Saanich Council is putting the finishing touches on the 2011 budget that focuses on building a stronger, healthier, and safer community. The budget will be presented to Council for adoption the first week of May. Here are some of the highlights:
We’re making mobility our priority. Saanich residents can enjoy more of this great community on foot or on bike with over $2 million in new sidewalks and bike lanes. We’re investing in roads like Tattersal and Admirals – making them into pedestrian-friendly corridors and not the car-centred thoroughfares they’ve become.
A healthy community continues to be Saanich’s goal. This year we’ll complete a $3 million renewal of our playgrounds, sport courts, and tennis courts in parks all over Saanich. The park upgrades give Saanich children and families places to be active in their own neighbourhood. We’re doing more at our community centres too with a new arts centre at Cedar Hill and a new roof on Saanich Commonwealth Place. As Chair of the Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee, I’m thrilled with these important investments in an active community.
We’re putting safety at the top of the list. Saanich will hire five new firefighters and add more funds for community policing programmes. We’re fortunate to have such incredible, community-centred service in our police and fire departments.
Finally, we’re connecting with residents in new ways. This year, we’ll launch a new web and social media presence. We’re creating new ways to reach out to residents and hear from neighbours about local issues. Facebook and Twitter are just a few of the tools we’re adding to the communication toolkit.
It’s important to me that we invest tax dollars in Saanich residents’ priorities. I hear feedback by email, phone, and on the doorstep that people want to see investments in healthy, walkable neighbourhoods. I think this year’s budget helps us move in that direction, but there’s a lot more that we can do.
What are your priorities? Please send me your thoughts (click on the “Contact Me” tab above).