p. 40 St. Mary’s is getting their school zone moved. How much does $2000 go towards building another public liquor store? Because that’s how much it’s going to cost to move this school zone. If you’re not familiar with this reference, ask your friends who follow provincial politics. If you don’t know anyone who follows provincial politics, take a shot. Actually, just give me the bottle. I know some people who could use it.

p 43. The City wants to buy a floor model of a Panoramo camera to snake down the water mains. They’re getting 10% off so it’s only $98,537.67. They can’t fit the current camera down some of the mains since, like my arteries after the Ex, they have narrowed considerably. I both am rather curious and also have no desire to see what is lurking in the storm sewer system here. Here’s a twee little video on what the Panoramo does. It’s rather cool in fact, especially the software that lets you “unzip” the pipe.

p 47 may be of some interest to people. It’s the contracts with ASL Paving and Central Asphalt & Paving for winter maintenance. If you want to Jeanneau, ASL is charging $663,230.30 for scraping the east side and Central has a current price tag of $468,109.44 for similarly scouring the west. Priority 1 streets must be cleared w/in 12 hours of a “snow event” (Wintershines?); Priority 2, 36 hours; Priority 3, 72 hours. Shifts are 10 hours, 7 days a week, and can be extended to 12 hours if required.

The total snow budged this year is $6,040,000. (Equipment, fuel, and overtime costs though make up about 2/3rds of the budget.) I am going to repeat this number every time I see or hear someone grouse about snow removal. That’s it, kiddos. Edmonton’s snow budget last year was a bit over 47 million if I recall correctly. Granted, their city is 4x the population, but on a per-capita basis they’re still, as they say, “kicking our butt”. There are only 115 city staff working. 16 graders, 7 loaders, 9 front plow trucks, 6 underslung plow trucks and 9 sidewalk plows are tasked, along with the private contractors, to clear, uhhhm, a lot of roads (and not residential ones either unless bus route or Very Angry Taxpayer).  ASL is only forking over “up to 9” graders and 12 operators; Central has just 10 operators and 6 graders. So that swells the ranks to 31 graders. (Not graters. Those are very different, which is too bad, since almost everyone in the city has at least one.) Also, Central Asphalt & Paving’s contract doesn’t kick in till December 1st. Graders are expensive – adding one more to the road costs approx $39K, as outlined in reason for increase.

Ha! They filled out the environmental implications for this one. In case you didn’t jeanneau, there will be negative greenhouse gas emissions implications. If there are four “snow events” per season, it adds 151.56 tonnes of carbon dioxide (the same as adding approximately 30 cars to the road each year).

p. 54 Genivar wants to find leaks in the water mains for the low price of $272,947.50. Am not entirely sure if this price is low or not. They are going to insert a device (a CAMERA?) into live water mains (whee). Does this overlap with the Panoramo? Anyways, the city also filled out the environmental implications on this as well, so either they’re listening to me or someone is tired of just copying-and-pasting.

[several sewer videos later]
Hey, I didn’t know you could get your keys out of the sewer.

This one is considerably grosser, but it’s Nat Geo.  The guy quit his job as an accountant to haul dead animals and other terrible things out of the sewer! Yuuuuuck. But, he feels like a productive member of society, so go him.

P. 59 is about the turboexpander. I actually did not know what one of these was (aside from suspecting that it might have something to do with my waistline). There’s a 20-year internal rate of return with the equivalent energy savings of removing 700 cars from the road each year. In related news, I recommend this post discussing apocalyptic sensibilities, and its sublinked posts by Tom Murphy, a physicist at UC San Diego. I’ll explain it a bit but you should really read them, I found them interesting. His premise is that 1. unlimited growth is impossible 2. here is science that proves it and 3. that true “sustainability” (and not greenwashing) looks very different than what marketers are selling. If you have an alternate perspective complete with sciencey refutation, I’d be interested in hearing it.

P. 64 – the agenda outlines what is happening for 325 3rd Ave N. The city bought it as an extension for their office space in 2010; Colliers McClocklin manages it. It’s where the Royal Thai is, in case you didn’t know. Anyways, Compliments Hair Design is moving out and the Honey Bun Café is moving in. “Their proposal is to operate a cafe that will ‘combine the warm atmosphere of a grandmother’s farm kitchen with innovative fresh baking’.” There’s already a Grandma Lee’s halfway down the block on the other side, so good luck to everyone involved, including Grandma Lee’s. I suppose one indicator could be councillors’ increased predilection for clothing with elastic waistbands. Rent is market rate, so nobody getting subsidized here.

p 70 is the third quarter report on the 2012 Business Plan and Budget. They’re predicting a year-end surplus of just over 2 million dollars. Most of the highlights have been duly noted by the press last week. New one-unit dwellings plus renovations to existing one-unit dwellings make up 60% of the permits and 40% of the construction value this year. Saskatoon: something about us there is that doesn’t love to share a wall. Also the Police Service is coming in under budget, the Environmental Health is not.

Now we have some plans showing the applications for rezoning/development/subdivisions as mentioned earlier. I should really memorize all the zoning numbers. I also like that in this over-designed age, surveyor’s maps have changed very little. Never mind, the one on p. 93 uses Papyrus or something similar enough to curl my lip. P. 99 is Jeanneau Way. It turns into Hasting Crescent. Related: I was out for supper this week with some delightful former co-workers, one of whom had moved to Edmonton several years ago. She did not realize that Preston turns into Attridge which turns into McOrmond. I don’t like it when they do this; look at the older areas of town. Arlington still stays Arlington even when it does a 90 degree turn (and disappears for a bit at 7th St.) Actually that’s probably not the best example. Anyways, the address she was looking for was listed on McOrmond Road, even though it’s actually on Attridge. (Also I still call Wanuskewin, Warman Road, because I am a Bear of Little Brain.) P. 100 has a spiffing layout of the Hyperbolic Paraboloid as mentioned in previous post.

p. 102 is a letter from SREDA outlining DynaIndustrial and Deca Industries’ applications for tax abatement.

p. 108 is the agreement between the City and the IBEW. Increases are only 2, 2 and 3% y-o-y, and other minor raises to assorted pay scales.

p. 109 is a letter from Robin Bellamy. He’s spelled “Council” as “Concil”. Oh and he’s used “you’re” instead of “your”. Why yes, I am petty, thank you. Even my old Blackberry checks spelling (it’s supremely annoying, since most of my correspondence is conducted in lolspeak.)

[Next month: I write this entire summary in lolspeak and give the #yxecc heads a week-long headache.]

Looks like more attachments, drawings, and official bylaws that were discussed earlier (pathway closure).

p 120 is the Saga of the Rage Road 3045 closure between Agra Road and Keedwell St. There are some comments from residents of River’s Edge, they of the bouncy castles. And a petition. The alternate routes suggested by the city were “not acceptable”. Upon cursory investigation of Rage Road 3045 , a chunk of it passes through a not-inconsiderable body of water, so I wonder at the state of the other roads that they prefer to use one that (possibly) is at risk of flooding. A bit of frustration from the clerk’s office on some of the letters (p 139 and onwards) with a hand-written note saying “Late late letter for public notice”. (I think it would be quite fun to spend a day at the City Clerk’s Office, but I would not want to work there as I enjoy keeping my blood pressure nice and low. I bet they have wild parties, though.)

p. 145 is a map of priorities for street maintenance programs. Unfortunately they have rasterized it as a jpeg at rather low resolution, so I can’t print this off and hang it on my wall.

p. 146 is the lease for the Honey Boring Café.

p. 149, more highlights from the Q3 Business Plan and Budget. Again most of this has been regurgitated in easily-digestible bits by assorted media. Heh heh, the new electronic agendas are touted. Although, if they make the full agenda easier to read, I’m not going to get as much credit for doing it.

There’s an emergency plan policy for special events now. Wait, there wasn’t before?

Also, they are putting in more curb ramps. Related: I have put in an order for a Rölser grocery trolley (this one, in the Grey Logos pattern ) so this is RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS. Also related: if you are planning on making fun of me for using one, be aware that I have pre-empted you in this regard.

A breakdown of building permit stats on p. 151.

p. 152 is the 2012 year end projection. I have a headache and they’ve stupidly laid it out with a coloured background and then photocopied it and then scanned it in to a PDF, so you can look at the numbers yourself. I am sure if there is anything outrageous in here either Sean Shaw, Gareth Perry, Jordon Cooper, or Mark Horseman will be expressing mild, moderate, or extra-strength outrage on Twitter. (Results may vary.)

p. 153 is the start of the Returning Officer’s declaration of results for the recent election, in which you all voted so I don’t have to show up and personally tweak your nose-hairs. (Related: if you hate your spouse, and they have nose hair, buy them one of those rotary nose-hair trimmers. It will be the funniest thing you see for a long time. Oh my god. They are supposed to work like an electric razor, but what they actually do is just pull the hair out by the roots. I was laughing so hard I was crying. My husband was just crying.)

p. 165 is the Planning and Ops committee report. 932 University Drive wants to be a Heritage Property. (I like that little Spanish house.) A vacant lot on 22nd St West is going to be redeveloped by the Saskatoon Conservatory of Music; there is now a Private Swimming Pools Appeal Board which is just the same people who do the Property Maintenance Appeal Board; a MOU about the Gordie Howe Bowl upgrades. (I asked my husband what he thought the “Friends of the Bowl” were and he immediately suspected it hat something to do with ‘marihuana’.) There’s also a bit on the Riversdale Local Area Plan (LAP)  and the upgrades planned for the bit between Avenues D and K. Now we go through supplemental docs for the Planning and Ops report, maps, application forms for Heritage Status etc. etc. Ooh and a sideways picture. Related: I cannot wait for this new electronic agenda-making software.

p. 189 is the Private Swimming Pools Bylaw, in which I discover many of my neighbours are breaking the law. That’s right, kiddos, even if you have an above-ground pool, or temporary pool (or hot tub), it has to be surrounded by a fence, first aid kit, corpse hook, etc. etc. if deeper than 600 mm. (Unless it is a hot tub on a deck, you can get away with a locking cover.)

p. 200 is the ORDER TO REMEDY CONTRAVENTION in which the residents of 1101 Avenue P North are hereby ordered to install a first aid kit as required for the pool. Don’t worry, there is now a Private Swimming Pools Appeal Board, in case the residents of 1101 Avenue P North do not want to install a first aid kit.

Some stuff on the Friends of the Bowl, upgrades, turf, directors, football etc. etc. If we had Rob Ford as the mayor, that field would have been upgraded as soon as he took office (at the expense of everything else). Also I would have most likely moved to Calgary by now.

Wow there is a lot of documentation on this Gordie Howe thing.

p. 222 is a report for whether or not there needs to be a pedestrian-actuated signal (I am not going to lie, I like pushing these and making people stop for once). There is not enough demand for a fuck-you button.

p. 226 is an outline of what’s going to go down on 20th between D & K.

p. 230 is the Report of the Administration and Finance Committee. Stuff inside on the growing demand for Access Transit, the recycling program, landfill rate review, the state of the bridges and structures, the roadway asset management status, and the operating grant allocation.

They’ve tried to soften the impact by leading off with the positive bits about the Access Transit and the recycling program. The bridge and roadways report, you may have noticed, generated a slight bit of gentle chiding from interested parties. I’ll get into that in a bit, but I just want to point out that the City is upgrading the landfill to include a dewatering facility. Current policy is to dump the sludge, let the water and assorted, um, things run off into the groundwater, and then pile it up once it’s dry. The province said that This Is A Bad Idea, so they’re now upping their rates and building a proper facility. I agree, since many of us take fresh water for granted. If there ever was some sort of massive natural disaster, we would be in a Bad Situation, since we’re very bent on pouring a lot of things into rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water. (My brother is studying environmental engineering and likes to talk about this.) Which reminds me, I wonder where we are with that proposed feedlot upriver of Saskatoon. Soon there may be even more reasons why swimming at Saskatoon Beach is a bad idea.

Also, there are no more free trips to the dump. You have to fork over a Wilf Laurier to toss your extraneous junk now. (If I ever choose to reproduce, I’m taking the assorted offspring, once they are of sufficient age to start spending their own money, to the landfill for an afternoon. I can’t think of a stronger argument for Buying Less Crap.)

Hey, you can dump animal corpses at the dump? I…never really thought about that. I mean, on the farm, we just dragged the carcass off to the field for the dogs/cats/coyotes to eat. I think we buried the dogs, though. Give us some credit.

p. 251 is the recycling program report. It includes roll-out dates, cost and estimated savings (hint, it is A LOT.) I look forward to receiving my rebate cheque from Loraas Recycle with much smugness. p. 257 is the full list of roll-out dates. I’d analyze it for rich/poor neighbourhood bias if I had time. Related: I wonder if we have enough people on Twitter to track snow-clearing in real-time. I’ve always suspected Briarwood gets preferential treatment.

p. 270 is the STATE OF THE BRIDGES REPORT. Sharpen your outrage sticks.
The Administration wants to upgrade to Service Level B, which would be $5 mill per year with an additional one-time contribution totalling ~$48 million. Currently we are funding the bridges at Service Level E, which is 2 Wilf Lauriers per annum. Not quite, it’s $520,000 per year. Yup, that’s for all the bridges. Yup, your taxes are going up. Yup, we juuuust had an election. Yup, they probably knew about this before the election.

p. 271 is the chart with all the Service Funding Levels outlined, I recommend printing it off and stabbing it with your outrage stick (before depositing it in your recycling bin.) You can’t have increased services and lower taxes, guys. The City is wasteful, but it’s not as wasteful as you think. You know what, though, I am not worried. Councillor Donauer assured us at the Ward 5 forum that the City has enough money in reserves already for any maintenance that needs doing.

If we keep on at our current two-bit level of maintenance, this is what we would have to replace:

  • Idylwyld Drive Over Ruth Street Overpass (2025)
  • ldylwyld Drive Northbound/Southbound Over 19th Street Overpass (2025)
  •  Spadina Crescent Bridge (2029)
  • Circle Drive Northbound Over 14th Street Overpass (2029)
  • 108th Street Over Circle Drive Overpass (2030)
  • ldylwyld Drive Northbound Over 19th Street to 1st Avenue Overpass (2030)
  • University Bridge (2031)
  • Sid Buckwold Bridge (2032)

Hiiii kids. Sorry about the bridges. Have a boat? Boats are nice. You know what? Forget about that. All your friends are on this side of the river now.

p. 277 is the STATE OF THE ROADS report. It is just as fun as the bridge one. Look, if we can’t maintain our infrastructure during a period of economic expansion, we are going to have a really fun time over the next 20 years or so, at least. It’ll be even more fun once the province and the feds finish downloading responsibilities onto municipal governments, with little funding to accompany it. (ICYMI, municipal governments own and are tasked with maintaining 50% of the infrastructure in Canada, while receiving 8 cents on the dollar of your taxes in order to do so. That’s right, 92% of your taxes go towards the province or the federal government. Sharpen those outrage sticks, people.)

p. 283 is how the municipal operating grant is going to be spended.

p. 290 is the Audit Committee report on the Fire & Protective Services payroll.

p. 292 is the Exec Committee report. Appointments and sale of leftover land from the bridge project.

p. 298 is the Communications to Council section. As my siblings say, “Awww yisss.” Adam Pollock wants to talk about bridges. Jack Grover wants to talk about homelessness and affordable housing. Then we’ll have a brief recess after several people in the audience are removed for attempting to telepathically set fire to Mr Grover. Ted Popel would also like to speak, about committees of Council. Kent Smith-Windsor wants to talk, with a dude from the NSBA, about business achievements. Patti McGillivary from the Heritage Society also wants to talk. So does Beth Smillie from CUPE, about the library employees’ situation. Michelle Priel from a property management company (I think) wants to talk about access to property located on Marquis Court, a street which does not show up in Google Maps. (This might be part of the problem.)

p. 300 is the summary of letters to Council. These are, as always, delightfully understated. (“Damaged garbage receptacle” who writes these, I will buy you a drink.)

Summary of letter topics, which may or may not be accurate:

Police: 1
Fireworks: 1
Snow removal: 11
Transit service: 7
Art gallery: 1
River Landing: 1
Sale of the Saskatoon Inn: 1
Smoking bylaw: 1
Medical solutions (???): 1
Election: 2
IMAX theatres: 1
Roads and bridges: 5
Sidewalks: 1
Traffic: 13 (I was fairly liberal in applying this designation)
Fairmont and 22nd traffic in particular: 2
Railway crossings: 1
Garbage collection: 1
“Damaged garbage receptacle”: 1
Recycling: 1
Golf courses: 1
Rats: 1
Water main breaks: 1
Fluoride: 9
Communication from assorted regulatory bodies: 13
Information from organized groups: 2
“Civic issues”/general concerns/other: 5