Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Committee votes in favour of renaming road

Property tax plan paused; organics need more study

- JILLIAN SMITH

A controvers­ial motion to start the process of renaming John A. Macdonald Road was unanimousl­y passed by a city council committee on Monday. Here's what you need to know from the meeting:

ROAD RENAME

Coun. David Kirton, whose ward encompasse­s the road, made the motion at the governance and priorities committee meeting. In his opening remarks, Kirton noted John A. Macdonald is considered the architect of Canada's residentia­l school system. While renaming the road can be divisive for some, it can also provide another avenue of healing, he said.

“(John A. Macdonald) deserves to be in history books, I just don't believe he deserves to be on a pedestal or street name,” Kirton said. He will fight to ensure there are no charges associated with changing addresses for those who currently live on John A. Macdonald Road, he added.

The motion to start the process to rename the road passed unanimousl­y. It will be on the agenda for city council next week.

Any change will have to be approved by city council.

PRESSING PAUSE ON PROPERTY TAXES

The first step in compiling the city's first multi-year budget in a pandemic is already on pause. On Monday, the governance and priorities committee was asked to approve an indicative property tax increase of 5.96 per cent for 2022 and an increase of 5.42 per cent for 2023.

Mayor Charlie Clark called this an “extraordin­ary” time and asked for the rates to be referred to the standing policy of finance committee to see if the rates can be lowered.

“Maybe some things we'd like to do, we can't afford to do this year or next,” said Coun. Randy Donauer.

The committee did not approve the indicative rates; instead, it passed the motion to send the indicative rates to a finance committee.

ORGANICS OPTIONS

The committee was tasked with deciding on how a citywide curbside organics program will operate when the program rolls out in spring of 2023.

Three options were presented to the committee: source collection in-house by city workers, hiring a third party to collect, or using a hybrid of city workers and a third party.

Committee members decided they did not have enough informatio­n and sent it back to the administra­tion for further study.

TCU PLACE BAILOUT

The committee approved a recommenda­tion for council to give TCU Place a $3 million line of credit.

The arts and event centre is dealing with a revenue shortfall brought on by the pandemic, and needed cash flow so it can avoid prematurel­y cashing in some of its investment­s.

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