Addressing safety, creating more jobs, developing downtown and being more inclusive were the areas Saskatoon mayor Charlie Clark said the city needs to focus on in terms of growth.
Clark looked to the next 15 years in his State of the City Address to the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce Thursday.
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Clark said he wants to see the downtown thrive, meaning helping businesses grow. Part of that could be the high tech sector.
He said the city is already in talks with some companies and start-ups about using their staff to do things like analyze city data.
“How often are people putting garbage bins out or collection bins out, or what are the activities in parks that we can learn from and to see what’s happening or the transit use,” he said.
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Clark said this would create job opportunities in the city and help improve services.
At the same time, he said he also wants to make the downtown a safe place for people to live and work.
“With warmer weather we’re seeing more garbage, more trash, more vagrant people just kind of hanging around with nowhere to go,” he said.
He said the city is looking at a second location for The Lighthouse to move some services and make things less congested.
He also pointed to the need to invest more in supportive housing like Edwards Manor, a rental housing project to help those experiencing homelessness.
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“This is a facility that has on-site psychologists, nurses, Elders and cultural support,” he said.
“While this takes resources it is still far less expensive than managing people in emergency rooms, ambulances, jail cells and in the streets of our downtown and Riversdale districts.”
Clark said alternative response police officers, dedicated to addressing issues downtown, started work last week.
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