MESSAGE FROM COUNCILLOR TIFFANY PAULSEN – NOVEMBER 16, 2015
Updates for Ward 9:
1. City on Track For Balanced Budget
2. Snow/Ice Update
3. Sign Up For NotifyNow
1. CITY ON TRACK FOR BALANCED BUDGET
The latest budget status report update, to be received by the Executive Committee today, shows a balanced budget is projected by the end of the year.
“The business plan and budget has benefitted overall in part from savings driven by lower than expected fuel costs and good construction weather,” says Kim Matheson, Director of Strategic & Business Planning. “
“More money than expected from the Provincial power and natural gas companies, better returns on our investments, as well as savings and extra provincial funding for policing also contributed to this positive third quarter projection.”
So the City can react accordingly, status updates on the Corporate Business Plan and Budget each quarter help to ensure City Council and its Administration are aware of emerging financial issues and challenges.
To that end, City Administration is aware certain business lines face deficits because of more aggressive street sweeping, implementing a new parking system, lower electricity sales and the delayed rollout in the provincial Multi-Material Recycling Program. Fortunately, shortfalls can be cushioned with reserves or continuous improvement and cost-cutting measures.
“Additionally, building permit numbers and construction values continue to be strong,” Matheson says. “At roughly this time last year, there were three construction permits with a value higher than $10 million; this year, there are seven such projects – which is another indicator Saskatoon’s economy remains strong.”
2. SNOW/ICE UPDATE
The City of Saskatoon is getting ready for winter!
Snow and ice updates are posted regularly on the City website at saskatoon.ca/snow, where additional details can be found about the City’s snow clearing policies.
· Service Alerts are used to communicate interruptions to service including snow and ice event-related parking bans, extended power or water service outages. Citizens can visit saskatoon.ca/service-alerts or follow @YXEServiceAlert on Twitter.
· WNTER PROGRAMS OVERVIEW
Ice Management and Monitoring:
· Sand/salt mixture is used for de-icing and traction on high-traffic roads and intersections. City staff monitor driving conditions regularly.
· A pilot project from last winter that used a technique called pre-wetting has been expanded this year from one to four sanders. This technique utilizes a chemical spray onto sand just prior to sand being spread onto the roadway. The wet sand sticks better to high-speed roadways and allows ice melt at lower temperatures.
· Sanders are being outfitted with GPS units that will track their movement and the amount of product used. The data from this will be used to create more efficient routes and practices that will allow the City to use less sand and fuel.
Plowing and grading
· During a winter storm, snow plows and graders remain on the high-traffic/high-volume streets like Circle Drive and other Priority 1 Streets.
· Snow Event Priority Street Grading & Plowing: When snow and storm weather significantly affect driving conditions, a Snow Event is called & Priority 1, 2 and 3 streets are graded within 72 hours.
o Priority 1 streets include Circle Drive, Idylwyld Drive, College Drive, 51st Street, 8th Street E and Central Avenue;
o Priority 2 streets include Confederation Drive, Clarence Avenue, Preston Avenue and 108th Street; and
o Priority 3 streets include 29th Street, Victoria Avenue and Main Street.
3. SIGN UP FOR NOTIFYNOW
Unusual, or large, emergencies caused by extreme weather or person-made events can happen at any time. Now, when an emergency happens, whether it be citywide or area specific, Saskatoon is ready to respond. Notifynow will let residents know what to do, where to go, and what to expect during an emergency with a message sent directly to their landline, cell phone, or email. With the push of a button, we can reach tens of thousands of residents so they can receive the necessary timely information to ensure their personal safety and/or minimize damage to their property.
How does it work?
When an emergency alert is issued, you will receive a voice message to your home, work or cell phone; an email; or a text message depending on your preference.
To receive notifications, residents must have some form of contact information entered into our database. You can do this by signing up to notifynow online.
Follow this link to register: https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085611039#/signup
Should an emergency situation occur, and you have a publicly-available number, you may receive a voice alert to the number that is listed. Subscribing to the system through the online portal will ensure you receive the messages that affect the locations you care about.
You can customize how you would prefer to receive messages. These options include:
- SMS text message
- Voice call to a landline or cell phone
The information you provide is kept confidential and will not be used for any purpose other than to contact you in the event of an emergency.