Budget Update

Following extensive review of the 2018 Preliminary Corporate Business Plan and Budget, November 27 and 28, 2017, City Council​ approved the 2018 Business Plan and Budget which includes a property tax increase of 4.70%. While continuing to face significant non-tax revenue pressures such as declines in provincial funding, the approved budget will fulfill and maintain the City’s investment plans, service level commitments and dedicated civic programs that residents rely on. The 4.70% property tax increase will be allocated as follows: 2.78% attributed to provincial funding reductions, 1.17% to Police Services, and 0.75% to be invested in all remaining civic programs and services. Without a funding gap left as a result of declines in provincial funding, the 2018 property tax increase would have been 1.92%. The 4.70% increase means a typical single-family home with an assessed value of $371,000 will pay an additional $6.82 each month, or $81.84 for the year.

2018 Operating and Capital Budget Highlights

City Council did not approve an increase of $1.2 million to increase the service level provided by the Snow & Ice Management program — this reduction of 0.55% from the proposed tax increase was utilized to reduce the property tax as well as provide the resources necessary to maintain the current service levels in the City’s Street Sweeping and Parks Maintenance programs. City Council also approved additional funding to the Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA). This included: * $45,000 to operate the Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink at PotashCorp Plaza; and * $286,000 in additional operational funding for 2018. This amount was funded through a property tax contribution of $143,000 and a one-time funding contribution of $143,000 from the City’s Special Events Reserve. The overall contribution to the MVA in 2018 resulted in a 0.09% increase to the property tax.

Total 2018 Operating & Capital Budget Combined: $1.14 Billion

The Corporate Business Plan and Budget frames the detailed investment decisions the City will follow in 2018. Not just about revenues and expenditures, the finalized Business Plan and Budget provides a reflection of what City Council, residents, businesses and the community as a whole value. The City’s Strategic Goal of Asset and Financial Sustainability commits to budget planning that is open and transparent, and that the City invests in what matters. To address the needs of citizens today and tomorrow, the City is focused on the long-term goal of managing the City in a smart, sustainable way. Visit saskatoon.ca/financialfuture for additional budget and financial information.

Upcoming Event: Coffee With Your Councillor

There’s one last opportunity before the holidays to come by and meet me at this informal get together, designed to hear your questions and concerns. Wednesday, December 20 | 9:00 – 11:00am | Market Mall (Between Safeway and Community Board)

Neighbourhood Updates

Nutana Suburban Area

Market Mall is proceeding with some internal renovations, updating CRUs (Commercial Rental Units) and creating reconfigured units for new businesses. They are also looking at adding some commercial pads around the site, within their current zoning. There has been no action to proceed with the residential development that was approved for the site. The discretionary use for Market Mall was approved on August 18th, 2016 and expires 24 months from that date. If the proposed development has not started by August 18th, 2018, the approval is no longer valid. To date, we have not heard from the new owners with regards to the residential development but I can’t speak conclusively as to whether or not they plan to go ahead with it. There would still be time for them to move ahead by August so we will have to wait and see. There is also some work being done working Saskatoon Transit to explore possibly changing the configuration of the bus mall.

Wildwood – Traffic Review

The Wildwood Neighbourhood Traffic Review began on May 11 with our community meeting. The recommendations presented at the second community meeting held on Tuesday, December 5th include: * Curb extensions * Speed display board * Zebra crosswalk * Parking restrictions * Accessibility ramps To review the draft recommendations and locations, visit www.shapingsaskatoon.ca and visit the Discussion page for the Wildwood NTR to provide your feedback. The final report will be presented to City Council in early Winter and implementation of the final recommendations will take place in Spring / Summer 2018.

Lakeview

With December now here, the City has prepared the educational flyer that is mailed out to residents living near some of the various stormwater retention ponds commonly used for recreational use. These flyers will be mailed out via Canada Post December 5-7, however. As a follow up to the request for quicker access onto Lakeview Pond, the municipal policy related to recreational use of stormwater retention ponds is still being reviewed by the City and others. For the upcoming season, the City will be following the current process outlined in our policy where ice thickness must reach 16” before the City of Saskatoon will flip over the “warning” pond signage. I will continue to check in with the Saskatoon Fire Department in the coming weeks on how the ice testing results are and will update you in future newsletters as soon as the pond signs are flipped.

New Schools

The new schools in Rosewood opened in September for the new school year. Colette Bourgonje School and St. Therese of Lisieux School are filled with students eager to learn and excited to be in brand new schools. The Community Centre that joins the schools is owned by the City of Saskatoon and community meetings and activities can be held there with prior bookings. There is a lot of activity in and around the schools with both construction and traffic of all types in the area. So I urge you to travel safe.

Interchange at Highway 16 & Boychuk

The construction of the Boychuk Interchange progressed well in 2017. We are currently on schedule to meet the July 2019 completion date. To date, the Contractor has completed: * The detour road * All third party utility relocates * All storm pipes * The structure foundations * The median pier columns for the structure * The Structure MSE walls and abutments The contractor will continue digging out the storm ponds throughout the winter, as this task will be difficult to do after the spring melt. The next major milestone for this project will be erecting the girders for the bridge, which is anticipated to happen in late January or February of 2018. The rest of the work will depend when winter decides to leave us in 2018. When weather allows, the Contractor will focus on finishing the earthwork and will start building the connecting roadways.