In brief, here are five items of public interest that were discussed during the November 2020 City Council meetings. The the full agenda for November 16, 2020 can be accessed here, the full agenda for November 23, 2020 can be accessed here and the full agenda for November 30, 2020 can be accessed here.
Please note that in line with the City of Saskatoon’s request for citizens to assist with controlling the spread of COVID-19 we encourage you to email a letter at saskatoon.ca providing comments or requesting to speak as an alternative to attending the meeting. This meeting of City Council took place through teleconference and was recorded, as per any other City Council meeting.
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Snowstorm 2020 - Snow Removal Update
The City will start removing snow from residential streets beginning on Dec. 2 in response to the severe snow accumulation in November that left many residential streets impassable. Since the snow accumulation is presenting safety and mobility challenges in all neighbourhoods, the order in which crews visit neighbourhoods is being determined at random and then balanced by ward to ensure progress is taking place equally across the city.
A preliminary schedule will be posted to saskatoon.ca/snow in the coming days. As the first few neighbourhoods are completed, the City will be able to better estimate a schedule for the remaining neighbourhoods – please check the webpage for updates. Given the number of streets to cover across 66 city-wide residential neighbourhoods, the City is not attempting to achieve the same bare pavement conditions that we see on higher traffic priority streets. The end result in neighbourhoods will resemble a completed school zone with some non-hazardous snow piles remaining.
Residents will know when crews are coming to their neighbourhood when they see ‘No Parking’ signs go up along their street. The goal is to have these installed about 24 hours before the start of work. Similar to street sweeping, residents will need to move their vehicle off the street in advance of snow operations or their vehicle will be towed. This is to give equipment room to operate as well as to ensure the best result.
Other ways residents can help:
- Steer clear of crews and equipment while work is underway.
- Keep kids off snow piles and from building tunnels through snow piles; the piles can collapse, and the weight of that snow could be very dangerous.
- Remove any rubber driveway/curb ramps before removal on your street.
This neighbourhood clean-up is in response to the severe snow accumulation in November that left many residential streets impassable for several days. Neighbourhood snow management is not part of our city's standard operations. Existing levels of service for winter maintenance will apply to future snow events. In neighbourhoods, this means City snow crews are sent to local roads when ice rutting impedes mobility (reaches 6” in depth).
Transit Operator Barrier Retrofit
The City of Saskatoon is proceeding to phase-in transit operator safety barriers, starting with dedicated funds of $500,000 (approximately 24 buses). A transit operator safety barrier is a rigid shield installed between the driver compartment and the passenger area, which effectively protects the operator from physical attack. Saskatoon Transit does not currently have permanent operator barriers in its fleet of buses. Advantages of these barriers include increased safety and security for operators, and potentially assisting with exposure control for COVID-19 and other viruses.
Saskatchewan Economic Recovery Rebate
charges, which includes service, electric, and demand charges. It will not apply to the Municipal Surcharge or the Carbon Tax Charge. The rebate will apply to all customer classes. The Saskatchewan Economic Recovery Rebate will be shown on utility bills as a separate line item.
Change to Committee Times
- That beginning in January 2021, Governance and Priorities Committee meetings begin at 9:30 a.m., and end no later than 5:30 p.m.;
- That beginning in January 2021, all morning Standing Policy Committee meetings begin at 9:30 a.m.; and
- That beginning in January 2021, all afternoon Standing Policy Committee meetings end at 5:30 p.m.
Council also resolved that the City Solicitor prepare the appropriate bylaw amendments.
The changes were made to facilitate better meeting schedules (as opposed to meeting from 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.) and to allow enough time for correspondence from the public to be received and attached to the agenda. All meeting times and agendas can be found here: saskatoon.ca/city-hall/city-council-boards-committees/council/minutes-and-agendas.
Suspension of Saturday Pay Parking
At its November 23, 2020 meeting, the Governance and Priorities Committee moved that the Administration report on the option of a one-time waiving of City of Saskatoon paid parking fees in Business Improvement Districts on Saturdays for as much of December as possible, January, February, March and April. The request stemmed from opportunities to further encourage the public to support local businesses, restaurants and services, whether visiting these businesses or arranging for curbside pickup.
City Council approved the suspension of paid parking on Saturday's for December of 2020. The Administration is targeting a start date of December 12, 2020. Please keep your eyes peeled for more information. As the impacts of free parking in January through to April impacts the 2021 budget, this will be discussed during 2021 budget deliberations beginning on December 2, 2020.
Please note the following:
- The suspension of pay parking requirements on Saturdays applies throughout all pay parking areas served by the City’s flex parking terminals and WaytoPark app.
- Parking Enforcement staff will continue to monitor for all other parking requirements and will ticket as required, including vehicles parked in:
1) reserved parking spaces, or accessible parking spaces without the required permit;
2) “no stopping” or “no parking” zones;
3) alleys (unless actively loading or unloading); or
4) a parking space for longer than the posted time permitted.