I hope you're keeping well. This month has been an extra busy one for me having served as Deputy Mayor for the month. There is lots on the go, so I'll jump straight to the updates and notes about some Council decisions coming up on Monday.
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.
The changes to school zones and new playground zones will be coming into effect in September. The related Council policies are being adopted at Monday's meeting. I have asked and will plan to confirm on Monday that the removal of the zones next to St. Mary's school and Ecole Henry Kelsey be delayed until the safety audits planned for those locations can be completed. The new policy clarifies that for these spots school zones are not the right tool since the areas are not near school entrances, but with ongoing safety concerns at these locations, other traffic safety tools can be considered. These safety reviews are already committed to, and the change tomorrow would be to ensure that the zones aren't removed before the reviews are done. Full details at item 8.2.2.
Dudley Street project
A federal Active Transportation infrastructure fund is open for applications and the Dudley Street Bikeway, Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Improvement Project is being recommended among a few other projects to put forward for funding. Being able to move forward with this project with this funding would enable alignment of this work to some underground infrastructure work that needs to be done on Dudley soon. I am hopeful we'll see this move forward. (item 9.2.1 here)
Fire stations & facilities
The Saskatoon Fire Department is inviting City Council to endorse, in principle, it's strategic facilities and resourcing deployment plans. The list of projects that will be required to provide fire services into the future is lengthy and complex. The top priority is to relieve pressure and improve coverage in the West end of the city. I have discussed these pressures with many Ward 2 neighbours and in detail with the Fire department. I will be supporting the plans, and also inquiring about how to achieve them as quickly as possible. Details at item 8.3.6.
Like many of you, my mind and heart are often with people in areas of conflict, most recently, cities across Ukraine. Saskatoon has a 'Sister City' relationship with Chernivtsi, Ukraine - a city that has, in this war, become a refuge for tens of thousands of Ukrainian people evacuated from their homes elsewhere in the country. Correspondence received from Chernivtsi's Mayor, Mayor Klichuk will be reviewed at our Council meeting. I look forward to reviewing these and learning more about how Saskatoon is and can be engaged in local efforts here to support local efforts in Ukraine. Item 12.1.
Assisted waste collections
As noted last month, the assisted waste collections program is being expanded. Council finalized the decision last month, and new applications will be accepted this Fall with service beginning in 2023. Existing users will not need to re-apply and anyone looking for additional information is encouraged to contact customer service.
There is an updated recommendation around masking in civic facilities and on Transit to move from requiring masks to strongly encouraging masking beginning next month. I have a lot of questions about the implications of this recommendation and expect there will be a fair amount of discussion on Monday. Very little data is available to us, but I will continue to seek guidance from our local public health officers and seek indication that COVID risk in the community is reduced substantially enough to justify a change in course.
Council will return to in-person meetings in April and any civic facility masking decisions will apply to attendees at those meetings in addition to Council and City staff.
Reports: items 10.4.1 and 11.1.2 here.
As temperatures fluctuate, the roadways crews are operating in a nimble way to shift into spring cleanup, address drainage issues, and be prepared to switch back to winter maintenance should it be required. There's nothing simple about getting it all right, but sweepers will be visible next week, cold-mix asphalt pothole repairs are beginning, catch basins are mostly cleared and crews remain available to address any that aren't. At the moment, back lanes are too wet to get most equipment into, and it is too cold for hot-mix asphalt, but summer repairs will begin late April.
Downtown Event and Entertainment District - Advisory Committee
On Monday Council will consider and finalize amendments to the Terms of Reference for the Downtown Event and Entertainment District (DEED) Advisory Committee along with appointment of members - both for agency spots and public spots. This committee will help to bring a broader perspective to strategic decisions on the project as it moves forward.
There are a number of of projects with ongoing engagement opportunities all available at www.saskatoon.ca/engage:
- Dog Park for Small Dogs: The City is proposing to establish off-leash dog parks for small dogs in two locations: Charlottetown park in Massey Place near the Cosmo Civic Center, and Hyde Park in Rosewood. Background and survey at the link.
- 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. The recommendations are going to the Municipal Planning Commission next week and to City Council in 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.
- Corridor planning is underway with College Drive. A variety of aspects of the plans are being drafted and engagement events are ongoing.
Living in Harmony
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2022 Living in Harmony Awards! It was awesome to see Geordie Laliberte, Travis Bird and Brooklyn Dreger from the Gr 7/8 class at Pleasant Hill school awarded the Best Elementary Submission and I loved watching the video from the YIWU Girls group. You can check out the full awards video and more about the work of these and other groups working toward harmony and anti-racism here: saskatoon.ca/LivingInHarmony
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.
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.
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
Zoo passes & a visit with the bears!
Enter to win a meet and greet with grizzly bears Mistaya and Koda by purchasing or renewing your Zoo Season Pass by March 31st!
City Council | March 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
- Knox United Church - heritage designation amendment - bylaw - 3rd reading
- Annual reports: Environmental, Accessibility, & Heritage advisory committees
- Recycling depots - improvements & future review
- Speed zones - policy and amendment to implement changes to school zones and playground zones
- Speed limit change: Spadina Ave from Pembina to Ravine
- Party bicycle - bylaw amendment
- Driving range project - Holiday Park Course
- Parking patio - extending temporary asphalt patios
- Fire stations & facilities - planning & resourcing
- Property/land acquisition: 213 5th Ave N & for Neault Rd
- Appointments: Remai Modern
- Active Transportation - Federal fund - project submissions
- Downtown Event & Entertainment District - Advisory Committee: revised Terms of Reference & Appointments
- COVID-19: masking in civic facilities
- Resuming in-person Council & Committee meetings
- Communications from Chernivtsi, Ukraine (sister City)
Public Hearing Meeting | 6:00 PM
- Zoning by agreement - 519 2nd Ave N - GW Brewery
- Home Energy Loan program - Intent to borrow - FCM funding
- Proclamations & Flag Raisings
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