People in Saskatoon will need to dig deeper into their wallets after city council approved a series of fee increases on Monday.
Prices for monthly and yearly bus passes will all increase. Under the new fee structure, monthly passes for children will cost $50. School-age students will pay $59 and post-secondary students will pay the same as adult monthly riders at $83. Seniors will pay $29 a month.
Pre-school age children will still ride for free. Low-income passes get a 20 per cent discount, as does the city’s Eco-pass option. Discounted monthly passes will cost $28.
Councillors Pat Lorje and Zach Jeffries were the only councillors opposed to the transit fee increases. Both expressed concern that higher fares could cause ridership to go down.
Multi-unit recycling prices are set to increase to $2.66 a month from $2.51. This brings the program in line with the fee increase previously passed for single-detached homes, which went to $5.20 per month from $5.05.
Taxi drivers will also see their costs increase. The price for a taxi license will be going from $375 to $525.
Even the dead will be faced with a higher bill. The burial fee for an adult at the Woodlawn Cemetary is rising from $1530 to $2000.
All the fee increases passed by council will take effect in 2016.
– Councillors deffered debate on a motion by Ward 8 councillor Eric Olauson. Olauson is trying to get council to rescind part of the city’s public art policy. The sections in question call for one per cent of the budget of major capital projects to be put into art.
Councillors voted 6-5 to wait on that vote until administration completes a report on the cost of public art on sound walls that was slated to cost as much as $150,000 according to a report contained in the city budget.
– Council passed exemptions to the smoking bylaw allowing for ceremonial use of tobacco in public places as part of First Nations religious practices. They also passed an exemption for e-cigarettes. While e-cigarettes are still banned in the same places smoking is, an exemption will allow people to try out the devices in e-cigarette or vape shops.