Hello residents of Ward pihêsiwin!
As we head into the warmer months, I thought it would be a good time to update you on the work that has been happening at City Hall. It has been a very busy past couple of months. My staff and I have been working hard to represent our constituents! Please see the below for some exciting updates.
Currently, planning for Stage Three is now underway. As part of this planning for Stage 3, City Administration is conducting a survey. This stage of the project includes the design and construction of upgrades to the Terwillegar Drive / Anthony Henday Drive Interchange and Terwillegar Drive / 170 Street widening.
I encourage you to complete the Stage Three survey. You can complete this Survey by visiting this link and clicking on the take the survey button. Please note the survey closes on May 17th.
I also invite you to register for Terwillegar Drive Project Updates. This is a great way to stay informed of the most up to date information about this project. Please click here to sign up for these updates.
During the 2021 Municipal Election, I heard from residents about naturalization in the City of Edmonton - essentially the decision to move away from manicured lawns as ground cover in may open spaces in the city. Many residents expressed their concerns about the city’s naturalization policies, particularly with respect to landscaping maintenance around stormwater drainage ponds.
Based on your feedback, I have been advocating on your behalf to City Administration to provide much better public engagement opportunities. I am happy to report that Administration is proceeding with these opportunities.
To better understand the views of Edmontonians, City Administration will be undertaking a comprehensive engagement process regarding naturalization. This survey is part of their work to update the naturalization policy.
The survey is now open for you to complete. Please click here and scroll down to the start survey button to complete the survey. Please note the survey closes on May 16th.
Consideration of naturalization is warranted. More naturalized spaces will assist in less runoff entering the drainage system, and will aid in the filtration of the water that does enter the system. A naturalized space is far less expensive to maintain, and we must explore ways to reduce property taxes and spending.
But any such fundamental change to how the city intends to operate, especially changes that affect people’s lives everyday, must be thoughtfully considered with the input and feedback of city residents.
To read more about my thoughts on Naturalization, please click here to read my blog.
Snow and Ice Control
Since I was first elected in 2017, it seems City Council has constantly and continually talked about clearing the snow from our road system. I can’t count how many blogs I have written and how many conversations we have had, at Council and in the community, about snow clearing.
During budget deliberations in December 2021, I brought forward a Motion to fund a snow and Ice Operational Yard in Ambleside. Council passed this motion unanimously, which means we will see the design and construction of this yard start immediately. This means more efficient snow removal in the Southwest a few years from now.
In the last few months at Council, we once again have been discussing our snow and ice strategy.
It has been my view that snow clearing has slowly eroded and become less effective over the past several years, and many of you shared the same views with me. Yet when I have asked these questions in the past, I received assurances that the City was meeting all its targets. Those past reports also talked a lot about achieving bare pavement and other policies and ideas that fed into a very disjointed snow clearing strategy.
City Administration presented a report summarizing the effectiveness of the snow and ice program this last year on April 25 and again on May 9. This report was different, and I finally feel like I am getting some straight answers. City Administration provided clear and transparent information, including that on 57% of snow clearing equipment was utilized in 2021 - 2022. In producing this report, senior managers consulted with front line workers and actually listened to their feedback. It was acknowledged that blading residential roads to bare pavement was a failed experiment that ought not be repeated.
After contemplating this report, Council voted to consider budget increases to activate ALL of our equipment, and see what level of service can be delivered if we do. The conversation will continue on June 25th.
You may have recently seen in the News my recent comments regarding Blatchford. For those of you who do not know what Blatchford is, this is a neighbourhood in Edmonton that was pegged to be our signature environmental initiative on the site of the old City Centre Airport.
On June 10, 2014, City Council approved the Blatchford Business Case. That report projected 250 residential home sales annually, starting in 2015, rising to 500 units annually by 2018. The south end Town Centre was to have all lands absorbed by 2028.
On that basis, there should be 2,750 residential units by now, and at least some development in the Town Centre. This is what we were told to expect. To date, just 32 units have connected to the Blatchford Renewable Energy Utility.
These stats are alarming. I want to see Blatchford realize its massive potential. In the coming weeks I will be bringing forward a Motion to Council to ask City Administration to prepare a report on the land progress development at Blatchford. You can read more about Blatchford by reviewing a recent blog I wrote.
Klondike Days Survey
K-Days has been a signature summer event in Edmonton for a long time. It's under new management these days and they are working to make sure it continues to meet the expectations of Edmontonians.
Explore Edmonton is seeking feedback from our community to gain insight into how we envision the future of our iconic fair. Edmonton has changed and evolved so much in the past 20 years; let's take this opportunity to ensure that our future K-Days reflect that.
Click here to take their short, 10 question survey, and make sure your voice is heard. The survey closes on May 20th.
Council is preparing for the 2023-2026 Budget Cycle. In the coming months, there will be an opportunity for Edmontonians to share their feedback ahead of this cycle. I will ensure that this is shared with my constituents.
In addition, I plan on hosting a virtual townhall before we all get outside to enjoy the summer weather. To stay updated on when this happens, please sign up for my newsletter by clicking here.
Thank you again for allowing me to serve the residents of the Southwest. Should you have any municipal questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office at 780-496-8130 or at [email protected].
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