Rural Association Partnership Program, Clean Water Program & More News

Prior to every Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee meeting, I post the agenda here giving plenty of notice. Unfortunately, due to the April 6th Committee date and the printing schedule of Manotick Messenger, I will only be able to provide that agenda in the April 5th edition of the Messenger. Having said that, we regularly post the agenda in our monthly e-Newsletter. You can register for that here: rideaugoulbourn.ca. The agenda will also be published in the Stittsville News. 

Rural Association Partnership Program – Apply Now for Funding

If you are an Ottawa organization operating a rural fair, a farmers’ market or a rural business organization such as Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement Areas, you may be eligible for funding of up to $7,500 through the City of Ottawa’s Rural Association Partnership Program (RAPP).

The first round of RAPP funding is now available with applications being accepted until Friday, April 14th, 2017 at 4:00pm. The objectives of the RAPP are:

  • To provide project based funding that supports the main priorities for rural organizations.
  • To contribute to the City’s rural economic health by supporting projects that will assist Ottawa’s rural business organizations, fairs and farmers markets achieve sustainability and capitalize on the proximity to Ottawa’s large urban market.
  • To assist in promoting Ottawa’s rural identity to both residents and tourists.
  • To provide economic benefits to small and medium sized enterprises in Ottawa’s rural communities.
  • Assist rural communities to overcome the business development challenges associated with smaller local population base.
  • To increase the capacity for rural communities to provide a quality visitor experience.

More information, including guidelines and an application form, can be found on the Rural Association Partnership Program webpage.

Prospective RAPP applicants are encouraged to contact the Rural Affairs Office at ruralaffairs@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424 ext. 27815 to discuss their proposal prior to submitting an application.

Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program

The Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program (ORCWP) provides funding for projects that protect surface water and groundwater quality. Landowners completing projects in 2017 may be eligible for grants of up to $15,000 depending on the project they are undertaking. The next application deadline is May 1, 2017.

New grants are available. Grants are available for 18 kinds of projects related to nutrient management, soil protection, water management, land stewardship, and education and innovation.

Farmers from rural and urban Ottawa along with landowners within rural Ottawa are eligible to apply. Approved applicants must complete a 3rd or 4th Edition Environmental Farm Plan (farm projects), or Healthy Home Guidebook (non-farm projects). Canadian Organic Certification is also accepted for some farm projects. Non-profit organizations can apply for education and innovation projects.

Applications will be accepted through the LandOwner Resource Centre, which works in partnership with the Mississippi Valley, Rideau Valley, and South Nation Conservation Authorities and the City of Ottawa. 

Contact the LandOwner Resource Centre at 613-692-3571 or toll free at 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1136. Visit www.ottawa.ca/cleanwater to see a full list of eligible projects and to download an application form.

2017 Cleaning the Capital Campaign

On the heels of Rideau-Goulbourn winning the Cleaning the Capital ward participation contest for 2016, registration is now upon us for the 2017 campaign. Early-bird registration begins March 15th, 2017.

Registration is quick and easy:

  1. Go to www.ottawa.ca/clean, or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) to register for the cleanup. The interactive map on our website will show you which locations have already been claimed, allow you to register your own project site and choose the cleanup supplies that you need.
  2. Select a location such as a park, ravine, shoreline, bus stop, pathway or any public area that requires litter pickup, graffiti removal or cleanup.

Volunteers who register their cleanup project by April 14th have a chance to win one of many early bird prizes donated by our generous sponsors. Volunteers who submit a final cleanup report by May 31st will be eligible for more prizes.

This is a great opportunity for families and friends to work together on community cleanup projects that help make Ottawa clean, green, graffiti-free and litter-free. Cleaning the Capital is also an excellent way for high school students to earn their community volunteer hours.

OC Transpo EquiPass

The application form for OC Transpo’s new EquiPass, an affordable monthly transit pass that provides a lower-priced transit option for those who live on low incomes, is now available.

The EquiPass is priced at $57 per month, a 50 per cent discount from the adult monthly pass, and will be available for use starting April 1st, 2017. It is available to individuals and families whose income is below the low-income threshold, which is set by the Government of Canada.

The EquiPass is not transferable and can only be used by the approved customer on the registered Presto card. For more information on EquiPass, please visit octranspo.com.

Kars on the Rideau Public School Used Book Sale

The annual used book sale is approaching fast. The sale starts for the general public on Saturday April 22nd and will be open from 10:00am to 1:00pm. Karin Rabuka will be there to serve up her freshly roasted and perfectly brewed NoGo Coffee.

Between now and then, however, they need books. The annual book sale relies on the generosity of others and the organizers are in need of donations of good used children and adult books, fiction or nonfiction, CDs, and DVD movies.  They are also accepting sheet music this year.  Please drop off your books in the school lobby.  The deadline for this collection is April 18th.

All money raised from this sale go to fund programs for the children in our school such as Science in the School, Mathletes, Stained Glass Workshop, dance and music programs, and to increase technology equipment in the school.

If you have any questions please email Diane at dianejdey@gmail.com

Jockvale Road Renaming

To close out this week, I wanted to give everyone a heads up that on April 10th, Jockvale Road will officially be renamed Longfields Drive. Since there are three disconnected sections of Jockvale, it was logical to rename the southern portion of the road that connects with Prince of Wales. Since the Longfields Drive extension opened, the road simply changed names mid-block. Therefore, it was decided that this section would become known as Longfields Drive all the way to Prince of Wales.

Similarly, the southern section of Cedarview Road was renamed William McEwen Drive last summer. In that case, there were also three different sections with the middle section being renamed Borrisokane Road. The existing William McEwen Drive intersected with Cedarview Road at Brophy Drive so that name was extended north with the support of the property owners along that stretch of Cedarview.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Cleaning the Capital and OC Transpo EquiPass

On the heels of Rideau-Goulbourn winning the Cleaning the Capital “Ward Award” participation contest for 2016, registration is now upon us for the 2017 campaign. Early-bird registration begins March 15th.

Registration is quick and easy:

  1. ·        Go to www.ottawa.ca/clean, or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) to register for the cleanup. The interactive map on our website will show you which locations have already been claimed, allow you to register your own project site and choose the cleanup supplies that you need.
  2. Select a location such as a park, ravine, shoreline, bus stop, pathway or any public area that requires litter pickup, graffiti removal or cleanup.

Volunteers who register their cleanup project by April 14th have a chance to win one of many early bird prizes donated by generous sponsors. Volunteers who submit a final cleanup report by May 31st will be eligible for more prizes.

This is a great opportunity for families and friends to work together on community cleanup projects that help make Ottawa clean, green, graffiti-free and litter-free. Cleaning the Capital is also an excellent way for high school students to earn their community volunteer hours.

OC Transpo EquiPass

The application form for OC Transpo’s new EquiPass, an affordable monthly transit pass that provides a lower-priced transit option for those who live on low incomes, is now available.

The EquiPass is priced at $57 per month, a 50 per cent discount from the adult monthly pass, and will be available for use starting April 1st, 2017. It is available to individuals and families whose income is below the low-income threshold, which is set by the Government of Canada.

The EquiPass is not transferable and can only be used by the approved customer on the registered Presto card. For more information on EquiPass, please visit octranspo.com.

Line Dancing Classes - Spring Session

If you've ever been interested in trying your hand (or feet) at line dancing, there is no better time than the present. Introduction to Line Dancing classes are available on Tuesday afternoons from 2:00pm to 2:30pm at the Richmond Arena from March 21st until June 6th. On those same dates, you can also register for the Beginner/Improver class that runs from 2:30pm until 3:30pm.

On Thursday evenings in Stittsville, you can take part at the Johnny Leroux Arena between 7:00pm and 7:30pm from March 23rd to June 8th. The Beginner/Improver class runs after this from 7:30pm until 8:30pm.

All ages are welcome. If you have any questions, please contact Dave Western at dlwestern@yahoo.com or by phone at 613-838-5428.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Greenbank Road Closure

In my most recent column, I included information on the, at the time, upcoming meeting of the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee. Please note that, due to a small and non-urgent agenda, the meeting for March 2nd was cancelled and the two agenda items will be deferred to our April 6th meeting.

Greenbank Road Closure

Motorists and cyclists are advised that Greenbank Road, between Jockvale Road and Half Moon Bay Road, will be closed from Monday, March 6th at 9:00am until Sunday, March 19th. The closure will allow for the installation of two box culverts as part of the ongoing Mattamy Half Moon Bay Development.

During the closure, detour signage will be in place. Access for local and emergency vehicles, and for pedestrians, will be maintained at all times.

Hydro Ottawa

From now until mid-July of this year, Hydro Ottawa will be undertaking a project that involves rebuilding the existing hydro pole line on Fallowfield Road (between Old Richmond Road and Shea Road). Impacted residents have already received notice of this work as it was scheduled to begin in January.

In total, 90 hydro poles will either be replaced or newly installed along the north side of Fallowfield Road. Any primary poles that are currently located on the south side of Fallowfield Road will be relocated to the north side due to a gas main. This work will improve the reliability of the electrical distribution system in the area.

Residents will notice an increased construction presence throughout the duration of the project, including excavation activities and construction vehicles. In order to minimize noise concerns, Hydro Ottawa will ensure that work is completed weekdays between 8:00am and 5:00pm. Traffic control will be implemented when required to ensure that roads and driveways remain accessible and safe to residents.

Hydro Ottawa’s qualified staff and contractors will conduct this work safely and efficiently, ensuring that any inconvenience is minimal. Hydro Ottawa is committed to delivering safe, reliable electricity service. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Ainley Ching, System Designer, who has been overseeing this project. Ainley can be reached by phone via email at ainleyching@hydroottawa.com.

Almost Sunrise

A local Manotick resident is heavily involved in the upcoming showing of an award winning film about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. ‘Almost Sunrise’ will be shown in Ottawa on Saturday, March 18th at 3:30pm at the Mayfair theatre, 1074 Bank St. This film features a PTSD program called Project Welcome Home Troops that specifically targets veterans but also ‘first responders’ in their struggles with post-traumatic stress.

“Almost Sunrise” follows two Iraq war veterans, both of whom are tormented by depression years after returning home and are pushed to the edge of suicide. Together, soldiers Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson embark on an extraordinary journey: a 2,700 mile walk across the country from Wisconsin to California, in order to reflect on their haunting experiences of war and to ultimately save themselves. 

The film explores the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder and moral injury on soldiers, and the lengths necessary to overcome difficulty. As part of their journey to wellness, the soldiers utilize meditative breathing techniques.

Project Welcome Home Troops (PWHT) is the featured as the method of treatment in the film and was started 12 years ago in the US to help veterans deal with the effects of PTSD. PWHT Canada is an organization of highly trained volunteers who teach veterans ancient breathing techniques enabling veterans to move quickly beyond the effects of their traumas empowering them to get back in touch with their true nature/self. Currently PWHT Canada is teaching veterans in the Kingston and Ottawa areas.

Ever wanted to be a Luger?

The Ontario Luge Association in collaboration with the International Luge Federation is presenting a 3 day training camp at Edelweiss on March 14th, 15th and 16th. This is a rare opportunity and definitely one not to be missed.

Some of you may have seen the media stories out of Manotick recently about the Mino family and their backyard luge runs. This camp is a reality all because of their story. 1988 Calgary Olympian Chris Wightman reached out to the Mino family and the rest is history.

The Ontario Luge Association and international coaches are scheduled to be there. More information on the camp is below:

  • Open to 15 kids
  • Carpooling available
  • City drop off for 8:30am and return around 4:30pm
  • Training Session will begin on hill from 10am and conclude for 3pm
  • Video review of each persons’ technique
  • Daily Time Trials
  • Timed Race on the last day!
  • $90 Registration fee (covers hill rental, insurance and luge equipment)
  • Have your picture taken with a former Olympic Luge Athlete

For those interested, please email Cassandra.Mino@gmail.com or contact her by phone at 613-852-6466.

6th Annual Zumba MS Fundraiser

It's time to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis again. With Kirsten Mooney organizing her 6th Annual Zumba MS Fundraiser, this is a great time to come out and dance it up. Tickets are $10 with all proceeds going to the MS Society; receipts will be issued for donations of $20 or more.

Kirsten is also looking for Live Auction items so please consider donating. Proceeds from the auction will be going toward a local North Gower family that has been affected by cancer. You can learn more about their story here: https://www.gofundme.com/ryans-road-to-health

This year’s event takes place on Friday, April 7th at the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre at 7:00pm. For more information, please contact Kirsten at 613-851-4589 or by email at mkmooney17@live.com.

The Oasis in Kanata

On March 20th, 7:00pm, The Oasis in Kanata, a place for caregivers of people with mental illness, will present “Gaining and Maintaining Balance.”  Dianne Blackburn, a Social Worker and Therapist with over 25 years of experience in the mental health field, will discuss how caregivers can support their loved ones with their mental illness while continuing to have lives of their own.  Admission is free and all welcome.  This event will be held at the Glen Cairn United Church, 140 Abbeyhill Drive.  Visit www.TheOasisKanata.ca for details.

ITR Theatre Company Presents Lafferty’s Wake

Charlie Lafferty is being waked in grand style in his home away from home, the local pub. Come and join Charlie's widow, his sweet daughter, bumbling son-in-law, the parish priest, and the savvy innkeeper as they celebrate the life and times of ramblin', gamblin' Lafferty through stories and song. This is the second show in ITR’s celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday and is a reflection of the Canadian mosaic - our rich cultural heritage from afar.

The show will be performed at the Osgoode Community Centre Hall, 5660 Osgoode Main on April 28th and 29th as well as from May 5th to the 7th. Tickets are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors/students and $55 for ITR’s yummy dinner theatre.

Tickets went on sale March 6 and can be purchased at www.itrtheatre.com, tickets@itrtheatre.com and 613-800-1165.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Bob Easy receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

In last week’s column, I included information on the upcoming meeting of the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee. Please note that, due to a small and non-urgent agenda, the meeting for March 2nd was cancelled and the two agenda items will be deferred to our April 6th meeting.

Bob Easy receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

At the City Council meeting of February 22nd, I had the pleasure of joining Mayor Jim Watson in presenting the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Munster’s Bob Easy.

Bob Easy has been involved in building and supporting youth in the communities of Munster and Richmond going back to the 1970s. The sense of community and of family he established among the teams he coached was sadly evident in 2012 when one of Bob's players, Tyler Kerr, died tragically during a game due to a heart condition. Bob took it upon himself as head coach to support the boy's family, his team and coaches, and the opposing team, by arranging grief counselling. He also organizes fundraising events to assist local players whose parents are unable to fully afford the cost of a hockey season; players who have been given the opportunity to play at a higher competitive level but whose parents are not able to pay the fees associated with that.

In 2001 Bob was presented with a plaque in recognition of his outstanding service to Minor Hockey under the Ottawa District Minor Hockey Association. In 2009-10 he was honoured as Coach of the Year by the Richmond Munster Minor Hockey Association for his special dedication to player development and team play. In 2014 Bob was presented with the Bill Kitchen Award for his devotion of time and effort to strengthening minor hockey in the community.

Bob was also involved in umpiring for fastball in Kanata for many years, and in slo-pitch in North Gower, Richmond and Munster in his later years. He is also involved in the Munster Co-operative Nursery School's annual ball tournament in June. There aren’t too many community events in which you don’t see the always recognizable Bob Easy involved in some way. Just recently, Bob and I both took a few pies in the face at the Munster Harvest Fest. Fortunately for me, I don’t have Bob’s beard so the clean-up was much easier.

Congratulations Bob! It is a well deserved honour.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

ARAC is Cancelled, Chateau Laurier Expansion and Upcoming Events

The Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 2nd has been cancelled due to a light agenda. The items will be moved to the next regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, April 6 at 10 am in the Chambers, at Ben Franklin Place. 

North Gower Country Kickup

The North Gower Cooperative Nursery School is holding its annual fundraising event on Saturday, February 25th at the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre. The North Gower Country Kickup will feature the musical stylings of Brea Lawrenson with the Jordy Jackson Band as the opening act. The event starts at 8 pm and runs until 1 am. Keep in mind that I live nearby so try to keep it down! Tickets and information can be found at www.countrykickup.com.

Shrove Tuesday

On February 28th, from 5 pm to 7:30 pm at the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre, come and enjoy a hearty supper of pancakes and syrup, ham, sausages, baked beans, fruit salad and homemade pies, with coffee, tea, juice or water. Cost is just $10 per adult, $5 for children 6-12, and children 5 and under free. This supper is hosted by Holy Trinity Anglican Church, North Gower. For more info, call 613-489-2207.

Chateau Laurier Expansion

The City has received a Site Plan Control application for the development and that information is now publicly available at ottawa.ca/chateaulaurier. Members of the public have 28 days to review the project and submit feedback, including through an online form and via email at chateaulaurier@ottawa.ca.

The proposal will be refined by City staff following their review and public feedback. Owing to the local and national importance of the Château Laurier, a special heritage working group, comprised of nationally respected heritage professionals and a representative from Heritage Ottawa, has been established to provide advice to the applicant, the City, and the National Capital Commission.

There will be additional opportunities to provide feedback before the project comes before Council, including when it considered by the Committee of Adjustment, Built Heritage Sub-Committee, which I sit on, and Planning Committee later this year. The City will also organize a community session for information and comments before these committees review the proposal.

I strongly encourage you to submit comments on this proposal. I have been very critical of the proposed expansion as I feel it completely detracts from the hotel. This is a building that has seen an expansion before and that was done tastefully. I see no reason why the same approach cannot be taken here. It will be interesting to see how this file moves forward and how impactful public input will be.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Richmond Forcemain Project Update

As we begin Canada’s 150th birthday year, the City has many exciting events and projects planned for Canada’s Capital celebrations. Last year, during my mid-term Town Hall meetings, I detailed several of these exciting attractions including: Ignite 150, Agri 150, Red Bull Crashed Ice and the Juno Awards and Juno week. In addition to these special events, I thought I would take this opportunity to update the residents of Richmond and Munster on a not so flashy project. Progress on the Richmond Forcemain has been progressing steadily over the last few months. City staff, through my office, have been updating residents that are directly impacted by the on-going construction. To date, this project is on time and on budget. Minor work has been completed on the 300 mm bypass Forcemain. Last week, the 300 mm bypass line was commissioned to discharge sewage for a few hours into lagoon “C”. This happened on schedule without incident and all safety precautions were taken to ensure public health and safety. Starting this week, sewage will be pumped into Lagoon “C” using the 300 mm bypass line, as the primary Forcemain is repaired and replaced. This work is expected to take two to three weeks. Residents will continue to see work all along the construction site next to the Jock River along Royal York Street and on Eagleson Road. Trails and parking lots around the Richmond Lagoons have been closed for the duration of the construction project.

If you are interested in seeing past updates, or have any questions or concerns, you can contact David Brown in my office at David.Brown2@ottawa.ca or contact him by phone at 613-580-2424 EXT. 25443.

Kanata-Carleton Cultural Festival: May 27th at Earl of March Secondary School

The Kanata-Carleton Cultural Festival is currently recruiting student volunteers for the day of the Festival. If you know a student who would be interested in volunteering at the Festival on May 27th, please contact my office.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For more information regarding Rideau-Goulbourn issues and events, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Ash Woodlot Rehabilitation and Canada 150 Maple Groves

In the early hours of Friday, January 27th, the kitchen on the second floor of the Manotick Arena caught fire rendering the entire second floor unusable. That same day, this community came together more than ever to ensure that Shiverfest went off without a hitch. The Manotick Village & Community Association put on a wonderful event that couldn’t have been possible without the effort of so many in the village including the Manotick Kiwanis Club, the Manotick United Church, the Manotick Legion, Station 94 and so many more. When space was lost at the arena, space was found elsewhere including in the village of Kars. Even a local business in Osgoode, Vibration Studios, reached out to assist in any way they could. Communities come together and that was never more evident than last weekend. Thank you.

Ash Woodlot Rehabilitation Update

In my November 3rd Messenger column, I provided information on the City of Ottawa’s Woodlot Rehabilitation Program aimed at removing dead and dying ash trees from David Bartlett Park, Van Vliet Park and Aston Woods in Carleton Golf & Yacht Club. That work began last week. As a reminder, this work will involve the clearing of ash trees this month as well as the removal of the highly invasive shrub buckthorn. In some areas, this work will result in significant tree loss as the presence of ash is substantial.

Following the removal, there will be a reforestation plan which will see a number of native species planted either in the fall or spring of 2017. If you have any questions on this, please let me know and I will endeavour to get answers as quickly as possible.

Canada 150 Maple Grove

In keeping with the tree theme, each ward in the City of Ottawa will see a Canada 150 Maple Grove planted commemorating Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017. In Rideau-Goulbourn, several sites were looked at but the chosen location will be David Bartlett Park. This project will see the 150 maple trees planted in groups throughout the park.  The plantings will consist of 50 red maple trees, 75 silver maples and 25 sugar maples. More information will become available closer to the planting date.

Community Dancing in Manotick

Interested in a fun, interactive session of dance, laughter & music? Join the Ever Hopeful Stringband and caller Pippa Hall for a family-friendly, alcohol-free evening of community dancing, including circles, squares and contras on Friday, February 24th from 7:00pm to 9:30pm at the Manotick United Church. Each dance is taught and the whole family is invited. The evening begins with simple dances, followed by dances that build on skills as the evening progresses. Adults are $10, children aged 12-18 are $5 and anyone under 12 is free. There is a family max of $20. For more information, please call 613-692-4576 or visit http://dance.manotick.net.

Controlled Tile Drainage Workshop

The Ottawa Clean Water Program is pleased to announce a Controlled Tile Drainage Workshop to be held on February 28th from 12:30pm to 4:00pm at the Kars Recreation Association Hall (1604 Old Wellington Street). There are several speakers that will cover different topics related to CTD, including: agronomic and environmental benefits, installation, experience using CTD on the farm, available funding, and opportunities for CTD and other best management practices within drainage management.

Grants for controlled tile drainage and other agricultural and stewardship projects are available through the City’s Rural Clean Water Program.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Celebrating John Brummell (& Other News)

Last week, we started the column off on a sad note following the passing of Anne Saunders. This week, I'd like to begin on a celebratory note in honour of Stittsville News's very own John Brummell. Last week, John was recognized at our City Council meeting with the Mayor's City Builder Award. I had the distinct pleasure of awarding this to him alongside Councillor Shad Qadri and Mayor Jim Watson. The honour was given following the recent retirement of our favourite photographer.

John Brummell is an institution in Goulbourn. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know John over the last six years. Whether it is the Santa Claus parades or the Richmond Fair, John is always there to help celebrate the community and document the events in the Stittsville News.

Over the years, John has become a great friend and it simply won't be the same without him behind that camera lens. I suppose John Curry will have to do from now on. Best wishes on your retirement Mr. Brummell!

Conley Road Closure

Please not that Conley Road, from Bleeks Road to Copeland Road, will be closed from Friday, 3 February 2017 to Thursday, 9 February 2017. A signed detour will be in place. The purpose of the closure is for a culvert replacement that will be undertaken by Willis Kerr Contracting.

WOCRC Be Well Survey

Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC) invites you to join them in exploring a snapshot of the health and wellbeing of people living in our far-west and rural communities.

The “Be Well” survey, developed by the Association of Ontario Health Centres, aims to capture overall quality of life indicators derived from the Canadian Index of Wellbeing. With this survey data, WOCRC aims to better understand the wellbeing needs of their far-west and rural communities, while making comparisons with communities across the city, province and country.

Participation in the “Be Well” survey ends on March 8, 2017. WOCRC greatly appreciates your participation and looks forward to sharing their community wellbeing report at a public forum later this year. Please share this survey far and wide!

The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. All information is kept strictly confidential. You can access the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WOCRC

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Proposed Development in Manotick, Kars Post Office Closure, ARAC Agenda

I first want to begin my column this week by offering condolences to the Saunders family following the loss of Anne Saunders. Alongside her husband, Bill, Anne founded the happiest place in Rideau-Goulbourn; Saunders Farm. She also spent 33 years with the Carleton Board of Education teaching kindergarten. Whether during the daytime or on evenings and weekends, Anne touched the lives of countless youth. Her legacy and her memory will be remembered fondly by those in Munster and across the city.

As we embark on this new year in an ever changing media landscape, communication strategies will need to be tweaked in order for our office to stay connected with you. While you will still be able to find this column in the Stittsville News weekly and the Manotick Messenger every two weeks, there are many more ways to stay connected with our office and what’s happening around Rideau-Goulbourn. We actively post information on our website, via our monthly e-Newsletter and on social media as well.

Regional Development Proposal

On Thursday, January 19th, the City hosted a public meeting to discuss the proposed development at 5721, 5731 and 5741 Manotick Main Street. The main issue for those in attendance was density. The density matter, however, was determined prior to the application being submitted. During the Manotick Secondary Plan review, the community was heavily involved in looking at how Manotick should grow. This process took place over the course of two years and there was significant input from members of the community. During the review, it was determined that medium density would be the target for several properties in the village including the site in question. This is a debate that occurs throughout our growing communities. Do we intensify our communities or do we expand them? There is a fairly clear consensus in Manotick that village boundary expansion is not an option. Therefore, when we plan for the next 25-50 years, we need to consider where growth can occur and what housing options are desired.

Thursday’s meeting did bring forward a productive discussion on a variety of concerns regarding the proposed plan. In the coming weeks, residents still have the opportunity to submit comments to Jeffrey.Ostafichuk@ottawa.ca. Please copy me on those comments so that I can work with staff on them going forward. I have already spoken with the applicant regarding many of those comments and we are working on addressing them. I cannot guarantee that the number of units will change but there were many other concerns that can be worked on.

One question that I feel was not adequately addressed at the meeting was around the zoning exception being requested by the applicant. This exception does not increase the density within the project. As stated above, those density figures were set through the Secondary Plan. The exception allows for a wider building footprint to accommodate the fact that this development consists entirely of bungalows. Without the exception, you would be more likely to see a more traditional suburban development of two or three storey towns which would not be in keeping with the community vision.

As part of the next steps, we will continue to work on the application based on the comments we have received and I will provide updates through this column. The Manotick Village & Community Association is also involved so they will provide updates on this as well. They send out a weekly e-Newsletter to members, which is another way to stay engaged within the community.

Kars Post Office Closure

Please note that as of February 1st, 2017, the Kars Post Office will no longer operate out of the Kars General Store. As they look for a new home in the village, temporary community mail boxes will be set up. They are currently working with the City on locating those boxes near the Kars Recreation Centre. They will work on this swiftly in order to avoid any disruption in service delivery. If a new location for the post office cannot be located, permanent community mail boxes will need to be installed throughout the community. Please contact me should you have any questions.

Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee

The first ARAC meeting of 2017 is scheduled for Thursday, February 2nd at 10:00am in The Chamber at Ben Franklin Place. This meeting has a relatively short agenda including the following items:

  • Zoning Amendments as a result of Surplus Farm Severances for 7110 Third Line Road, 3117 Roger Stevens Drive, 3285 Eagleson Road
  • Minor Rezoning of 5810 First Line Road reinstating certain storage uses
  • Commemorative Naming: David & Judy Makin Trail
  • Amendment to Richmond Secondary Plan
Ottawa 2017.jpg

Ottawa 2017’s Agri 150 presents Fire & Ice

The first Agri 150 event of the year has now been announced and tickets are currently on sale. The culinary adventure will take place on Saturday, February 11, just prior to Valentine’s Day, at the SunTech GreenHouses near Manotick Village.

Renowned chef Marc Lepine is creating the menu for this four-course gourmet experience, which highlights molecular cuisine. The evening begins at 6:00pm with a winter cocktail and outdoor fire and ice entertainment, followed by a small-plate fine dining meal inside the cozy ambiance of the tomato greenhouse.

Tickets for Fire & Ice are $100, or $125 with a wine pairings. A round-trip shuttle service, from one of three points of departure, can be added at cost of $12 per person. To purchase tickets, visit Ottawa2017.ca.

Announced in June, Agri 150 is an Ottawa 2017 program stewarded by Just Food to boost rural tourism during the celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday in the nation’s capital and for years to come. More than 20 unique outdoor events will take place over the course of the year to allow people to discover Ottawa’s rural communities in all four seasons, and enhance their knowledge and appreciation of rural resources, while enjoying rejuvenating adventures.

It’s Time to Shiverfest!

Manotick’s aptly named Winter Carnival will build on the huge success of last year’s event. It will kick off on Friday night with a skating exhibition, magic show, family skate and bonfire with live music, hot chocolate and Timbits. Saturday morning will feature the Kiwanis pancake breakfast and a children's fun time, with sleigh rides and fire truck tours. The chili cook-off on Saturday afternoon is always a popular event, where you get to be the judge of both the professional and amateur entries!

Two events that had successful débuts in 2016 will be repeated in 2017: bingo, put on by ROSSS, and curling demonstrations at the Manotick Curling Centre.  A new event for 2017 is a dance on Saturday night to help fund the arena expansion.  As a result of adding that, the trivia contest at the Mill Tavern is moving back to its original time of 4:00 to 7:00pm on Sunday.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Garvin Road Bridge and Ottawa Police Service Initiative (SI) Program

Welcome to my first Stittsville News column of 2017. While you can always read my column right here in the world famous Stittsville News, you can also read columns online at rideaugoulbourn.ca where you can also sign up for our monthly e-Newsletter. We also regularly post information on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Garvin Road Bridge

The Garvin Road Bridge was built around 1960 and is located on Garvin Road over Flowing Creek Municipal Drain about 1 km east of Huntley Road in Concession 4/5 Lot 26. The structure is a single span timber deck on steel I-Girder bridge with a span of 4.75m and an overall width of 3.9m. The ‘unmaintained’ Right-of-Way (ROW) between Shea and Eagleson Roads consists of a 3.5 m wide single-lane gravel/dirt road that has been unmaintained for over 16 years.

Dating back to early 2000’s inspections, the structure has been showing signs of deterioration. The most recent Ontario Structure Inspection Manual (OSIM) inspection (2015) identified that the bridge is in poor condition including severe rotting of the timber deck and cracking of the concrete elements. Due to safety concerns, the bridge has been closed and jersey barriers installed at both ends of the bridge to eliminate the use by pedestrians and snowmobiles. There are currently no agreements in place with snowmobile groups to use this ‘unmaintained’ ROW, although it was used as a snowmobile route up until last year.

At this time, the City’s intent is to decommission the Garvin Road Bridge. As part of this process, the City intends to consult with potentially affected stakeholders and assess the impacts of removal. Input and comments are invited for incorporation into the impact assessment study and will be received until February 3rd, 2017. Comments can be sent to kosta.karadakis@ottawa.ca. Mr. Karadakis can also be reached by phone at 613-580-2424 x23556.

Ottawa Police Service Initiative

In recent months, the Ottawa Police Service has been working on their Service Initiative (SI) Program, which is designed to improve how the OPS serves the community. A number of changes have already been made to the OPS service delivery model – such as a new organizational structure for investigative units and the Strategic Operations Centre, a hub for frontline, day-to-day operations and acts as a virtual back-up for officers on the road.

Effective January 23, 2017, the OPS will be launching the last of the major SI restructurings, the new Frontline Deployment Model, which is aimed at improving community safety by making it easier to move resources across the city to where they are needed. The new model will also have more streamlined processes for partners and the public to access services.

For more information about the SI, visit ottawapolice.ca/serviceinitiative or email serviceinitiative@ottawapolice.ca.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Looking back at 2016

With 2017 and Canada’s 150th year-long birthday celebration merely days away, it’s time to look back at 2016 for a year in review. The past twelve months were busy with many issues directly impacting rural Ottawa. It was also a year for progress on several files and increased planning on many more.

2016 was a year of progress. More of Rideau-Goulbourn’s roads saw improvements with varying degrees of upgrades conducted on Bridge Street, Royal York Street, Ottawa Street, Moodie Drive, Mackey Road and Flewellyn Road. The village of Kars finally saw the end of construction on Rideau Valley Drive South and the end result was a main street that actually feels like a village main street. We reached a conclusion in our efforts to protect and promote Dickinson Square as a heritage district with the retention of the Carriage Shed and Dickinson House in City ownership. We also began construction on the new Remembrance Park on Dickinson Street, a beautiful addition to the Square. In North Gower, the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre was the recipient of a new canteen building and new play equipment.

2016 was a year of controversy. City Council had many issues before it that were polarizing. In April, we brought forward a Vehicle-For-Hire By-Law creating a new policy in which ridesharing companies like Uber could legally operate within the City of Ottawa. At the same time, we loosened some of the regulations on the taxi industry recognizing the fact that, over the years, the industry had become over-regulated. In October, Council instituted a new Water, Sewer and Stormwater Rate Structure creating a system where the water and sewer rate budget can be managed in a more predictable manner with the aim of avoiding large rate hikes in the future. The new structure also balanced cost recovery of stormwater services across the City imposing a new fee on approximately 45,000 properties and lowering the fee on others. Earlier this month, Council approved an update to the Land Evaluation & Area Review which saw several changes to land designations, altering some from General Rural to Agricultural Resource Area and vice versa. Last, but not least this year, the City’s Public Library Board proposed a site for the future home of the Central Library. The new home is proposed to be at 557 Wellington Street, approximately 1.2 km west of the existing home at 120 Metcalfe.

2016 was also a year for community collaboration. The Remembrance Park became a reality thanks to the hard work of local residents and various community organizations, including the Manotick Legion. The preservation of Dickinson Square wouldn’t have been possible without Dickinson Square Heritage Management Inc., a group that represents over a dozen local organizations. The Manotick Arena Expansion is inching closer to construction thanks to groups like the Manotick Culture, Parks & Recreation Association. Community groups in Richmond have all come together to start planning the village’s bicentennial celebrations in 2018. Community organizations are what make our communities ever greater. My job would be impossible without them for which I am grateful. Whether it’s Burritt’s Rapids, Ashton, Fallowfield Village or any community in between, the countless local organizations work in partnership with my office, each other and the City to the benefit of all of us and that was never more obvious to me than in these past twelve months.

I hope that everyone had a pleasant Christmas and I wish you all a Happy New Year. See you in 2017!

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Review of the Final 2016 Council Meeting

I want to begin this week by acknowledging the unfortunate incident that took place on Bridge Street late last week. Without knowing all of the details, I’ll refrain from speculation but assure you that I will be working with the City and Ottawa Police to determine what happened and how such an incident could have been avoided. My thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by this incident.

5721-5741 Manotick Main Street

During the review of the Manotick Secondary Plan, I hosted a meeting to speak specifically about vacant lands throughout the village and how those lands could be developed. It was an opportunity for the community to determine the future of these lands rather than waiting for a developer to come in and do it for us. One such property that was discussed was the vacant parcels at the south end of the village, directly across from Century Road East, sandwiched in between Kelly Marie Drive and Island View Drive. These lands are 5721, 5731 and 5741 Manotick Main Street.

Following our meeting on January 22nd, 2015, Regional Group begun acquiring these parcels and put together a development proposal akin to their eQuinelle project in Kemptville and similar in nature to their Village Walk development in Manotick. While I briefly highlighted this proposal at my November 15th Town Hall meeting, there will also be a public meeting held on Thursday, January 19th, between 7:00pm and 9:00pm at the Manotick Arena to discuss this proposal. I hope to see you there. For more information about this proposal, please visit www.ottawa.ca/devapps.

December 14th Council Meeting

The final City Council meeting of 2016 was a busy one. In addition to the 2017 Budget, we had 46 items on the agenda. Eighteen of those items rose directly from the November 24th meeting of the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee. While the main items were the Budget and the Land Evaluation & Area Review (LEAR), Council also approved a new Medical Centre project in Richmond and a bid to host the 2021 Canada Games.

I would like to focus on the approval of the LEAR, though, in follow up to some recent columns on the matter. As part of 17 motions that were approved on the LEAR at Council, some minor changes, additions and deletions were made. We approved further studies into some lands around the village of Munster. We approved an expansion of the employment area south of Fallowfield Road along Moodie Drive. We also approved something else, though, that I voted against. It was a redesignation of 5504 Spratt Road from Agricultural Resource to General Rural.

5504 Spratt Road is the property directly behind the Tim Horton’s at the corner of Mitch Owens and River Road. It is a 66 acre parcel currently used primarily as pasture lands. However, it was subject to an Official Plan Amendment application several years ago which sought to bring the property inside the Manotick village boundary. Following that, a large commercial development would have been applied for. At the time, the City was opposed and the application was eventually withdrawn. A big-box retail development on the outskirts of a village is not consistent with any City policy. Another key factor at the time was the Agricultural zoning of the property.

Through the LEAR, however, the property owner brought forward a soils evaluation that suggests the property falls below the threshold for agricultural designation. Working in favour of that position is the fact that the property is surrounded primarily by residential development and is also used as pasture lands rather than for crops. Ironically, the residential lands north of this property were actually better farmland. Since the study supported a lower LEAR score, staff brought forward a change is designation for this property, which was approved.

Any development, aside from a couple of severances, on this property in the short term is unlikely. Policies are still in place that would not support retail or large scale residential on this property. My vote in opposition to this change was primarily for historical reasons. I do not approve of how the Official Plan Amendment was sought previously and I feel this is merely another avenue to achieve that goal. A retail development in this location would negatively impact surrounding communities, especially the village core of Manotick.

The LEAR will now go to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for approval with any changes requested coming back to Council. The Minister has 180 days to respond. An appeal period will then open following Provincial approval with an Ontario Municipal Board hearing process to follow. The LEAR, and the entire Official Plan, will not be completely approved until the OMB hearings take place. The projected timeline for this brings us into 2018.

Messenger Changes

As reported in last week’s Messenger, there will be changes to the frequency. With only two editions monthly, I will do my best to keep residents informed and up to date. I’ll also have to be cognizant of timelines for meetings and ensure that we are giving ample notification. This will place more emphasis on the value of our monthly e-Newsletter as well, which you can sign up for at rideaugoulbourn.ca. We send out our e-Newsletter each month one week before the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee meeting allowing us to highlight the agenda.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Get Ready for Ottawa 2017!

We are less than three weeks away from Canada's 150th anniversary and the launch of our Ottawa 2017 programming. Throughout the year, there will be a number of Signature Events that will entertain the millions of visitors to Ottawa and create memories for the many who call the Ottawa area home, such as:

Red Bull Crashed Ice: Professional athletes from all over the world will skate down a plunging ice track on the iconic locks of the Rideau Canal, overlooking Parliament Hill and the famous Chateau Laurier

La Machine: For the first time in North America, La Machine will bring its monumental motion theatre to the streets of downtown Ottawa. Prepare to be mesmerized by these fascinating creatures

Underground Multimedia Experience: Experience the ultimate underground extravaganza with this world first immersive multimedia production, projected  inone  of  our  city’s future Light  RailTransit (LRT) stations

YOWttawa: A  massive  music  celebration,  featuring Canadian,  First Nations and international artists

Agri150: A series of rural events, between 15 and 20, aimed at celebrating the rural parts of Ottawa.

Other major events include the Juno Awards, the 105th Grey Cup, the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club, the Davis Cup at TD Place, the Canadian Track & Field Championships, the Canadian Videogame Awards, National Skating Championships, the Roar of the Rings, and more.

With festivities taking place in every corner of the city and throughout the year, there will also be plenty of opportunities where you can celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary in your community. For more info on the exciting Ottawa 2017 programming and to learn how to get involved, visit the ottawa2017.ca.

Ottawa 2017 Volunteer Program

Volunteers will serve as a major contributor to the success of Ottawa 2017. Working with the producers and organizers of each Ottawa 2017 event, the Ottawa 2017 Volunteer Program will determine the need for volunteer crews and provide a workforce at each event site throughout 2017. The Ottawa 2017 Volunteer Program will recruit, engage, train, deploy, and support 2017 volunteers who will assist in various areas such as logistics, public relations, guest services, hospitality, marketing and security. Four experienced Volunteer Captains have been recruited to lead and/or co-lead volunteers at specific Ottawa 2017 events.

How to get involved:

Applicants must be 16 years and older by December 31st, 2016, progress through a screening process and undergo a criminal records check. We are looking for super volunteers who demonstrate the following:

  • Pride in representing Ottawa and Canada
  • Strong oral communication skills in English, French or both
  • Warm and friendly personality, strong people skills, enthusiasm, positivism, team player,
  • Eager to help attitude
  • Knowledge of the Ottawa region
  • Comfort level with technology
  • Willing to undergo volunteer training
  • Interest in music, culture, arts, sports
  • Enjoy working outside

We are recruiting on an ongoing basis and spaces are limited. We strongly encourage applying soon by following the registration link on the Ottawa 2017 website: http://www.ottawa2017.ca/get-involved/volunteer/

Beware of Scams

Recently, a Richmond resident contacted our office and let us know that she was the recipient of a scam phone call.  There are many common scams that may target you via email, through door to door sales and many over the phone. If you suspect you are the target of this, please contact the Ottawa Police Fraud Section at 613-236-1222, extension 5433. 

This time of year, you need to be cautious of charitable organization scams. While there are many organizations that do tremendous work in our communities, there are some that use this season as an opportunity to scam people using pressure tactics to give on the spot and have you sign up for monthly donations with your credit card. For more information about common scams, please visit the Ottawa Police website at ottawapolice.ca/en/about-us/common-scams.asp.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

2017 Draft Budget and Future Projects in Rideau-Goulbourn

The 2017 Draft Budget was tabled on November 9, 2016. As part of the pre-budget consultation process, Councillors conducted information sessions from mid-September to mid-October, providing information on the municipal budget process to residents and getting views and ideas on the priorities for this draft budget. With the 2017 Draft Budget tabled, there are still opportunities for residents to offer comments and input before the final Budget goes to Council for consideration on Wednesday, December 14th.  Information on the 2017 Budget is available at Ottawa.ca/budget2017 and you can submit comments via email at budget@ottawa.ca.

The draft budget includes a predictable 2% increase in keeping with the previous three budgets. It takes into account recent changes in the bureaucracy at City Hall that created an annual operating savings of approximately $18M. It features more money for roads, snow maintenance and parks. It also features the introduction of a low income transit pass.

In Rideau-Goulbourn, residents can expect to see a continuation of our commitment to infrastructure renewal with the resurfacing of William McEwen Drive, Shea Road and Bleeks Road. Outside of the ward, Prince of Wales Drive will also be resurfaced between Strandherd Drive and Hunt Club Road. The hard surfacing of Mackey Road will be completed this summer and pavement preservation treatment projects will take place along McCordick Road (South of Mackey Road), Third Line Road and Harnett Road. The City will also be microsurfacing Donnelly Drive between Merlyn Wilson and the City of Ottawa boundary, just west of Burritt’s Rapids. Residents on the north end of Long Island in Manotick will see the renewal of the McLean Bridge near the entrance to David Bartlett Park.

When it comes to sidewalks and cycling projects, the Federal Government has provided some funding that will go toward improving cycling in the rural area in the form of paved shoulders. These projects are not yet determined. There is also federal money that will be spent on exploring opportunities to improve cycling along Bridge Street. The primary focus will be the two bridges. With bridge reconstruction still several years away, planning now will feed into that work down the road. The 2017 Budget also identifies upgrades to the Beaverwood sidewalk, between Manotick Main Street and Ann Street. This will bring the sidewalk up to current standards.

There are several Parks & Recreation projects around the ward as well including two previously funded projects; the Manotick Arena expansion and the Remembrance Park in Dickinson Square. There is also design and construction on two parks in Richmond; King’s Grant Park and a new park on Nixon Farm Drive which will be named Sarah McCarthy Park. These two were also partially funded and announced in the 2016 Budget. In addition to the expansion at the Manotick Arena, there will also be lifecycle works completed at the same time in the form of roof replacement, septic system decommissioning, fire alarm system replacement and new flooring. Design work will also begin on replacing play structure equipment in Blue Rock Park in Kars and Richmond Lions Park.

As mentioned earlier, more information on the budget is available at www.ottawa.ca/budget2017. Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.

Snow Go Program

Need help clearing your driveway and/or walkway during the winter? The Snow Go Program can help you. This program is divided into two parts to match your individual needs to the appropriate service. The two programs are as follows:

The Snow Go Program provides a matching service for seniors and people with disabilities looking to hire an individual or contractor to clear snow from private driveways and walkways. Residents who participate in this program are responsible for paying the individual or contractor removing the snow.

The Snow Go Assist Program provides financial assistance to eligible low-income seniors or persons with disabilities looking to hire an individual or contractor to clear snow from private driveways and walkways.  Approved participants may be reimbursed for 50% of the cost of snow clearing per event, up to a seasonal maximum of $250. Rural applicants, who pay excessively high costs for snow removal, as defined by staff, are eligible up to 50% of the cost of snow clearing for their private driveways and walkways per event, up to a maximum of $450 per term.

Check ottawa.ca/snowgo to find the agency that services your neighbourhood.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Land Evaluation & Area Review (LEAR)

There has been much discussion in recent weeks about the City of Ottawa’s update to its Land Evaluation & Area Review (LEAR). The purpose of a LEAR is to identify prime agricultural areas using several factors in addition to soil class, in order to establish an agricultural designation in the Official Plan. The LEAR is used as a tool to then help designate Agricultural Resource Areas across the City.

The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton identified the existing Agricultural Resource Area in 1997 using a LEAR system. Key components of the LEAR system are soil capability for agriculture, land use and parcel size. New soils mapping and changes in land use and the size and nature of farms in the city over the last 20 years warrant re-examining and updating the existing LEAR system. The Ontario Municipal Board has also directed the City to complete this update.

The Statutory Public Meeting required by the Planning Act to consider the amendment and submissions from the public was held on the 22nd of November at Planning Committee. The report also came to the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee on November 24th. The report will now rise to City Council at its meeting on December 14th. If you did not submit comments to either Committee, you can still do so up until the Council meeting. Council will be considering objections submitted in writing up until it makes a decision on December 14th.   Written submissions received before December 9th will be reviewed by staff and if agreed to motions for change will be presented to Council. All submissions must include the reasons why the existing or proposed designation should be changed - this should include soil sampling and independent assessment in accordance with the LEAR model.

There have been some changes in the LEAR system that the City is using now versus what was used in 1997. Some of the weighting has changed and the threshold for lands to be considered agriculture was lowered from 130 to 125. This was the recommendation from City staff. In their involvement through the LEAR update, they discovered that some lands were scored artificially higher in 1997. The idea was that, since the City lacks substantial Class 1 lands that the scores would reflect that and Class 2 and 3 lands were given higher scores and that trickled down somewhat. For this review, a more scientific approach was taken and it was determined that 125 was a more appropriate threshold. Ultimately, the difference in the LEAR mapping is negligible and much of the land proposed to be designated as Agricultural Resource Area actually ranks higher than 130 regardless. Having said that, lands that score below 125 can sometimes get bundled with lands that score much higher and the City evaluates the lands based on 250 hectare parcels, not individual properties.

Following the December 14th Council decision on LEAR, there are still opportunities to have appeals addressed. Request for changes to Agriculture designations can be submitted to staff with supporting material (soil sampling and independent assessment in accordance with the LEAR model). Staff would review and where they agree, these could be provided to Council for Council to make submissions to the Ministry before the Minister’s decision is given on OPA 2016. Any modifications to the Official Plan Amendment would have to be agreed to by the Minister. Once the Minister makes his/her decision, those wanting to appeal then have 20 days from the date the Minister issues the decision to register their appeal with the Minister and stating the reasons for the appeal.

To retain a right to appeal, written submissions must be provided to the City prior to Council making a decision on OPA 2016 on December 14, 2016. After an appeal is lodged there is a period where mediation is encouraged. This provides an opportunity for Council to consider additional information provided as part of the appeal and which may not have been available earlier.

Submissions can be made to planning@ottawa.ca and addressed to Bruce Finlay. Please contact me should you have any questions regarding the LEAR update and the recommended Agricultural Resource Area designations.

Dickinson House

On December 3rd and 4th, between 10:00am and 4:00pm, come and celebrate the Season by making a Victorian styled Christmas ornament at Dickinson House. Ideas and craft supplies are provided, and the young and young at heart can bring home a lovely memento. Admission to the House and the crafts are free of charge. Donations toward the upkeep of the House are always welcome. 

Continuing to celebrate an old time Christmas at the House, there will be a reading of A Christmas Carol at 2:00pm on December 11th and 18th; hot chocolate, shortbread and fruitcake will be served at intermission.  Tickets are $5.00, and children under 12 are free. To reserve a seat, please call 613-692-6455, or purchase your ticket at Manotick Office Pro. The House will open at 1:30pm on the days of the reading.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Manotick Town Hall Meeting and Other November Updates from Rideau-Goulbourn

To begin this week, I would like to offer my condolences to the family of Mitch Owens on behalf of the residents of Rideau-Goulbourn and the City of Ottawa. Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Owens but I’m sure many reading this column knew him from his time representing the City of Gloucester as Councillor, Deputy Reeve and Mayor from 1966 until 1991.  It takes a special person to serve 25 years in public office, not to mention the countless other jobs that Mr. Owens had in his 95 years. He will be missed.

Manotick Town Hall Meeting

Last week, we had a great turnout at the Mid-Term Town Hall meeting. I’d very much like to thank everyone for taking the time to attend. While most of our meetings end before 9 p.m., many attendees stayed closer to 10 p.m. and some after. We discussed many items but the one that garnered the most attention was David Bartlett Park. The next steps in our discussion about shared uses of the park will include the formation of a working group. This was a suggestion made during the meeting and one that I am happy to implement. I look forward to continuing this conversation with all interested parties. By the discussion at the meeting, that’s a lot of interested parties.

Richmond Forcemain Improvements

In my November 1st Stittsville News column, I announced that the contract for the Richmond Forcemain improvements and upgrades had been awarded to Robert Excavating and that work would commence imminently. Three weeks removed from that time, nearby residents will have noticed that the contractor has mobilized and construction has begun.

Users of the lagoon trail system will have already noticed an impact as the trail and parkland behind homes along Dallaire Crescent has been closed. Further, the parking lot off of Eagleson, near Barnsdale Road, has also been closed. We have been working on any concerns that have been brought forward as a result of project startup. Streets in the construction zone will be monitored daily for construction debris as required.

The Project Manager on this file, Danny Palermo, has been providing me with weekly updates on construction. I will be relaying that information to nearby residents via email. If you would like to receive such updates, please send me an email and let me know.

Remembrance Park

In recent weeks, the successful bidder on the Remembrance Park project, DB Contracting, began mobilizing on the site of the future Remembrance Park. Between now and the winter shutdown, the contractor will be working on site preparation and the installation of the hard infrastructure, such as the garden walls and the armour stone walls. In April, the work will reconvene in earnest with the target opening of the park slated for July 1st, 2017.

This park will be a great addition to the village and specifically, the cenotaph. This project couldn’t have been done without the work of the community and the initial acquisition of the property by my predecessor, Glenn Brooks. The now-defunct Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation saw the transfer of this property from the Corporation’s oversight to the City’s Parks & Recreation Department. The efforts of the Remembrance Park Organizing Committee have led us to this point and the community is grateful for their work.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations at City Hall

Countdown to the New Year and kick off the Ottawa 2017 festivities during an energizing and momentum-building event! Join the fun on December 31st, 2016, for this early-evening, family-friendly celebration that will include the lighting of a spectacular cauldron at Ottawa City Hall. The sparking of this special landmark will cue hundreds of Ottawa-area students to form a human chain, connecting young people from diverse backgrounds and weaving a line of youthful optimism through downtown Ottawa streets.

The evening will be crowned by a musical show and fireworks on Parliament Hill. The Ottawa 2017 Bureau is working closely with the school Boards and indigenous community to recruit the participating students. For more info on the spectacular Ottawa 2017 programming and to learn how to get involved, visit the http://www.ottawa2017.ca/! Check the online calendar often as we keep adding new events!

Mixing it up

The West Ottawa Ladies Chorus (WOLC) is presenting a Kaleidoscope of colourful tones to celebrate the season of winter and Christmas. A Christmas Kaleidoscope will delight the audience and please everyone's taste in music. The chorus works diligently to blend soprano, second soprano and first and second alto to a seamless sound. Under the direction of Robert Dueck, the WOLC strives for the highest standards from the top ranges to the lowest notes. Blending notes, like colours creates patterns of sound – a kaleidoscope.

This season, the audience will experience colourful tunes from spiritual to jazz to rag to show tunes. Although the concert is a celebration of Christmas, it is also a celebration of winter and will appeal to all cultures. The WOLC is committed to giving back to the community and visits several senior's residences to take the gift of music to those who may not be able to attend a public performance.

A Christmas Kaleidoscope by the WOLC will be performed on Saturday, December 3rd at 7:00pm at St. Paul's Anglican Church, 20 Young Rd., Kanata and on Sunday December 4th at 2:30 pm at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1817 Richardson Side Rd., Carp. Tickets will be available soon. For more details contact westottawaladieschorus@gmail.com.

Isle in the River Theatre Company

From November 25th to the 27th, ITR Theatre Company is presenting a Norm Foster Double-Double. This includes two one-act plays, My Narrator and The Death of Me, at each of the 6 performances at the Osgoode Community Centre. Tickets are available through http://itrtheatre.com/ or by calling 613-800-1165 or e-mailing tickets@itrtheatre.com.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

ARAC Agenda, MPAC Farm Assessments and Community Events

ARAC Agenda

With the merging of the November and December meetings of the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee into one meeting on Thursday, November 24th, we have quite the agenda. Taking place at our usual location and time, Ben Franklin Place at 10:00 am, the meeting agenda includes:

  • 2017 Draft Operating & Capital Budget
  • Land Evaluation & Area Review (LEAR)
  • Report on Significant Woodland Policies
  • Zoning By-Law Amendment for 471 Sangeet Place (Rideau-Goulbourn)
  • Zoning By-Law Amendment for 6265 Perth Street (Rideau-Goulbourn)
  • Official Plan Amendment for a Quarry at 3150 & 3200 Rideau Road (Osgoode)
  • Zoning By-Law Amendments for 4175 Anderson Road (Cumberland), 4000 Canaan Road (Cumberland), 711 Vances Side Road (West Carleton-March), 2469 Forced Road (Cumberland), 6219 & 6317 Dwyer Hill Road (Rideau-Goulbourn)
  • Kizell Municipal Drain (Kanata North)
  • McKinnons Creek Petition for Drainage Works (Cumberland)

The big items will be the 2017 Budget and the update to the LEAR. Accompanying the LEAR update, will be a recommendation to make changes to Agricultural Resource Areas across the City.  Some lands may be recommended to be changed from General Rural to Agriculture and vice versa.  More information and maps are available at Ottawa.ca/LEAR. I served as Chair of the LEAR Working Group as we reviewed the mapping for the last four years, working alongside local landowners, the Ottawa branch of the Ottawa Federation of Agriculture and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs.

471 Sangeet Place is the second phase of a small development adjacent to the village boundary in Richmond, next to the Legion, off of Ottawa Street.  10 lots are proposed. Also in Richmond, the report on 6265 Perth Street seeks to permit the construction of a new medical facility at the corner of Rochelle Drive and Perth Street. The zoning will also permit future phases, including a mid-rise apartment building and some commercial and office space. The City received much support on this application from the community and I appreciate everyone who took the time to submit comments.

MPAC Farm Assessments

Many property owners across Ontario received their MPAC notices last month. While residential property owners received their letters in the spring, the farmland assessments were only released in mid-October. What property owners will have noticed is a huge increase in assessment. In fact, the average assessment increase in Ottawa is 98%.

The big question for most, though, is how will this affect your taxes? Through any assessment update, the municipality cannot increase revenue. The City doesn’t come into a windfall just because property values have gone up. As a result, taxation needs to be adjusted based on assessment increase. In that case, those around the average increase of 98% will not see any tax impact. If your assessment is below the average, you are likely to see a decrease in your property taxes as a result. Similarly, if your increase is above the average, there will be a corresponding increase in your taxes.

DSHMI Annual General Meeting

Dickinson Square Heritage Management Inc. (DSHMI), a coalition of community organizations whose mission has to preserve and promote the unique heritage character of Dickinson Square for the benefit of the community and beyond, is pleased to announce that it will be holding its 2016 Annual General Meeting on Thursday, November 17, 2016, starting at 4:00 p.m., in the main meeting room at the North Gower Client Service Centre on Roger Stevens Drive. The public is welcome to attend.

The Hockey Hootenanny

On Saturday, November 19th, the Osgoode-Rideau Minor Hockey Association is hosting a fundraiser for the Manotick Arena Expansion.  As many of you know, the Manotick Arena is being expanded in 2017.  The project is a joint effort between the City, the Federal Government and the community. Your support of this event will help your community’s efforts.

The Hockey Hootenanny will be hosted at the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre in North Gower.  There will be a silent auction, door prizes, live music and more.  The Whiskey River Band and Cougar Bait will be performing.  Tickets are $15 in advance and available by calling or texting 613-862-8436. Tickets will be $20 at the door.

Isle in the River Theatre Company

From November 18th to 20th and from the 25th to the 27th, ITR Theatre Company is presenting a Norm Foster Double-Double. This includes two one-act plays, My Narrator and The Death of Me, at each of the 6 performances at the Osgoode Community Centre. Tickets are available through http://www.itrtheatre.com/ or by calling 613-800-1165 or e-mailing tickets@itrtheatre.com. Tickets for the dinner theatres on November 19 and 26 are selling out quickly.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Dickinson Square Update and Upcoming Town Halls

Our Rideau-Goulbourn Mid-Term Town Hall Series continues on Tuesday, November 15th with our Manotick meeting. As usual, we will cover a number of city-wide issues that have been making the news over the last 20 months. We’ll also focus on local issues. At our Manotick meeting, I will be focusing on a variety of issues but will specifically discuss David Bartlett Park and the Falls House.

Over the past couple of months, I have been having conversations with various community groups regarding the use of David Bartlett Park as well as the parking issues. I have been floating plans for a parking lot expansion as well as the notion of creating an on-leash area on the south end of the park abutting the Bravar Drive properties. While nothing is imminent, we’ll continue this conversation on the 15th.

For the Falls House, I will be discussing the background, the future and showing the virtual tour of the building that was filmed prior to demolition. In addition, we’ll provide updates on other goings on in and around Manotick, including some of the agricultural issues with MPAC and LEAR. These meetings are always general in nature and any topic is up for discussion. The meeting will be at the Manotick Arena beginning at 7:00pm.

After the Manotick Town Hall, we’ll be hosting a meeting at the Kars RA Centre on Wednesday, November 23 at 7:00 pm. The following, and second last meeting, will be in Richmond at the Agricultural Dining Hall on November 30th. This meeting will be a bit different as there will also be a public meeting on the Shea Road development application at 6:00 pm with our town hall to follow. As usual, we will cover a number of city-wide issues that have been making the news over the last 20 months. We’ll also focus on local issues, such as development and infrastructure projects.

Dickinson Square Update

Another topic that we’ll touch on next week is Dickinson Square. Last week, the Finance & Economic Development Committee approved my report that recommended the retention of the Carriage Shed and Dickinson House in City ownership. As many of you know, these properties were purchased alongside four other Dickinson Square properties and placed under the care of the Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation. Following the retention of the Holloway Property and the sale of the Weaver House, the Ayres Building and the Clapp Property, the MMQCDC was left with just the Carriage Shed and Dickinson House.

The approved report means that these two buildings will remain in the City’s ownership and that the MMQCDC will be dissolved. The next steps will see the City enter into long term agreements with Watson’s Mill and the Rideau Township Historical Society to occupy the buildings.  While we still have some work to do, I just want to take a moment and thank Margot Belanger and Gerald Reasbeck, who have been members of the MMQCDC with me since 2010. I would also like to thank the member groups of Dickinson Square Heritage Management Inc., who have helped advise me throughout the Dickinson Square process. Last, but not least, I’d like to thank former Councillor Glenn Brooks, who helped guide the acquisition of the Dickinson Square properties through Council.

Richmond Library PD Day Program

The Richmond library has a really exciting PD Day program planned for Friday November 18th from 2:00-4:00pm (drop-in). It’s a PD DAY Pop up Makerspace and Lego Block Party.  We will have the pop up 3D printer at the branch!  Children are invited to: 

Get Creative! Test your building ability with our Lego® challenges and participate in our Lego® scavenger hunt! Join in on our community colouring project or explore our makey-makeys and LED-throwies. Check out our 3D printer demonstration to see what you can build at our Imagine Space.

North Gower Library Turns 125!

The North Gower branch of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) is celebrating its 125th anniversary on Monday, November 14th in style. To mark 125 years of service, the branch is inviting Library customers and the community to dress up in the style of their favourite decade, or to pull from the tickle trunk, to represent the one-and-a-quarter centuries of library services, learning and community connections.

Join your neighbours on November 14th from 7:00pm to 8:30pm to enjoy interactive activities, entertainment, a photo opportunity with Queen Elizabeth in 2D, and refreshments by Dolly Doll Bakery. OPL Board Chair Tim Tierney will join the event to say a few words from 7:30pm – 7:45pm.

The North Gower branch fosters community relationships in many ways, while acting as a catalyst for exploration and discovery. Its local flavour is cultivated by the active surrounding rural community of artists, families, farmers, local businesses and entrepreneurs. The branch has strong links to the artistic community and is the site of a monthly local art display. The recently refurbished branch features a large, colourful mural created by local artist Becky Marr-Johnson.

More information about North Gower’s 125th Anniversary is available on the OPL website. OPL’s North Gower branch is located at 6579 Fourth Line Rd, North Gower, ON K0A 2T0.

Isle in the River Theatre Company

Double Double_Poster_horizontal_8.5x11-page-001.jpg

From November 18th to 20th and from the 25th to the 27th, ITR Theatre Company is presenting a Norm Foster Double-Double. This includes two one-act plays, My Narrator and The Death of Me, at each of the 6 performances at the Osgoode Community Centre. Tickets are available through http://www.itrtheatre.com/ or by calling 613-800-1165 or e-mailing tickets@itrtheatre.com. Tickets for the dinner theatres on November 19 and 26 are selling out quickly.

*****

If you have any comments about anything other than No Tractor signs, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. If you really do want to know more about No Tractor signs, Google “Scott Moffatt No Tractor”.  There is plenty of material out there.

Flu Clinics, Woodlot Rehabilitation Program, and Dickinson House News

While the November 1st Finance & Economic Development Committee meeting will have already taken place by the time you read this, there are two key items on the agenda with relation to Rideau-Goulbourn, specifically Manotick. One is a report that I brought forward that seeks Committee and Council approval to retain Dickinson House and Carriage Shed in City ownership. This would conclude the Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation process and ensure that Dickinson Square remains as you see it today with Watson’s Mill and the Rideau Township Historical Society calling these two buildings home.

The other item is a land swap that will place the woodlots on the Mahogany lands in City ownership. This is something that came from the OMB decision approving the Minto development in the south end of the village. The woodlots are years away from seeing development occur near them, but this land swap will ensure that these lands are protected from development.  As part of the deal, the City is giving up lands in South Nepean to Minto.

Forcemain Project

On October 25th, a Commence Work Order was issued by the City of Ottawa to Robert Excavating to complete the upgrades to the forcemain project.  As many of you are aware, this is the culmination of nearly two years of planning and consultation

The original forcemain was built in the early 1980’s and is in need of repair. The construction project will involve repairs and modifications to the existing 500mm diameter forcemain, the installation of a new bypass 300mm diameter forcemain to facilitate the repairs, the installation of a new section of 600mm diameter forcemain for the proposed future development within the Village of Richmond, and decommissioning of an abandoned forcemain in the immediate vicinity of the Richmond Sewage Pump Station (RSPS).

This work is tentatively planned to begin any day now and be completed by October 2017. Spot repairs and modifications to the transition couplings, valves and valve accessories will be made at various structures along the existing forcemain between the RSPS and Lagoon Cell C as well as on Eagleson Road between the Jock River crossing and Robertson Road. An abandoned forcemain will also be decommissioned as part of the works and runs from the RSPS from Royal York St and along King St to Chanonhouse Dr. before heading north at Chanonhouse park through adjacent wooded lands prior to reaching the Lagoon site.

Ottawa Public Health Flu Clinics

During the 2015-2016 flu season, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) administered over 10,000 influenza vaccines at community clinics, while it distributed over 379,000 doses of the vaccine across the City through physicians’ offices, pharmacies, long-term care facilities and other vaccine providers. For the 2016-2017 flu season, OPH will again focus on providing access of flu vaccine to the general population through physicians’ offices and pharmacy providers, and outreach to vulnerable populations. As in previous years, OPH will continue to run community-based clinics in areas of low pharmacist / physician coverage.

For the upcoming season, over 170 Ottawa pharmacies will be offering the influenza vaccine.  Many pharmacies are open long hours, and are located throughout the city, making the publicly funded influenza vaccine ever more accessible.  In addition, more than 300 physicians’ offices across the city will be offering the flu vaccine to their patients.

OPH will be offering 12 community clinics in different areas of the city from October 29, 2016 to November 16, 2016, including at the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre on Thursday, November 10th and at South Carleton High School on Tuesday, November 15th.  Both clinics run from 3:30pm until 7:30pm. Local pharmacies offering flu shots include Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart and Paul’s Pharmasave in Manotick; Richmond Village Pharmacy and Richmond IDA; and North Gower Pharmacy. The eQuinelle Pharmasave and the Kemptville Shoppers Drug Mart also offer flu shots.

Woodlot Rehabilitation Program

As ash trees continue to decline within the City of Ottawa due to the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), it is important to address the safety issues and necessary tree removals within our parks and woodlots.

Part of the City’s EAB strategy includes selective park and woodlot rehabilitation; identifying City parks and woodlots with a high percentage of ash to remove unsafe dead, dying or invasive trees, encourage non-ash trees and shrubs with the exception of buckthorn and plant a selection of native tree species.

Many parks and woodlots hold significant plant and wildlife populations and make large contributions to human health and the environment: it is important to manage these significant areas, not only for public safety but also to conserve the many benefits they provide.

This winter, the City of Ottawa will begin removing all dead/dying trees from Beryl Gaffney Park, Ashton Woods and Van Vliet Park. For public safety reasons, identified areas of the park will be closed to the public during the tree removal operations. While most of these are passive parks, maintained areas of the park will be cleared of small woody debris once the snow has melted and conditions are dry enough for equipment access.

All areas subject to tree removal are to be replanted. Reforestation species will include: red maple, sugar maple, silver maple, serviceberry, hackberry, white pine, burr oak, red oak, American elder, white cedar, basswood, nannyberry, large tooth aspen, trembling aspen, dogwood and speckled alder.

Dickinson House News

To commemorate Remembrance Day, you are invited to Dickinson House where there will be a special display featuring the contributions made during WW2  by the late Lt.- Col David L. Fromow  and  Mrs. Barbara Fromo, both long-time residents of Manotick.  The House will be open on weekends from 10:00am to 4:00pm in November, and will be open on November 11th from 10:00am to 4:00pm as well.  Admission is free; as always, donations are welcome.

The Victorian Tea, which is at 2 p.m. on November 5th, is sold out; if you wish to be put on a waiting list, please call 613-692-6455.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.

Water, Sewer & Stormwater Rate Structure Review

As many of you may have noticed last week, the home at 5514 Manotick Main Street, known locally as the Falls House, was torn down. This was done so after much effort to avoid that exact scenario. Unfortunately, the home did not meet the criteria for heritage designation and the condition was deteriorating. Please visit rideaugoulbourn.ca/fallshouse for the full story on the property as well as next steps. On that page, you will also find panoramic pictures of each room in the house as well as a video tour of the home that I took a couple of weeks ago. This will give you the full picture of the home and all of the information that led us to this point.

Stormwater Charge

In recent weeks, I have spoken at length about the stormwater charge that was approved by the Environment Committee last week. It has been a difficult issue to deal with for everyone impacted. I predicted as much in May 2015 when the item first came to our attention and again when the public consultation kicked off in March of this year. My main focus the entire time has been the facts. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of misinformation out there on this subject. If you still have questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact me. We also have information available on this website (click here) that provides all of the background.

There are, however, just a few points that I want to reiterate as they keep coming up in emails that I have been receiving and comments on various radio shows and whatnot. First, this has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you flush your toilet into a sewer system or a septic system. Stormwater is completely unrelated from sewerage services. They were in separate budgets prior to amalgamation and that never should have changed. As I mentioned last week, Council made that decision to put them together in 2001 and it was the wrong one.

I have also heard comments that this is a “tax grab” to increase revenues for the City. I completely understand that point because, for many of us in the rural area, we will begin to pay an extra charge on our tax bill. However, as I have also mentioned previously, those who are already paying for stormwater on their sewer bill will see a modest reduction in their bill.  Therefore, these two changes will offset each other. The City spends approximately $42M city-wide on stormwater maintenance and that budget will remain at that number. With the two offsetting numbers, there will be no increase in revenues as a result of the stormwater charge.

The final clarification I wanted to make is in response to comments that the revenue from this charge will just go toward urban projects that will not benefit the rural area. It will not. As mentioned above, the amount collected is just being shifted from water and sewer ratepayers to taxpayers. All fees collected in the rural area will go toward maintenance in the rural area.  In fact, the City spends $8M annually in the rural area and the new fee will collect $2M. None of your stormwater taxes will service anyone but rural residents.

I hope this helps provide further clarity. As always, I am available to chat about this further.  We also spend time at each of our town hall meetings discussing this very issue. Our Manotick meeting is on November 15th and our Kars meeting is on November 23rd.

Community Dancing in Manotick

If you are interested in a fun, interactive session of dance, laughter & music, come to the Manotick United Church on Friday, November 4th and join the Ever Hopeful Stringband and caller Pippa Hall for a family-friendly, alcohol-free evening of community dancing, including circles, squares and contras. Each dance is taught and the whole family is invited. The event runs from 7:00pm until 9:30pm and begins with simple dances, followed by dances that build on skills as the evening progresses. The cost to attend is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 12-18 and children under 12 are free.  There is, however, a family maximum charge of $20. For more information call 613-692-4576 or visit http://dance.manotick.net.

*****

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.