On Wednesday, March 6th, City Council will vote on the 2019 Budget. Since the beginning of February, the various boards and committees have discussed and voted on their relevant sections of the budget. That all culminates in the full Council discussion next week.
What is being proposed in this year’s budget is a 3% property tax increase. The primary purpose of the higher increase, over the last eight years, is infrastructure renewal. In 2017, Council approved a ten-year plan to eliminate the infrastructure renewal spending gap, which was $70M. However, given the prominence of renewal during the most recent election, Council is now looking to close that gap within five years. The projected 3% increase gets us there.
What does closing that gap mean for Rideau-Goulbourn? In recent years, we have seen annual renewal spending rise from approximately $50M annually in 2010 to $125M annually in 2017. This has led to many roads throughout the ward being resurfaced. With a projected annual spend of $195M by 2023, expect more of the same. Scheduled in 2019 are portions of Fallowfield Road, Rideau Valley Drive North, Barnsdale Road, Joy’s Road, Hope Side Road and Strachan. Mackey Road, between Malakoff Road and Viola Street will also be improved and the hard surfacing of Paden Road will be finalized.
Other local infrastructure projects include preliminary design work on the renewal of the Church Street bridge in North Gower, a new sidewalk connection on Nixon Farm Drive between Cedarstone and Perth Street and the previously mentioned upgrades to the intersection of Bankfield Road and Prince of Wales Drive. From a Parks & Facilities standpoint, improvements are scheduled for the North Gower Fire Hall, Dickinson House, Richmond Arena and Chris’s Field in Manotick. We will also be upgrading Gordon & Ivy Scharf Park in the Manotick Estates this spring.
On the stormwater infrastructure side of things, the City is projecting to spend nearly $13M on culvert replacements throughout the rural area. This is a significant increase over recent years and it all plays into the road renewal efforts as well. For instance, many culverts were replaced under Rideau Valley Drive North last year and that portion will be resurfaced this year. Two different budgets but all working toward the same end result. This is where your stormwater fee goes. All told, because of the way we structured the new fee, every dollar you pay for stormwater equals $12 spent on infrastructure in rural Ottawa. What that means simply is that your money is staying in rural areas and then some.
While there is plenty more in the $3.6B budget, I only have so much room in this column. More information is available at Ottawa.ca/budget and you can always email me if you have any budget related questions.
Kanata South Link
Approved in previous budgets, the Kanata South Link (KSL) construction started on Tuesday, February 19th. The main objective of the project is to improve safety and traffic flow based on growing demands in the area. The Contractor, Cavanagh Construction Ltd., will be performing the construction work for the City of Ottawa. The purpose is to widen Old Richmond Road and a portion of West Hunt Club Road to improve traffic capacity across the Greenbelt from Kanata South. The project includes:
the widening of Old Richmond Road from Hope Side Road to West Hunt Club Road, and West Hunt Club Road from Old Richmond Road to approximately 200 metres east of Moodie Drive
roundabouts at three intersections along Old Richmond Road: at Hope Side Road; at Stonehaven Drive; and at West Hunt Club Road
Intersection improvements at West Hunt Club Road and Moodie Drive
Asphalt resurfacing of Hope Side Road
Utility upgrades including street lighting
It is anticipated that construction will be completed by late 2020. For more information, visit: ottawa.ca.
Municipal Parking Management Strategy Refresh
The City of Ottawa is reviewing core aspects of its Parking Management Strategy. Provide your input on the City’s paid parking program at one of three upcoming open houses and help ensure the program meets the city’s needs. For more information, visit: ottawa.ca/parkingrefresh.
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.