Wow. I know that February is a short month, but this one sure has flown by. I hope you're doing well and apologize in advance for the overwhelming amount of information below. Read on for lots of updates including a lot of key files on Monday's agendas.
As many of you have heard and are actively discussing, the Ministry of Education provided funding to the Saskatoon Public School Division (SPSD) for their consolidated city centre school project which will see 3 schools (Princess Alexandra, Pleasant Hill, and King George) replaced with one. Initially, it was set that SPSD would build the school on Ave H at the Princess Alexandra (PA) school site, but they have recently opened up their consideration and are asking about Optimist Park as a potential location. This follows concerns raised by community about the PA site. SPSD has asked City Council for permission to study whether Optimist Park (which is more central within the three areas the school will serve than the PA site) would be a suitable site for the future school. Council will consider their request on Monday. I have heard from many about this and based on those discussions, my main considerations heading into the discussion are:
- many continue to argue that PA is not a good site for a future school, and objectively, there are many reasons that it may not be ideal and the location of Optimist Park is more central to the areas being served;
- there is great concern about loss of park space in an area with little neighbourhood park space; I share this and recognize that swapping it for school field land on another site wouldn't adequately make up for that loss;
- there are many who have suggested that other under-utilized (former industrial, etc.) sites in the vicinity of Optimist Park would make good school sites and their development would be a win-win.
I intend to bring all of this forward and will be inquiring about the opportunity to have the City help support the SPSD's exploration of other under-utilized sites in the West Industrial area as a win-win solution. Thank you to all who have engaged on this file to date and to all who will be engaging as we move forward. There is lots yet to figure out including the future uses of the sites that will be vacated by the SPSD when they move their operations to the new building.
- City Council's agenda includes a report and recommendation about a Permanent Outdoor Festival Site in Friendship Park and adjacent areas of Kiwanis Park and River Landing. This was presented and discussed at this week's all-council Committee meeting. Read the News release.
- Also on the agenda is the design of a Home Energy Loan Program and equity design options for consideration
- A Drainage Regulation and Compliance Project is taking place, aimed at developing a more comprehensive drainage regulatory framework, as well as enhanced public and industry education on lot drainage - input and considerations welcome.
- The draft implementation plan for the WinterYXE Strategy is open for your feedback - deadline is Monday!
- The second package of amendments for the Zoning Bylaw through the comprehensive review underway is now online for your review.
- The City is proposing changes to the Boulevard Gardening guidelines and a survey is open for your feedback.
- The City is looking for applicants for the Bunkhouse Artist residency program at the Forestry Farm - deadline March 1st.
- Nominations are open for the Living in Harmony awards that recognize outstanding achievements in contributing to the elimination of racial discrimination in our community. Deadline March 10.
- Registration for the curbside green cart program is open now. Register/renew before April 30th for earlybird rates!
- the Province of Saskatchewan is conducting online engagement for Phase 2 of the Saskatoon Freeway (East and South of Saskatoon). Learn more and send your feedback before March 2nd.
- the Province is also engaging about accessibility legislation in SK. Check it out here.
Ward 2 News & Engagements
- See the 'Updates' section for discussion of the amalgamated/consolidated school project and the search for the right location and potential implications for the West Industrial area.
- The Holiday Park/King George Neighbourhood Traffic Review recommendations were presented at an online meeting last month and I expect the report to come to Committee and Council soon (likely next month)
- The next community engagement meeting for the Circle Drive West project is likely to be scheduled for sometime next month - Residents in Montgomery Place will receive flyers and the Community Association will be advised directly.
- The City of Saskatoon and Meewasin Valley Authority have some tips and reminders for how to 'take care' when using natural areas in our city.
- The Meewasin Valley Authority is moving forward with plans for trail development alongside the west edge of the Holiday Park neighbourhood from the Sanitorium site to the Gordie Howe Bridge.
- Many community associations have moved to online programming for the time being and are inviting neighbours from other communities to join in. Check out the offerings here!
- It's Random Act of Kindness Week! Consider how you can be the 'I' in KIND and make someone's day!
- Looking for services or to help out? 211 (just dial 2-1-1) is a great navigation resource from the United Way that can help you find the service and support you're looking for, while OneSmallStep is a site where you can get connected to organizations that can use your help - whether it's donations, stuff, or time.
City Council | Feb 22
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
- Overdose Crisis resolution
- Property tax reports : 2020 liens; 2021 phase in
- Reassessment - appeal contingencies
- BID budget approvals
- Acquisition - 123 Auditorium Ave
- SREDA annual report
- Home Energy Loan Program design (PACE)
- Vehicles for Hire - Taxi & TNC parity review
- VIDO funding - Pandemic Research Centre Proposal
- Permanent Outdoor Festival site
- Council expenses 2020 - car allowance, travel & training expenses
- Appointments - Marr Residence, Board of Revision, Licence/Mortgage/Access Transit Appeals Boards
- Governance review - Controlled Corporations - out of city membership
- 14th Street Bikeway
- Request to investigate potential of Optimist Park for Consolidated City Centre School
- Cold Weather Strategy Update
- Platinum Certification - World Council on Cities Data Pilot project
- Department/Division Name Change
- Kirton - Collision History on Circle Drive
- Block - Governance Structure of River Landing
Public Hearing Meeting | 6:00 PM
- Knox United Church - Heritage Amendment
- Main Street, 1414-1416: OCP Amendment, & Rezoning
- Main Street, 512 - 520 : OCP Amendment & Rezoning
- Aspen Ridge: Concept Plan Amendment & Rezoning
- Hampton Village Business Park : Concept Plan Amendment & Rezoning
- Rosewood Boul & Amisk Way : Concept Plan Amendment & Rezoning
- Business Licence Bylaw - consolidation, streamlining, housekeeping amendments;
- Conversion Therapy - Prohibited Business Bylaw
- Proclamations & Flag Raisings
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