I hope you enjoyed the many wonderful events and festivals in Saskatoon this summer. City Council has been busy on a number of fronts, and so have City staff. First, an update on the basics in Ward 6:
43 km of underground infrastructure
In 2019, the total City wide program includes approximately 7,500m of water, 21,600m of sanitary sewer, 2,750m of storm sewer (31,850m total of water and sewer) and 500 connection replacements. Of this work in 2019, Ward 6 will have approximately 1,402m of water main replacement, 9,427m of sanitary sewer work, 157m of storm sewer work and 65 connections done.
*There is an estimated 3,000 lead line connections left to be completed by 2026 city wide, 930 of which are remaining in Ward 6.
43 km of sidewalks
In 2018 we allocated funding from our roadway preservation components to our sidewalks and curbs program in order to get one year ahead of our microsurfacing treatment program. This was done so we could complete all sidewalk and curb work in addition to patch paving work one year ahead of locations scheduled for microsurfacing treatment, and in turn reduce the impact to residents, eliminate some of the scheduling conflicts that were occurring between all three programs, and ensure that the quality of the microsurfacing treatment was maintained.
*For Ward 6 in the next five years, the City of Saskatoon has projected to replace and repair approximately 43 km of sidewalks.
71 km of roadway
Since 2014 the funding received for the building better roads initiative has allowed the City to deliver a program that treats roughly 5% of the City roadway network each year. This has allowed the City to treat our roadways on an average 20-25 year return cycle in comparison to an 80-90 year return cycle in the past. With the increased funding for our road preservation program, we are also now able to provide an increased level of service when we preserve a street. In the past, sidewalks and curbs were not treated alongside the roadway program and the funding only allowed us to address a small number of high priority locations. Today we are able to replace and repair the sidewalks at the same time we treat the roadway, which has allowed us to preserve and create a safe pedestrian network at the same time we preserve the roadway, all within a shorter return cycle of 20-25 years.
*For Ward 6 in the next few years, the City of Saskatoon has projected to complete 71 lane km of road preservation work.
If you would like to know where the roadway, sidewalk and water and sewer repairs will be completed in the next three years, the plan is available here: Projected 2019-2021 Asset Preservation Plan . Note that these are estimates and subject to change based on changing asset conditions and budgets.
Here are some recent decisions at City Hall:
- City Council has been working toward reducing the rate of property tax increases, with the current projection near 3%. I’m often asked what the city is doing to ensure tax dollars are used efficiently. In 2018, the city realized $1.8 million dollars in savings. The Service, Savings & Sustainability Report is online at www.saskatoon.ca
- The Low Emissions Community plan was presented to City Council this week. The road map is designed to help guide our city to reduce overall emissions 80-100% by 2050. Council agreed to move forward with engagement, explore potential partnerships with business, institutions and industry and to prioritize potential projects during the budget process this fall. To date, projects to reduce our footprint, such as LED lighting in civic buildings and a co-generation project at the landfill, are saving taxpayers $4 million dollars per year.
- This fall, we will receive a report following a review of our Residential Parking Permit program. We need to find better ways to manage the congestion in Varsity View and some areas of Nutana.
- At long last, we have a flood mitigation strategy in place to begin to address some of the worst flood-prone areas in the city. To make way for a dry pond in WW Ashley Park, a brand new soccer pitch is being constructed at Aden Bowman Collegiate. Regular soccer programming will continue at the new location, and the dry pond at the park will also be used for sports programming when it is completed in 2020.
- Recent storms have caused further concerns for areas outside the 10 year flood control strategy. At last week’s City Council meeting, our administration committed to looking for ways to support these residents in other ways, as we continue to seek funding to accelerate storm water projects.
- Many areas in our ward had to deal with frozen water connections due to the extreme cold last winter. The City is increasing the number of machines to thaw connections, doubling the contractors on standby and creating a new plan to ensure better communication with residents.
Happy “Back to School” season to all of the students (and parents).
*Proud mom alert* One of ours is back at the U of S Edwards School of Business, and the other was recruited to play soccer at Lakeland College. I miss her already. I hope to see you at the Broadway Street Fair on September 7th!