It was a short and busy session of Saskatoon city council Monday, as several impactful decisions were made in just two hours.
Councillors decided in a 10-1 vote to place a partial fence between École Dundonald School and the neighbourhood’s storm pond. The fence would be installed on the school side of the pathway in Dundonald Park.
The decision comes seven months after a five-year-old boy drowned in the pond after pulling away from an educational assistant at recess.
City administration conducted a safety review of all ponds in Saskatoon after the tragedy. They recommended the partial fence, along with a similar barrier between schools and a pond in Lakeview.
However, council defeated the fencing option for Lakeview in a 10-1 vote after backlash from people living in the area who worried it would detract from recreational opportunities.
Ward 8 Coun. Sarina Gersher voted in favour of the Lakeview pond fence. When that failed, she voted against the Dundonald barrier.
“My main hesitation was just being consistent between the two, because there are a lot of similarities,” she said.
Council also finalized the 2018 property tax rate, which will increase by 3.79 per cent overall. The final hike is lower than the initial 4.7 per cent decided in November.
Council revisited the tax rate after provincial funding was partially restored in April’s provincial budget.
The average homeowner will see an extra $67 on their tax bill.