Happy Lunar New Year to those celebrating!
With the change in Council and Committee schedules, this email is coming out a bit sooner than in the past. City Council meetings are now taking place on Wednesday's which should offer more time to review the agenda. This newsletter touches on some items on the agenda including a report on the downtown arena private partner, emergency response plan for snow, and climate budget.
There are also some fun community events coming up, including the Greystone annual Winter Fun Day and the Winter Play Program. Don't forget to check out more information under the Ward 8 section.
Ward 8 Updates
All things snow
The City activated our Roadways Emergency Response Plan (ERP) on December 28, 2022. This work grades all roadways and removes the snow in the event of significant snow events (greater than 25 cm).
I want to thank everyone for their patience as we work through the ERP. We are currently on track for timelines set out, with Phase 5 currently underway. Phase 5 removes the snow that has been windrowed.
How do you know it will be your turn for snow removal?
City-wide snow removal is expected to take 6 to 8 weeks to complete. Visit saskatoon.ca/snow for the most up to date information, including upcoming neighbourhoods.
Art in Brighton
New public art will be coming to Brighton!
Dream is donating two pieces titled "The Cranes Dance" and "The Autumn Flight" by artist Henry Lau. These pieces will complement the existing piece "Coming Home" already featured in Brighton.
Dream will be undergoing further community consultation with neighbours before these installations. They are targeting installation of The Cranes Dance for in 2023 and The Autumn Flight in 2024. Find the full report here.
City Council Meetings
Downtown Arena Private Partner
As part of the preparation for a Downtown Event and Entertainment District (DEED), the City has been reviewing the existing governance and management structures of SaskTel Centre and TCU Place. The City has also explored options that have proven to work in other municipalities were similar projects were built.
The findings of this work are being presented to City Council with a recommendation to pursue a private partner for a future DEED.
Pursuing this option still allows Council to determine if this project is viable to proceed once a funding plan is in place. The funding plan is still set to be presented late this year.
Preparing an Request for Proposal (RFP) for a private partner allows the City to move forward with a funding plan.
Furthermore, in February City Council will be setting principles for this project which will be incorporated into the RFP.
For more details please find the full report here. Project details continued to be updated on the dedicated website: saskatoon.ca/entertainmentdistrict.
Funding Emergency Snow Grading and Removal
The recent discussions about snow funding has been about establishing a funding source to cover city-wide snow grading AND removal, when under an emergency response (over 25cm). Currently there is no established funding source for snow removal and grading of this magnitude. Council approved a plan in 2021 to activate in an emergency response scenario, like the one in November 2020 or this past December. This is different than our annual snow and ice budget of $14M. This budget is sufficient for typical snow events and any unspent money go in a reserve to cover anomalies in future years.
City Council is exploring reallocating funding from major capital projects in tandem with a levy beginning in 2024. This allows repayment for the approximately $20M needed for the current emergency response and a funding source moving forward. As can be expected, these major snow events are happening more frequently and simply not having a funding source in place is not an option moving forward. All of these changes will need to be confirmed at budget in November and would be in place for 2024 onwards. Further reporting can be expected in the coming months.
The report can be found here. Council is considering exploring a hybrid of Option 3 and 4.
A climate budget is a governance system that establishes all the actions that a jurisdiction needs to take in the short-term to achieve the long-term targets it has set out in its Climate Action Plan.
If implemented, a climate budget operationalizes the climate action plan by turning long term targets into concrete actions with financial backing. The climate budget would be a chapter within the broader financial budget and updated with each budget cycle.
This is being recommended instead of a carbon budget approach, which sets the total amount of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions permitted over a period to stay within the temperature threshold of 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius. The total budget would then be broken down into annual amounts for the maximum amount of carbon a jurisdiction can emit that year.
To prepare a more comprehensive climate budget, it is recommended that the budget document includes carbon impacts for proposed capital projects with specific attention to impacts to the business as planned projection. This would like at the projects with the biggest impacts as opposed to all projects.
The full report provides a greater breakdown of the pros and cons of each approach. It can be found here.
Zoning Bylaw Amendments
This report is the fifth package of proposed amendments being undertaken as part of the Zoning Bylaw Project.
The proposed amendments, if adopted, will achieve several outcomes which are supportive of approved strategies and plans and the City’s strategic goals, including:
The full report can be found under agenda items 6.1.1, 6.1.2 and 6.1.3 of the public hearing agenda.
Additional reports of interest
The full agendas can be found here: regular business and public hearing.
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