Keep in the loop with all things Ward 8.
With such a busy month underway, I am going to jump right into our monthly newsletter.
I wish each of you a wonderful holiday season and hope you have opportunities to relax and enjoy time with loved ones.
As always, do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments that you would like to discuss.
Ward 8 Updates
2024/2025 Multi-Year Budget
This year’s multi-year budget required extra consideration due to the significant funding gap identified earlier this year. In anticipation of this funding gap, which was mainly driven by inflation, growth and base adjustments related to COVID-19, City Council conducted Special Budget Meetings throughout the year. I reported out on all the recommendations that were proposed in this process to ensure an opportunity for feedback was available to neighbours. This budget required special consideration and I wanted to ensure everyone was kept as up to date as possible.
Through the Special Budget Meetings and during budget deliberations, we were able to reduce the funding gap by almost 40 million dollars. This was done through deferring programs, reducing the scope of projects, eliminating new positions, adjusting our cost recovery ratios, reducing reserve contributions and adjusting the rate of growth phase-ins.
From my perspective it was important that this budget looked at maintaining core services for residents and to not undercut important programming/projects. This was done while maintaining a balance on the property tax increase.
Additional details regarding the budget are available here.
Proposed Closure of Right-of-Way – Portion of Lane Rutter Cres
Administration is requesting approval to permanently close a portion of lane between 21 Rutter Crescent and St. Patrick Park.
This recommendation looks to change the temporary bollards to more permanent and aesthetically pleasing infrastructure such as bollards. This closure looks to address speeding and shortcutting in the lane. The map of the closure is available here.
Proposed Closure of Right-of-Way – Portion of Lane Anderson Cres
Administration is requesting approval to permanently close a portion of lane between 246 Anderson Crescent and 930 McKercher Drive.
This recommendation looks to replace the temporary concrete barriers with more permanent and aesthetically pleasing infrastructure such as bollards. This closure looks to address speeding and shortcutting in the lane. The map of the closure is available here.
Changes regarding Brighton Blvd/McOrmond Dr
With the closure of the temporary alignment of Brighton Blvd, I have received questions about the timing of upgrading 8th St.
At this time the City is finalizing the functional design of the gravel section of 8th St and will be moving to detailed design shortly. It is intended the east bound lane will be constructed in the 2024 construction season. This will complete a fully paved perimeter link around the Brighton neighbourhood.
I look forward to having this segment of construction completed to ensure seamless access for neighbours. Furthermore, in the future Brighton Blvd will be realigned to connect back to 8th St.
In regards to the condition of 8th St, it is my understanding that the City is directing focused attention to this segment of roadway in anticipation of the opening of McOrmond Road. The gravel roadway will be maintained in a reasonably smooth condition. I also want to assure neighbours that the road will be graded of snow when there is a snow event and in the spring the City will be adding a dust suppressant to reduce the amount of dust generated by the road and traffic. If neighbours encounter any concerning road conditions, please report this to the 24 hour Customer Care Center at 306-975-2476.
City Council Meetings
Options for the Review of Minimum Parking Regulations
The Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services (PDCS) recommended to City Council that Administration undertake the work to remove minimum parking requirements for Saskatoon. This supports one of the initiatives of the Housing Accelerator Fund Action Plan.
Option 3 is being recommended, which is commonly referred to as “open option parking”, removing all minimum parking requirements allows developers, homeowners and businesses to decide how much onsite parking to provide on their properties. Any proposed parking must still meet required parking standards, such as size of spaces and drive aisle width, as well as requirements for accessible parking and bicycle parking.
The full report is available here.
Connecting Avenue C: Walking and Cycling Improvement Project
This project identifies transportation improvements for Avenue C from Spadina Crescent West to 45th Street West to position the City of Saskatoon to improve the accessibility, comfort, convenience, and safety for active transportation. This project creates an All Ages and Abilities (AAA) cycling route, as identified in the Active Transportation Plan.
Administration is seeking approval of the functional design, not to proceed with construction. Construction would require further approval once a funding source has been identified.
Given the length of the Avenue C corridor, improvements can be implemented in phases, with the highest priority segments being completed first. The recommended project phasing is as follows:
Further details about each phase, public engagement, functional design and the cost breakdown can be found in the full report.
Neighbourhood Bikeways 30 km/h Speed Limit Policy
This report recommends a policy be adopted to reduce speed limits on streets with neighbourhood bikeways. Neighbourhood bikeways feature people riding their bicycles in mixed traffic and are best suited for streets with low traffic volumes and speeds. These corridors contain a range of design treatments to enhance safety, such as signs, pavement markings, traffic calming measures, and specialized crossing treatments to calm traffic and discourage through-trips by motor vehicles.
There are currently four City Council approved neighbourhood bikeways scheduled for construction, or in the process of being constructed: parts of 23rd Street West, Dudley Street, 31st Street West and 14th Street East.
Implementing a 30 km/h speed limit is the final step for a street to be considered a neighbourhood bikeway. All design elements, including the reduced speed limit, must be in place for a neighbourhood bikeway to be considered as a cycling facility appropriate for people of all ages and abilities.
Women Leading: Civic Engagement Forum for Immigrant and Refugee Women in Saskatoon
The results of the Women Leading: Civic Engagement Forum for Immigrant and Refugee Women in Saskatoon were presented to the Governance and Priorities Committee this month. Our report highlights barriers we heard for participation in leadership spaces, as well as suggestions on how to overcome these barriers. The full report and executive summary are available here.
The Working Group will look to meet early in the new year to starting working through the recommendations and next steps.
Downtown Event and Entertainment District - Phase 1 Engaging on Ideas Engagement Results
This phase of engagement focused on understanding what community members would like to see in the Downtown Event and Entertainment District.
The report captures the most important features for a future Downtown Event and Entertainment District, what makes our current downtown unique/appealing, and how the downtown can be more accessible and welcoming all times of the year.
Additional reports of interest
People Bridge Advocacy Leader to Leader Event
Road honouring and sign installation for miyo-wâhkôhtowin Road
Bringing greetings to the CPKC Holiday Train
13th Annual Community Menorah Lighting
Celebrating and recognizing the retirement of Police Chief Cooper
Bringing greetings to the 2023/2024 Leadership Saskatoon Cohort
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