It’s wonderful to see spring arrive with fervor!
I hope to see you at the Ward 6 Town Hall. I am looking forward to hosting this event at the Frances Morrison Library, with guest, Mayor Charlie Clark. Doors open at 6:30pm, and the event goes from 7 – 8:30pm.
The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of activity. Here are a few highlights from City Hall:
- A curbside organics program is coming, but it won’t be launched until 2021. In the meantime, the green bin voluntary program continues. Renew or register for the 2019 season by April 30 to be eligible for the early bird rate of $55! On May 1, the Green Cart fee will increase to $75.
- The federal carbon tax will impact our utility bills beginning in April. Saskatoon Light and Power will follow Sask Power rate increases. The average residential customer can expect to pay an additional $18 per year.
- Bylaw changes are coming to allow for vehicles to be parked on residential streets for up to 72 hours, which is double the current time limit of 36 hours. This is a balancing act. While the current rules are overly restrictive for those who don’t have off street parking, some limits are necessary to address vehicles that linger too long, are unlicensed or abandoned. *Note the 36 hour rule still applies while we await the bylaw change.
- A new high rise has been approved at the top of the Broadway Bridge. The 17 storey condominium project supports the city’s growth plan, by increasing density.
- Council is looking into options to give back to communities where large infill projects are taking place. I am looking for a formula that ensures stronger investments into the public realm, including parks, trees and sidewalks. As we work to implement the Growth Plan, I think it is critical that we are investing in our historic neigbourhoods.
- Downtown took centre stage earlier this month. After a decade of consultation, the focus is turning to implementation. With the help of experts who have successfully helped other cities, we engaged with stakeholders, hosted a public conversation and will continue to move forward with some key goals: residential housing, transportation improvements and active transportation, grocery store options, a new central library, and long term plans for an entertainment district (arena and convention centre).
- Council has passed an active transportation plan to support detailed work by our administration to ensure we are ready for implementation when budget allows. An example of this is the Victoria Avenue corridor, where a new federal program allowed for a raised cycling track with no impact on the mill rate.
On that note, spring will bring some important decision points around Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and the AAA cycling network. I don’t think the 4th avenue lanes are ideal, and will do my best to ensure that any bike lanes are in the right location, properly designed and connected.
Thank you to all of our community associations for the incredible work they do on our behalf. We live in an amazing place, made better by those who bring us together.