Local improvement charges (Manotick)

At City Council this week (Wednesday, February 12), a report will be voted on that addresses some concerns brought forward at the Committee of Revision, of which I happened to Chair, on Thursday, September 26th, 2013.  Those concerns were with regard to the Local Improvement charge for Watson’s Mill and the Manotick Legion.  They made the case that since they were non-profit entities operating on tax-exempt properties that there should be consideration for a similar exemption for local improvement charges.

As that exemption could only come from Council, and not the Committee of Revision, we went away and looked into the request.  Staff examined all local improvements across the City since amalgamation and found five properties altogether that could be categorized the same as Watson’s Mill and the Manotick Legion.  Oddly enough, the other three properties also happened to be in Manotick: St. James Anglican Church, Knox Presbyterian Church and the Manotick United Church.  I brought forward a motion at the December 11th Council meeting asking for the exemption.  That motion was referred back to staff for more details and subsequently to the Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCo).

On February 5, a report came before FEDCo that sought the exemption of these charges on the condition that should any of these properties be sold the charges would then be assessed in full.  Essentially, if one of the properties was sold to a developer or another group and the intent was a for-profit use, the exemption would no longer be granted.  This condition will be registered on title as a lien until January 1, 2035.  The text of the motion can be found in this week’s Village Voice article in the Manotick Messenger.

The report was unanimously approved at the Finance and Economic Development Committee.

There are plenty of things to do this Family Day weekend in and around Rideau-Goulbourn and I’d like to highlight those events below…

Free Family Day Event at Goulbourn Museum

Family Day at Goulbourn Museum will feature an array of free activities for all ages. Families can pose for a photo keepsake in the Old-Fashioned Photo Booth, get creative at the craft station, play games, win prizes, and step back in time in the Museum’s replica village shop.

Visitors will also be the first to glimpse a piece of military history that was once pinned to the chest of one of Goulbourn’s War of 1812 heroes. After being passed down from generation to generation for 160 years, the family of Colonel George Burke has entrusted the Museum with his silver military medal. Burke’s medal will be added to the Museum’s 100th Regiment of Foot exhibition which is undergoing renovations to make the displays more accessible. Both the medal and the refreshed exhibit will be unveiled during the Museum’s Family Day event.

The Family Day festivities take place Monday, February 17 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. All ages are welcome, admission is free and light refreshments will be served. The Goulbourn Museum is located at 2064 Huntley Road, just south of Stittsville, at Stanley’s Corners. For more information, please visit http://goulbournmuseum.ca/whats-happening/ or call 613-831-2393 or join Goulbourn Museum on Facebook for regular updates.

Marlborough Family Fun Day

Marlborough Community Recreation Association is holding a free Family Fun Day on Monday Feb 17th.  It will include a breakfast from 9:30am until 11:00am, followed by sleigh rides from 11:30am until 1:30pm.  There will also be a variety of indoor and outdoor activities beginning at 10:00am.  Between Noon and 3:00pm, you’ll be entertained by live music.  I’m told it is Elvis.  No word on whether or not it is an impersonator or the real thing.  After all, we are only a short drive from Tweed.  Following the entertainment, have the kids gather around for a family movie at 3:00pm.

This is a free event at the former Marlborough Town Hall building in Pierce’s Corners.  There will also be a lunch at noon.

Kars Family Fun Day

Bring the family and join the Kars Recreation Association for some indoor & outdoor activities on Saturday, Feb 15th starting at 10:00am.  For the outdoor enthusiasts there will be skating and snowman making (weather permitting).  If you are looking to remain indoors, have fun soap carving, speed stacking, in addition to other arts & crafts.  Junkyard Symphony & Little Ray’s Zoo will also be in attendance to provide fun for the whole family. The event takes place at the Kars R.A. Hall at 1604 Old Wellington, Kars. There is a charge of $5.00 per adult which includes shows and lunch, children are free. www.kars.ca

Goulbourn Township Historical Society’s Heritage Day

GTHS is celebrating Heritage Day on Saturday February 15th from 1:00 to 4:00pm. It will be at the Stittsville Branch of the Ottawa Public Library and will feature the Cameron Highlanders in their kilted dress uniforms and camouflage outfits along with some of the gear they used when they went to Afghanistan. The Camerons are direct descendants of the militia units formed in Goulbourn Township in the 1860's to defend against the Fenian threats coming from the United States.

The overall theme of the afternoon is "The military contribution to Goulbourn Township" and it will cover the soldiers from the 100th Regiment of Foot who first settled in Richmond and the great numbers of former soldiers who settled in the whole of Goulbourn Township. They all contributed a great deal to the growth of Goulbourn and their contributions to our heritage will be honoured.

There will also be displays and other colourful costumed characters, including the Duke of Richmond, Maria Hill and some members of the 85th Highland regiment. All will be eager to chat or answer your questions. As usual, there will be light refreshments available.Drop in for a chat and a cup of tea, and if you have any military photos or memorabilia, feel free to bring them along. There will be a table available to display them on.

March Break Activities

From crafts to sports, the City of Ottawa has lots of activities for your family during the week of March 10-14 in recreation and culture facilities, pools and arenas. Find active and interesting camps in your neighbourhood or a specialty camp for the athlete or artist. For more information visit:  http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/parks-and-recreation/registered-classes-all-ages/march-break

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