April 3, 2013 15:20
We have been working on this through the weekend, and all week. I’ve been driving the ward every day to monitor the problem, and the progress being made. I’m supposed to ask you to call Dispatch at 975-2476 if you need a grader on your street. They will prioritize the work and assign the graders, but the problem exists all over the city. We’ve also called in all of our contractors, and they are assisting our crews to make the work go faster.
Saskatoon traditionally has not funded snow clearing of residential side streets. They’ve only done major roads and arteries through the neighbourhoods. Residents have been more concerned about keeping taxes low, so we have the 2nd lowest tax rate among major cities in Canada. But now residents are saying they want improved service, and they’re willing to pay for it. Keeping taxes low has hurt some of our core services.
We added $800 000 to snow clearing this year. I believe you will see major investments in snow clearing in the next budget, and the implementation of a residential snow clearing program.
Once the snow/ice is gone we will be able to focus on pot holes. Please note that we cannot do permanent pot hole repairs until the holes are thawed and dry. This slow melt is delaying that entire process. Also, we can only use cold mix until the asphalt plants fire up their hot mix supply. We’ve anticipated an extra bad pot hole season, and have prepared accordingly. We’ve doubled the pot hole budget, added another crew, and we’re also hiring a contractor for the first 3-4 weeks of the season. The result is, once we can get going… you should see more work done in the first month than was done in 2-3 months previously. Though the situation is bad, we should see rapid improvement once the streets are dry. In the meantime, please drive carefully.
Looking forward, we’ve added several million dollars to the road maintenance budget for this year, and we are committed to increasing that each year until we reach our goal of $25 million annually (it is $12 million this year). Our roads should improve steadily as we keep making it a budget priority. Again, we are putting more emphasis on improving our core services.
I realize that the current situation with ice and ruts is frustrating, and even dangerous. Please know that we are doing whatever we can to get every possible piece of equipment out clearing the roads in residential areas. The problem exists right across the city though, so it will take some time.
March 18, 2013 15:21
The City has lifted the boil water advisory for the north end of Saskatoon. Lab tests have confirmed that the water is safe to drink. Thank you to our crews who worked tirelessly to resolve the problem.
Click here for more information.
March 15, 2013 15:17
There was a major break in the water main near our northern water resevoir. Water service has been restored but, as a result, the City of Saskatoon has issued a boil water advisory. Please boil all drinking water before consuming.
For more information, click this link.
October 12, 2012 11:20
For your convenience, I have compiled a series of videos concerning Ward 5 issues. Please click the links below to watch these short clips concerning topics that are of interest to you.
Road Repair Video (click here)
Taxes Video (click here)
Fiscal Responsibility Video (click here)
North Bridge Video (click here) NOTE: Marquis Drive NOW OPEN!!
Policing / Safety Video (click here)
Waste Water Treatment Facility / Odour (click here)
September 13, 2012 14:47
The City of Saskatoon has released a report summarizing the various Infrastructure investments in our city since 2007. The report shows how leveraging city resources has resulted in attracting over $364 million in federal/provincial funding in the past 5 years. It includes programs such as the south bridge, fire halls, and various traffic upgrades in our city totalling $602 million. Take a look at the list of projects on page 16, and try to imagine our city without them. Click this link to view the entire report.
Infrastructure spending in Saskatoon 2007-2011:
- City of Saskatoon $238 million 39%
- Province $141 million 24%
- Federal gov't $223 million 37%
September 12, 2012 15:13
The Municipal Operations Benchmark Project report identifies, in detail, the factors contributing to different property tax rates between Saskatoon and the cities of Regina, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Calgary. The research in this report shows that the City's financial resources are well managed and that Saskatoon is a good place for businesses to set up operations and make investments.
While the report identifies strengths with all the participating cities, in particular it shows that the City of Saskatoon:
- relied the least on taxation to fund its 2011 operating budget
- budgeted for breakeven operations
- budgeted for the second lowest property tax revenue per capita
- had the second lowest average assessed property value
- had the highest budgeted contributions to reserves
- had the second lowest budgeted withdrawals from reserves
- had the lowest utility-supported debt levels per capita, and
- the lowest total debt levels per capita
Please click on the pdf below to download and read the entire report.
Municipal Benchmark Project 2011.pdf (2.49 mb)
September 12, 2012 15:09
The City of Saskatoon continues to seek new and innovative ways to provide existing and emerging programs and services to its citizens. The Administration is always taking a fresh look at how it operates, and how the corporation can become more adaptive and responsive, with a focus on exploring and implementing new ways of:
- improving our service;
- increasing our savings; and
- growing our city in a sustainable way.
The City of Saskatoon achieved savings of over $9.3 million and $15 million in deferred costs. Download the entire report to Council by clicking on the pdf below.
Report on Service, Savings and Sustainability 2011.pdf (959.20 kb)
August 26, 2012 19:24
The City of Saskatoon has released our 2011 Annual Report, including the financial statements. This year end report shows that we balanced the budget and, in fact, showed a surplus of $3.07 Million. Council directed this surplus to civic reserves (savings accounts), which puts us in a very stable position moving forward.
To view the 2011 Annual Report please click the pdf below.
2011 Annual Report.pdf (3.58 mb)
July 25, 2012 12:23
Provincial law requires our city to revalue the properties in Saskatoon every 4 years for tax purposes. It is important to note that revaluation is revenue neutral. That means the City of Saskatoon does not collect more money due to revaluation. We simply reasess how property values have changed. Some properties have increased in value more than others. This will be reflected in the notices. Some peoples' taxes will go up. Some will go down. But in the end, the city will collect the same amount of money.
For more information about reassessment in Saskatoon click this link.
June 25, 2012 19:38
The week of June 25, the City of Saskatoon will be applying an ultra-thin overlay to Warman Road from Assiniboine Rd to Primrose Drive. There have been several questions as to why this stretch of road is being maintained, as opposed to other sections that are in worse condition. City Council added $4 Million to the road maintenance budget so that we can begin to make progress on the backlog. Rebuilding roads that are in very poor condition is very expensive. In addition to rebuilding roads this summer, the city will also be taking some preventative measures to ensure the other roads do not deteriorate to that level.
Applying an ultra-thin membrane as prevention costs about 20% of a road repair that involves rebuilding the road. We are trying to do some prevention before roads deteriorate, so that we can stop the cycle. We are still doing work around the city on major road projects, which require an entire rebuild, but we also have some projects that are targetted at prevention because this is much cheaper. More details on the Warman Rd project can be found by clicking this link to the City's website.