City of Saskatoon plans 3-day spending review
Social programs and higher fees are up for debate as the City of Saskatoon looks for ways to save money during a city review starting Tuesday.
"We're going to be looking at the entire service program that we have in the City of Saskatoon," said Mayor Don Atchison. "How we deliver it, should we be in different programs, should we be in social programming."
Essentially, councillors are looking at ways to slash the upcoming budget, putting many social programs on the chopping block.
Those include a subsidized animal spay and neutering program, and a youth works program that helps clean up graffiti and alleyways.
However, it could also mean a spike in user fees. One idea is to start charging for downtown parking after 6 p.m. and on Sundays.
Atchison says the three-day review will end with some difficult decisions.
"Because again we want to make sure that we maintain our taxes at one of the lowest rates in Canada," said Atchison.
He insists an overall review like this is long overdue. A preliminary budget will be drafted from the review this fall, giving the public a chance to weigh in.
Meanwhile, Saskatoon's transit system could be taking a hit if some proposed changes go through.
That includes no bus service after 10 p.m., as well as an increase in the discounted bus passes.
News Talk Radio asked people at Saskatoon's main bus terminal what they thought of the proposed changes.
Some were disappointed to hear that the city is considering cancelling subsidized bus passes.
“I do get the subsidized bus pass, so that is a cut to my budget if that goes through,” said one woman.
One woman was concerned about the effect having to pay for parking during the evening and on Sundays would have.
“Paid parking after (6 p.m.), I think it will make less people go downtown and enjoy the river.”
Edited by News Talk Radio’s Sabeen Ahmad.