Winter has arrived! I hope you're staying warm and gathering ideas for outdoor fun this winter. A wise friend reminded me recently that if you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life and the same amount of snow! It may not always be that easy, but I hope you're finding some joy.
There is a lot on the go from rolling out winter operations to debating playground zones and preparing to debate Budget 2022/23. A huge amount of my attention lately has been directed at trying to achieve the right supports to help people who are without a home find safety and supports indoors. The City's fire department has stepped up to play a stronger role in coordinating response and confirming support access routes through the appropriate provincial ministry. On Monday we'll consider zoning bylaw amendments to regulate and permit temporary shelter operations and continue to work to help find appropriate locations for emergency use. I meet with the Fire Chief weekly for updates and while everyone is frustrated with the many barriers that remain, I am grateful to all who are working together on this critical issue.
As always, if you have feedback on any of these or other issues on the Council agenda, 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.
Some very exciting progress was finalized in the West Industrial area this month. The Finance Committee supported an agreement reached with Inland Steel to transition their operations to an industrial site in the North Industrial leased from the City. This demonstrates that the Industrial Land Incentives program is a great opportunity for progress on this interface challenge, and along with the study of new regulations (to be funded this budget), can lead to the long-awaited transition away from heavy industrial land uses so close to residents in the West Industrial, Pleasant Hill, King George and Holiday Park neighbourhoods. Thank you the Ward 2 residents who have been working to bring about these changes and continue to collaborate for further progress.
Amalgamated School plans
The Saskatoon Public School Division has released preliminary designs for the new amalgamated school. More here with links to the plans and feedback form.
The Dundonald Ave Solar farm project is in front of City Council for approval. The feasibility looks positive. I continue to inquire about the best landscaping solutions and appreciate all feedback and questions received.
A partial lane closure is proposed in Riversdale to amalgamate two parcels for redevelopment - see public hearing list below.
Budget deliberations take place at the end of this month. If you have any feedback about budget prioritization, please reach out to share that, and if you want to connect with Council as a whole, budget deliberation meetings start Nov 29th. As always, feedback to all of Council can be made in writing or by requesting to speak.
Some key files I am focusing on advancing on the operational side is the sustainment our sustainability capacity to advance that portfolio, greater capacity for property maintenance and proactive and collaborative emergency readiness, and support for important reconciliation and inclusion work.
The second and last phase of the speed limit review is complete and administration is recommending a number of changes to school zones, including their coverage, effective hours, and the addition of playground zones. There seems to be no 'right' answer for most components of this decision. I'm grateful to all who have reached out to discuss the various considerations.
Thanks to all who submitted feedback on the draft strategic plan for 2022-2025. We'll receive that feedback Monday for incorporation into the plan before we adopt it.
COVID continues to be a real and pressing risk in our community. Updates from the City can be found here.
Community safety & wellbeing
As noted, the Fire Department and other City services are coordinating and planning around emergency response to homelessness as we descend into another winter. There is urgent need for greater investment in wraparound services for those who have complex needs. Paired with existing and vacant Saskatchewan Housing Corporation housing, the Provincial ministry of Social Services has the tools needed. We are working hard with partners in frontline social serving agencies to have the urgency of this need recognized and acted on in Saskatoon.
City Council | Nov 22nd
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
- High performance Civic Building Policy
- Dundonald Ave Solar Farm Project
- Transit Service Standards
- Freeway Project - update
- Speed limits - School zones, playground zones, senior zones, effective hours
- Recreation and sport - grants (Curling)
- Corporate Investment Policy - amendments
- Land profits - allocations
- Rapid Housing Initiative - agreement
- Appointments to boards, committees, commissions for 2022
- COVID-19 - framework & measures
- Natural Infrastructure fund
- Strategic Plan - survey results
Public Hearing Meeting | 6:00 PM
- Temporary Emergency Residential Shelters - zoning bylaw amendment
- Concept Plan & Rezoning - Rosewood
- Concept Plan, OCP & Zoning Bylaw amendments - Willows
- Proposed lane closure - Riversdale
- Proclamations and flag raisings
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