This Week at City Hall

Monday, January 17
Crime Prevention Committee (12:15 pm): Considering the November 2009 crime statistics, the Crime Prevention Week and Crime Prevention Awards and setting meeting times for 2010.

City Council (5:00 pm): First meeting of 2010! Excited? Well, you would be if you'd read this week's agenda. Boy howdy, what a way to kick off the year! Shuffling the city's boundaries! Preparing for capital expenditures! Suggestions of budgetary hijinks to come! Hydrogen from garbage! Let's get to it, shall we?

This week, council will be considering the operating budget for the Regina Police Service and $25,000 in funding allotted to the Transit Fare Assistance Program.

Also, council will be looking to expand the city's boundaries by absorbing a portion of the Rural Municipality of Sherwood, for which said rural municipality will be compensated for lost tax money to the tune of a whopping $9,450. No, there are no zeroes missing on that number. Or at least I assume there isn't as it's written that way twice in the report. Man, if I'd known annexing land was this cheap I could've got this on my line of credit.

Council will also be passing recommended changes to the Local Government Election Act. Among the changes are provisions to allow for alternative voting methods such as on-line voting, a requirement that voters have to provide identification before being issued a ballot and provisions so that special polls (such those at hospitals or personal care facilities) can be held on days other than election day.

Looks like the Youth Advisory Council will be getting its name changed to the Youth Advisory Committee and its numbers shrunk to 12 so that it can reach quorum at meetings. (Formerly, it had 40-some members and that proved unworkable.)

Council will also be considering canceling its contract with the Solar Hydrogen Energy Corporation (SHEC). We ran a news brief about this in the latest print p-dog; but, even briefer: SHEC had an agreement with the city to buy methane off-gassing from our landfill and it would turn that into hydrogen. Then the economy went to crap and it's apparently not a viable project at present so they want to back out. Have to say I'm not entirely surprised. I'm pretty skeptical of this hydrogen economy thing. And when someone comes a-knocking saying they can spin my straw -- or garbage as the case may be -- into gold, I'm inclined to ask "what's the catch, Rumpelstiltskin?"

Council is also looking at the capital projects for which it will have to give advance approval. This gives a good pre-budget glimpse at city priorities for the year so this item probably warrants a whole blog post of its own.

Finally, Councillor Clipsham is bringing a motion forward to extend council terms to four years as opposed to three.

Tuesday, January 19
Community Services Advisory Committee (5:30 pm): Considering a report from an attendee to the Canadian Urban Transit Association conference in 2009 and setting meeting times for 2010.

As always, complete agendas and reports can be downloaded from the city's website.


Anonymous said...

OK, that "no livestock in city limits" thing last year? I figured the reason for that was so the city could annex land and tell chicken farmers, etc. where to go. Now the city has annexed more rural land. Admittedly I haven't done any research on this, but I do recall people in Westhill complaining about the smell of a chicken farm (who was there before the neighbourhood was built) a few years back. When council outlawed raising of livestock in city limits last year, I remembered that situation and envisioned that the city must have been looking to annex more farm land.
"What? You were here first? Too bad, no livestock in city limits!"

Paul Dechene said...

After watching discussion on this subject last night, have to say I can shed no further light on the issues you raise.

In fact, I think I've a lot to learn about annexation because I really didn't understand what was going on last night.

I will say this, Councillor Clipsham made some reference to how some annexations go less smoothly than others. Don't know if this one of those less smooth ones, but it seemed an out-of-place comment if it wasn't.

And apparently there's some concern about the compensation formula that is being used with the RM of Sherwood here. The city is in discussions with the province to come up with something formal on that.

Oh. And file this under "stories I heard from anonymous sources while out for coffee," but apparently one of the problems with rural land that butts up against the city is that the city has no control over what is developed on it. So say someone wants to build an industrial park up next to the city when the city is hoping to turn that edge or Regina into a mix of residential and retail or some such thing, there's nothing we can do about it and that kind of hamstrings us development-wise. I don't know if that's what's going on here, but it's possible that annexing land has to do, sometimes, with controlling what the fringes of Regina look like.

But like I say, just something I've "heard."