Last September 11th, a kindergarten student at École Dundonald School, died after being found at a storm retention pond nearby.
Mayor Charlie Clark believes the City of Saskatoon needs to find the right balance which allows for continued access to storm retention ponds but also addresses safety concerns, "My view has been, putting fences all the way around the ponds is not the right answer, it's something that we've learned over time, that there are uses for those ponds."
He cites those city residents who may want to use the ponds for activities like kayaking, canoeing or ice skating. And Mayor Clark notes that for children, and particularly near schools, they need to have the right protections in place. He says they are exploring the possibility of partial fencing around where younger children play.
Meetings were held last week in the areas where storm retention ponds are found near schools. The meetings were considered open to the public. Notification was only provided by the City to nearby neighbourhoods.
For at least one city resident there were a couple of things which didn't sit well in regards to public meetings regarding the storm retention pond at Ecole Dundonald School. One was the amount of time beforehand that they were notified of the meeting. Area resident Cary Tarasoff says they received a flyer on Friday February 2nd and the meetings were Tuesday and Wednesday the very next week.
Tarasoff says he also wanted to see more engagement with those impacted, which was also how the meeting was presented, as an engagement event, "They showed exactly what they were going to be presenting to council".
He suggests the cattails at the pond be cut down and says city representatives said they had contemplated cutting a section but Tarasoff wants to know how big a section and who would be responsible for it. For Dundonald Park, the city is recommending a 1.2 metre, or four foot high fence be erected.