City Council to receive update
City Council will receive an update on Lethbridge’s financial position at today’s council meeting when the City’s audited report for 2017 is tabled for discussion. Highlights in the report include a consolidated annual unrestricted surplus of $2.6-million in 2017 and a $9.1-million increase in land sales (for a total of $25.3-million) over the 2016 year.
Most of these land sales occurred in the Sherring Industrial Park ($10.1-million), the Crossings subdivision ($2.2-million) and the Sun Ridge subdivision ($1.9-million).
Also on the agenda for today’s meeting, council must decide whether or not to push for further grant funding to take part in the Smart Cities Challange before the April 24 deadline. The Smart Cities Challenge is an Infrastructure Canada competition that awards $5 million, $10 million, or $50 million to communities to improve lives of their citizens through the use of data and/or technology.
Lethbridge is applying for a $10-million prize. If successful in the initial application, Lethbridge will be one of five communities awarded $250,000 to further develop their application. Two of those five communities will be awarded $10 million to implement their ideas.
City Council has also postponed further debate on the Canada Wide Science Fair application.
The City was asked to commit $160,000 in funding to help bring the fair to Lethbridge in 2020 at the council meeting of April 3. However, the city manager revealed council has already spent all the funding allocated in the Major Community Event Hosting Grant budget for event attraction to the city.
Council would have to pull additional funds from other areas of the city budget to obtain the $160,000. Upon hearing this, council voted to table discussion on the Canada Wide Science Fair until today. This week’s agenda now says discussion has been postponed again until a future meeting.