I can't believe that it's August already. I hope that you and your family have taken advantage of the beautiful weather and all our city has to offer during the summer. From the Fringe Festival and The Ex to Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan and Cruise Weekend there is never a lack of activity in Saskatoon. With sunny skies, there's also no lack of construction happening in our community. Thank you to everyone for your patience and to the crews who are on the ground making all the summer maintenance happen!
There has been lots of media coverage over the past few weeks about a new City Hall plan to cut our emissions and save energy in Saskatoon. What many reports have missed is that the thirty year plan will actually mean new savings and not extra costs for our community. This is actually in line with many new initiatives over the past few years that have made our environmental footprint smaller and saved millions of dollars per year. These are savings that make a direct positive impact on the taxes we pay each year. From increasing the energy efficiency of municipal buildings and switching
Your City Council is moving to a new process of "multi year budgeting", which will create more predictability with our financial planning. As part of this process, Council is already debating the 2020 and 2021 budgets and finding ways to deliver a high level of service with minimal mill rate increases. As a result of deliberations in July, the estimated mill rate change for 2020 is 3.23%. This is lower than the 4% that was predicted earlier in the year and I will be working with my colleagues on Council and our community to find ways to lighten the impact for 2020. With increasing needs
I hope that many of you have had the chance to kick back and relax during the beautiful season we’ve had so far. I know we all enjoy the opportunity to spend time with family and friends during the sunny weather, but another benefit of the favourable skies is that big projects in our neighbourhood are progressing very well. I’m pleased to report that the McOrmond and College overpass is scheduled to open in October, as is the new north bridge and all the connecting roadways. These projects are on time and on budget and will make a big difference in getting around our part of town.
You’ve probably seen lots in the news lately about the future of waste collection in Saskatoon. There are two main reasons why this discussion is taking place.
First, Saskatoon has the distinction of a poor record among Canadian cities when it comes to keeping waste out of the landfill. Just over 20% of our waste is diverted and this compares to a cities like Edmonton that keep more than 50% of their waste away from the dump.