Here are some highlights from February’s Council meetings:
Strategic Plan: At the City Council meeting on February 6th, the City of Saskatoon’s Strategic Plan was adopted. This may sound a bit bureaucratic and routine, but the Strategic Plan will actually be a very influential document in terms of the City’s growth and development over the next decade. The Strategic Plan (which can be viewed here http://goo.gl/eFhlV) identifies goals in seven areas: Economic Diversity and Prosperity, Quality of Life, Asset and Financial Sustainability, Continuous Improvement, Environmental Leadership, Sustainable Growth, and Moving Around. Stay tuned in the next few months for some more concrete examples of how the Strategic Plan will shape the City’s future.
Housing Business Plan: On February 27th, Council approved the 2012 Housing Business Plan. Since 2008, the City has set aside $2.5 Million per year for housing projects and incentives. This has resulted in the created of 2239 new affordable and entry-level housing units in Saskatoon.
Mendel Art Gallery/Children’s Discovery Museum: The City of Saskatoon has created a Memorandum of Understanding with the Children’s Discovery Museum which signals the City’s intent for the CDM to use the Mendel Art Gallery building once the gallery has relocated to River Landing. The City will retain ownership of the building, and the conservatory will continue to be open to the public as it is now. The use of this location for a children’s museum will be a great complement to improvements being planned for Kinsmen Park.
Leaves and Grass program: On Monday night Council approved the expansion of the leaves and grass composting program by 600 subscription spots, bringing the total program to 3000 subscriptions. The program is cost-shared between residents and the City, and the cost to residents is $50.00. If your yard produces lots of compostable waste, please consider signing up for this program on March 12th. More information about registration will be available soon.
Safe Streets Commission: Back in November, Council reviewed a study that had been conducted on street activity in Saskatoon. Though this study emerged from a discussion primarily focused on panhandling, the scope of the project grew to encompass issues like perceptions of safety, loitering, unemployment, and gang activity. As a response to this report, Council has approved the creation of the Safe Streets Commission. This board will work on projects focused around the following three themes: 1. Increasing the perception of safety on Saskatoon streets, 2. Ensuring people are not on the street because they have nowhere else to go; and 3. Developing strategies to foster investment from the business community and the community-at-large in support of projects to achieve these results. Stay tuned for more details on this commission and its projects in the months ahead.
Ward Boundaries: Finally, the Ward Boundaries Commission reported back to Council at our meeting on Monday, February 6th. The changes that have been approved will not affect Ward 7, which means that the boundaries will be the same for the four years following the 2012 municipal election. Because of the changes made to other wards, Ward 7 now has the largest population in the City.