Hydro outages and Councillor for Hire

In March of this year, I received a number of reports of power outages in the rural Stittsville and Ashton area.  At that time, I spoke with the Chief Operating Officer at Hydro Ottawa, Norm Fraser, and provided an update in this column on what Hydro Ottawa was doing to address the deficiencies. Having committed to providing further updates, I received more information from Hydro Ottawa this week.

Since the March 21st power outage, four sets of faulted circuit indicators have been installed to increase the speed in fault finding with an additional eight more to be installed; tree trimming has been scheduled for 2016 and crews are periodically removing any problem trees as they become aware of them; overhead equipment was inspected using infrared radiation scanning with immediate repair occurring with any failures and; arresters were replaced on the main circuit supply section along Flewellyn Road between Dwyer Hill Road and Ashton Station Road.

Further, there is now a plan in place to transfer 130 customers from the current supply circuit from Beckwith Station to Alexander Station. This should increase the reliability for these customers as Alexander has historically had higher reliability than Beckwith. This work will be completed later this year.

Manotick Secondary Plan Review

Following last month’s public meeting on the Manotick Secondary Plan review, I’m happy to tell you that all information is now available online at Ottawa.ca/manotickplan.  Please have a look and provide your feedback.  The Secondary Plan will be coming to Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee in the fall.

Manotick Boat Launch

After a three year wait, the installation of the new dock at the boat launch near the Manotick Library is imminent.  The dock could be installed as soon as this week.  I’d like to thank everyone for their patience.  This entire issue stems back to 2011 when the City of Ottawa acquired the boat launch property from Parks Canada.  There was first some uncertainty as to whether or not the launch would continue but after conducting my own consultation and not finding any viable launch alternatives nearby, I was happy to work with the City’s Rural Affairs Office and the Manotick Village & Community Association to bring a new dock to fruition.  This new dock will provide the safety that has been lacking at this location in recent years.  Thank you to the MVCA’s Klaus Beltzner and Mel Roberts for being part of the process to bring the dock back to Manotick.

Councillor for Hire - Millers' Farm & Market

In 2011, I began an initiative called “Councillor for Hire”. The idea was to spend time in different environments throughout Rideau-Goulbourn, learn more about our local businesses and their staff/owners, and understand how they interact with the City of Ottawa and any struggles or challenges they may face.  Over the last term, I worked at a number of different places including Corner View Farms, Saunders Farm, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, Manotick Village Butcher and many more.  Having taken a break from this during the election, I decided to get back into it recently which led me to my most recent job experience: Millers’ Farm & Market in Manotick.

On Friday, July 3rd, I had the pleasure of spending the day at Millers’ Farm on Rideau Valley Drive North.  My morning began with a good chat about City-related challenges facing businesses such at Millers’ with owners Ron & Suzie Miller.  One of the most beneficial aspects of any Councillor for Hire experience is the one on one discussion with a small business owner within their work environment. If there are any issues to resolve, I gather a better understanding with these kinds of hands on experiences.

The majority of my day involved working with customers, stocking fresh produce and picking strawberries and raspberries.  There is always plenty of work to be done at Millers’ and their near 300 acre property.  Their Garden Centre is fully stocked with annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs.  There is also a variety of trees, evergreens, flowering shrubs and hanging baskets.  If that isn’t enough, you can purchase bulk mulch, soil, topsoil and river rock as well.  Local deliveries are available and a couple occurred while I was there for the day.

They key to Millers’ Farm is their fresh fruits and vegetables.  Obviously, they have strawberries and raspberries but there is also currants, tomatoes, asparagus, garlic, rhubarb, squash, carrots, sweet corn and, in the fall, pumpkins.  The pumpkin patch is a crowd favourite and gets visited each fall by local schools.  I’ve had the pleasure of going on field trips to Millers’ with my three oldest children and their nursery school.

If you want to learn more about Millers’ Farm and everything they have to offer, please visit millersfarmandmarket.ca.  I’d like to thank Ron & Suzie, and their son Simon, for inviting me to spend the day as their “employee” and to all the staff at the farm for making me feel welcome and for showing me the ropes.

If you would be interested in having me spend a day as at your local business, please let me know.

Kars Dog Show

The Kars Dog Show is back this weekend and is celebrating their 50th Anniversary.  Come by the Kars Fairgrounds at the RA Centre and take in the show.  The show runs from Friday, July 17th until Sunday, July 19th.  More information is available at karsdogclub.ca.

Dickinson House News

July 18th & 19th, from 10:00am to 5:0pm, members of the Rideau Township Historical Society and the Manotick Horticultural Society will be on site to conduct tours through the gardens of Dickinson House.  Come and learn what the pioneers had to rely on for medicines and flavourings.

At 2:00 pm on Saturday July 18th, there will be an unveiling of a memorial plaque honouring Coral Lindsay.  She was the inspirational founding curator of the collection at Dickinson House, and fittingly, the special exhibit area will be dedicated to her memory.

While at the House you are invited to visit “Tableware in times Past “, this season’s special exhibition. As always, admission is free, and donations are welcome to help with the upkeep.

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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.