The new council has been hard at work since the October election starting with orientation, committee meetings, the budget process, and Council. Here are a few highlights of the work we’ve done so far.
In late November/early December, Council reviews and approved the City’s budget for 2017. After about two days of debate, Council finalized the budget for the year ahead, which brings with it a property tax increase of 3.98%. This property tax increase will be distributed in the following way: 1.93% will go to the Roadway Levy to improve the condition of roads, lanes, and sidewalks, 0.55% will go to the Snow and Ice Levy to improve the snow and ice program, and 1.41% will go to remaining civic programs and services.
Here are some other highlights from the 2017 operating budget:
•Over $61.7 million invested in Building Better Roads including Road Maintenance, Snow & Ice Management and Street Cleaning and Sweeping
•Over $13.6 million for the continued maintenance and design of the City’s growing park infrastructure
•$5.0 million invested in Access Transit, including additional operators which will provide an additional 4,800 rides to customers on an annual basis
•$41.2 million invested in the delivery of Transit services to deliver 1,688 bus stops across 35 bus routes and 276 km of city streets
•$97.5 million invested in the Saskatoon Police Service including 6 new Constables.
On the capital side, here are a few highlights from the 2017 budget:
•$28.7 million in Transit related infrastructure and planning as part of the Federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund
•$21.6 million in 2017 for the repair, replacement and renewal of existing water and wastewater infrastructure under the Federal Clean Water and Wastewater Fund
•$7.0 million for Phase I of Recovery Park to improve Landfill sustainability
•$32.1 million dedicated to paved roadway and sidewalk preservation
•$5.3 million for the replacement of Fire Station No. 3 to improve community safety
Traffic on Glasgow Street
Many residents have been asking questions and sharing concerns about the traffic calming measure that have been put in place on Glasgow Street in Avalon. The City has now collected traffic data from that street and in summary, the data does not show that the measures are having the desired effect of slowing traffic (although traffic volumes have reduced, which was one of the other desired outcomes). As a result, the city will be holding a meeting with area residents in January to discuss some alternative options to the current diverter system to reduce traffic speed and volume in this area. If you live in the area you will receive an invitation to this meeting, and there will also be opportunities to provide your feedback online.
That’s all for now, but if you have any questions or comments please feel free to pass them along!