City Council has instructed City staff to look for ways that the Administration’s proposed tax increases for 2020 and 2021 could be made lower. Their initial projections to maintain civic services involved raises of 3.94% and 4.17% for 2020 and 2021, and the admin has been asked to come up with options for how these numbers can be lowered.
Going into these budget deliberations I had three priorities: investing in the basic services and infrastructure that citizens rely on every day, creating higher quality of life for individuals and families, and stretching the value of tax dollars through problem-solving, partnering with different groups, and making investments in the short-term that will pay off in the years and generations to come.
lanning for a Downtown Arena District
This week City Council made another step forward in the replacement of SaskTel Centre and signalled that a new arena should be built downtown.
We didn’t approve the construction of a new facility (and this won’t happen for awhile), but we did begin making a plan for the future. We are making crucial decisions in the months to come about Bus Rapid Transit, North Downtown development, River Landing Phase II, Idylwyld Drive and others. Now is the time to ensure these decisions are made with a future Arena/Convention district in mind, so that all the pieces fit together to make a great downtown for generations to come. These next steps will involve many stakeholders and community discussions in developing and implementing this plan.
At October’s meeting of City Council, we moved forward with a decision to establish a city-wide curbside organics collection program.
This is a huge step forward for our city and it will have a significant impact on extending the life of the landfill—an estimated additional 23 years. The current (and optional) green cart program has been successful, but the City’s research has shown that 58% of what ends up in the black bin is organic material that could be diverted.