Monday, 28 October 2013

Road Repair Options for 2014

Below are four options for road repair in 2014. The price tags ranges from just over $650,000 to more than $2.4 million. If you have a preference please let me know. I had formatting problems for the last 2 options. Sorry. Please be sure to check out the related posts here and here.

Option A


Option B


Option C


Option D


Municipal Leaders Launch New Campaign to Fix Canada's Housing Crunch

OTTAWA - The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) announced today that it is launching a campaign that calls on the federal government and all political parties to work with provincial, territorial and municipal leaders, as well as the private sector, to develop a credible long-term housing plan. This comes as new polling numbers were released that show one third of families are struggling to pay for the growing costs of housing.

"Our cities and communities need a stable and secure housing market that creates jobs, attracts new workers, meets the needs of seniors and young families, and keeps our most vulnerable citizens off the streets," said Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver and Chair of the Big City Mayors Caucus, who launched the campaign on Monday.

FCM members will be taking the campaign, entitled "Fixing Canada's Housing Crunch", to decision makers in Ottawa in the coming months in advance of the 2014 budget.  The first step in the process is that communities in every region will be passing a resolution calling for the federal government to take action. Joining Mayor Robertson at the campaign launch were Luc Montreuil, City Councillor for Gatineau, and Ana Bail√£o, Toronto City Councillor and Toronto's housing campaign lead. Toronto will be the first in the country to put forward the resolution.

The high cost of housing in Canada is the most urgent financial issue facing Canadians today. According to Statistics Canada and the Bank of Canada, rising housing costs have pushed Canadians' personal debts to record levels and are putting Canada's national economy at risk with Canadians carrying more than $1.1 trillion worth of mortgage debt.

A growing number of Canadians are being priced out of the housing market, putting pressure on a crowded rental market and crumbling affordable housing units, and forcing the most vulnerable citizens onto the streets.  Compounding these problems is the coming expiry of $1.7 billion annually in federal affordable housing dollars with the greatest drop in funding, $500 million a year, ending between 2014 and 2019. This will put 200,000 units at risk and could lead to a crisis unless all orders of government take action.

"We believe the government's commitment in Budget 2013 to evidence-based solutions such as the Housing First approach for homelessness is a promising start, but they need to back it up with real results and expand that action to other areas of our affordable housing problem. Canada's housing challenges are too big and too complex for any single order of government to solve on its own," added Mayor Robertson.

As part of the campaign, FCM is launching an interactive website at www.fcm.ca/housingcrunch.  The site also provides the results to the new housing survey, tools and information that illustrate why Canadians continue to struggle to pay for the costs of shelter.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Global Evening News: Housing Shortage in Kindersley

Kindersley was the lead story on Global TV News last night (Oct 24). Here is a link to the story. The story was about the housing shortage in Kindersley and it pivoted on a couple of points:
  • A local business owner lost his apartment due to the fire on Main St Monday evening.
  • The government's throne speech. (I have not had time to read it though I have seen some highlights. Here is the full text)
By focusing on the families situation, there were two families and a young woman in the apartment, the reporter asked questions about how we, and the province, are addressing the shortage. It seemed her story narrative was to put pressure on the province to act on housing.

Here is the rest of the story. (Can I say that?)
  • The families lost everything in the fire.
  • The families have been looked after by a variety of agencies including the Red Cross, West Central Crisis Centre and the Chamber of Commerce.
  • They have temporary housing in a basement suite.
  • They received emergency supplies from the Red Cross.
Based on the questions Wendy asked here is what I said:
  • The community has been helping the families.
  • Housing is a challenge in Kindersley for a variety of reasons:
      • All levels of government are involved to varying degrees:
        • The Federal government with building codes and mortgages,
        • The Provincial government with planning regulations and some incentives to build,
        • The municipality enforces provincial and federal regulations as well as its own bylaws which are guided by the provincial and federal government.
      • Erecting houses requires planning:
        • Safety including fire and security,
        • Parking,
        • Water,
        • Sanitation,
        • Waste,
        • Quality of life opportunities,
        • Roadways,
        • Greenspace, and more
      • The private sector has to want to build according to regulations and what the market determines.
        • Can the businesses make money?
          • There are some large developers in the province who buy the land and sit on it.
        • Some developers are very busy and a market like Kindersley isn't big enough to attract them at this time.
        • Some developers are too busy and don't have the capacity to do the work at this time.
  • The question was asked about the province and what they were doing:
    • The Headstart Program is a program to provide incentives to developers and potential developers to build new homes. This is a good program.
    • The Province seems very strategic in its investments but I would like to encourage them to diversify their investment into some more rural areas like ours.
    • Earlier this week I learned that the Kindersley Public Housing Authority has not built new housing units in Kindersley for approximately 20 years.
  • What are we doing to address the shortage?
    • We have a large development that is on track to turn sod the middle of November and do earth moving over the winter.
    • We have another development that we are waiting for the developer to start.
    • People have developed basement suites.
    • Families are sharing apartments and houses.
    • People are sharing houses and apartments.
I wish there was a silver bullet to use on this problem but that is not happening. A lot is happening and quickly. We, like other communities in the region are feeling it and we are doing our best to address the issues. Like you I wish we could do this faster.

Curling Club AGM

The Curling Club held their AGM Thursday evening with approximately 30 people in attendance.

I have to admit upfront that I am not a curler. I have curled twice: once at a teacher's social in Yellowknife and the second was here in Kindersley and I won the turkey toss.

Anyway, my assumption has been that the curling club is strong and healthy. I always see people going in to the rink and they have lots going on. Well, at the meeting they were discussing sustainability; their own sustainability.  It is not inexpensive to run the curling rink with their utilities bills around $50,000.

The Club will be making some announcements and I hope the upcoming year goes well for them. If we are going to be a socially and economically vibrant community they form a part of that equation.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Capital Budget Update

The other day I forgot to add a couple of items to the list of factors influencing our capital budget conversations:
  • Fire Hall for the Fire Department
  • Ladder Truck for the Fire Department.
Money has been put into a reserve fund for the ladder truck.

SUMA and SARM Discuss Provincial Growth

We are in the midst of planning the next Mayors/Reeves Forum for West Central Saskatchewan. It was affirming to read this bulletin from SUMA regarding their partnership with SARM. It is very close to what we are doing in West Central Saskatchewan.
 
Last week marked the anniversary of the release of the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth by Premier Wall, and the following day, leaders from SUMA and SARM met to discuss their shared roles and responsibilities in this time of unprecedented growth. The two associations have also agreed to meet quarterly to discuss common interests and how we can work together to find solutions to the issues facing local governments, including:
  • shared recreation and cultural services;
  • shared emergency services;
  • regional inter-municipal co-operation;
  • district (regional) planning; and
  • ensuring that local governments have the staff and financial resources to deal with the challenges and opportunities they face, and those that come with a growing province.
One day past the anniversary of the release of the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth by Premier Wall, leaders from the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) and the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) met this morning. The two associations discussed their shared roles and responsibilities in encouraging local governments to work together as Saskatchewan experiences unprecedented growth.

"We believe that co-operation is the name of the game," said SUMA President Debra Button. "In our role as municipal leaders, SUMA’s cities, towns and villages are coming together with our rural partners to benefit all of Saskatchewan."

In the spirit of co-operation, the two associations have agreed to meet quarterly to discuss the common interests of their Members and work toward collaborative solutions to address some of the issues municipalities are dealing with to accommodate growth.

"SARM and SUMA are already working together on joint initiatives to build the capacity of local governments to embrace and benefit from the growth we’re experiencing. It only seems right that we continue to expand the scope of these efforts as new needs arise," said SARM President David Marit.

Mayoral Report: September - October

Here is my mayoral report for September and October. I really hope I don't have another month like this; its not affordable.
Date
Activity
Purpose/Outcome
Follow Up
Policy Number
Sept 23
Mayor’s Hours
·      Met with residents
·      Brought concerns to Admin/Council
·      GP.2.1; GP.7
Sept 23
Council Meeting
·      Public Meeting
·      Refer to minutes
·      GP.0., GP.1.
Sept 24
Organizational Review Meeting
·      Interview
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.2.c
Sept 24
SK Emergency Planners Association Meeting
·      Support and Learn
·      Ongoing
·      GP.2.1; GP.7
Sept 25
WCMGC – Kindersley
·      Urban Co-Chair
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Sept 27
Mayor’s Hours
·      Met with residents
·      Brought concerns to Admin/Council
·      GP.2.1; GP.7
Sept 28
Goose Festival Parade
·      Celebrate Kindersley
·      Ongoing
·      GP.2.1; GP.7
Oct 2
Legal
·      Legal Update & Review
 
·      GP.4.
Oct 3
Policy Scheduling
·      Schedule Policies
 
·      GP.4.
Oct 5
Children’s Wish Walk
·      Walk in support and extend greetings
 
·      GP.2.1; GP.7
Oct 6
Meet with Fire Chief
·      Discuss Fire Hall
·      Bring Forward to Council
·      GP.2.
Oct 7
Council Meeting
·      Public Meeting
·      Refer to minutes
·      GP.0., GP.1.
Oct 7
Meet w/Fire Department
·      Communication
·      Update
·      GP.2.
Oct 8
Emergency Council Meeting
·      Review Fire at Landfill
·      Monitoring
·      GP.0.; GP.2.
Oct 8
Emergency Council Meeting
·      Declare State of Emergency
·      Monitoring
·      GP.0.; GP.2.
Oct 8
Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Meeting
·      Review Situation
·      Monitoring
·      GP.0.; GP.2.
Oct 8
EOC Meeting
·      Review Situation
·      Monitoring
·      GP.0.; GP.2.
Oct 8
EOC Meeting
·      Strategizing
·      Monitoring
·      GP.0.; GP.2.
Oct 9
Employer Visit
·      Communication
 
·      GP.2.
Oct 9
EOC Meeting
·      Review Situation
·      Monitoring
·      GP.0.; GP.2.
Oct 9
Mix 104.9 Interview
·      Communication
 
·      GP.4.

Oct 9
SUMA Meeting
·      Express Concerns and Learn
 
·      GP.4.
Oct 9
Minister Jim Reiter
·      Discuss State of Emergency
 
·      GP.4.
Oct 9
Minister Ken Cheveldayoff
·      Discuss State of Emergency
 
·      GP.4.
Oct 9
EOC Meeting
·      Review Situation
·      Monitoring
·      GP.0.; GP.2.
Oct 9
CBC Interview
·      Communication
 
·      GP.4.
Oct 10
Mix 104.9 Interview
·      Communication
 
·      GP.4.
Oct 10
Meet w/Mayor Eaton of Humboldt
·      Share Best Practices
 
·      GP.8.
Oct 10
EOC Meeting
·      Review Situation
·      Monitoring
·      GP.0.; GP.2.
Oct 10
Mix 104.9 Interview
·      Communication
 
·      GP.4.
Oct 10
KDAWN Meeting
·      Regina Oxford House Society
·      Update Council
·      GP.4.
Oct 11
Landfill Fire Review Meeting
·      Review of Situation
·      Monitoring
·      GP.0.; GP.2.
Oct 11
Tour of Landfill
·      Review Situation
·      Monitoring
·      GP.2.
Oct 11
Mayor’s Hours
·      Met with residents
·      Brought concerns to Admin/Council
·      GP.2.1; GP.7
Oct 11
Water Pipeline Announcement
·      Celebrate Continued Development
 
·      GP.4.
Oct 11
Meet w/Minister Ritz & MP David Anderson
·      Communication
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Oct 11
Meet w/Bill Boyd
·      Communication
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Oct 11
Emergency Meeting
·      Lift State of Emergency
 
·      GP.0.; GP.2.
Oct 11
CBC Interview
·      Communication
 
·      GP.2.
Oct 15
Mayoral Professional Development & Networking– Economic Development
·      Improve capacity to better serve Kindersley
·      Ongoing
·      GP.8.

Oct 15
Emergency Response Review
·      Review of Landfill Fire Response to acknowledge work well done and identify opportunities for improvement
·      Review Progress of Implementation
·      GP.2.
Oct 16
Mayoral Professional Development & Networking– Economic Development
·      Improve capacity to better serve Kindersley
·      Ongoing
·      GP.8.
Oct 17
Mayoral Professional Development & Networking– Economic Development
·      Improve capacity to better serve Kindersley
·      Ongoing
·      GP.8.
Oct 18
Mayor’s Hours
·      Met with residents
·      Brought concerns to Admin/Council
·      GP.2.1; GP.7
Oct 18
Capital Budget Meeting
·      Identify potential projects for 2014
·      Ongoing
·      GP.0.; GP.2.
Oct 19
Ducks Unlimited
·      Express Thanks and Say Grace
 
·      GP.2.1; GP.7
Oct 21
Mayor’s Hours
·      Met with residents
·      Brought concerns to Admin/Council
·      GP.2.1; GP.7
Oct 22
Landfill Meeting
·      Review current situation and plan next steps
·      Ongoing
·      GP.2.
Oct 22
Public Meeting
·      Traffic Study Review, Budget Feedback, Economic Development Incentives
·      Ongoing
·      GP.0.; GP.2; GP.7
Oct 23
WCMGC – Cut Knife
·      Urban Co-Chair
·      Ongoing
·      GP.4.
Oct 23
Chamber of Commerce: Welcome Night
·      Welcome Newcomers to Kindersley
·      Ongoing
·      GP.2.1; GP.7