'Save our downtown': Letter calls for city council to address downtown safety concerns
SASKATOON -- Issues around downtown safety are being brought forward to Saskatoon city council.
Downtown developer Ken Achs says he wrote a letter to council after one of his tenants, already dealing with the pandemic, expressed concerns about downtown being unsafe.
“It is time to recognize and acknowledge what is happening and have our civic leaders act quickly to save our downtown” the letter from Achs reads.
Other topics brought up in the letter include the location of the bus mall and the Lighthouse, adding there is a general perception that downtown is not safe and civic leaders need to take action.
"Somebody has to say something and I hope that council will hear it," Achs said.
City councillor Darren Hill believes the Lighthouse needs to be moved to a different location.
"It needs to be moved. It cannot continue to be there. If it stays there, it will be at the detriment of the entire downtown and it has to be moved,” Hill said.
Business improvement districts have signed a letter calling for investments in programs that improve safety and tackle root causes of mental health and addictions.
"It has to be a combination of support programs as well as enforcement,” Hill said. “Right now, we are not doing a lot of that."
The issue is on the agenda for the next Governance and Priorities Committee meeting set for Monday at City Hall.