • For the first time since 2005, residents won’t submit their census information for the City this year. City Council voted to cancel the yearly data-gathering exercise this year due to changes at the provincial level. In the Provincial Government's 2019 budget it was announced that municipal census data will no longer be used to calculate annual provincial and federal grant funding.  The approved resolution directs Administration to conduct the 2021 census and then prior to the next four-year budget cycle, analyze and compare the 2021 Federal census data to the 2021 municipal census data and engage with stakeholders who use the data to assess if a municipal census is required in 2023 and into the future.

Listen to the highlights of decisions, discussions and deliberations of Lethbridge City Council with Council Catch-Up, the new post-meeting debrief with your Lethbridge City Council.


January 13, 2020

  • City Council has appointed Jody Meli as Interim City Manager, effective immediately, to ensure a smooth transition as Council goes through the process of selecting a new city manager in the coming months. Meli has more than 35 years of experience in municipal government, including more than five years at the senior management level, most recently as the Director of the City Manager's Office. Meli will serve as Interim City Manager until Council completes its nation-wide recruitment process and names a permanent replacement some time in Spring/Summer of 2020. 

  • ​An increase of $90,000 per year until 2021 to enhance safety and security at the Lethbridge Public Library's (LPL) main branch was approved by City Council. The funding is to be sourced from the Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve and is a total of $180,000.00 over two years. 

  • City Council have approved the hiring of an advocacy consultant to help them take a different approach to working with the Provincial Government. The approved resolution comes after hearing via the governance review this was an area City Council could improve on. Crown Strategic Consulting be retained for a six month basis to meet the City of Lethbridge’s Advocacy and Engagement needs at a rate of $5,000 a month, plus $1,000 a month for expenses.

Listen to the highlights of decisions, discussions and deliberations of Lethbridge City Council with Council Catch-Up, the new post-meeting debrief with your Lethbridge City Council.


December 9

  • In the last meeting of 2019, City Council unanimously approved their salaries remain at 2019 rates for 2020 and that City of Lethbridge administrative employee salaries are also held at 2019 rates for 2020.  Each year, Council and administrative salaries are commonly adjusted for cost of living purposes.   For 2020, there will be no cost of living increases for either group.  This decision comes in consideration of the economic environment, both provincially and locally.

  • City Council voted to fund the continuation of the Downtown Clean and Safe Strategy for a total of just over $1.6 million. The funding is spread across three years and is being applied to 20 initiatives that focus specifically on creating a safe, clean and welcoming environment in the downtown.

  • Transit services will continue on statutory holidays thanks for City Council's unanimous approval. The continuation of service for one additional year was approved and will factor in the proposed implementation of an on-demand transit system, as recommended as part of the operational reviews, moving forward. The operational costs to continue the statutory holiday service will be offset by net realized savings of the forthcoming on-demand system.

  • At the request of Council, the Lethbridge Police Commission (LPC) came back to report on the research undertaken in conjunction with the Lethbridge Police Service (LPS), to look at the costs, timelines and implementation of hiring two additional officers to each shift. Interim Chief Scott Woods presented alongside LPC Chair Peter Deys with their findings with two options for City Council to consider. The preferred option being the creation of a Crime Supression Team which will use existing officers to focus enforcement action on individuals and groups demonstrating negative, unwanted behaviour, and committing serial criminal offences.

November 25

  • City Council voted on a number of resolutions stemming from the recommendations made in the phase one report of the City-wide operational review as conducted by KPMG. Of the 11 Official Business Resolutions brought forward by City Council today relating to the operation review, all 11 were approved unanimously with City Council requesting Administration come back with more information and in some instances recommendations on or before June 1, 2020. The cost-savings of carrying out all of the phase one report recommendations is estimated at between $8.5 and $10 million dollars.

  • City Council also voted to keep their current schedule for meeting as both Community Issues Commitee and City Council by staying with meeting every Monday afternoon (unless it falls on a holiday).

  • A resolution proposing developing a citizens assembly to explore a ward system in Lethbridge was defeated 5 - 4.

  • City Council also recieved the September operating forecast from City Treasurer, Hailey Pinksen. The report presented to Council shows a corporate surplus of more than $1.6 million dollars.

November 12

  • City Council voted to re-declare their membership to the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities, formerly CCMARD, and renew endorsement of the 10 Common Commitments; and to endorse the new Lethbridge Diversity and Inclusion Charter.

  • City Council voted to receive the Cycling Update presentation as information.

  • Following a presentation from Community Issues Committee on November 4 regarding the review on governance, City Council voted to send the report to the Open and Effective Government Committee to develop an implementation plan and report back to City Council on next steps in the new year.

October 28

  • City Council passed a resolution to direct the Police Commission to research and identify the costs, timelines and implementation process to assist the Lethbridge Police with hiring of two additional police officers per shift, or eight total new police officers to help mitigate the current crime situation 

  • City Council also passed a resolution to postpone the first Reading of amendments to the Traffic Bylaw be postponed until after the Operational Review is complete and the findings and operational considerations are presented to City Council. This relates to the proposed increase to parking rates and fines that were presented at the October 21 Community Issues Committee.

October 15

  • City Council unanimously approved to grant a number of initiatives in honour of Rememberance Day as requested by the Royal Canadian Legion General Stewart Branch #4. Initiatives included declaring Remembrance Week from Tuesday, Nov. 5 to Monday, Nov.11, flying the Poppy flag at City Hall with a flag raising ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 5 and 4th Avenue between 9th and 11th Street South to be named “Veterans Avenue" during Remembrance Week.

  • City Council voted to consider the curbside organics collection and processing program be considered as a project in the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Plan for deliberation by Finance Committee. Voting seven to two, with Mayor Spearman and Counillor Coffman voting against the motion, the OBR was approved. 

October 7

  • A plan for safe, secure and affordable housing in the City of Lethbridge has been given a unanimous green light by City Council. The implementation of the Municipal Housing Strategy will see work started shortly with work on developing partnerships and advocacy one of the first action items to be tackled.

  • City Council voted unanimously to postpone a surcharge on Construction & Demolition (C&D) materials until March 2020 allowing for additional time for BILD Lethbridge Region to design and implement their Subdivision Recycling Depot Program.

  • Unanimous approval for funding for the 2019 – 2022 Lethbridge Land Work Plan and Project Expenditures was given by City Council. Further to the approval, Lethbridge Land must be financially transparent and responsible and a project variance between the approved work plan expenditures and the actual expenditures be presented to City Council.

  • City Manager, Bram Strain, confirmed at the inquiry of Councillor Belinda Crowson, that all Lethbridge Transit would be free to help people get to the polls on October 21 for the Federal Election.

September 16

  • Trevor Lewington, CEO of Economic Development Lethbridge gave a presentation on the Municipal Government (Property Tax Incentives) Amendment Act, 2019 - Bill 7 and the impact of the Bill. Administration and Economic Development Lethbridge have conducted a review of current practices, including key drivers, existing programs and other considerations. Many of the incentives are focused on redevelopment objectives including downtowns, commercial corridors, and existing neighborhoods.

  • City Council voted unanimously in favour of passing an official business resolution brought forward by Mayor Chris Spearman to adopt the traditional Blackfoot greeting, Oki, as the official greet of the City of Lethbridge. Further to the adoption of Oki as the official greeting, City Council instructed administration to prepare a submission to the next Capital Improvement Program to identify opportunities to incorporate Blackfoot and where appropriate other Indigenous languages within City facilities, parks and neighbourhoods for Council's consideration.

  • City Council also unanimously approved a one-time proclamation of October 4 this year being named Sisters in Spirit Day. Sisters in Spirit is a movement which honours the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, supports grieving families, provides opportunities for healing and is a movement for social change encouraging education and understanding related to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirited Persons.

  • A compensation disclosure list will now be part of the annual report for the City of Lethbridge. City Council voted to have the position titles, salary ranges and information on pensions and benefits for all employment positions and elected officials publicly available.

  • A City Council voted 6 - 2 to instruct Administration to hire a qualified researcher to use existing data and literature to develop a Discussion Paper on addiction, substance abuse and SCS trends locally with an overview of intervention options for the Provincial and Federal Governments. The paper is to be provided to City Council prior or on March 31, 2020.

September 3

  • Director of Treasury and Financial Service, Hailey Pinksen, reported to City Council with a forecast of the operating budget variance for 2019 based on operations to June 30, 2019.

  • City Council accepted reports on Community Consultations regarding the Supervised Consumption Site as information. The report involved information from three public engagement sessions and 16 community partners.

  • A resolution to look at ways to reduce street fighting was approved by City Council with administration to report back with options by the November 12 meeting.

  • City Council postponed a resolution to instruct the City Manager to report back with findings regarding what studies have been done on the root causes for addiction in Lethbridge and the surrounding region.

August 19

  • Cyndi Vos, Executive Officer of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce presented to City Council on the Chamber's commitment to addressing the drug crisis in Lethbridge. The Chamber created a policy titled, The Economics of Addiction, which encourages the provincial government to reconsider the need for a comprehensive detoxification facility as well as supportive housing in the city.

  • City Council approved updated safety measures to the pedestrian crossing located on 6th Ave south and 12 St south. The update comes as a result of a recently completed functional planning study and safety audit and will see rapid flashing amber lights installed instead of the green, yellow, red lights which currently exist.

  • Administration provided an update on the proposed Citizen Town Hall which was approved at the August 6 meeting. The proposed date of the town hall will be in early October and take place at the Enmax Centre with a budget and funding source to come forward at the next City Council meeting on September 3.

  • The approved Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) resolution will see a letter written from the Mayor's office go out to the Solicitor General of Alberta requesting a permanent SCAN presence in the city.

  • The approved Safely Reporting Drug Activity in Lethbridge resolution discussed the use of the public safety contact sheet being made widely available and the use of southern Alberta Crime Stoppers to report illegal activity.

  • City Council also voted 6 – 2 in favour of exploring options to tackle illicit drugs in the community on a case-by-case basis. The resolution proposed the creation of an illicit drug use task force modeled on those in cities like Vancouver and Winnipeg. Administration is to report back to Council on October 15 with a proposed terms of reference, budget and funding source.

  • After a lengthy and passionate debate, City Council voted against a resolution concerning the Supervised Consumption Site (SCS). The resolution which was brought forward by Councillor Hyggen and co-sponsored by Councillors Mauro and Parker proposed to request the provincial government to freeze funding on the SCS until the provincial review of Supervised Consumption Sites had been completed and to request the distribution of needles cease. The resolution was defeated 6 – 3 with Mayor Spearman, Councillors Campbell, Crowson, Carlson, Coffman and Miyarshiro voting against.


August 6

  • City Council unanimously approved the commissioning of a piece of public art work for the Lethbridge Public Library in support the goals of Piitoyiss/Eagles’ Nest to create opportunities for dialogue and discovery among indigenous and nonindigenous communities. The project will celebrate and promote inclusiveness and accessibility. The art work was awarded to renowned Blackfoot artist, Faye HeavyShield and will be entitled Awaaniiyaawa | They Are Speaking. The funding awarded to the piece is $65,000.00 and will come from the Public Art fund.

  • The Adaptive Reuse Policy with the open submission option was approved by Council after some revisions were made on the recommendation of Councillor Crowson. The policy will provide a 50 per cent matching grant program to upgrade or adapt existing buildings that have deteriorated, are deteriorating, and/or are functionally compromised. City Council has now directed administration to work on the implementation of this policy.

  • City Council approved an Official Business Resolution proposed by Councillor Hyggen to instruct administration to organize a Town Hall public meeting to discuss the substance abuse and associated issues in the city. Administration is to report back with a date and venue to City Council at the next regular meeting on August 19.

  • A Notice of Motion was read regarding an upcoming motion being brought forward by Councillor Hyggen to discuss the Supervised Consumption Site operations. The motion will be brought forward at the next regular meeting on August 19.

July 22

  • City Council voted unanimously to approve the lease renewal and fee-for-service agreement with the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association for the term of 2019 – 2022.

  • The Adaptive Reuse Incentive policy came back before Council after Cllr. Crowson asked to review the policy further during the last regular Council meeting. Council voted to direct administration to make suggested recommendations to the policy based on Cllr. Crowson's research. The policy will come back to City Council on August 6.

  • The regular City Council meeting on August 6 will start at 2:30 p.m. instead of the regular 1:30 p.m. after Council voted to amend the start time due to a Community Issues Committee meeting taking place prior to the regular meeting on the same day.

  • City Council voted to accept a presentation on the Downtown Enforcement Project from Lethbridge Police Service as information. Sgt. Robin Klassen from the Downtown Policing Unit and Acting Inspector Pete Christos presented a summary of work to date which has focused on tackling crime in the downtown area and drug houses in the city.


July 8

  • City Council and the Lethbridge Police Commission were notified that Rob Davis has resigned as Lethbridge Police Chief to pursue a new position as Police Chief in Brantford, Ontario, Davis' home province.

  • Council approved the Highway 3 Twinning Development Association annual membership fee in the amount of $7,500.00 to be funded from Council Contingencies.

  • Council approved the location of the monument to the Sisters of St. Martha. It is to be located on City Hall grounds on the Stafford Drive side of building.

June 24

  • City Council voted to receive a report from the City Treasurer on Taxation and Assessment as information. The presentation gave an overview of the process of property taxes at the City and broke down how mill rates are calculated along with the timelines associated with property taxes.

  • City Council voted to approve funding to immediately upgrade a number of infrastructure items at the airport as the City gets ready to take over operations from the County on July 1. The renovation design list at the airport includes increasing the size of the pre-boarding area, upgrades to make the current washrooms accessible and the addition of accessible washrooms in the secure-hold area, parking upgrades, water service updates and furnishing modernization. The total estimated cost for the design of the phased upgrades is approximately $700,000.00 and will be funded through the Pay-as-You-Go Community program.

  • The 2019 Census results have been finalized and the total population of the city is 101,482. This shows a population growth of 1.72 per cent, an increase of 1,713 people since the last Census data was collected in 2018.

  • Emergency Management bylaw 6179 was given a second and third reading and was approved by City Council. The amendements to the bylaw bring it in line with the provincial bylaw. Some of the changes include adding new committees which will enable swifter decisions to be made in a crisis situation and the ability for the Director of Emergency Management to delegate their authority to someone who may be better equiped to deal with a particular situation or crisis.

May 27

  •  City Council voted in favour of the demolition of the former YMCA building on Stafford Drive. Building inspection reports show the former YMCA Stafford Drive location to be in poor condition and in need of significant improvements. The estimated cost to repurpose the building and bring it up to current code is more than $6 million dollars and would attract an ongoing annual operating cost of more than $400,000 a year. The total estimated cost of demolition and redevelopment of the site in accordance with the Civic Common Master Plan is $1.35 million dollars. 

  • Coalition for an Inclusive Lethbridge (CIL), formally known as Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CMARD) had their new community-based model of operation approved along with their four-year budget ask of $18, 835.

  • City Council voted to approve the Outline Plan Approval Process resolution which will allow City Council to have input at the initial stage of the Outline Plan Process and approval would still be retained by the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC). Bylaw 5801 will also be amended to reflect this change.

  • Approval was given to four resolutions which will now move forward to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) for consideration. Council voted unanimously to increase the threshold levels of recycled content in plastic bags to a minimum of 15 per cent by 2023. Unanimous approval was also given to the resolution to request the federal government to eliminate or regionally apply the mortgage "stress test" and to urge the province to look at developing a province-wide drug strategy to combat the opioid crisis. The fourth resolution outlined support for the Town of Olds in their efforts to create a presumed consent program for human organ and tissue donation. 
  • Council voted to appoint Paul Davis and Anthony Parker to the Combative Sports Commission, effective immediately, for a term expiring on December 31, 2019.  

  • The Lethbridge Airport Master Plan was approved by Council along with the Lethbridge Airport 2019 operating budget, the Airport Committee's terms of reference and that the Airport Transition Steering Committee be dissolved and thanked for their service.

  • Municipal Historic Resource designation was approved for the Bank of Montreal building located at 522, 3 Avenue South.


May 13

  • The Lethbridge Public Library presented their annual report to Council. Highlights included the more than 650 thousand people who walked through the doors, and almost 20 thousand new items added to the Library's collection, bringing the total number to 221,084 items available to borrow. The organization was also recognized by numerous awards including the Downtown Event of the Year for The Word on the Street Festival, Allied Arts Council Excellence Award for Service Organization and the Lethbridge Pride Award for non-profit community organization.

  • The downtown core continues to see new development and investment as City Council passed a resolution to approve a municipal tax cancellation incentive for a major redevelopment. The municipal tax cancellation incentive is based on the incremental change in assessment resulting from new construction or major renovation and proposed projects must meet a number of criteria to be considered. The development at 608 5 Avenue South was approved for a 7-year incentive period with an estimated tax cancellation of $680,000.00.

  • City Council approved a project plan for a new Municipal Development Plan review. The review being proposed is due to several factors including the City reaching the 100,000 population mark, the airport acquisition and the current plan being eight years old. The review will ensure the vision and policies of the MDP continue to be relevant, in their ability to help achieve our community vision.

  • Building Industry and Land Development Industry Association (BILD) presented a report on the federal mortgage "stress test" which showed Lethbridge has felt the effects of the nation-wide program. City Council voted to receive BILD's presentation as information and the Mayor to write to the provincial government to advocate for the development of policies that allow Alberta regulated financial institutions like ATB Financial and credit unions, to implement lending practices based on regional economic conditions and not those of the federal "stress test".

    April 29
  • Visitors from more than 14 countries have attended events in the City thanks to the Major Event Hosting Grant according to the report presented to Council on Monday by Recreation & Culture Development. The report outlined more than 12 events that have received funding since the program's inception in 2016. The Tour of Alberta, Southern Alberta Summer Games, The University of Lethbridge Shine On Festival and the 2019 World Men's Curling Championships are just some of the events that received funding from the grant program.
  • More than 45,000 visited the Galt Museum and Archives over the last year according to their annual report. The organization presented their annual report for information to Council on Monday which included information on how many people accessed their education and programming.

  • Critical infrastructure improvements, a Civic Common Master Plan and the Clean and Safe Strategy were among the positive signs that downtown Lethbridge has seen emerge over the past year according to a City of Lethbridge committee. The Heart of Our City Committee presented their annual report to City Council on Monday which outlined some of the challenges faced by the downtown over the last 12 months. The report also focused on the successful implementation of strategies and programs that have led to positive signs for the future for the core of the community.

  • A new monument will be appearing in Henderson Park which honours the work of a local group. The Sons of Norway, a Norwegian cultural organization, received approval from Council to install a large limestone rock with a bronze plaque in the south side park.

  • The Lethbridge United Services Institute presented a request for a letter of support and a funding request for a monument in recognition of the military contributions by veterans from Lethbridge and southern Alberta. Council voted to accept the Lethbridge United Services Institute presentation as information and write a letter in support of a provincial grant.

April 15

  • The Municipal Housing Task Force presented to Council with their strategy to address the need for housing within Lethbridge. The strategy will allow the City to leverage and allocate resources to projects that meet the needs of priority groups while aligning itself with the National and Provincial Housing Strategies. Council voted unanimously to accept the report as information and directed Administration to present an implementation plan for the housing strategy to Council no later than September 30 this year.

  • Council approved request from the Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Society for Major Community Event Hosting Grant in the amount of $47,500 to support their 50th anniversary celebration. The proposed event will take place in July and coincide with the group's AGM and feature an Indian Relay Race and Pow Wow.

  • The Sisters of St. Martha will be permanently recognized for their contribution to Lethbridge after Council voted 7-1 to erect a monument or suitable recognition to a maximum of $15,000.

  • The Lethbridge Tennis Club's lease was renewed for a 10-year term after Council voted to approve the renewal at a cost of $25 a year plus additional rent for applicable power usage. 


April 1, 2019

  • The Lethbridge Airport will be added to the City's directory as a business unit come summertime this year. City Council passed a resolution on Monday to assume the operations of the airport until a commission or airport authority has been finalized

  • Nearly one year after the Humboldt Broncos tragedy shook the entire nation, Lethbridge City Council unanimously approved a name change today to see Logan Boulet's legacy become a permanent part of our city's history. City Administration will work to make the name change on Adams Park Ice Centre in preparation for next hockey season, where hockey players, skaters and fans both young and old will have a chance to visit this newly named facility.

  • City Council voted 8-1 to officially proclaim April 7 Green Shirt Day in honour of Logan Boulet. The Logan Boulet Effect is now synonymous with organ donation in Canada. Prior to his passing, Boulet had made the decision to become an organ donor. His decision to be a donor would see six people benefit from this selfless action and one that would inspire more than 100,000 Canadians to register as organ donors in the weeks following the Humboldt bus crash.
  • City Council gave the first, second and third reading of the amendment to Bylaw 6129 and voted 7-1 to approve the amendment. The developers of the historic Bentley Block downtown, can now proceed with the removal of a brick parapet in order to move forward with their development.


March 18, 2019

  • The City of Lethbridge was recognized at the Consulting Engineers of Alberta Awards gala recently for the work on the North Lateral Realignment System project which allowed Cavendish Farms to move forward with the construction of their new facility

  • The City and the WHL Hurricanes continue their thriving partnership after successfully reviewing the lease agreement of the hockey team's home ice arena

  • City Council received the survey results from the Citizens Society Research lab regarding urban hen keeping. 882 residents were surveyed with close to 60 per cent saying they oppose the urban hen proposal

  • The Recreation and Culture Fee Assistance Program gave their annual update to City Council. The program has been recognized as best practice among Canadian municipalities for its inclusion of arts & culture & equipment. More than 1500 registration approvals were awarded last year with users ranging in age from newborn to 84 years of age. More than 60 local organizations were accessed through this program


March 4, 2019

  • City Council passed a resolution on Monday to approve the commissioning of a public art project which will see the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame (LSHOF) permanently installed at the ATB Centre. The project, which was designed by University of Lethbridge alumnus Collin Zipp, showcases the inductees on a grand scale.

  • City Council received the Lethbridge Combative Sports Commission's (LCSC) annual report as information. During 2018, the LCSC moved forward with several updates, revisions and improvements. These included changes in the areas of operations, fighter safety and medical documentation.

  • The lease between the City of Lethbridge and the Henderson Lake Golf Club has been renewed for another 25-year term. Council approved the lease agreement with the club who it has supported since 1973.

  • The Lethbridge Senior Citizen's Organization (LSCO) will continue to provide cleaning services for seniors living independently. City Council approved a request from the Community Social Development Committee to reallocate funding that was previously awarded to CBI Home Health who have since discontinued this service.

 

February 19

  • City Council unanimously passed a resolution to support Grande Prairie in their efforts to apply for grant funding to combat the opioid crisis in Alberta. If the grant is approved, the coordinated municipal project would share information between municipalities on best practices to address the crisis.

  • The old Bank of Montreal building on 3 Ave South has been given the green light to be designated a Municipal Historic Resource. City Council unanimously approved a resolution which would see the iconic building protected and conserved under the Historical Resources Act, providing the owners have no objections.

  • The first remote attendance of a City Councillor at City Council meeting was piloted with Councillor Jeff Coffman phoning in for the duration of the meeting. Once processes and procedures of remote attendance have been approved, it may become an option for City Councillors who are unable to physically attend meetings.


February 4, 2019

  • City Council unanimously approved the donation of two Access-A-Ride buses to the Los Amigos Project to service urban and rural centres in Mexico. This is the seventh year the project has delivered decommissioned community support vehicles from Lethbridge to Mexican communities in need.
  • City Council unanimously passed a resolution to immediately respond to an urban drilling site within city limits. The resolution outlined that the Mayor and City Manager will respond to Tamarack Acquisitions Corp. through the Alberta Energy Regulator to make their opposition and concerns known. Further to this, the Mayor and City Manager will also write to the Honourable Margaret Ellen McCuaig-Boyd, Alberta Minister of Energy, to advise her of Council's position.


January 21, 2019

  • City Manager, Bram Strain, presented an action plan to review all City operations over the next three years. City Council heard the review will look at process structures, outcomes and expectations of the organization and its stakeholders along with industry standards and best practices.
  • City Council heard recommendations for improvements to Whoop-Up Drive interchanges based on the recently completed Interchange Functional Planning Study. The study includes traffic analysis, concept improvement options, cost estimates and recommendations after two years of research and public consultation.
  • City Council approved Social Housing in Action Committee's (SHIA) proposed new service delivery plan to address homelessness in the city. The new plan was a result of significant research and stakeholder engagement and was developed to ensure minimal disruption to those it benefits, while streamlining services.
  • City Council unanimously approved a resolution to direct the City Manager to identify and implement ways in which the City of Lethbridge and the Southern Alberta Crime Stoppers can partner showing mutual support in joint efforts to reduce crime in our city.

Previous City Council Meetings

January 7, 2019

  • City Council approved $12,000 in FCSS temporary funding to be allocated to Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization (LSCO) to continue to provide cleaning services for seniors living independently, as cleaning services have ended as of December 31, 2018 due to the current service provider not wanting to continue to provide this service. 

  • City Council approved a 1% wage increase for City of Lethbridge administration (non-union) employees effective January 2, 2019.

  • The renewal agreement between the City of Lethbridge and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 955 was ratified for January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. Wages:  January 1, 2019: 1%, January 1, 2020: 1.5%, January 1, 2021: 1.5% and January 1, 2022: 2%.

December 10, 2018

  • City Council gave final approval to a new four-year operating budget, which addresses several strategic priorities while building in financial accountability and limiting the tax impact on residents.  The new budget includes an average increase to the municipal portion of residential property tax of 1.82 % annually for the next 4 years. The increase works out to an average of $3.50/month ($42/year) on an average single-family residential home with an assessed value of $267,300.  Read the news release here.

  • The Collective Agreement between CUPE Local 70 and the City of Lethbridge was ratified for Jan 1, 2019 to Dec 31, 2022. Wages: Jan 1, 2019: 1%, Jan 1, 2020: 1.5 %, Jan 1, 2021: 1.5 %, Jan 1, 2022: 2 % and a signing bonus of $200 per permanent member.

November 26, 2018

  • City Council postpones budget approval until December 10, 2018 to allow City Council members to reconsider the entire budget, and the Draft Operating Budget was referred to the December 3, 2018 Finance Committee Meeting.
  • City of Lethbridge to initiate negotiations of revised terms of their agreement with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, including potential displacement compensation for a portion of the 2019 WHL playoffs because of the World Men's Curling Championships.

November 13, 2018

  • Council votes to consult public on urban hen question

October 29, 2018

  • Transit seeking grants that would fund purchase of seven electric buses
  • Historic designation approved for downtown Bentley Block

October 15, 2018

  • Civic Common Master Plan presented to City Council
  • Council supports adoption of Lethbridge Play Charter
  • Community consultations continue for Municipal Housing Strategy​

October 1, 2018

  • Two downtown blocks to be temporarily renamed Veterans' Avenue during Remembrance Week Nov. 5-11
  • Council ratifies 4-year agreement with fire/EMS and emergency dispatch employees

September 17, 2018

  • In response to request, administration to explore feasibility of a pilot project for backyard hens in the city
  • Admin to mitigation options following New West Theatre request for waiver of theatre rental fee due to Yates renovations
  • $2M added to water treatment plant project budget after tenders come in over budget amid tariff uncertainty
  • Yates renewal project receives additional $560K to cover unexpected costs

September 4, 2018

  • Public art commissioned for downtown site
  • Positive mid-year financial forecast
  • Update re: community response to drug crisis

August 20, 2018

  • Council backs Lethbridge bid to host 2020 Memorial Cup

August 7, 2018

  • Council seeks community collaboration for solutions, action to address drug crisis issues

July 23, 2018

  • Council briefed on new, program-based approach to upcoming Operating Budget
  • Proposed resolution to direct ARCHES to end clean need distribution is defeated by 5-4 vote
July 19, 2018 - Special Joint Meeting of City & County Councils
  • City of Lethbridge assumes ownership of the Lethbridge Airport
 
July 16, 2018 - Special Meeting of City Council
  • City Council welcomes Bramwell (Bram) Strain as new city manager

July 9, 2018

  • Council approves adding $2.9 million to capital budget for Transit Terminal construction project

June 25, 2018

  • 2018 census shows Lethbridge population inching closer to 100,000
  • Bylaw change sets out where retail cannabis stores can be located
  • Initial cost-neutral Transit routing strategy changes approved
  • Reconciliation advisory committee receives initial funding
  • Council advocates for introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility in Alberta

June 11, 2018

  • Community meeting to be held to explore ways to reduce needle debris associated with drug crisis
  • Non-profit groups awarded grants for community projects
  • Advisory committee to champion Reconciliation Implementation Plan

May 28, 2018

  • Governance review, improved transit, housing strategy, airport revitalization highlight Council's goals this term
  • Task force to develop municipal housing strategy
  • Provincial funding allocated to enhance Clean Sweep & Mobile Outreach services

May 14, 2018

  • Proposed text amendment to Land Use Bylaw introduced regarding retail cannabis stores

April 30, 2018

  • Planning Begins for Future of Lethbridge Airport
  • Road Maintenance Tax Change

April 16, 2018

  • Council approves request for $160K toward hosting 2020 Canada Wide Science Fair
  • Council considers community meeting on local implications of cannabis legalization

April 3, 2018

  • Funding approved for ARCHES to continue needle pickup hotline service through end of 2018
  • Council receives report on campaign spending disclosure for 2017 municipal election

March 19, 2018

  • Public art approved for ATB Centre-Phase 2
  • Council receives positive 2017 year-end financial report 

March 16, 2018

  • City and County reach agreement to transfer ownership of Lethbridge Airport

March 5, 2018

  • ATB Centre-Phase 2 construction on budget & on time for Spring 2019 opening

February 20, 2018

  • City signs on to updated emergency services mutual aid agreement
  • City entering federal Smart Cities Challenge to win up to $10 million
  • Council briefed on development of brand strategy for Lethbridge
  • Implementation strategy to be developed for enhancements to transit system

January 22, 2018

  • Council receives update on upcoming Phase 1 launch of curbside recycling
  • Latest benchmarking report assesses road services
  • London Road Area Redevelopment Plan approved

January 8, 2018

  • Council backs local bid to host 2020 Alberta Summer Games
  • Council approves allocation of available FCSS funding