Hello Ward 6,
I’m sure you have noticed that construction season is underway, along with the many detours and inconveniences it causes. However, I am proud of the investments being made in our ward.
Roads, sidewalks and water mains are the big focus for 2021. We continue to make excellent progress through the Building Better Roads program, improving our road network and a plan to ensure best-practice maintenance into the future. Sidewalks will receive an extra boost this year, accelerating the plan to catch up with maintenance, replacement and infill. The pipes below our streets are also getting a lot of attention, with water mains seeing record investments. In many cases this infrastructure is more than 100 years old, and the City is committed to replacing all lead water service connections by 2026.
Sections of Nutana East (Varsity View) and Nutana West are among the areas where this type of work will take place. Approximately 23 kilometers of water and sewer mains will be replaced or rehabilitated this year and 820 water and sewer service connections are being replaced.
Altogether, a record $65.5 million will help to improve our streets, bridges and sidewalks. Much of this is thanks to the provincial and federal governments as they have increased funding to municipalities to support the economic recovery.
On the Streets
Annual street maintenance activities such as pothole repair, line painting and street sweeping are underway, and the City has 165 lane kilometers of road construction on the 2021 schedule. Major projects will include resurfacing the east bound lanes of College Drive from Central Avenue to the City limits, rehabilitating the overpass at Circle Drive and 8th Street, and resurfacing 8th Street from Broadway Avenue to Lorne Avenue.
Know about construction in your area, back lane maintenance or report a pothole:
Spring street sweeping will officially get underway on May 10th in residential neighbourhoods. The full residential sweep schedule can be found here:
Expanding AAA Network
Council has approved the expansion of the Victoria Avenue bike lanes south of 8th Street to Taylor Street. Design options were not ideal given the existing built form, and there was a robust debate about how to reconcile an effective All Ages and Abilities cycling network with the needs of existing residents and the urban forest. In the end, Council chose to continue a similar cycling design, maintain parking and narrow the centre median. The project is not currently funded, but I am hoping that recently announced federal funding exclusive to active transportation may help our city to move forward with the AAA network. Go to item 8.2.4 to learn more.
Green Infrastructure Announcement
More than $102 million in joint funding has been announced for 11 green infrastructure and COVID-19 resilience projects in Saskatoon.
The federal, provincial and municipal governments are working together to accelerate investments in key infrastructure upgrades as quickly as possible. The effort will help the city to create jobs and build a cleaner community. The green infrastructure projects include upgrades to drinking water and wastewater systems, improvements to solid waste management and a new solar power plant. Several of those projects will help provide long-term reliable services, while also contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The boulevard gardening guidelines have undergone a refresh. If you would like to participate, please read the update. The City is also working toward a plan to allow centre median gardening.
University Sector Plan
Council has approved in principle the sector plan for the University of Saskatchewan’s endowment lands. This area is a key factor in the City’s Growth Plan to 500,000 people, as it will see more neighourhoods created without expanding our geographical footprint. Concept planning will now begin, and the College Quarter is anticipated to be the first development. Council passed an amendment to concept plan, to ensure the University seeks to achieve a high level of integration with surrounding neighbourhoods, and also seeks to achieve a net benefit to communities in developing amenities and services that meet the needs of surrounding neighbourhoods and the university community together.
Civic Satisfaction Survey
The City of Saskatoon wants to hear from you about the things that matter in your neighbourhood. Weigh in on services and programs by taking the 2021 Civic Satisfaction survey: www.saskatoon.ca/engage
A few more notes:
- The Marr Residence roof has been approved by City Council. As a municipal project, donations are also welcome.
- A more comprehensive funding plan for Marr and Albert Community Centre will be discussed this month.
- There are a number of spring clean-ups planned in our Ward 6 neighbourhoods. Please check your community association website for details.
- Elwood Flynn is retiring after more than 70 years of selling men’s suits in downtown Saskatoon. We wish him all the best!
A final note, my husband and I got up very early the day our age group was allowed to be vaccinated. Our road trip included a 4am drive thru breakfast and a long wait until the clinic at Prairieland opened. It was at least as exciting for us as a real road trip, and Mike and I are so grateful for the tireless work of the men and women who are helping us to get to the end of the pandemic. Special thanks to all of the frontline health care workers!
Remember to follow the public health guidelines, get vaccinated as soon as you are able and be kind.