Hi Ward 14! February is a difficult month to write for. Things change quickly in the months leading up to February. The City’s budget is decided in November, Christmas is in December, and of course the New Year follows. Throw a ‘curve ball’ into that mix, and it can be quite a busy time of year at City Hall. But what makes a February column truly tough to write is the fact that it must be written between Christmas and January 1st. It’s a time of year that has a very specific mindset.
I am currently preparing to thoroughly examine my 2015 property and business assessment details. When you read this, you will have had yours for about a month. Property and business assessments are more of a January topic. They are mailed in January, and that is when the 60 day “Customer Review Period” begins. The Customer Review Period is your opportunity to ensure that your property or business assessment is accurate.
I mentioned the Customer Review Period in detail last month, but it deserves this reminder. I devote so much of my time to scrutinizing the big ticket items that affect how much we all pay in taxes. It would be foolish for me to neglect the simplest thing that I can do; reviewing my assessment details. It would be foolish for you too. You have until March 6, and can find more information at www.calgary.ca/assessment.
Drop-in sessions for the planned Macleod Trail and 162 Ave Interchange—another topic deserving of a reminder—will be taking place in February. There will be two held at Bishop O'Byrne High School: one on February 18 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and another on February 20 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. You can find the details at www.calgary.ca/macleod162ave.
Some may remember giving feedback on preliminary plans for the interchange in October. The sessions in February will be a progress report, and another opportunity for you to provide input on what will be a major improvement for travel in south Calgary, and a critical piece of infrastructure for Calgary’s transportation network overall. The planning study is expected to be complete this summer, and shovels are expected to be in the ground this year. The goal is to open to traffic in late 2017.
Round two of Aldertalk for 2015 is coming up soon. The first was at the Parkland community centre last month, and thank you to all those engaged citizens who shared their thoughts. The upcoming Aldertalk session will be at the Willowridge Community Centre (680 Acadia Drive SE) between noon and 2 p.m. Everyone is invited to join in the discussion, and I think you will find—like I always do—that it is quite interesting.
Until next month you can view the upcoming Aldertalk schedule at www.calgary.ca/aldertalk, and don’t hesitate to contact me if there is something you want to discuss.
-Councillor Peter Demong
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