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Priorities and Finance Committee, Mar. 5, 2019

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The Mar. 5, 2019, Priorities and Finance Committee meeting included:

One Window Update

The Priorities and Finance Committee heard a report from Administration on the One Window Initiative, the goal for which is to create an intake process coordinated with affordable housing providers in order to improve the housing system. This will go forward to Council with the recommendations that Council: (1) Advocate to the Government of Alberta, Ministry of Seniors and Housing by writing a letter requesting funding for implementation and ongoing operational funding for the One Window Initiative; and (2) Pending program funding and approval by the Government of Alberta, direct administration to continue leading the implementation and transition of the One Window initiative with the non-profit housing community until the new entity is operational.

Chinatown Cultural Plan and Local Area Plan – Refined Project Scope and Budget

Committee received a report from Administration on the Chinatown Cultural Plan and Local Area Plan after Council directed Administration on 2018 June 25 to refine the project scope and reassess expected project costs. The reassessment has resulted in reducing the consulting budget to $500,000.  This will go to Council with the recommendation that Council (1) Authorize the withdrawal of $75,000 in 2019 and 2020 for a total of $150,000 from the Planning and Development’s Calgary Building Services Sustainment Reserve to secure funding for the Chinatown Cultural Plan and Local Area Plan; (2) Approve the overall funding framework for the Chinatown Cultural Plan and Local Area Plan from two City sources, being Planning & Development’s 2019 and 2020 operating budget and the Council Innovation Fund application in an amount totaling $500,000; and (3) Report back to Council, through the Standing Policy Committee on Planning & Urban Development, with a finalized scope of work by no later than Q3 2019.

Council Innovation Fund Application - Chinatown Cultural Plan and Local Area Plan

Committee received a report on the application from Councillor Farrell and Councillor Chu to the Council Innovation Fund (CIF), with the cooperation of Community Planning and Calgary Recreation, seeking $250,000 to support the one-time creation of the Chinatown Cultural Plan and a culturally based local Area Plan. This will go forward to Council with Committee’s recommendation that Council: (1) Approve this application for the Council Innovation Fund for the Chinatown Cultural Plan and Area Redevelopment Plan in the amount of $250,000; and (2) That the Priorities and Finance Committee direct Administration to report back to PFC with a project update and how the funds were utilized no later than Q3 2020. 

City of Calgary Heritage Assets

Administration presented Committee with a report on The City of Calgary Heritage Assets and the importance of heritage conservation as identified in Calgary’s Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Heritage Strategy. The report outlined the status of our city-owned historic resources as well as tools and approaches used elsewhere to conserve heritage conservation.  This will go forward to Council with the recommendations that Council direct Administration to conduct further analysis on heritage preservation tools and financial incentives and report back to the Planning and Urban Development Committee no later than Q4 2019.

2019 Business Improvement Area Tax Bylaw Amendment

Committee received a report on the 2019 Business Improvement Area Tax Bylaw Amendment whereby Administration proposed amending the bylaw to remove the sections that mirrored the 2016 Business Tax bylaw that were determined by a 2019 January decision of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta to be of no effect.  This will go forward to Council with the recommendations that Council: (1) Give three readings to the proposed bylaw to amend Bylaw 1M2019, the 2019 Business Improvement Area Tax Bylaw; and (2) That Report PFC 2019-0237 be forwarded to the 2019 March 18 Combined Council Meeting. 

Downtown Tax Shift Response

A report outlining the effect of declining property values and taxes, and the necessary shift from taxes from downtown office buildings to other property tax classes was presented to Committee.  Administration considers the immediate options Council may consider to address the shift along with other mid and long-term options to address the underlying cause of the issue which is largely economic.  See the official PFC Committee Meeting minutes for precise details on the Committees discussion and final recommendations. The report has been referred back to Administration to work with the Mayor and interested Members of Council on potential revisions and will come back to Council on 2019 March 18.


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