Here’s some happy news. It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like O’Hanlon’s might be on its way to getting a permanent patio on Scarth. RPC passed a recommendation at their meeting last week to close a stretch of sidewalk and sell it to O’Hanlon’s for $77,800. The bar will also have to pay for a new sidewalk to be built around their new patio space.

And that means downtown will be a slightly more interesting destination once this construction is all finished.

Taking a cab to get there, though, will likely cost you a bit more in future.

At a Community and Protective Services Committee meeting this week, they’ll be looking at a recommendation to hike taxi fares. Staff’s report recommends boosting the initial charge for a cab from $3.50 to $3.80. After that, you’ll be charged an extra 10 cents for every 60 metres or 10 cents for every 11 seconds (the previous charge was 10 cents for every 66 metres or 10 cents for every 12 seconds).

After that, the committee will look at a recommendation to mess around with the transit pass structure — but in a good way. Thanks to the new fare box system, monthly passes can now be sold on a rolling start date. That is, instead of the current system where you have to buy your pass at the start of a calendar month if you want to get full value out of it — fail to do so, and you pay the full price even though a chunk of the month has gone buy — with the proposed change, you will be able to buy 31-day passes that can start on any date in the month.

This change will also affect senior annual and semi-annual passes.

After the jump, all the other city hall stuff I’ve either missed last week or am in danger of missing in this one….


Tuesday, April 3
FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE: Passed the 2012 budgets for the Downtown Business Improvement District and the Warehouse Business Improvement District. Also passed the annual list of property tax exemptions and the fee schedule for historial and heritage information services.

Wednesday, April 4
REGINA PLANNING COMMISSION: Passed the Core Neighbourhood Sustainability Action Plan Update finally. This contains a list of action items and strategies for the invigoration of the Heritage Neighbourhood… which used to be the Core Neighbourhood… but this plan took so long to come to fruition that they changed the area’s name while they were waiting.

You might remember but staff tried to pass this plan last year as an information report — in other words, as a stack of paper that would sit in a drawer somewhere but wouldn’t require anyone to do anything with it. Council balked at this and sent it back to staff. What they’ve brought forward seems to have more teeth to it. And I spoke to someone with the Heritage Community Association who was extremely pleased with how things turned out. Here’s hoping that enthusiasm isn’t misplaced because Heritage is a great community that deserves more love. And with the Downtown Plan basically in limbo, and with a place like the Artful Dodger opening on 11th Ave, I’m thinking Heritage is poised to become Regina’s next “It” neighbourhood.

Other items that crossed RPC’s desk were the aforementioned request to let O’Hanlon’s have its patio finally, a proposal for a low-rise, eight-unit apartment building for 1932 and 1936 Cameron St, a proposal to build a mosque at 3810 East Eastgate Drive, and proposals to start work on phase two of the Hawkstone suburb and phase five of Harbour Landing.


Wednesday, April 11
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (11:45 pm): The committee will be getting staff to report about the 2013 property value reassessment for their June 6 meeting that will outline the timing for the reassessment and the taxation principles that will be used. The committee will also be picking a councillor to send to the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency meeting on April 17.

COMMUNITY AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES COMMITTEE (4 pm): Not only will taxi rates and the transit pass structure be considered, the committee will also be looking at a recommendation to provide a bus route from the Golden Mile out to Harbour Landing and a bylaw to turn several outdoor ice rinks around town into off-leash dog areas during the not-icy months. See. You had no idea what I was talking about in the title, did you? But you kept reading through this whole boring blog post just to find out.

Ha ha! I win!

And that’s it for what’s going on at city hall. You can read complete reports and agendas on the city’s website.