By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
The following are summations of the agenda items presented during the Jan. 23 regular meeting of Coaldale town council.
1) Rental space fees approved for civic square atrium:
Director of Recreation and Community services for the Town, Russ Tanner presented the proposed rates and fees schedule for the rentable board meeting space as well as the atrium of the new building. In preparing the schedule, administration consulted various other venues from the Galt Museum’s viewing gallery on the higher end, to the City of Lethbridge Public Library and Lethbridge City Hall to determine comparable market rates.
The approved fee structure shows the general rate for the smaller eight-person meeting room at $20/hour and $15/hour for not-for-profit (NFP) organizations. Hourly rates for the atrium will be billed at $60/hour for NPFs and $95/hour for all other rentals. Day rates will allow NPFs to rent the atrium for $480/day or $760/day for regular rentals. The fee structure will be re-examined in the future to determine if adjustments need to be made. “I do believe we kept those rates at very fair, toward the lower end,” and adding the amenities have the likely potential to “create a very attractive situation with return bookings.”
Tanner said, “as demand increases, fees can be adjusted if needed. It is worthwhile to revisit a year or a year and a half down the road.”
2)Software transition savings to help Sunny South News subscription for interested readers:
The Town will be transitioning to a new civic municipal engagement platform, which will integrate with the Town’s main website more naturally and will offer a cost savings of $2,400 in the first year, and $7,600 in 2024-27. During budget deliberations, council voted to cancel the six-month blanket pilot project which provided subscriptions to SSN at no charge to Coaldale residents.
As an alternative, council has approved the proposal to apply the cost savings from transitioning to a new platform to a subscription fund for those interested in receiving the physical newspaper particularly seniors and those who do not utilize social media. Details on how interested readers can opt-in will be forthcoming.
3)Director of Growth and Investment Cameron Mills presented Quarter 4 report:
Mills reviewed the Q4 findings and highlighted the six benchmarks included in the comparative analysis alongside data collected from comparable municipalities. The benchmarks include data relating to the following: operational expenditures and revenue, taxation, assessment growth, population growth, and executive compensation. The sixth benchmark, the crime severity index was adopted in 2022. Mills noted a document will be prepared to showcase data and will be made available to the general public upon completion.
“This is a unique thing for Coaldale, other municipalities don’t do these types of reports,” Mills told council during the meeting. The report was received as information.
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