As summer approaches, and vaccines make their way through our community I see and feel lots of optimism. Care and caution are still needed to limit COVID-19 risk and exposure personally and in our community. We're nearly through this and it's important that we all pull through it together.
At a national level, this week has brought incredible heaviness with reporting of a mass grave discovery at the former Residential School in Kamloops, BC. This additional window into the true depth of the atrocities of the Residential School system and attempted genocide of Indigenous peoples is devastating. As we mourn the loss of these children we hold space for the pain their families and communities felt and still carry. Additionally, for those of us whose families are colonial settlers, it is a time to dive deeper into the truths and knowledge that have already been documented and shared (such as through the Truth and Reconciliation commission reports and its Calls to Action). It is a time to fill the gaps in our understanding, to recognize that the legacy and harms are ongoing, and to recommit to meaningful action. Every child matters. These children mattered.
The National Residential School Crisis Line is available 24hrs as a source of support for former students and others affected: 1-866-925-4419
City Council meets on Monday. I commit to reading all correspondence I receive before the Council meetings start on Monday, but cannot commit to responding to all of it before the meeting. If you want to have your correspondence received by all of City Council (and as part of the public record) on Monday, head down to the last section to find the options for submitting that.
On Monday, Council will make the final decision about customer participation in the Advance Metering Infrastructure implementation. 'Smart Meters' have been rolled out through Saskatoon Water and Saskatoon Light and Power to customers across most of the city. These meters send regular data automatically for billing, eliminating the need for city workers to enter yards and/or for customers to send in readings. This system can also help with earlier leak detection and notification. Some customers have requested not to receive smart meters, and Council must decide whether to permit opt-outs and if that continues to be allowed, we need to decide how to manage the cost of meter reads and administrative work required to input utility usage data. Read the report (item 9.1.1) to learn more and reach out with any feedback you have.
As you are likely aware, the Meadowgreen Recycling Depot has now been closed. The site has been cleaned and remains so. The alternate sites for disposal of various recyclable and non-recyclable materials are not ideally located and I am eager to achieve commissioning of the Recovery Park site at the landfill (scheduled for 2023) for easier excess recycling options in our area.
There are some updates available regarding the Saskatoon Public School Division's work to select a site for their consolidated city centre school project which will see 3 schools (Princess Alexandra, Pleasant Hill, and King George) replaced with one. You'll find background and updates on their site. Optimist park continues to be contemplated as an 'alternate' site. The process from here is not entirely clear to me, but as I have guaranteed in the past, no final decision about granting or denying permission to develop at Optimist Park will be made without community consultation by the City.
Ward 2 News & Engagements
- There are a few engagements coming up that we've been anticipating. Dates aren't yet set, but I can update that we should expect engagements on the following files soon:
- West Circle Drive project - engagement likely in September
- Utility Scale Solar Project - engagement likely in June or September
Stay tuned here and on my social media for updates. Residents most directly impacted will receive flyers.
- There is a lot of construction planned in our areas this summer including a major watermain replacement and road/sidewalk repair project on 20th Street. Check out the video for more info about what to expect, and for info about construction projects in general, the construction map has upcoming work marked.
- Mail delivery can sometimes be disrupted during major construction projects. This is decided on a case by case basis by Canada Post. Connect with Canada Post to find out if your mail is being held at the nearest postal office.
- Wondering about sweeping and potholes? Look no further.
- Did you know that Transit has an 'On Demand' service? It's expanding to provide service in the Brighton area this week.
- Have your say in the development of a long-term strategy that will inventory, analyze, and prioritize renewable energy options in our city.
- Property tax notices have been mailed with accompanying guides. Find more background and common questions answered online.
- City Council has endorsed a plan to prioritize work on public washrooms through an application to the Federal Health Communities grant. I'm excited to support this work.
- Tomorrow marks the end of Asian Heritage Month and even though the events are largely over, it's never the wrong time to learn about the importance of this celebration (Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan has some good information and resources), about unlearning and rejecting old and damaging racist narratives (check out AsianVoices YXE) and about actions to end racism (Act2EndRacism).
- Thank you to all of the volunteers who have participated in a community cleanup in their neighbourhood so far this year. A few Ward 2 neighbourhood cleanups are still coming up this month, so check in with your Community Association to see how you can help! There will also be a cleanup in the afforestation areas next weekend - more here.
- This week is Arbor Week and this year's theme is 'resurgence' - full list of events here.
- Tennis and pickle ball courts around the city are now open!
- The Good Neighbour Guide is a great overview of city bylaws, standards and regulations to help us all do our part to keep our neighbourhoods and city safe, clean and beautiful.
- Wondering about how the City of Saskatoon is managing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? Updates here.
City Council | May 31
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
- Household Hazardous Waste - cost sharing with Provincial contractor
- Investigation - collision between CP train and access transit bus
- Developing an Emergency Response Plan for extreme/unusual snow events
- Expressway illumination
- Servicing agreement - Aspen Ridge
- Tourism Saskatoon - annual reporting
- Facilities Asset Management Plan
- City Council EFAP program/benefits
- Application for funding - Public Washrooms project
- Addressing Systemic Barriers at City of Saskatoon - 3 motions
- Appointments - Riversdale BID, Board of Revision, SEAC
- Advance Metering Infrastructure - customer participation policy
- Walkway policies
- Bylaw enforcement officer appointment process
- Budget adjustments - Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program
- Municipal manual - 2021
- FCM - Membership invoice
- Bylaw - Home Energy Loan Program
- Coun. Kirton - use of drones less than 250g within city limits
- Coun. Donauer - cremated remains - location for release in river
Public Hearing Meeting | 6:00 PM
- Brighton rezoning - FUD to R2, RMTN, FUD(H)
- Proclamations & Flag Raisings
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