The pandemic lingers, budget 2022-23 impacts, Residential Parking Permit expansion and corridor planning for a growing city.
It's been a very chilly holiday season and I hope you are finding ways to relax and enjoy this special time of year. I have made a commitment to get outside for a minimum of one hour a day, a very challenging goal this week!
City Council and all City employees are scheduled to return to in-person work in February. The City is working closely with the Saskatoon Health Region to assess the situation as we deal with the Omicron variant. In the meantime, we are all strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated and boosted, and to take a Covid rapid test prior to gathering with other households. These tests are free and available at numerous locations including public libraries.
Saskatoon's new multi-year budget will see the average household pay an additional $6.17 per month in 2022 and $5.87 in 2023. (3.86% and 3.53%, respectively)
The budget will add additional police resources on the East side and include an expansion of the Police and Crisis Team (PACT) program, as the city continues to deal with a drug crisis that is impacting cities right across Canada. There will be additional bylaw inspectors to address property maintenance concerns in neighbourhoods. Meewasin Trail will see expansion in a number of locations, including the downtown. 14th Street and Temperance will be home to a new pocket park, and Saskatoon's urban forest will get more resources to fight serious insect infestations. A number of new initiatives will move forward to address climate change, including plans for solar panels and electric vehicle infrastructure. The long-awaited re-opening of the farmers market at River Landing is a step closer, as Council has approved funding to retrofit the interior space for the new tenant, Ideas Inc.
It was a busy construction season in Ward 6, and here are the highlights:
- 11 lane-km of planned road rehabilitation work
- 6.3 km of sidewalk
- 73 lead line connections replaced
- 1.9 km of water main preservation work
The City is on track to have all lead lines replaced by 2026.
The biggest project in Ward 6 this year happened at WW Ashley Park, where new underground infrastructure and a dry pond were installed to help mitigate flooding in the area. In addition to this work, there will be a new soccer pitch ready for 2022.
Speed in School Zones and Playground Zones
Thanks to everyone who weighed in on the speed limit reviews this past year. A few key changes that will be implemented in 2022:
- Removal of school zones from high schools
- Removal of school zones from many arterial streets
- Removal of school zones through intersections
- New speed zones around playgrounds
- New speed zone hours from 7am - 7pm year-round
Residential Parking Permit Expansion
Council has approved expansion of the RPP in several neighbourhoods, including Varsity View and Nutana:
- 700 block of 13th Street E
- 800 block of Colony Street
- 300 Block of Hugo Ave
The signs will be erected during the 2022 construction season, and notification sent to residents when they are allowed to purchase the permits. Note, the best way to have your street considered for RPP is through petition on your block. You can find more information at: www.saskatoon.ca
Garage suites and lane suites will become permitted uses in 2022, after Council implemented the city's first drainage bylaw. The bylaw is designed to ensure protection for neighbouring houses.
College Corridor Plan
College Drive will be a main route for Bus Rapid Transit by 2026, as the City plans for the long term in our growing city. Like a subway on wheels, these high tech public transportation stations will start to create dynamic change in our city to accommodate more people. Adding density in and near BRT stations is a key part of the overall strategy. The question is how and where to do this in a manner that also preserves our heritage neighbourhoods. The next round of engagement will focus on how to create more green space and add amenities in and around the corridor. For more information, please go to: https://www.saskatoon.ca/engage/college-corridor-plan
A few more notes...
Council approved a temporary shelter on 1st Avenue downtown. The City is working to create a comprehensive strategy in partnership with key stakeholders, to better support those who are vulnerable in our community and to ensure our downtown is a warm and welcoming place for everyone.
There is a new $50 flat fee for elm disposal, eliminating the oversize surcharge, and making the process more predictable and affordable.
For more on what's happening at City Hall, go to www.cynthiablockward6.com You can also sign up for e-updates that arrive in your inbox.
Please be in touch if you have any questions or comments: [email protected]
From our family to yours, Happy New Year!