Column: 2011 Budget Approved!

It was a busy week at City Hall last week. Having two Council meetings, we approved the Multi-Use Pathway is Osgoode, gaming tables at the Rideau Carleton Raceway, the Hazeldean Road Municipal Drain, and the lease renewal for the Ottawa Stadium Group signalling two more years of guaranteed baseball in Ottawa. We also supported a bid for the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships, on the heels of learning that the Olympic Curling Trials in 2013 was awarded to Winnipeg, not Ottawa. Better luck next time, I guess. We also dealt with the much debated Ashcroft Convent land issue, deciding not to support a tax levy to acquire the land. Promising to keep taxes in line and then imposing a tax levy on a group of residents seems to be counterproductive, which is why I would have a hard time supporting such a levy. We also bumped up much needed watermain maintenance on Woodroffe Avenue and Carling Avenue. Manotick’s water comes through the Woodroffe watermain and this upgrade will ensure safe and proper delivery for years to come. Quite clearly, our March 10 Council meeting was the busiest to date and we finally saw some debate around the table. Fortunately, I was on the winning side of 17-6, 19-4, and 20-3 votes. These votes were on the Pathway, the denial of a cycling reimbursement for City staff and committee volunteers, and the Raceway tables, respectively.

Our other meeting, of course, was for the 2011 Budget. After two months of committee meetings, public consultations, and deliberations, City Council approved the budget by a vote of 24-0. This budget limits the rural tax increase to 2.4%, down from the 3.9%, 4.9% and 3.7% increases of the past three years. Our next step is to review the Long Range Financial Plan. In this process, I will be emphasizing the need for infrastructure renewal money to begin the process of rebuilding our aging road network in Rideau-Goulbourn. The two most important things I heard prior to getting elected were taxes and roads and I’m working to address both as effectively as I can.

Last weekend, I attended the Barn Dance and Silent Auction in support of the North Gower Co-operative Nursery School. My son, Lane, went here last year and my daughter, Peyton, just started this year. We are blessed to have such great Co-operative nursery schools throughout Rideau-Goulbourn. The Silent Auction was a great success; I was one of the volunteers that helped secure donations this year. We had an array of prizes valued at over $10,000. A big thank you to the many donors and volunteers that made this event a success. The one thing about having so many items up for bids, however, is that some items get passed over or missed. As a fun little email version of a silent auction, I am going to give every reader the opportunity to bid on these remaining items. This will very much be a blind silent auction. From the following list of items, if you would like to bid on one, email me which item you would like and what your bid is for it. I will then go through all the emails and the highest bidder wins.

-2 tool bags valued at $35 and $30 each, donated by Kent Automotive

-Chiquitaz Hair Salon (Stittsville) $30 gift card for wash and dry.

-$50 phone repair certificate from Celluland

-Hair TherOpy (North Gower) $36.16; Women's Shampoo, cut & blow dry

-The Country Quilter (Richmond) Gift Certificate for $25

-The Branch (Kemptville) $40 gift certificate

-$250 Gift Card for the preparation of one personal tax return donated by Phil Byrne, CA, BDO Canada

-Therien Jiu Jitsu; (Manotick) private lesson, essential gear & 3 months lessons (value of $350)

Please submit your bids to me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca. The auction will run until Tuesday, March 22 at midnight. I will personally deliver the items to the winning bidders. Happy bidding!

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As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns please email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or call me at 613-580-2491. Don’t forget to also visit me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. The best way to keep up to date and informed on all issues is by visiting RideauGoulbourn.ca as this site is updated daily.

If you would like to make an appointment to see me in the Ward offices - either North Gower or Goulbourn, please call ahead to make an appointment.