Hilary Gough

Ward 2 Update - March 2020

With COVID-19 dominating the decisions and work of nearly every sector in our community right now, most of the updates below relate to that response. There is a City Council meeting on Monday, and that update is below, as usual. There is also an update about ongoing engagements, and those that have been postponed.

The City of Saskatoon is working every day to do what we can to ensure that essential services are strong, and will be maintained throughout this pandemic. We're also working with our community to support an overall and appropriate response to this pandemic. The most up to date information from the City will continue to be posted to our Saskatoon.ca/COVID-19.

In line with my strategic priority area of Community Safety and Wellbeing, I'm engaging directly with front line service providers who serve our most vulnerable populations, such as those who are housing insecure or living in homelessness. Many organizations have had to make the difficult decision to close their doors for a while. A strong collaborative effort is underway, supported by the Safe Community Action Alliance, various Civic divisions, provincial partners, and more, to determine how best to keep providing essential social services at this time and to implement those plans. I am confident we can do this together; I will keep you updated on that work and how community and private sector can help as this proceeds.

Thank you for your patience if you've reached out in the last while and are finding it is taking me extra time to respond. The work of supporting our community during this pandemic is all encompassing. Everyday I am more confident that we will come through this stronger and more resilient as a community. Thank you for all you're doing to flatten the curve and support these efforts. 

I am planning to host a town hall late next month. I am considering options to do that in a safe and appropriate way. If you'd like to, please mark April 30th at 7pm in your calendar. More information will be available on my social media channels and at hilaryyxe.com as the date approaches.

I hope you're taking good care and that you're doing what you can to stay well, and keep our community safe and strong. Thank you for staying focused and informed. We can do this together.

 

Civic services right now: 
City Council and Civic administration have been making careful and difficult decisions about civic services to curb the spread of COVID-19, guarantee essential services, and support Saskatoon residents. A full updated listing of all civic services impacted/not can be found at saskatoon.ca/covid-19.

Unaffected Civic Services
- There is no change in the service of the Saskatoon Fire Department or Saskatoon Police Service
- Essential services such as power, water, and sewer continue and contingency plans are in place to keep them operating well.
- Winter road maintenance continues, landfill operations continue, and waste & recycling pickups are as usual.

Affected Civic Services 
- Leisure centres, Libraries and other civic buildings such as City Hall and Fire stations are CLOSED
- Transit has made some adjustments to improve wellbeing and asks riders to enter buses by the rear door. As such, no fares are being collected. For up to date Transit services (some frequency changes are being made) and extra precautionary measures in place please visit Saskatoon Transit.
- Parking changes have been made. No payment is required at paystations in business districts and RPP zone restrictions are suspended for now. The restriction for 72hours of parking on the street is also being suspended temporarily. Full details & updates here.
- Other changes regarding paying at the landfill, Household Hazardous Waste, and helping to protect workers can be found here.
Of note: PLEASE bag your garbage, avoid overfilling bins, ensure proper cart placement for pickup, and put any contaminated items in the garbage (not recycling). These efforts will help to protect essential workers in waste services. THANK YOU.

Important update about relief on Utility and Property Tax bills
Property Taxes
- Property tax notices will be delivered by the end of May
- Your notice will still show that it is due June 30th BUT we are extending the payment deadline by 3 months 
- So, Property Taxes are now due September 30th, 2020
- No late payment penalties will be incurred before September 30th

Utility Bills
- Utilities will continue to be billed for
- Utility disconnections due to arrears will be suspended until September 30th
- Notices of reminder and arrears will continue to be generated
- No late payment charges will be incurred until September 30th 
- What this means is that any late payments between now and Sept 30th will not be penalized

 

COVID-19 - State of Emergency & public health measures:
The City of Saskatoon's Emergency Management team has been working closely with the Government of Saskatchewan throughout this pandemic response. We are in support of the call of a State of Emergency and encouraged stronger measures which are now in place to restrict gatherings and the closure of certain sites where transmission may take place. Read about this alignment in a press release from yesterday and keep up to date about overall COVID-19 public health measures that may apply to you here.


Other COVID-19 information:
Here are some about some precautionary measures you should be taking to protect yourself, your household, and our community now.
- Other reliable sources of information are: 
  - Government of Saskatchewan Coronavirus website
  - Government of Canada Coronavirus website 
  - World Health Organization Coronavirus website


Ward 2 updates & engagements: 
As of March 17, all in-person public engagement activities have been suspended until further notice. Online surveys already in progress will continue until their scheduled closing date. City staff are actively monitoring the situation and will continue to evaluate this approach in collaboration with Saskatchewan Health Authority. The health, safety and well-being of the public and employees is the top priority. Visit the engagement page to check on any ongoing online engagements.

-- Neighbourhood Bikeways Project - online survey closes Monday March 23.
The City has identified five corridors in which to develop neighbourhood bikeways to enhance safety for all users. Two are proposed in Ward 2 : (1) Dudley from Spadina West to Dawes; and (2) 29th Street West or 31st street West from Idylwyld to Circle Drive. Full details and survey access on the engagement page.

-- Circle Drive West study
City Council is waiting for a report back about additional engagement on this project. I expect this may also be delayed right now. Minutes from last month's Council meeting where Councillor Iwanchuk and I raised concerns about engagement and solutions were requested can be found here.

-- Montgomery Place Drainage Project
I have been advised that this project is being temporarily suspended resulting in an implementation delay to next season (2021). Thank you to all who provided feedback on this proposal to date - that feedback will not be lost and will inform the implementation proposal to Council when it does go forward.

 

Policy & updates: 
The City Council section below lists policy files and land use amendments under consideration this month. Some projects are being delayed or suspended, and while things aren't quite 'business as usual', City Council and Civic administration are trying to keep as much work going as we can - in particular work that supports businesses and employees to weather this storm.

As always, see the Council in Brief section below for the agenda. **Note: because City Hall is closed to the public at the moment, all correspondence on Council items must be in writing (no requests to speak will be approved). Meetings will continue to be livestreamed.


Did you know...
Situations like the one we're in now with COVID-19 are precisely why NotifyNow exists. If you haven't signed up, stay informed by signing up today.

Community Notes

- Community Association programming: In light of the recent measures being taken by the City of Saskatoon and the School Divisions to ensure the spread of the Covid-19 virus is minimized as much as possible, all Community Association programs are postponed, including registration for spring programs. For updates on program information please contact your Community Association directly.

- Ward 2 Town Hall: As noted at the top of the email, I'm tentatively planning a town hall for April 30th at 7pm, likely to be held online. Stay in touch as we get closer for confirmed details. 


City Council | March 24th 
City Council meets Monday. Brief highlights are outlined below. Click here to find the full agenda. City Hall is closed to the public at the moment. All correspondence on Council items must be in writing (no requests to speak will be approved). Meetings will continue to be live streamed.

Regular Business Meeting  |  1:00 PM
  - Urban Planning & Development Program Enhancements -budget adjustments for Plan review system
  - Tourism Saskatoon - Un-Audited financial statements
  - Notice of AGMs - Saskatoon Gallery & Art Gallery of Saskatcheawn, Saskatchewan Place
  - S&P Global Ratings - City of Saskatoon
  - Acquisition of Land - NW Growth area 
  - Safe Transportation for Disabled Riders of Special Needs Transportation
  - Saskatoon Transportation Strategy - March 2020
  - Appointments - Saskatoon Public Library, Municipal Planning Commission, Saskatoon Accessibility Advisory Committee

Public Hearing Meeting  |  6:00 PM
 Discretionary Use & Rezoning applications:
  - Child Care Centre - 3331 Cassino Avenue (Ward 2)
  - Rezoning & OCP amendment - 411 Ave P South (Ward 2)
  Proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment - Microbrewery regulations
  Proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment - Transit Corridor Parking Standards Adjustments
  Proclamations and Flag Raisings
 

If you'd like to communicate to City Council as a whole about something on the agenda please get in touch with the Clerk's office or fill out the form before 10 am the day of the meeting. 

 

Take good care. Wash hands often. 

All the best,
Hilary