Although January is the official start, September often feels like the actual beginning of a new year, doesn’t it? Everyone is busy getting back into routines, school or activities, and Council is no different.
As we look to the start of this new school year, the first thing that I’d like to mention is that we have adjusted our school and playground zones. There is overwhelming evidence that having a consistent speed for consistent times contributes a great deal towards making our streets safer. I know that many parents do a great job teaching their kids about street safety, but we also need to remind drivers to be extra vigilant, especially during this time of year. As a former Police Chief, I can tell you that street safety is of the utmost importance and I am very pleased we have been able to make this change to protect our kids, pedestrians and cyclists.
The other new change we having coming this fall is that you will no longer receive your utility bills from CUI. Last month, Council officially closed the doors of CUI and transitioned to have the City provide utility services. In addition to seeing a bill come from the City, you will also see reduced rates! In July, we passed an 8% utility rate cut and you will see that reduced rate applied to your August bills.
On the horizon this autumn, we have two things we’d like to let you know about.
First, black carts will be coming to you in November. Our staff have been working hard to find ways to improve utility services and I am very pleased they are bringing this forward already. We heard many residents ask for this change and I am delighted that this will improve service, reduce costs and improve the safety of our operators. A win-win for everyone.
Second, we are asking for your feedback as we jump back into the budget process. Each fall, we prepare a budget that anticipates our community’s needs for the coming year. Starting in the afternoon of September 4, there will be some great videos and ways to participate at www.chestermereconversations.ca; all you need is an email address and postal code to join the discussion.
While it may not be the official beginning of our year, I wish you a ‘Happy New School Year’ and hope your family has a great start to the season.