Saskatoon's Mayor Charlie Clark says the city is working hard to minimize the effects of provincial budget cuts without cutting civic services.
Saskatoon citizens can expect $30 parking tickets, a wage freeze for city employees, and a total 2.55 per cent increase on their property tax bill.
Council spent four hours discussing ways to fight a $9 million shortfall in their civic budget at Monday's meeting.
"We're trying to find the right balance here in continuing to provide the services that residents value," said Saskatoon mayor Charlie Clark.
"And everybody is finding some cost savings throughout the city and mitigating the impact on residents through taxes."
Last month, the province cut decades-old grants paid to the city by SaskPower and SaskEnergy.
"Everyone does take a bit of an impact in the process but there are no drastic cuts.There are no drastic cuts to to employees or services," Clark told CBC's Radio's Saskatoon Morning.
Unlike Regina, Clark said he will not consider canceling bus routes on civic holidays to make up for the funding shortfall.Looking ahead
Clark said the cancellation of the province's grants-in-lieu program came "out of the blue." He wants to make sure that a more predictable, sustainable revenue sharing model is developed going forward and promised to "hold the province's feet to the fire" during those negotiations.
Clark said the province did not realize the impact pulling those grants would have on cities.
"We're having honest and frank discussions, the dialogue remains open." said Clark.
"I think it's very important that I advocate as strongly as I can on behalf of our citizens but that we do it in a way that is based on facts and evidence," he said.Saskatoon will not use its reserves to balance books
City manager Murray Totland noted Saskatoon spends every penny of its share of Saskatchewan's sales tax on operations, such as garbage collection, snow removal and maintenance in city-owned parks.
Totland likened drawing on the city's capital reserves to make up this year's revenue gap to taking money from a Retirement Savings Plan to buy groceries.
Councillors Randy Donauer and Zach Jeffries called it a one-time fix for an ongoing issue.
"I don't think it's council's prerogative to go to the $4.5 million we have in a cemetery reserve that's actually been set aside to care for the future of that facility, and say we should be spending that to take care of provincial cuts," said Jeffries.
"That's ultimately what's been suggested here."Gallery funding questioned
Donauer and Councillor Bev Dubois said they were in favour of freezing city employees' wages, suggesting it was time to cut councillors' travel and communications allowances.
Donauer asked officials to consider deferring operating money for the Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, which has yet to open after the Mendel Art Gallery closed in 2015.
"People think there are efficiencies to be found," he said.
City manager Murray Totland reminded councillors any cuts made this year would likely need to be permanent cuts.Expect further cuts, city manager warns
"Early indications are we will see a further decline in revenue-sharing," Totland told council members. "There is no real easy or painless way for us to address this shortfall."'There is no real easy or painless way for us to address this shortfall.' - Murray Totland, Saskatoon City Manager
To offset the increase, councillors told city officials to reduce fuel expenditures by $500,000 this year, and to look for $250,000 in savings through "energy management".
They also agreed to defer a snow and ice removal levy, which will save $1.2 million.
An additional $1 million will come from squeezing a higher dividend than expected this year from the city's water and wastewater utility. It's not clear whether water rates will be affected.Cities, towns cannot bill the province
Councillor Bev Dubois inquired about charging Crown corporations rent, acquiring more municipal taxation powers and charging the province for the land where new schools will open in September as options to recover lost cash.
"It's just not fair we would be paying this," Dubois said.
City officials noted the schools have not opened yet, and no lease agreements for the land have been signed by the province.
Totland noted that the city can charge the province any amounts it chooses but it has no legal way to collect that money.
- Trade and North Korea expected to be major issues as Trump meets Chinese president
- Monitors to stay on double-deckers despite federal report: OC Transpo GM
- Everyone's got a story: Genealogist Terry Punch found fun in family trees
- Rec house: Grand Falls-Windsor has its eye on a new place to play
- Maud Lewis 'a very Canadian story,' says Maudie director
- Plant workers optimistic as new Bay de Verde fish plant tests production 1 year after fire
- Warplanes strike Syrian town hit by chemical attack last week
- Here comes 'hard Brexit': What can Canadians expect on trade rules?
- Little sign of Canadian involvement in hunt for those who beheaded John Ridsdel and Robert Hall
- Canadian soldiers who died in WWI still being identified
- Liberal budget focuses on how women matter in Canada's economy
- Why 'Canada: The Story of Us' has angered a Nova Scotia town
You might also like
- Man charged with 2nd-degree murder in case of missing Manitoba woman Christine Wood
- Structural weakness, coercion and duress: a condo project goes off the rails
- 'There are risks': ER closures could bring needed change, health-care providers say
- RCMP, CSIS launch investigations into phone spying on Parliament Hill after CBC story
- Andrew Coppolino: Pressure cooker trend gathers steam
- Love animals and hard work? You could take over this Smiths Falls, Ont., farm — for free
- Parking enforcement firm says Denver Boot is fair game; Edmonton police say it's 'extortion'
- 'The stakes are a little bit higher': Oilers playoff rookies ready despite lack of experience
- Tax judge strangled, suffocated, battered, coroner testifies at triple-murder trial
- Ex-Mountie who abused son sentenced in Ottawa to 15 years in prison
- Uber is officially resuming all of its self-driving car tests after a big accident over the weekend
- Who's winning and losing late-night TV under Trump
- Powerful South Carolina political consultant implicated in indictments of a veteran state senator
- Will Donald Trump get a second Supreme Court nomination?
- "Hazing" rituals await Supreme Court's "junior justice" Neil Gorsuch
- The hunt is on for Planet Nine. Here's how to join it
- Trump approves controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline
- Trump praises 'Fox & Friends,' renews old feuds in early morning tweets
- Rex Tillerson finally answers question from NBC News' Andrea Mitchell
- First Read's Morning Clips: The Latest in the Russia Investigation
- Spicer: 'I've let the president down'
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday
- OMB Diriector Mick Mulvaney: Washington's 'a lot more broken' than Trump thought
- Trump attacks conservatives over failure of health care bill
- A very consequential week didn't go well for President Trump
- Health Care Showdown: Republicans look to go big or go home
- No deal on health care bill after conservatives meet with Trump
- CA gov on those supporting health bill: 'Their name is going to be mud'
- Give it to me straight, doc: Is Obamacare dying?
- First Read's Morning Clips: Waiting for CBO
- 14 People Share What's It's Really Like to Have An Ex Who Is Now Their In-Law
- The Internet Is Freaking Out About The Way This Chef Cuts Pizza
- Malala Yousafzai becomes honorary Canadian
- Text of Malala Yousafzai's speech Wednesday to a joint session of Parliament
- Controversy over video comparing abortion to Holocaust shown in Catholic high school
- Foul play not suspected in deaths of four people found in burning N.B. house
- Plans to bring high-speed internet to remote First Nations with 3,600 km cable
- Deadly wrong-way collision kills four in Quebec
- Gov. Gen. David Johnston reflects on Vimy and horrors of war
- Canadian accused in Yahoo hack denied bail, judge criticizes parents
- Attention, Gardiner commuters: You've got one more week to use the York-Bay-Yonge off-ramp
- Alleged hitman in brazen Toronto shooting sent message about 'contract killing,' Crown says
- After 6 suspected overdoses, Toronto councillors want amnesty for users who test drugs
- How do you fix child care in Toronto? Get all 3 governments to spend billions on it, report says
- Review of York Region District School Board finds 'culture of fear,' 'systemic discrimination'
- Peel school board steps up meeting security 'to ensure people are safe'
- 'The feather and the Bible were together': A tragedy is helping to mend a city's racial divide
- 5 things we learned about the changing nature of news from The National in Conversation
- 'We hear you': Sudbury city official says cyclists, pedestrians will have a voice at city hall
- Council approves demolition of low-rental housing for college residence
- 'It's just not a strong signal': Residents in rural P.E.I. asked to test their internet speed
- Monitors to stay on double-deckers despite federal report: OC Transpo GM