Thursday is the third allotted day for the City of Saskatoon budget and city council dove into business line reports that have a range of recommendations to try to find savings.
The land development business plan and budget was discussed late Wednesday, with the city’s chief financial officer Clae Hack saying this business line had no reliance on the property tax.
Hack said all of administration’s recommended options were addressed during the summer, but there were a range of non-recommended or other options on the table.
Coun. Randy Donauer moved for one option in the business line to be accepted, which would see additional billboard locations (resulting in a $200,000 reduction) in the city, which passed.
When it came to the utilities business line, Coun. Darren Hill moved to eliminate new street lighting investment (saving $150,000), update the schedule of fees bylaw (saving $60,000) and to change the non-residential water and sewer connection boundaries (saving $300,000).
In the environmental business line Coun. Mairin Loewen brought forward the motion to discontinue Christmas tree drop-off sites, noting that residents will still have the option of dropping off their tree at the material recovery centre, which passed.
On Thursday morning city administration gave an update of where the property tax currently sat if no other changes were made, with a 6.59 per cent increase in 2024 and a 5.48 per cent increase in 2025.
Coun. Zach Jeffries pushed a motion to cut four full-time equivalent positions from the anticipated increase of 11 positions that are going to be added to the Material Recovery Centre, which passed.
In the urban planning and development business line Loewen moved to have a portable sign license fee increase, bumping up the licensing fee to $100 from $40, creating a savings of $24,000, which passed.
Jeffries put forward a motion to reduce grass trimming service levels by 25 per cent, saving $100,000, which passed.
Corporate asset management, corporate governance and finance, Saskatoon Fire, transportation, community support, taxation and general revenue are still business lines that need to be discussed.
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