I struggle to find the right words to share right now. Since my last newsletter, the country and world have been rocked by actions reflecting deep division. Meanwhile, gravesites at residential schools continue to be documented in this province and across the nation. Many neighbours continue to spend cold nights without proper shelter and the supports they need. COVID-19 continues to claim lives in our community.
These are worrying and challenging times. I do not have answers, but the antidotes to the isolation, division, inequity, and turmoil we're facing can only be found in community, collaboration, and care. Please check on your neighbour. Call a friend. Reach beyond your usual network. Talk about peace. Know that it can grow through mutual, community care and decisions that reflect that care at a larger scale. Thank you for all you do to take care of each other. My heart is with all in our community suffering because of past and present injustices here, and abroad. My heart is with Ukrainian neighbours and all global neighbours caught in the violence of war.
With heavy hearts, but also with hope, work continues and monthly policy and project updates are below including several ongoing engagement opportunities.
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.
Free Wi-fi Pilot
The City is working to fight the 'digital divide' through a free Wi-Fi pilot project. The pilot will distribute quality internet to ~1500 people through wifi access in their homes. The pilot area will encompass a dozen or more city blocks in the north end of Meadowgreen and Pleasant Hill neighbourhoods, starting just south of 22nd Street. The full report can be found starting at page 95 here. It was through community collaborative response to COVID-19 that the concept and drive for this project came together. I am excited to see this roll out this fall and to learn from the results.
Assisted waste collections
Council will make a final decision (item 8.1.3) on adopting a new and expanded approach to assisted waste collections for households with accessibility requirements on Monday. This recommendation was considered at a committee earlier this month and has been long-awaited by many who flagged that the previous program (that originated at the time waste collections moved from a collective bin to a single-household bin) was too restrictive to new applicants. I agree and supported a new and more equitable approach by pushing to include the required funds in the 2022/3 budget ahead of the program detail decisions being decided Monday.
With provincial health orders coming to an end, COVID-19 risk mitigation decisions fall again to individuals, businesses, municipalities, and organizations. Given ongoing uncontrolled community transmission and high hospitalization rates, City Council has directed that masks will continue to be required in Leisure Centers on Transit busses, and in other city facilities. City staff will continue to be masked in these spaces and in other work spaces where transmission risk is greater. Masks will continue to be made available on buses for anyone who may not have one. I encourage everyone to continue to do their best to minimize opportunities for transmission by wearing a well-fitting and high quality mask. I ask that we all exercise kindness and care with one another as we enter a new phase of transition in this pandemic.
Winter Road Maintenance
This has been another challenging winter from a road maintenance perspective. Repeated snow events and shifting weather make keeping our roads drivable an ongoing challenge. I've spoken with many of you to hear your feedback and answer questions about the latest efforts including residential rut shaving on local streets and lanes. The teams completed the full-city sweep in 12 days using 26 graders, that traveled a total of 18,500 kms. We continue to learn about what works well, what could be improved, and how to balance quick, broad and efficient response when travel is impacted with the challenges that clearing snow without the ability for broad snow removal brings. Thank you for your feedback. To learn more about the normal standards for winter road maintenance, check out the funded level of service.
There are a number of of projects with ongoing engagement opportunities all available at www.saskatoon.ca/engage:
- Tree Protection Policy: Survey open until March 13 to provide feedback on what is needed, what works and what is possible for protecting our public trees as our city grows and pressure is placed on our urban forest.
- Neighbourhood Level Infill: Thank you to all who attended info/engagement events. The design regulations specific to infill home development in our areas are being reviewed and the recommended changes are available for review and feedback. Decision reports will go ahead later in March/April.
- Childcare, Pre-school, Adult day care facility - zoning bylaw changes: Some changes are proposed to how the zoning bylaw applies to these types of facilities. Your feedback on the proposed changes is invited.
- Park development standards: The City is working to clarify and simplify the standards for future park development. An info session will be held March 2.
Living in Harmony
The City is accepting nominations for the 2022 Living in Harmony Awards. The deadline is March 4. Actions that promote harmony and peace through the elimination of racism are as important as ever. Please consider nominating a project or initiative in our community.
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.
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.
Looking to get active outside? Ski trial conditions and Skating rink hours are updated regularly online. Looking for other ideas? Check out the winter events/activities guide or the winter leisure guide!
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 | Feb 28th
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
- Waste diversion regulation for ICI
- Assisted Waste Collections program
- FCM - Home Energy Loan program funding
- Impound Lot Business Model
- Circle Drive - Collisions & media barriers
- Vehicle Noise mitigation study - final report
- Sell: Marquis Phase 11 Industrial
- BIDs - budget approvals
- Property Tax liens
- Advisory Committees - Terms of Reference review
- Council expenses: Travel, training, car, communications
- Council expenses: inclusion of priority areas
- Request for resolutions - guidelines process
- Appointments - various
- Mask enforcement on Transit
- Budget adjustment: land development - Neault Road
- Bylaw amendment:
- Residential Parking Program amendment
- Sewer use amendment bylaw
Public Hearing Meeting | 6:00 PM
- Rezoning & Concept Plan - Kensington - Antonini Ct
- Rezoning - Brighton
- Rezoning - Rosewood
- Policy - Recreation & Sport Tax Abatement
- Proclamations & Flag Raisings
Looking to connect with the City?
24HR CUSTOMER SERVICE:
306-975-2476 [email protected]
Do you like this page?