A Ward 6 Town Hall, Downtown District and good news for Albert Community Centre
It appears winter is still hanging on in our city, but I hope you are enjoying the longer days.
Ward 6 Town Hall on Wednesday, March 22nd from 7pm – 8:30pm at Aden Bowman Collegiate, with special guest Mayor Charlie Clark. The event will be held in the cafeteria and will provide an opportunity to learn more about the plans and decisions at City Hall. I hope to see you there!
Intersection of Main Street and Clarence Avenue – Council will be asked to approve a recommendation that would see the intersection changed to allow only right turns, in order to improve safety. The public hearing will take place in Council Chambers on Wednesday, March 29th at 6pm.
Homelessness – The province has moved vulnerable folks living in emergency shelters downtown to the Fairhaven neighbourhood. The City continues to work with the province and many other partners to address safety concerns and improve the way forward for those who need access to services.
Curbside Organics: The green bin program will roll out this spring, ending the green cart subscription program. Did you know almost 60% of black bin waste is organic? Diverting this material will defer the costly replacement of our landfill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will also provide more options for backyard composters. www.saskatoon.ca/organics
There has been a lot of talk about the Downtown Event and Entertainment District, and I appreciate the opportunity to highlight some key facts. For every metre of sidewalk, road and underground pipe added to the network, Saskatoon becomes a more expensive city. Cities that create anchor amenities attract more residents and directing infill growth downtown maximizes efficiencies where infrastructure and services already exist – helping to make us a less expensive city. After many years of research, studying examples in other cities and working with international experts and local stakeholders/residents, here are some key highlights:
- Council is seeking a funding plan with NO impact to property tax.
- Sasktel Centre and TCU are losing business due to size and technical constraints.
- Public amenities attract private investment. (residential & commercial)
Saskatoon has an opportunity to create a district to support a more sustainable city – economically and environmentally - revitalizing our downtown and reducing the overall costs of growth. It also has a chance to bring more visitors to our city, adding jobs and strengthening the local economy.
There have been many steps taken over the past 6 years to get where we are today. Every approval in Council was a decision to take the next step. There are still key pieces of information needed to know whether this is a good decision for our city - including the full funding plan and concept plan, which are expected before the end of the year. www.saskatoon.ca/downtown A public open house was held at the Roxy Theatre on February 28th. You can view it here: www.saskatoon.ca/downtown
Albert Community Centre will be receiving $8.1 million dollars through civic and federal funding grants to make some significant capital improvements, preserve its heritage and improve sustainability.
Construction season will soon be underway and there are significant infrastructure improvements coming to Ward 6. If your street is on the list, you can sign up for e-updates. www.saskatoon.ca/construction I have been encouraged by the progress being made and will continue to advocate for best standards in maintaining our roads, sidewalks and underground infrastructure.
A few other notes: A fully re-vamped public and farmers market will return to River Landing this spring, the City is launching a pilot program for gardening on centre medians to provide additional access to gardening in public spaces, an e-scooter pilot project is in the works for 2023 and a long-awaited downtown grocery store is expected to open in Midtown Plaza.