Attention everyone. I have an agenda. I also have the city council agenda for next week. (My agenda is shorter and involves cookies and possibly a puppy.) This week’s agenda is only 249 pages long, practically a short story.

First thing up is a care home, Type II, which I believe means that it’s an adult-onset care home. In this case it’s late adult-onset. They want to up the residents from five to seven. There’s no objection from the Administration; there’s more than enough parking and it’s already a care home. One of the neighbours has an issue with the increased traffic and she’s worried they’ll change it into a treatment centre. No worries there, with the population trends as it is operating a seniors’ home will be a license to print money in the coming decades. They’ve cut off or omitted the name of the neighbour but she’s mentioned earlier – Lindsay Haeusler. Anyways, she says she moved here because of the neighbourhood and if anything changes or her house value goes down, well – well, actually, she doesn’t say what she’ll do. Hopefully she loves Lakeview so much she’ll want to spend the rest of her life there, perhaps in a care home in the vicinity. Seriously though, having a family move in next door with >3 kids between 16 and 22 will generate more traffic than a care home.

(Ask me about the time I had an undiagnosed anxiety attack while doing a temporary job in a care home. You guys, I do not want to be in one of those things, ever. Remind me to write up a will and living will, just in case. Perhaps I’ll get a tattoo too. Don’t get me wrong, the care home was perfectly nice and clean and well-run, with good staff. I just personally get super itchy and panicky when I think about being confined in one.)

p. 16 is some land use applications, complete with surveys for you mappy types. Addresses are:

  • 1132 College Drive
  • 125 Willis Crescent
  • Rosewood Boulevard West and East
  • Bentley Lane, Court, and Kensington Road
  • Boykowich Street, Marlatte Crescent/Lane/Street, Baltzan Boulevard, and Ahktar Bend
  • 126 Idylwyld Drive North
  • 715 Werschner Street
  • Evergreen District Village — Area 2
  • 1541 Spadina Crescent East

Ooh and here’s the results of an enquiry from Councillor Lorje about the planning criteria for off-leash recreation areas (henceforth known as … well, I’m still working on a snappy epithet for these. No doubt Australians have something already.) If you were wondering, there is currently no, um, “Dog Park Planning for Dummies” guide and as such, they’re considered on a case-by-case basis. Cllr Lorje’s request was twofold: to find out the planning criteria for dog parks and to consider requiring them as a standard amenity in neighbourhoods.

I did a bit of Googling here and found out London, GB has 8 off-leash parks. The reason why I picked this was because I know Britain has a high rate of dog ownership and I’ve been watching gobs of British telly lately. Absolute loads of it. Saskatoon has 5 OLRAs. To be fair, the parks in London include such famous grassy swathes as Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, both of which you may have heard. Here I don’t think anyone wades through the canine-infested wastelands unless they already own an ankle-biter . (I’ve biked through the Sutherland park, but was nearly overcome by the smell of dog pee at one point. If you ever want to punish someone you hate, have them reincarnated as a rock just inside a dog park entrance.)

p. 20 has some “criteria and approaches that were relatively consistent” across Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Surrey, Toronto, and Markham. Full report is later, so settle down.

As far as I can tell here, what the report is recommending is stepping up maintenance in current parks (huzzah) before plugging in new ones. As for creating new “neighbourhood” parks (small ones you can walk to), they prefer to wait until a critical mass of dog owners accumulates in an area. Larger parks in new neighbourhoods will be developed in consultation with user groups.

p. 24. It costs the city slightly over 2 million dollars for cell phone and data service for five years. Clearly this is a waste of municipal tax dollars. If employees have something to say to each other, they can drive over and say it to each other’s face. Bonus: this will cut down on interpersonal conflicts. As for data use, city employees could just ask passers-by to look things up on the Google. I’m sure taxpayers won’t mind being asked this favour, since it’s saving them money. Also, e-mail is well-known to be a  source of stress, so the City should just switch back to posting letters. This will also provide Canada Post with a boost in income. I have just saved the city 2 mil. To quote T-Rex, “You’ll thank me when you share my politics!” (Why are you all not reading Dinosaur Comics? Go on, get out of here.)

(At least City Hall doesn’t have a contract with Rogers. There’s a reason why I don’t hang out with my Rogers-contracted friends…they never answer their phone since “the tower is down” or get my texts.)

Whoof. If the city switched to individual contracts instead of negotiating it all as one block, it’d be over 3.3 million dollars. This is the power of “collective bargaining”, people.

p. 27 is the “Contract Award Report” or at least the report on the report. No names are named…yet. (The City reports the winners of contracts/RFPs between $50K and $75K thrice yearly.)

p. 28 is a proposed increase to the homeowner’s portion of the water/sewer replacement program. The City pays 60% of the costs but, as you most likely guessed, costs are rising. If you’re thinking about getting on this bandwagon, get on before January 22nd or else you’ll be out another $290 on top of the initial $2250. I could be wrong about this, though. Anyway, you should probably get your lines replaced sooner rather than later, if you have the choice.

Brunner’s is doing the line replacements.

p. 38. The Northeast needs a lift station and force main; Associated Engineering wins the bid with $396,620, or will if Council approves it.

p. 39. “The force main will discharge into the Central Avenue sanitary sewer trunk system at the intersection of Central Avenue and Somers Road.” The good people of Evergreen and future environs will not have to worry…about the security…of their shit.

Of course I love Burn After Reading, who doesn’t?

p. 42. Brevoort Park and Lakeview need to secure their shit. Er, install some sanitary sewer storage aka “super pipes”. There’s some funding from the government but the whole thing has to be done by 2015 in order to qualify. AECOM wins this one.

p. 46 is the University Bridge hey hey hey Rehabilitation. Design this year, construction to begin next year, so buy your house accordingly. Good heavens, the bridge is 98 years old. Do you think the new police palace will last that long? (I know, I’m being needlessly contentious here.) Fun fact: the 25th St Bridge was, when it opened, the longest of its kind in Canada. Also it was supposed to be a steel-truss bridge originally, like the Victoria bridge.

Anyways, as you’ll remember, Council approved the bare minimum of funding to keep the bridges wheezing along, so expect to see lots of RFPs for bridge bandaids coming up. (Also possibly RFPs for ziplines, but those of us with discerning taste prefer a slide/gondola combination.)

p. 47. Here is what needs to be done:

  • Remove asphalt wearing surface, membrane, and expansion joints;
  • Spot repairs to approximately 10% of the concrete deck;
  • Provide new membrane and asphalt wearing surface or replace with concrete driving surface;
  • Spot repairs to approximately 30% of the arches and abutments;
  • Provision of a galvanic protection system over the arches and abutments.

CH2M Hill wins this tender.

p. 50 is more on the landfill gas thing. It’s the agreement between Saskatoon Light & Power and SaskPower and is rather boring.

p. 53. Damn. “The Landfill Gas Project will generate electricity by combusting the methane emitted from the landfill, producing electricity and converting the gas to carbon dioxide (C02), which is 21 times less harmful for the environment than methane.”

(This is partially why eating less cow meat can be potentially more beneficial than driving less. Full disclosure: my parents operate a cattle farm, or at least my dad does some of the time. If you don’t get the link, cows burp a lot. And it’s methane. 100-500L per day, depending on who you ask. In New Zealand, over a third of their greenhouse gas emissions come from sheep and cattle.)

p. 55 is a bunch of  from the Chamber of Commerce, asking the City to agree with the following grammatically suspect statement: “That the City of Saskatoon continue to work with the Saskatoon business community to maintain Saskatoon’s position as Canada’s Business Friendliest City over this City Council’s elected term between 2012 and 2016.”

The CFIB named Saskatoon as the top Canadian “big city” with the most business-friendly policies. KPMG also rated Saskatoon as the most tax-competitive city in Canada. I rather want to draw a Venn diagram and see if “business-friendly” ever overlaps with “excellent levels of snow removal and road maintenance”.

p. 57. The five-year tax exemption is for businesses that commit to job creation targets. That’s funny, Vecima Networks is up for this (as in the previous meeting this month) and they’ve been handily laying people off since 2011. (Almost 20% of their workforce was cut in 2011 at one blow, twas brutal.) Perhaps there’s something else I don’t know about this program. Either that or they’ve hired everyone back and more.

p. 60 is the start of the survey maps for the zoning/rezoning applicants.

p. 69 is the start of Off-Leash Recreation Areas Best Practices Review. Includes a list of best practices for dog parks from several cities and then segues into the report on p. 72.

p. 72 may be of interest to Jordon Cooper, in case he is uncredited for yet another photograph.

p. 75 lists one of the benefits of OLRAs as “reduce incidence of unauthorized off leash activity in parks and open spaces”, which, ha. There is a serial offender in the summer who refuses to leash their dogs en route to or from the dog park. (After informing them several times with decreasing politeness that this was not part of the off-leash area, I just called Animal Services. I don’t care how perfect your dog is. I grew up around animals. Even you cannot predict 100% how your animal will react in an unpredictable situation, especially one that involves blind corners. Not to mention that in any altercation, it’s likely your dog will get injured. Putting your dog on a leash when required: safe for others, but even safer for your dog. Unless you are walking your dog on a leash while you drive your car, which, why.)
 
p. 83 is the start of the Insightrix dog-owner survey which has some fun statistics. Dog owners: you are not coming across very well here. Also, I begin to understand just why there is a lot of canine ejecta everywhere. I’ll leave you at this point as you no doubt want to read it, and I want to go to bed.

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