There are three meetings over the next two days to share with you. I'll get straight to it.
Meetings & Upcoming Decisions
On Wednesday Aug 30th City Council meets - first in the morning for the Regular Business Meeting and then again in the evening for the Public Hearing meeting. Full agenda outlines are at the bottom of this email.
A few items that have been of interest:
Community Risk Reduction Report
- this report outlines the role of the fire department in encampment response, the impact of this resource shift on property maintenance inspections, and the trends in the social issues. Council is asked to advocate about the need for stronger partnership from the Ministry of Social Services
Housing Plan update
- this report provides an update on the development of our future Housing Plan and other housing related work related to Federal programs. Committee has recommended directing city staff to get clarity from community about the role the City should have in planning around Homelessness. As above, direct engagement exists, but planning role is uncertain.
Renaming of John A MacDonald Road
- The committee tasked with recommending a new name for this road has proposed the name miyo-wâhkôhtowin Road which means 'good relationships' in Cree.
Fireworks - inclusion of Diwali and Lunar New Year
-- in particular, I've asked for information about responsible selling of fireworks - a Summary Page is included in the Council report and I will ask about strengthening the messaging : that use outside of approved holidays is a bylaw infraction.
On Thursday Aug 31st there is another Special Budget Meeting of the Governance and Priority Committee. This follows several others over the summer. The agenda for that meeting can be found here. It consists of reports related to 2024 and 2025 budget planning and the challenge we're facing (June background reporting here) due to high inflation (reduced purchasing power on major basic budget lines such as roadways), revenues that haven't recovered post-covid (and no further covid support to backfill those), and plans to step our way into future growth pressures gradually.
While we've chosen a gradual and detailed approach to tackling this between now and September by going business line by business line, Thursday's meeting will start with the options recommended by our staff across 8 business lines. No final decisions are made until final budget deliberations in late November.
One of these recommended options that I've been hearing from Ward 2 neighbours about is the proposed Closure of East Compost Depot. This change is estimated to save approximately 132,000 per year. City staff identify that this site gets less traffic now that the curbside green bin program is in place. Closure of the East depot will result in more traffic to the West depot which could impact traffic on 11th Street West. I will be looking to better understand the existing trend in use at the East depot, and asking about the evaluation of this change if it moves forward. There is also a recommendation to adjust the hours at the Landfill. Full detail on all options is in the detailed business line reports.
One of the recommended options from the utilities business lines that has also drawn questions from Ward 2 residents is the proposal to adjust service of auguring customer sewer connections. I am quite concerned about this proposal since it disproportionately impacts residents/customers in neighbourhoods with older infrastructure. I am working to learn more and confirm my understanding of the impact on service, but as of now, do not anticipate supporting this cut.
To see all projects open for engagement visit www.saskatoon.ca/engage
Caswell Hill Bus Barns
Next steps are underway for the redevelopment of the Caswell Hill Bus Barns! The framework for the redevelopment of the North half (and sale to the developer from the City) has been outlined, and engagement has begun on the rezoning and land use changes needed to permit the proposed and future redevelopment. Take a look at the plans here. Renderings are available for the North half which will be redeveloped first. There will be a public information meeting - date tbd.
I've had a few questions come up about two recreation facilities in/near Caswell Hill so will provide a couple of updates here:
Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre
I have heard a few concerns about the City's commitment to Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre given the challenges arising with the renovation and upgrades project. I want to assure residents that the project and the facility remain a top priority for me - a sentiment echoed in recent conversations by our staff. Administration is currently in the process of revising the scope of work, such that the project can be retendered as soon as possible with the target completion date remaining late 2025.
Ashworth Holmes Paddling Pool
This popular location for summer play has also had a few challenges this season. The team is in the process of completing repairs that arose in late July. The dryland programming continued past until August 18th. This was a few days short of the regular season closure (Aug 23rd) due to staffing challenges in the play program overall. The City intends to have this location fully functional in the summer of 2024 and both City staff and I fully recognize the importance of this recreation amenity to families in the area.
Labour Day long weekend
Labour Day is coming up on Sept 4th. Check here for details about closures and adjusted hours.
City Council | Aug 30th (Wednesday)
City Council meets on Wednesday. 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 or in person). Meetings will continue to be live streamed.
Regular Business Meeting | 9:30 AM
- Urban Forestry and Pest Management Capital Reserve - amendments
- Internal Borrowing for black carts & capital project updates
- Regional Fire Training Facility - project adjustment
- Community Risk Reduction
- Implications for Fireworks and Cultural Celebrations
- Traffic bylaw amendments - various
- Civic Naming Committee - quarterly reports
- John A MacDonald Road renaming - to miyo-wahkotowin Road
- Heritage awards - process
- Pound Services facility project
- Housing Program update
- Meewasin Valley Authority - financial statements
- Land acquisition - Kensington future development
- Budget information update
- Municipal Lobbying - regulation considerations
- Appointments - various
- 2022 Audited Financial Statements
- Capital Reserve amendment bylaw
- Lac La Ronge Indian Band Urban Reserve Creation
Public Hearing Meeting | 6:00 PM
- Private School - Acadia Dr - Discretionary use
- Bylaw Amendment - Restaurants & Lounges in M4 - Spadina Cres
- 509 12th Street E - OCP amendment, Rezoning
- Cairns Field upgrades & Lease
- Proclamation and Flag Raisings
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