SASKATOON, SASK. — The City of Saskatoon is moving forward with this year’s construction projects.
Saskatoon City Council has endorsed a plan to move forward with the 2020 budget for construction projects while complying with COVID-19 physical distancing protocols and other appropriate worksite health and safety measures.
“We need to keep city assets in shape. We’re looking at some $390 million in financial activity to keep the economy going and businesses being able to hire people,” Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said in a statement.
While most construction projects will proceed, City of Saskatoon Transportation and Construction General Manager Terry Schmidt noted most water projects involving lead line replacement will be deferred until later in the year or to 2021.
“We will take a look later this summer to see how people may be adjusting to the pandemic and make a determination of whether it makes sense to proceed with the lead line replacement program. If it’s not possible, we will defer until next year,” Schmidt said.
The city will avoid a tax increase to address deficit concerns, City Manager Jeff Jorgenson said.
“We will be using a combination of spending reductions and utilization of the city’s stabilization reserves to offset a significant portion of the deficit. The strategy does not rely on a further tax increase to address this deficit. We will continue discussions with other orders of government on possible assistance,” Jorgenson said.
If there is a remaining deficit not covered by relief packages the City of Saskatoon will consider adjustments to the 2021 operating and capital budgets, a release stated.