February 2023 newsletter
In this issue: Citizen Satisfaction survey results, parking permit changes, snow clearing, and an update on your taxes
Hi Ward 1,
The City of Calgary recently released the results of its Fall Survey of Calgarians, one of the tools The City uses to ensure its meeting your needs. I wanted to highlight some of the results from Ward 1 and to thank everyone who participated for their important feedback!
84% of Ward 1 residents report a good quality of life, and 90% are proud to live in their neighbourhood. This is great news!
Calgarians were also asked to rank their top three priorities for City services. To the right are the most common responses from Ward 1 residents.
Value for taxes is so important to Calgarians. As your councillor, being able to show smart spending and transparency on your tax dollars are two of my highest priorities. Just over 50% of Ward 1 residents find "good" value for their taxes. Clearly, there's room for improvement. I'll continue to hold City Administration accountable to the standards for programs and services that Ward 1 residents expect.
Thank you again to all of the Ward 1 residents who participated in the survey. I have taken the time to review the survey responses in depth, and it will help shape my work and priorities over the coming year. It's extremely helpful for me and my team to hear from residents on what issues matter most so that we can best address your concerns.
To learn more about the survey and view the full results, visit calgary.ca/citizensatisfaction.
Updates on City services
Clean Energy Improvement Program
The City of Calgary launched the Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) in January, which offers flexible financing by allowing homeowners to gradually repay the upfront cost of energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades over time through their property tax bills.
Due to high demand, intake for new applications to the program has been temporarily suspended. Applications will re-open later this year. Sign up for email updates from The City to find out when applications resume.
Upcoming changes to residential parking permits
Beginning this Spring, The City is introducing fees for residential parking permits, in addition to new categories of permits for multi-residential buildings.
The fees for standard residential permits have been set on a cost-recovery basis in order to maintain the long-term sustainability of residential parking enforcement and encourage the use of off-street parking options.
- Standard residential parking permit: $100/2 years ($150 for second vehicle, $250 for third vehicle)
- Visitor permit: $150/2 years (the same amount for one additional visitor permit)
- Select permit for small multi-residential dwellings: $75/year (limit one per unit)
These changes will only apply to areas where an on-street parking permit is currently required. They will not affect areas where no permit is currently required to park.
Visit calgary.ca to learn more about these changes. If you have any questions about these changes, please feel free to get in touch with the Ward 1 office.
Updates in brief
- The City of Calgary wants your feedback on the design of Stephen Avenue as we reimagine it for the future. Until February 28, submit your feedback on draft design concepts at engage.calgary.ca.
- A reminder that you can discreetly report safety issues while riding Calgary Transit by texting 74100. You'll be connected immediately with a Transit dispatcher. You can also use the help phones located on platforms and CTrains, or call 403-262-1000 and choose option 1.
- All property owners should have received their 2023 assessments by now. If you still haven't received your notice, would like more information on your assessment, or if you believe there has been an error, contact Assessment directly at 403-268-2888. The City's Customer Review Period runs until March 13.
- The City of Calgary asks Calgarians to clear accumulated snow off of the top of blue carts prior to collection. When snow is collected alongside your recyclables, the moisture can make those materials unusable for recycling. Thank you for your cooperation!
Snow clearing on pathways
Our office has heard a number of concerns from residents this year regarding snow clearing on The City's multi-use pathways.
The City's budget requires some tough choices, and The City does not currently have the funding to clear all multi-use pathways. Council will be revisiting its snow and ice control policy later this year.
Currently, The City decides which pathways to clear on a priority basis based on traffic and hazards, with over 600 km of pathways currently cleared. Some third parties are also responsible for maintaining certain pathways. The City publishes a map of which pathways are cleared of snow and ice at maps.calgary.ca.
Please also note that under The City's Street Bylaw, property owners are responsible for clearing sidewalks or multi-use pathways adjacent to their property to 1.5 metres from the property line.
For concerns about snow and ice clearing, contact 311 by phone or by submitting a service request online. Visit calgary.ca/snow to learn more about how The City prioritizes roads and pathways, and to view the current progress of snow clearing.
Requesting traffic enforcement
Residents with concerns about ongoing traffic concerns, including speeding or illegal turns, can submit a traffic service request directly to the Calgary Police Service online. Requestors may submit details like the times of day violations most often take place or other pertinent details. A Traffic Section member will contact you regarding your request.
Royal Oak storm pond cleaning
The City will be draining and clearing sediment from the storm pond located at the intersection of Country Hills Blvd NW and Stoney Trail NW.
Residents may notice increased traffic and odours will the work is taking place. Work is expected to be complete by mid-April. Visit calgary.ca/stormponds for more information.
Public safety and addiction recovery announcements
The Government of Alberta and Calgary Police Service have announced a 12-week pilot project to deploy Alberta Sheriffs alongside Calgary Police Service members downtown to help deter and respond to crime and social disorder.
Additionally, the province has announced $4 million in funding for the Calgary Drop-In Centre to support 35 medical detox and pre-treatment beds. Addressing mental health and addiction is a big part of the solution to improve public safety, and we can help Calgarians recover and save lives in the process.
Councillor Sharp is pleased to see these steps taken to address social disorder and addiction as a direct result of the Public Safety and Community Response Task Force's efforts.
News from City Council
Tax distribution debate
At its February 14 meeting, Council voted 8-7 in favour of Councillor Sharp's motion to maintain the current tax distribution, where 52% of property taxes are paid by residential property owners and 48% by non-residential property owners.
The current distribution is not perfect and will eventually need to be revisited. But with the cost of everything going up, including property taxes, it is not the right time to shift more responsibility on to residents. In this inflationary environment, the only sensible thing to do is maintain the status quo. Households and businesses have already budgeted for the coming year.
Councillor Sharp appreciates all of the feedback she received from residents and business owners on this issue.
Single-use items bylaw
Last month, Council adopted a new bylaw on single-use items. The new bylaw will require businesses to charge a minimum fee of $0.15 for paper shopping bags and $1 for reusable bags beginning in 2024. It will also ask businesses to provide single-use foodware items like utensils or napkins on request only. The bylaw does not ban any materials.
The compostable shopping bags offered by Calgary Co-op are unfortunately covered by the federal government's ban on single-use plastics. If federal policy changes to permit these bags, Council will ensure they are permitted under the City bylaw.
Councillor Sharp has concerns about the new bylaw. It will impose additional costs on consumers, including those struggling to make ends meet. Councillor Sharp will be monitoring the effects of the new bylaw once it takes effect in 2024.
Green Line & procurement policy
There have been some concerns from the public about the process for choosing City contractors for projects like the Green Line.
City Council has no role in selecting or approving City suppliers or contractors. Councillor Sharp believes this is important to minimize the risk of corruption or political interference, particularly on high profile projects.
Councillor Sharp will continue to monitor the Green Line project to ensure that best practices are being followed and that public money is being spent fairly and responsibly.
Categories: General, Newsletter