As March comes to a close I hope you've been enjoying the slightly warmer weather and sunny days! I'm doing my best to enjoy them but sure hope that 'real' spring is just around the corner!
City Council meets on Wednesday March 29th at 9:30am. As usual, the public hearing begins at 6pm. I've shared some highlights below along with updates on programs, projects, and planning. You'll find a full listing of what Council will be making decisions about this month along with instructions about how to engage with the Council meeting in the last section.
Updates & Upcoming Decisions
17th Street Extension Project
Council will be receiving an update from administration on the proposed extension of 17th Street. I will be requesting that Council consider putting the project on hold until an update on the foundational planning work for the West Industrial Area can be undertaken. This is due to major changes in land use and community expectations within the West Industrial Area and based on community feedback I have received from those living in West Industrial and Pleasant Hill. Anyone wishing to submit feedback to Council can do so until 5pm today.
Saskatoon Transportation Master Plan
On Wednesday Council will be receiving an updated prioritization criteria for the Saskatoon Transportation Master Plan. These criteria were initially created based upon the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, with the updated criteria deriving from the new 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. The prioritization criteria were developed to assist with the prioritization of the Transportation Infrastructure Project List and the Saskatoon Transportation Master Plan.
More here - item 8.3.2.
Vacant Lot and Adaptive Reuse (Ward 2)
Council will be voting on approval of a tax rebate following receipt of the development plan for 522 Avenue N South, which is presently a vacant lot within the West Industrial Area. The Vacant Lot and Adaptive Reuse Program (VLAR) is designed to encourage infill development on vacant sites and the adaptive reuse of vacant buildings within established neighbourhoods in Saskatoon.
For more information click here for agenda item 8.3.3.
Major Capital Project Prioritization
Similar to the prioritization criteria within the Saskatoon Transportation Master Plan, City Council directed Administration to develop a Capital Project Prioritization process informed by guiding principles and the City’s Triple Bottom Line fiscal approach. To see the proposed prioritization click here for agenda item 8.5.2
This was initially discussed at Committee recently. A few comments based on that discussion:
- Bus Rapid Transit isn't on the list because it has it’s own funding plan. It is a top priority and we hope to have confirmation of Federal/Provincial partnership very soon
- The Arena/DEED will also have its own funding plan soon – which will either need to be approved or rejected by Council. More on that at hilaryyxe.com/deed
- White Buffalo Youth lodge is a top priority and both it and the East Leisure Center have been subject of applications to Federal Government for funding. Decisions are pending.
Preliminary Year-End Results
Council will be receiving a preliminary year-end report on the financial results for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022. A number of strategies are being proposed to address the 2022 deficit including transfers from reserves and reallocation of surpluses from various areas that would not typically be allocated to a general deficit. Municipal deficits cannot be carried forward. Reporting at 9.4.1
Downtown Event and Entertainment District - Vision Statement and Guiding Principles
As work continues to establish a plan for the potential Downtown Event and Entertainment District (DEED) City Council will be receiving the updated and proposed Vision Statement and Guiding Principles. The original principles were reviewed by the DEED Advisory Group, along with all Advisory Committees to Council, and the Municipal Planning Commission. To see the proposed vision statement and guiding principles, click here for agenda item 9.5.1.
As I have shared in past newsletters I have been chatting with many Ward 2 residents as I continue to determine my stance on the DEED. To read more about my thoughts and the engagement that I have been doing, check out my blog post. For more thorough background, visit the City's project page.
Engagement & Updates - Ward 2
To see all projects open for engagement visit www.saskatoon.ca/engage
Dudley Street Funding
The Federal Government has chosen to fund the Dudley Street Bikeway, Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Improvement project. This project will support a shift away from cards by providing new pathways for walking and biking, resulting in a calmer and more comfortable shared space for people to ride their bike in traffic and walk on new sidewalks. This is exciting progress for connectivity and safety in Ward 2!
Spring/Summer Program Registration
Registration for the City’s spring and summer recreation programs is underway.
If you've been unable to register for the programs of interest to you, consider joining the waitlist. Every full program has an online wait list and new classes may be created if there is enough demand.
Reminder: Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre is set to close at the end of March for a series of upgrades. For more information and to check out the renderings, click here.
Green Cart Deployment
Some Saskatoon residents may have already seen their Green Carts delivered this month, however Ward 2 residents can expect their carts to be delivered between April 10-23 according to the City’s deployment schedule. For further information about the Green Cart program including frequently asked questions, click here.
New Tools for Energy solutions
The City has two new tools to help homeowners understand their energy outputs and how to capitalize on energy solutions. MyHEAT SOLAR is a new tool that will help homeowners determine if their home is a good candidate for solar panels and provides an estimate on potential savings over a 25-year solar panel lifespan. In addition, the City provides SmartUTIL, which is an easy-to-use online tool that helps homeowners and commercial customers to view their water and electricity usage, keep on budget with utility expenses, and learn to conserve and reduce energy impact on the environment.
Centre Median Gardening
As some of you may know the City is now allowing gardening on centre medians of streets. Gardeners who are interested in planting on centre medians need to read the City’s guidelines and fill out an application using the intake form found here.
Free Wifi pilot
You may have heard updates from me before about a Free Wifi Pilot. Either way, it is now live! If you live in the NW corner of Pleasant Hill or the NE Corner of Meadowgreen you may be in the pilot program area. Check out the details here! The pilot is intended to address unequal access to service and information, commonly referred to as the ‘digital divide’ and I'm excited to see it live and ready for use!
Community Events & Reminders
Living in Harmony Awards
I want to thank the organizers and congratulate the winners of the City of Saskatoon’s Living in Harmony Awards, which took place on March 21st at the Broadway Theatre. The Living in Harmony Awards are held on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The awards ceremony featured entertainment from Feather News and celebrated the following winners:
-- Community Recognition: Sarah Kelly with Right to Skate – Recognized for fostering inclusive skateboarding meetups, camps, and events in Saskatoon for over 10 years.
-- Community Recognition: Stephanie Cole with Wildwood School – Recognized for creating anti-racist and anti-oppressive groups in all schools she has taught in and as being the steady voice calling for action and recognition for people who are underrepresented or marginalized.
-- School Recognition: Holy Cross High School Truth & Reconciliation Club – Recognized for its work in the area of reconciliation awareness and action.
Call for Submissions - Poetry Downtown
In partnership with Downtown Saskatoon, the City is inviting local emerging and established poets to submit poems for the Poetry Downtown project. The theme of the project is: Kindness - acts of.
For information on the project and to submit your poetry, click here.
City Council | March 29th (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
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee - Annual report and Work Plan
- Bylaw Revision - The private sewer and water service connection bylaw
- Climate Budget - Greenhouse gas implications of capital projects
- Traffic Bylaw Amendments - Fringe festival and exhibition week parking
- Taxi License Program - Extension
- Saskatoon Transportation Master Plan - Updated prioritization criteries
- 17th Street Extension Project - March 2023 update
- Public Art Advisory Committee - Annual report and work plan
- Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee - Annual report and work plan
- Vacant Lot and Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program - 522 Avenue N South
- Guideline Amendments for Permanent Asphalt Parking Patios
- Vacant Lot and Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program - 317 4th Avenue South
- Friends of the Bowl Foundation Inc. - Board of Directors approval for 2023
- Municipal Support for Wildlife Rehabilitation License
- Notice of AGM
- Saskatchewan Place Association Inc. - April 6, 2023
- Saskatoon Centennial Auditorium Convention Centre Corporation - April 27, 2023
- The Saskatoon Gallery and Conservatory Corporation and The Art Gallery of
Saskatchewan Inc. - April 25, 2023
- Downtown Event and Entertainment District Plan - Vision Statement and Guiding Principles
- Bylaw - The campaign disclosure and spending limits bylaw
- Bylaw amendment - Electric light and power bylaw
- Proposed Bylaw - Shared electric kick scooter pilot program
Public Hearing Meeting | 6:00 PM
- Clarence/Main - intersection improvements
- Proclamations & Flag Raisings
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