On December 13th, City Council approved the 2018 budget. This budget maintains the predictability of the previous seven budgets in that it focuses on priorities that matter the most and carries a 2% property tax increase. You likely heard talk of a proposed 2.5% increase but that was withdrawn following the announcement that the City had a surplus for the second straight year and $10M of that surplus would be dedicated to infrastructure renewal.
In Parks & Recreation, planning and consultation will be undertaken for improvements to Beryl Gaffney Park using the master plan for that plan and the $560,000 identified in the budget. Blue Rock Park, in Kars, will see improvements, as will King’s Grant Park and Richmond Lions Park and Gordon & Ivy Scharf Park in Manotick. New parks will be created in the form of Lela Scharf Park, Mud Creek Park and the Spring Pond Parkette, all in Manotick. Also in Manotick, a new park is planned for construction in the new Riverwalk development. Sarah McCarthy Park will be constructed in Richmond. The total funding commitment for these parks, using 2017 and 2018 budget dollars, is $1.7M.
When it comes to traffic improvements, planning is slated for the intersections of Prince of Wales Drive & Bankfield Road, Prince of Wales Drive & Barnsdale Road, First Line Road & Bankfield Road and Rideau Valley Drive & Barnsdale Road. Previously budgeted works are also expected to be carried out this year at Moodie Drive and Fallowfield Road.
The biggest issue across the City, and in every other municipality for that matter, is infrastructure renewal. For 2018, Rideau-Goulbourn will see the resurfacing of Rideau Valley Drive South as well as a small portion of Fallowfield Road around Moodie Drive. Another major renewal project for 2018 is the McBean Street Bridge. There will also be many culvert replacements throughout the ward. In cases like Rideau Valley Drive North, these culvert replacements are the precursor to full resurfacing. The previously mentioned $10M injection into renewal will be discussed early in the new year as recommendations are presented to the Finance & Economic Development Committee on how to allocate those funds.
In other areas, the 2018 budget adds 25 new Ottawa Police officers, 14 new paramedics, $100,000 for rural transportation to be distributed through service agencies, including Rural Ottawa South Support Services. This budget also sees increases to social services spending and increased transit to suburban growth areas as OC Transpo continues to prepare for the opening of LRT in 2018.
If you have any questions about any of the items listed above or anything else on the budget, please do not hesitate to contact me.
North Gower Client Service Centre
Please note that the Client Service Centre in North Gower will be closed on Thursday, December 28th and Thursday, January 4th. Normal hours will resume on Thursday, January 11th. With that said, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Onward and upward to 2018!
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.