As we await spring, I hope you will join me for the next Coffee with Your Councillor on Sunday, April 8th from 3pm – 5pm at the Broadway Roastery.
Here are a few highlights from City Council in March:
Sasktel Centre and TCU Place presented a market analysis for the current state of their city-owned facilities, which found that both are at risk of economic erosion in the years ahead. The recommendation is to build a new arena and/or a combination arena/trade and convention centre downtown. You can read the full study here. While the recommendation presents some exciting opportunities for our downtown, we clearly have a lot of work ahead before considering this project. Bus Rapid Transit would need to be in place and in my view municipal taxpayers should not bear the full cost of a new arena. Note that both TCU Place and Sasktel Centre are revenue generators for the City, and any new facility would be expected to do the same. — On a side note, our current arena would not be torn down, and there are some interesting ideas to explore if it is repurposed in the future.
City Council voted to defer the final vote on this until next month, however it appears that new rules will see fire pits allowed between the hours of 2pm – 11pm*. I would prefer to see our current bylaw enforced before considering these measures. Protecting those with health issues is important to me, and our current bylaw has strict rules about what can be burned, a duty to be considerate of neighbours and hefty fines for violations.
*Note that most Canadian cities of our size and larger have restricted hours or bans on fire pits.
A detailed study presented to Council shows the cost-benefit analysis is not worth grade separation or relocation. Our administration has been asked to look into the possibility of creating a rail corridor that could be shared by CN and CP, though each would keep their separate tracks. There may be some economic benefit for the rail companies, which could offset municipal costs. Administration will also look into new technology that could improve safety and delays at crossings.