Just as Covid-19 has had an impact on the finances of many families, the pandemic has caused some major changes to budgeted expenses and revenues at the City. There have been some areas of savings, for example, with recreation facilities closed there are lower expenses on those buildings. At the same time, there are lower revenues from parking, bus fares, property taxes (because of deferred payment options), and leisure centre tickets.
As you know, I've pushed for years to ensure we get speed limits right in Saskatoon. We need to keep safety top of mind, but some roadways (like College Drive near McOrmond) should have higher limits. I have also been in favour of consistent speed limits along McOrmond Dr and Central Ave leading to the new Chief Misawasis Bridge. As of May 25th, I am pleased to report that in a close vote, City Council passed consistent limits and some stretches of roadway will have their speed limits increased on August 1, 2020.
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