Railway Crossing at 51st Street:
This crossing was to be redone in 2011, but was postponed by the railroad. We now have their assurances that this crossing will be done in May 2012. The City of Saskatoon cannot repair the crossing, as it is the property of the railway. We are lobbying to have this crossing redone as soon as possible though. I will try to give you advance notice concerning road closures.
Saskatoon has received a AAA Credit Rating for over 10 years in a row. Standard and Poor’s has completed their annual assessment and Saskatoon is one of only 3 cities in Canada to receive a AAA credit rating. This independent third party assessment is important because an impartial financial assessor tells us how well we do in managing our city’s finances, and how we compare to other cities in Canada. Some quotes from the report:
“Saskatoon’s economic fundamentals, in our view, are excellent.” “The city has strong budgetary performance.”
“In 2010, Saskatoon’s debt burden was a manageable 3.2% of operating revenues.”
“In 2010, and since 2001, cash investments have been well above 1000% of debt service.”
“Saskatoon’s financial management is sound, in our view.”
“Relative to both international and domestic peers, we view Saskatoon’s operating balances to adjusted operating revenues as exceptional.”
Visit my website blog at www.donauer.ca to see how Saskatoon compares to other Canadian cities like Regina, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary, or to download the Standard and Poor’s report including their rationale.
New Ward Boundaries:
The Municipal Wards Commission has approved new ward boundaries for the 2012 Election. There were no changes to Ward 5. For details, and to download the city-wide map visit my website at www.donauer.ca.
Ten Year Strategic Plan:
City Council has approved our 10 year Strategic Plan. Our city is growing fast, so it is important for leadership to stay out in front and have a balanced growth plan that goes well into the future. Visit my website to download the plan and see what our priorities are. www.donauer.ca
College Quarter Concept Plan:
City Council approved a plan brought forward by the University of Saskatchewan to develop the land they own at College Dr and Cumberland. The U of S intends to add student housing, and recreational facilities to their property. The city merely approves zoning. Funding and advancing the plan is the responsibility of the university.
Landfill Gas Project:
City Council has awarded a contract for a Landfill Gas Collection System and Power Generation Facility. This project involves adding a clay cap to the current landfill, capturing the gasses given off by waste, and using those gasses to fire a generator that will create clean power for over 1300 homes. Over 500 landfills in North America already operate gas collection systems, which also have a side benefit of helping to reduce odours coming from the landfill.
This project will actually bring a profit to the City of Saskatoon. We will experience positive cash flows of $9.9 Million profit over the first 20 years of operation, after repayment of reserves. Also, it is smart to do this project now, as it is likely new provincial environmental regulations will require a minimum of capping landfills and flaring the gas in the future. By adding a power generation facility, instead of just flaring the gas, we will provide clean electricity and make a profit on our investment.
Tall Wind Turbine:
City Council rejected the proposal for a Tall Wind Turbine in Saskatoon. The bids received were too expensive, meaning that the project is not economically feasible.
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