I hope you have been keeping warm this week.
I know winter is still on everyone's mind this month, especially with the sudden change in weather. The City was busy these past two weeks clearing ruts on residential and local roads, back lanes and industrial neighbourhoods. I appreciated everyone's patience as we worked around the clock to address the road conditions. Here are just a few facts from the work undertaken to clear the ruts:
- Graders travelled a combined 18,500 kms during the rut shaving and back lane clearing. This is the equivalent of three trips across Canada.
- Ruts were shaved on over 2,000 lane kilometers of local streets.
- Ruts were shaved on over 500 km of back lanes (400 km gravel, 120 km paved).
- 76 neighbourhoods were cleared, including residential neighbourhoods, industrial areas and suburban centers.
If at any time you come across any roadway, maintenance or snow concerns, please bring this to the attention of the Customer Care Centre. Staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 a week at 306-975-2476 or [email protected].
In this month's newsletter, you will find an update on Monday's City Council meeting, engagement activities underway and general civic updates.
City Council Meeting: February 28, 2022
Here are a few items of interest on the agenda:
Vehicle Noise Mitigation Study
Nuisance vehicle noise, from stunting, racing and modified mufflers, have been a concern for many neighbours in our ward and across the City. In response to this concern, the City hired a noise specialist to research, review, engage stakeholders, provide a cost estimate, and ultimately recommend possible mitigation measures in response to vehicle noise concerns. This is in addition to past work undertaken by the City, Saskatoon Police Service and SGI.
The report is quite comprehensive and provides recommendations for the short, medium and long-term. The recommendations that do not require new funding or can be incorporated into existing budgets are recommended to move ahead right away, with the remaining items being sent to this years budget cycle for prioritization. This would allow new funding to be allocated where needed, and further work on prioritization to take place.
The report highlights that Saskatoon is experiencing many of the same issues that other cities are dealing with, where unfortunately no "silver-bullet" solution exists. While I am disappointed there are no commercially available products to help us regulate this nuisance behaviour, the City will continue to work through how to implement the recommendations from the noise specialist.
The full report and recommendations are available here.
Comprehensive COVID-19 Update
Earlier in February, City Council directed that mandatory mask use will still be required at Leisure Centres and on Saskatoon Transit through the month of March. This means that these high use public spaces will still require masking once the Public Health Order is lifted. Masking requirements will mimic those that are in place under the Public Health Order prior to its expiration. More information about this can be found here.
This direction will be reviewed one a month-by-month basis to determine when this requirement will be lifted.
Update on the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP)
The Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) has been incredibly successful since its launch in September. I am pleased to share that the City of Saskatoon has received a grant and loan from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to expand our program. This expansion allows for the following:
The program is currently anticipated to support approximately 331 participants. Learn more about the program here.
Expansion of the Assisted Collections Program
The City currently offers a limited support program for assisting households with waste collections in situations where a household may experience challenges in rolling out their bins. The City has been working to expand this program to ensure all residents that are eligible for this service can receive it.
The report before Council this month highlights how we will be expanding the service to ensure all eligible households can receive this service.
The intent for this revised program is to begin accepting applications in the third quarter of 2022 and begin providing service for new locations in early 2023.
The full report can be found here.
How to share feedback ahead of the meeting
Contact me directly
Do not hesitate to reach out to share feedback ahead of our meeting. You can contact me any point in the month. Contact information is available here.
Send a letter to City Council
This avenue allows you to send a letter (or request to speak) to items on the agenda. This needs to be submitted before 10:00 AM on Monday, February 28 as it forms part of the supplementary agenda. Find more information on how to make the request here.
SAVE THE DATE - COFFEE WITH YOUR COUNCILLOR
The Zoom link will be posted online ahead of the event.
What's happening in Ward 8!
Here are some other great things happening in Ward 8 soon or put on by members of our community.
Sarina Gersher - Ward 8 Councillor