At City Hall

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Increased fees

Increased fees for some municipal services are expected to generate $162,000 in municipal operating revenue. St. Albert city councillors unanimously approved the changes on Aug. 21.

Changes include hikes for subdivision and development appeal fees. Appeal fees for signs, home occupations and certain land use classifications such as commercial will go up to $300 from $190.

The change, which administrative officers described as the first step toward better cost-recovery, drew criticism from Coun. Sheena Hughes.

Hughes said the small number of appeals cases affected by this change would not translate into large savings for the city.

“My concern is (we’re going) to charge $300 or something in the future for a shed to be approved,” she said.

Transit pass options

Senior and student transit users will now have more options when they buy transit passes.

The City will introduce two new options in its 2018-20 budget: a senior and student monthly local pass and a low-income monthly commuter pass. Each pass will cost $40.35.

Coun. Tim Osborne said the new passes will help people who need transit the most to access it.

“This is certainly an important piece of work and I’m very much happy to see this included,” he said.

Medical waste exemption

City councilors will be reviewing information later this year on the possibility of providing a medical waste exemption for garbage disposal.

The request came from Mayor Nolan Crouse and Coun. Sheena Hughes after hearing a presentation from city council candidate Natalie Joly.

Joly said other Alberta municipalities, such as Airdrie, provide allowances for families who have a lot of medical waste by offering them one extra garbage bag each week. She asked the same exemption be considered in St. Albert.

“Families who have to dispose of medical waste (are) having a really tough time with how much they’re allowed to throw in the garbage,” she explained.

City manager Kevin Scoble said he couldn’t see any red flags with the proposal, but noted the city would have to look into what exactly is being disposed of.

“The only possible hurdle I would see is we would have to understand the medical waste better to ensure it’s not classified as hazardous waste,” he said.

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April Hudson