June 19th, 2024

Council being asked to provide free parking for tax payments

By Lethbridge Herald on June 13, 2023.

Herald photo A parking meter is seen outside of City Hall. A motion going before city council today will ask that parking be made free at City Hall during the last week of this month for the convenience of people paying their property taxes.

Lethbridge Herald

Lethbridge residents have their tax bills and now a city councillor wants to make life a little less expensive when they pay them.

Councillor Rajko Dodic today will present an official business motion to council asking his colleagues to support complimentary parking at City Hall in the last week of this month so residents can more conveniently pay their taxes.

Taxes are due annually on the last day of June and in some years, including 2022, City Hall parking was provided free of charge during that last week before the payment deadline.

Dodic’s motion states that the City’s traffic bylaw allows the City Manager authority to designate parking to be complimentary “from time to time.” And it asks that the City Manager be encouraged to provide that complimentary parking each year commencing in 2023 on the south side of 4 Avenue South between Stafford Drive and 11 Street during the last week in June.

Tax notices were mailed to residents in late May. Payment is due on June 30 with a seven per cent penalty to be applied to all unpaid 2023 taxes starting July 1.

Several payment options are available, according to the City.

They include:

• In person: cash, cheques, and debit card payments are accepted on the main floor at City Hall from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Credit cards are not accepted at City Hall

• Directly at your bank and the City will accept the teller stamp date as the date of payment received

• Online or telephone banking using the 13-digit roll number located in the top right of your tax notice. Please select “Lethbridge (City of) Taxes”

Cheque or money order can be mailed or dropped off at City Hall, 910 – 4th Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta, T1J 0P6

• Online with your credit card through lethbridge.ca/pay. For a fee, you can pay using MasterCard or Visa. Allow 1-2 business days for processing.

The City has a secure mailbox at the front doors of City Hall and a drive-through drop box in the traffic circle behind the building. 

Property owners can also sign up for the monthly Tax Instalment Prepayment Plan which provides a two per cent annual discount. All property owners, whose 2023 taxes have been been paid in full, can sign up for TIPP before July 20 to be enrolled in the program for 2024.

Council will also be asked to direct administration to move ahead with the adoption of a sanctioned trail network in the river valley. That matter was addressed recently at a meeting of the Civic Works Standing Policy Committee of city council.

A report submitted by Blair Richter, general manager of Parks & Cemeteries, said that administration was directed by council in 2020 to engage with community residents on recreational usage in the river valley as a follow-up action after the cancellation of the Six Mile Coulee Pathway Development.

“Direction was given to consult with river valley user groups to discuss a strategy, framework and partnership so local organizations can work together to create a unique experience in the river valley.

“One outcome of the 2020 engagement was the desire for a sanctioned single track trail network in the river valley, in order to define allowed trail usage, mitigate rogue trail building, and preserve ecologically and culturally sensitive areas within the coulee system. Consequently, a network utilizing existing trails was established with consultation and feedback from river valley stakeholders and the public,” says the report.

The trail network would serve several purposes including the protection of culturally and ecologically sensitive locations. The area west of the Oldman River would be excluded for now because ecological and historical assessments need to be conducted.

Council will also hear a verbal update on the City’s encampment strategy from LPS chief Shahin Mehdizadeh and Lethbridge Police Commission chair Dawna Coslovi after a public hearing at 3 p.m.

That hearing involves a land use bylaw amendment for the property located at 2910 16 Ave. N. The purpose is to amend the land use classification of the property from General Industrial to Direct Control.

The applicant wants to include such uses as amusement facilities, animal care, minor, commercial schools, funeral facility, household repair services, offices, personal services and warehouse, retail as Permitted Uses and fitness facility, garden centre, religious assembly and restaurants as Discretionary Uses, says a report to be submitted to council.

These are the same uses that were allowed under an amendment approved in January for the adjacent Broadcast Business Park.

In a letter to council, managing partner of the property Mark Heaton says he and his partners bought the property in July, 2017. 

“Given the nature of the development with a higher-than-normal existing ratio of office-to-shop space, many of the potential tenants that show interest in our property fall within definitions under discretionary use or don’t fit within the I-G zoning at all,” writes Heaton.

“Many of them fit under Office, Personal Services, Specialty Manufacturing, Business

Support Services, etc. Since the property is able to accommodate these uses in all other matters related to the Land Use Bylaw, and given that the property is neighbouring other D-C and I-B zoned properties, we believe that a D-C bylaw with the proposed permitted and discretionary uses would be well suited for this property and the area as a whole.”

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