Spring is here! I hope you're enjoying these warmer and longer days as much as the grizzlies at the zoo and I are! With Spring's arrival come some major operational switch-overs and also provides an opportunity to review winter operations and plan improvements for next year. Read on for some of these considerations. 

If you've been considering applying for one of the City's Boards/Committees with a current vacancy, the deadline has been extended to April 7th. Full details here.

Finally, I've had some questions about City involvement in a number of projects lately, so I've done my best to provide some details and clarity below under 'city wide policy updates'.

Ward 2 updates: 

- A spike in frozen water pipes seems to have hit a number of Ward 2 neighbourhoods hardest this year, and February/early March was a real challenge. I'll be asking questions Monday to kickstart dialogue about the capacity that would have been needed to prevent the unusually long wait times that a number of households faced without water. I sincerely hope to be able to prevent similar experiences in future years.

City wide policy updates: 

- Waste: Council will be debating the funding model for a city-wide curbside organics (green bin) program on Monday. The report with 4 phase-in options as well as some other service level options can be found here (under item 10.6.1). If you have feedback about the report and options I welcome it. I commit to reading all feedback received by email before Monday’s 1pm meeting, but cannot guarantee a reply to all messages in that time depending on volume. Thanks in advance.

- Farmers Market: I've been receiving questions about the future of the Farmers Market building. For clarity on the current status, this PSA from February outlines the cancellation of the RFP, the roof issues, and extension of the lease to the current farmers market tenant through 2019. With regards to the future, all high level plans approved by Council, including the River Landing/South Downtown Concept plan, and direction around use are unchanged, and continue to support increased animation of the building and farmers market activity at this location. The timing of re-establishing activity in the building after next Winter is unknown due to roof repair timelines and whatever process will determine who will manage that future activity. I know that the building and farmers market are a valued asset in the area, one that I value highly as well. In addition to the established uninterrupted occupancy this summer, I hope that roof repairs and other timing factors permit activity at the site next summer as well. I will do all that I can to support this outcome.

- Safe Consumption/Injection Site: I have also been receiving questions about AIDS Saskatoon's proposal for a safe injection site in our community and what the City's role is or is not. My understanding is that the City of Saskatoon's role is limited to land use as guided by zoning. The building proposed for use is zoned B5 which permits a medical office among other uses. A safe consumption site is considered a medical use, and therefore, no rezoning will be required and no application will come through the City. The application to operate a safe consumption site goes to Health Canada, and the process for this, including the expectations around community consultation, are set Federally. Coun. Donauer has moved a motion to have our administration report about our role to clarify. This motion will be debated Monday. Finally, Saskatoon's Fire and Police Services have been invited among other stakeholders including community members, to take part in a 'community safety advisory board' that will address and advise on all aspects of community safety as it relates to the proposed site. I am supportive of this participation as I believe that it will be important to have all key stakeholders engaged in proactive and ongoing community safety considerations if/when this service and site are established.

Consultations/Workshops to participate in:

- Kinsmen Park & Area upgrades
Learn about proposed plans for the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan festival site, Meewasin trail upgrades, potential expansion concepts for the Saskatoon Civic Conservatory and a parking and transit service study for the Kinsmen Park & Area. Come & Go event April 16th 4-8pm at TCUP.

- Commercial Waste
Are you a business owner or organization representative? If so, check out the City's engagement around commercial waste - sign up for updates to be sure you don't miss the next event. 

- Interested in engaging regularly? Consider joining our Citizen Advisory Panel
Members of the Citizen Advisory Panel are invited to participate in regular online surveys to provide input and ideas on improving City services.

Did you know...

- There are FREE school break camps for youth aged 10-14 through the City's recreation programming? Check out the options April 23-25th here.

- Green cart subscription - earlybird until April 30th
This is the last year to subscribe to the green cart program before a City-wide program comes into place (details still to be determined). Learn more and subscribe today!

- Today's the day to go paperless with Waste reminders
The 2019 Waste collection calendar is online only. Check out the great digital tools available for reminders here and never miss a pickup again - just start by searching your address, and you'll be on on your way! 

- Household Hazardous Waste
Pickup days have been set for 2019 and are being held in a NEW location at the Civic Operations Center. Info about dates and what can be accepted here

- Glass to SARCAN best chance for recycling
A pilot project is now in place for SARCAN to accept recyclable glass (jars, etc.) beyond money bottles. This will help to improve the successful recycling of this material since it is less likely to be broken through a drop off collection than via household collection bins. Glass can still be placed in your blue bins, but taking it to SARCAN is encouraged. More on the program here.

Community Notes

Many Neighbourhood Community Associations (CA) are making plans for spring clean ups. Get in touch with your CA to find out how you can be involved - many hands make light work!

The City and partners submitted our final proposal to the Federal Government's Smart Cities Challenge. Learn more and check back next month for info about how to follow the announcement of winning Cities this May! 

City Council

City Council meets Monday (March 25th) at City Hall in City Council chambers. As always, Council meetings are open to the public. Brief highlights are outlined below. For full agenda, visit https://www.saskatoon.ca/city-hall/city-council-boards-committees/council/minutes-and-agendas

Regular Business Meeting  | 1:00 PM  
  - SPCA building expansion project
  - Swale Working Group update
  - Preliminary year-end financials - 2018
  - Absence management & Disability Assistance Services
  - Photo speed enforcement & provincial traffic safety fund
  - Multi-year business plan/budget policy & process
  - Civic naming committee - governance updates
  - Active Transportation Implementation Plan
  - GPC - workplace transformation update
  - Electrical Rate change - April 2019 - Carbon Tax Charge
  - Curbside Organics & Waste Funding options (as discussed above)
  - Contract negotiations - SCMMA Local 222
  - Motions: Special Needs Garbage Collection Service
    Motions: Safe Consumption Site in Saskatoon (as discussed above)

Public Hearing Meeting  |  6:00 PM
  Land Use hearings:
  - Discretionary Use application or Rezoning - none in Ward 2
  - Concept plan amendment - Brighton Village Centre
  - Zoning bylaw amendment - general regulations for Festival sites
  - Right-of-way closure - partial - Millar Place
  - Proclamations & Flag Raisings

As always, if you'd like to speak to Council as a whole about something on the agenda, please get in touch with the Clerk's office or fill out the form at the link before 10 am the day of the meeting. https://www.saskatoon.ca/write-letter-councilcommittees

Hilary Gough


Saskatoon #yxe City Councillor - representing Ward 2. Settler on Treaty 6 territory & traditional homelands of the Métis. She/Her