Departments Release Quarterly Reports
As part of their oversight, City Council was presented with the Quarterly Reports from city departments for October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. Here are some highlights from those reports.
CLERK/CITY SOLICITOR OFFICE
Work continued on updating the Traffic Bylaw. Neil Robertson QC is consulting on drafting the bylaw and has sent drafts out to various stakeholders for comment and input.
Ten other bylaws were considered by Council.
A total 215 property tax appeals were filed – 115 residential and 110 commercial – and a final report is expected into their outcomes in the next quarterly report.
CITY MANAGER’S OFFICE
Outgoing City Manager finished off his final full quarter of service with the City, working on land purchase and lease agreements surrounding Canadian Protein Innovation’s proposed pea protein plant in the new south east industrial park, plus finalizing the agreement for Canadian Tire’s development on land previously occupied by the Moose Jaw Exhibition Company.
FINANCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT
This department presented the operating and capital budgets for 2018-2019.
An Equipment Reserve Budget was created.
A new investment policy for reserves was presented and adopted.
The report also included an escalating level of property tax arrears over the last three years in the same quarter.
In December 2015 tax arrears were $397,074 in December 2016 tax arrears were $445,736 and in December 2017 tax arrears were $591,111.
In questioning from Councillor Brian Swanson about tax arrears Finance Director Brian Acker said it was a sign of the economic times.
“It's really a reflection of our economic times,” Acker stated, adding “it's a reality some of our citizens are having a hard time making their payment obligations.”
The Multiplex loan still had $15,879,000 owing.
The Multiplex Interim financing loan had $1,954,253.87 owing.
The Long Term Sewer Utility loan had $7,414,000 owing.
The Lillooet Street (South Hill Fire Hall) addition and roof repairs were completed.
The fourth quarter saw the fire department dispatched to 214 calls, with the largest majority, 85, being false alarms. The department responded to 44 vehicle collisions and 28 fires.
The quarter also saw 33 fire safety presentations at schools.
Also four false alarms during the period were deliberate attempts of someone pulling the fire alarm when there was no fire including one during the noon hour at SaskPolytechnic.
HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT
A total of 100 employees attended a workshop on mental health in the workplace. A total of 18 managers took advanced on-line courses in this area.
Fifteen in scope employees were recruited as well as a new Manager of Engineering Services. It also included hiring one new firefighter and two new police officers.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Replacement of the PlaMor Palace ice plant was completed.
The First Night Event New Year’s Eve celebration drew 192 people, up slightly from last year.
Fourth Avenue Bridge (Thunderbird Viaduct), the frescoes were rejuvenated and plaques were hung, calling it the Thunderbird Viaduct, as well as rehanging the 4th Avenue Viaduct plaque.
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
The long awaited Downtown Area Plan was approved.
Building permits in numbers and value were reported up from 2016 on annual basis.