The pelicans have landed, and with the promise of warm weather ahead, your neighbourhood community associations are busy putting on spring programs and planning cleanups. Head down to the Community Updates section to get involved! And as we move past this late snow, sweeping is picking up.
City Council meetings have transitioned to hybrid format meaning that all participants including members of the public have the option to join in person or virtually. It's been great to be back to seeing colleagues in person, but also ensuring the option exists for virtual participation, which has been very smooth thanks to serious dedication by city staff to get the systems setup and bugs worked out. Updates and heads up about files of potential interest are below including the Wellness Center Temporary Shelter lease extension request.
A few items on the agenda that I don't have space to provide outlines for but that may be of interest (full list and links at bottom under City Council > Regular Business Meeting) are: an electric vehicle charging pilot for community access, an endorsement request for phase 1 of the freeway planning, the proposed investigation plan into the service disruptions with Saskatoon Transit, a plan for how to support continuation of the Triple Bottom Line policy, and the new Parking App.
As always, if you have feedback on any of these or other issues on the Council agenda (list at the bottom of this email), I commit to reading all emails I receive before Monday's 1pm meeting. To have all of Council read your feedback, correspondence needs to be received by the Clerk before 10am Monday.
Fire stations & facilities
Last month City Council endorse, in principle, the Fire Department's strategic facilities and resourcing deployment plans. We had good discussion about the top priority -- relieving pressure and improve coverage in the West end of the city not only supporting that priority, but endorsing an exploration of how to achieve them as quickly as possible. I'm feeling really encouraged by this pressure and look forward to supporting next steps as funding plans are developed.
West Central Multi-Use Corridor - update
The next stage of this pathway that will run the length of the CP tracks from Idylwyld to Ave Q is underway. The segment from Ave Q to 20th Street will be constructed this season, and license agreements to facilitate this with CP are on the agenda.
Wellness Centre Temporary Shelter - extension request
As you've likely heard, on Monday City Council will discuss the request from the Saskatoon Tribal Council to extend their lease of our building on 1st Ave North for the provision of emergency shelter services while they establish a permanent location and services. The pressures driving the need for this service have unfortunately not gone down, and many people are facing homelessness in our community. There is an ongoing gap in supportive housing for members of our community who have complex needs. This needs to be addressed with provincial investment in the home-based health and other supports to achieve the stability, safety, and wellbeing everyone deserves. In the meantime, I intend to support the extension request understanding that no location is perfect for an emergency shelter, that residents without sheltering at all continue to need additional supports and that we need sustainably funded supports to help as many people as possible move beyond emergency housing. The solution to homelessness is housing. For now, reducing the availability of emergency sheltering beds will not get us closer to a solution.
Last month at City Council we responded to calls for support from our sister city, Chernivtsi, Ukraine, by making a 10,000 contribution from our community to the humanitarian efforts in that city. This was made possible through an established partnership between our fire fighter's unions.
To join in to support Chernivtsi directly, visit www.uniteforukraine.ca to learn about a lunch fundraiser and donation opportunities as well.
As established last month, masks continue to be required on Transit, and strongly recommended in other civic facility spaces. An update report including COVID-19 status and a survey of transit masking approaches across the Country is on the agenda Monday. Continuing with the current requirements on Transit is recommended.
An extensive discussion on the pound services agreement with the SPCA took place at the Planning Committee earlier this month. Council will consider the recommendation from Committee that we increase the contract rate by about 50% (466,000 --> 698,000) for 2022 and continue negotiations to consider further adjustments in 2023. Determining the right contract rate is important for all parties and overall animal welfare in Saskatoon and despite this call coming in the middle of a current contract, I support this increase for now and a full resolution as soon as possible when a complete agreement can be reached between civic and SPCA teams.
Curbside organics - cart size
Council will consider a committee and administrative recommendation to have a smaller cart size provided to townhouse properties when the curbside organics program rolls out in 2023 and to not consider alternate cart size options for detached single-family dwellings until after the program has been in place for a while and usage has stabilized. More here.
Downtown Event and Entertainment District
As noted last month, we've made appointments to an advisory committee for the Downtown Event and Entertainment District project. I've had a few questions recently about what decisions have been made at this point. Two decisions have been made to date: 1. to initiate planning replacement of the arena and convention center together; and 2. that a future district would be in the City Center and not in a less central location. Based on feedback I've heard, two key priorities for me as exploration continues are that this project not be primarily or even substantially property tax funded, and that Bus Rapid Transit investments be prioritized as essential to the viability of the projects for our community. The work is also underway to explore potential sites.
Ongoing updates on Council decisions, and the project framework can be found on this project page.
Seasonal operations updates
Compost depots are now open
Sweeping is underway
Driving ranges at Silverwood and Holiday Park are open
Park cleanups have begun
Community cleanups are scheduled (see community updates below)
Elm Tree Pruning Ban is in effect
The next Household Hazardous Waste drop off day is May 1
Ongoing engagement opportunities are available at www.saskatoon.ca/engage
Community Association cleanups
The following cleanups are scheduled for Ward 2 neighbourhoods.
Visit your Community Association's social media or latest newsletter for full details to join in. Contact info here.
Many hands make light work and while cleanups may not be glamorous they are such an important way to care for our communities and build neighbourhood relationships while we're at it. See you out there!
Caswell Hill – April 30
Holiday Park – May 7
King George – May 14
Meadowgreen – June 11
Pleasant Hill – May 14
Riversdale – May 14
Westmount - June 11 (tentative)
Have Tea with me - video series
Grab a cup of tea and take a few minutes to watch the new video series 'Have tea with me' sharing the strength and contributions of refugee communities in Saskatoon. The series comes out of a partnership between the University of Saskatchewan and the City working with members of the Afghan community in our city. I urge you to let it inspire you to reach out to a neighbour and get to know their story.
The guide is out for leisure programs running April - Aug. Check out the online version here.
The Saskatoon Tribal Council and City are inviting everyone to consider how they can #ActOnReconciliation. I urge you to think about furthering your knowledge and pushing for systemic change to address colonial harms that have intergenerational impacts and this month, register for a Let's Talk Reconciliation webinar from Reconciliation Saskatoon and keep your eyes open for a release about specific calls to action on the last Friday of each month.
City-wide green carts will be ready in 2023, but registration and renewal for the last year of the subscription-based green cart program for 2022 are open with pickups from May - November. Early bird registration ends April 30th and pickups start May 2, so don't delay!
A number of larger construction projects (roadways and asset preservation such as water main replacement) are taking place in Ward 2 this upcoming season. Project previews are being circulated and impacted residents are encouraged to sign up for regular updates for the projects in their area by email. More information at www.saskatoon.ca/construction
City Council | April 25th
City Council meets virtually on Monday. Brief highlights are outlined below. Click here to find the full agenda. Council continues to meet virtually. Correspondence on Council items can be made in writing or as a request to speak (accommodated by phone). Meetings will continue to be live streamed.
Regular Business Meeting | 1:00 PM
- Flood control strategy update - Weaver Park
- Electric Vehicle Charging Pilot
- Freeway Planning Study - phase 1 endorsement request
- Sweeping - bridge walkways, mutli-use pathways, cycletracks
- Options to collect unpaid parking tickets
- Investigation of service disruptions in Saskatoon Transit
- Budget adjustment - V&E Fuel stations
- Veteran parking program
- Cemetery master plan
- Saskatoon SPCA Pound Services
- Tourism Saskatoon - annual presentation
- SREDA - annual report
- SREDA - business incentive tax abatements
- 2022 Commercial Appeal contingency
- Preliminary Year-end results - 2021
- West Central Multi-use Corridor - request to amend agreement with CP Rail
- Internal Audit transfer- year end
- AGM notices - Sasktel Centre, Gallery
- Appointments - Regional Oversight Executive Committee
- Triple Bottom Line - Program Continuation
- Curbside Organics - Cart Size
- New Parking App - bylaw amendment
- Saskatoon Housing Initiatives partnership - interim contract extension
- COVID-19 report
- Saskatoon Tribal Council Wellness Centre - extension request for lease at 145 1st Ave North
- 2022 Property Tax & BID levies
- Traffic Amendment Bylaw - party bicycle amendments
- Governance Review - controlled corporations - articles of incorporation, special resolution
- Governance Review - controlled corporations - repeal/replace - member resolution bylaw
Public Hearing Meeting | 6:00 PM
- Zoning bylaw review - Child Care & Adult Day Care facilities
- Lease renewal - Victoria Park Boathouse
- Procedures & Committees bylaw - Advisory Committees - enacting approved Terms amendments
- Proclamations & Flag Raisings
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