Welcome back to school for all those students returning.
While I know many of us have been enjoying the beautiful weather, it has also been a difficult week for those in our community. It is important we continue supporting safe and welcoming spaces in our city for people in the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
For this month's newsletter, I will highlight an important event hosted by my female colleagues called Women Leading, provide an update on budget deliberations and the downtown event and entertainment district, provide highlights of decisions before City Council this month and upcoming events in our community.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions or comments you may have.
Ward 8 Updates
Budget Next Steps
City Council has been meeting regularly to discuss a funding gap that was identified for the upcoming 2024 and 2025 budget. This gap was identified as a part of our budgeting process and is not an indication of the final property tax impact for 2024 or 2025. Nor does this funding gap impact the 2023 budget.
I recently published a post highlighting the outcome of decisions made at the August 31, 2023 Special Budget Meeting. Furthermore, the post highlights the next steps around budget deliberations. Please find this comprehensive post here.
All of the recommendations that have been made during these Special Budget Meetings will make up the budget book that will be deliberated on November 28 - 30, 2023. Furthermore, all items that have not yet been debated by Council have been forwarded to budget deliberations and can be further considered there.
Please feel free to continue reaching out to me with your feedback regarding any of the recommendations that are before City Council. I appreciate all those that have reached out to date.
Women Leading: Civic Engagement Forum for Immigrant and Refugee Women in Saskatoon
On Saturday, September 16, the Women Leading: Civic Engagement Forum for Immigrant and Refugee Women was hosted at City Hall. This was a first of its kind event hosted by the five women on City Council, the Mayor's Office, members of Administration and International Women of Saskatoon. This forum provided a dedicated opportunity to connect with local government and local government leaders and have a two-way dialogue to discuss leadership opportunities.
Further information about the event will be available in the coming months. I look forward to sharing this compiled information when it is available and looking at future opportunities to connect again.
Apply to Join a City Board, Committee or Commission
The call for volunteers for City of Saskatoon boards, committees and commissions is open until Friday, September 29 at 5:00pm.
Make this your year to volunteer and make a difference in your community by helping shape programs and services that matter to you. As an appointed member, you will have opportunities to provide input, advice, and expertise to guide recommendations.
The City of Saskatoon values volunteers who contribute their diverse backgrounds and expertise to our boards, committees, and commissions. We are committed to having the composition of our boards, committees and commissions reflect the community we serve and welcome and encourage individuals from all backgrounds to apply.
Visit saskatoon.ca/boards for more information about how to apply and to learn more about the boards, committees and commissions.
City Council Meetings
Downtown Event and Entertainment District Funding Tools
An information report was presented to the Governance and Priorities Committee this month. It focused on further exploring non-property tax options as potential revenue instruments for the proposed Downtown Event and Entertainment District.
KPMG was engaged to conduct an in-depth report on potential non-property tax revenue instruments. This report provided five options for consideration, of which Administration is recommending further refining four options. These options are:
The full scope and financial plan for the Downtown Event and Entertainment District has not been finalized. The funding strategy is being targeted to come back to Committee in early 2024. The strategy continues to target a goal of minimizing the impact on property taxes.
The full Administrative report can be found here.
Black Bin Utility Update
A report will be before City Council this week with details on cart size options, timelines and proposed rates for the garbage utility in 2024.
As previously directed by Council, the funding source for black cart garbage services will shift from property taxes to a utility model in 2024. Three different black cart sizes will be available to eligible households with curbside collection.
The variable utility model means that households will have more control over their costs and only pay for the waste they actually produce. The cart sizes include the current large (360L) as well as a medium (240L) and a small (120L – 135L) black cart. Requests to change cart size will be accepted beginning in January 2024 with smaller black cart deliveries expected in the spring. There will be no fee for a household’s initial cart swap to allow residents sufficient time to right-size their carts.
A fixed utility rate of approximately $9.92 per month will be in place for all residents with curbside garbage collection until cart swaps are completed. The variable utility fees will not be implemented until mid-year following cart swaps. The proposed monthly utility rates for black cart services are approximately as follows: small (120 L – 135L) cart - $3.73, medium (240 L) - $7.05 and large (360 L) - $10.58 and can be seen below. A process for property managers and condo boards to manage bulk requests is being developed.
This image can also be opened as a PDF using this link.
Please note work continues on program details for the $100 per year low-income Waste Utility Subsidy.
Governance Model of Appeal Boards
As part of a routine review, recommendations are being made for seven of the appeal boards for the City of Saskatoon. The boards have been established with provincial legislation and include the City Mortgage Appeal Board, Access Transit Appeal Board, Property Maintenance Appeal Board, Fire Appeal Board, Saskatoon Private Swimming Pools Appeal Board, Environmental Management Appeal Board, Saskatoon Licence Appeal Board, and Development Appeals Board.
The Governance Subcommittee recommends that all of the Appeal Boards established under The Cities Act, with the exception of the Board of Revision, be combined into one Appeal Board and that the Development Appeals Board remain a stand-alone Appeal Board.
As compensation for board members has not been reviewed since 1999, there are recommended changes to the compensation structure.
Read the full report and the recommended changes here.
Please note that the Board of Revision underwent a separate review with its own recommended changes.
Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw Review - Amendment Package Seven
This report is the seventh package of proposed amendments being undertaken as part of the Zoning Bylaw comprehensive review.
Amendments proposed in this package include:
The full review and recommendations can be found here.
Additional reports of interest
Lac La Ronge Indian Band urban reserve designation & signing ceremony
Greystone Heights Community Association Summer's End Block Party
National Gallery of Canada Annual Public Meeting hosted at Remai Modern
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