Park Updates, McBean Street Bridge Replacement & the Stonebridge Development Proposal

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It is a busy year for Rideau-Goulbourn parks. Blue Rock Park in Kars is currently undergoing renewal while staff work toward the renewal of the play equipment at Richmond Lions Park, in addition to the planned outdoor rink to be located there this year. Planning also continues on Sarah McCarthy Park in Richmond and Ivy & Gordon Scharf Park in Manotick. All the while on Fairmile Road, we inch closer and closer to being able to add play equipment after the acquisition of some land and the progress on a road closure.

With all of that going on, the City, working with Councillor Michael Qaqish’s office and our Rideau-Goulbourn team, have just embarked on an update to the Beryl Gaffney Park concept plan culminating in some new investments in the park. We had our public open house last week with over 60 residents in attendance. In the coming weeks, we will formalize the method for feedback. Please stay tuned to this column and that of the Manotick Village & Community Association for more information.

McBean Street Bridge

The most significant infrastructure project to hit Richmond in some time has begun with the reconstruction of the McBean Street Bridge. In recent weeks, preparatory works began on site. These included some tree removal and the relocation of Bell lines. Aecon Construction has been contracted to carry out the bridge replacement project. The Commence Work Order was issued on June 20th and their completion date is scheduled for December 19th, 2019.

While the project itself will take up to 18 months, the impact on heavy vehicles and transit should only be approximately six months. As soon as one side of the bridge is complete and open, that newly constructed side will not have the weight restrictions any longer. For all other traffic, including cyclists and pedestrians, one lane of traffic will be available, except for a couple of occasions where a full closure may be necessary. The first full closure could occur within the next couple of months but the contractor is aware of significant Richmond events, such as the Fair and the Santa Claus parade and will ensure those are not impacted negatively.

If you happen to be a transit rider and frequently use the 283, there is a detour in place for the duration of the first phase of construction. The detour has been designed in a way to minimize the delay on the fewest number of riders. Simply put, riders from Munster and those who live on the South Carleton side of the Jock River will experience a longer commute. I thank those riders for their patience as we undertake this important project.

Stonebridge Development Proposal

In recent weeks, some of you may have heard my name being thrown around regarding Mattamy’s proposal to alter the Stonebridge Golf Course and build 158 additional units on the golf course property. The reason why I am mentioned is quite interesting as the development application actually falls entirely within Rideau-Goulbourn’s ward boundary. Similarly, there is a street in Stonebridge called Stromness Private, which also falls within Rideau-Goulbourn.

When the current boundaries were created in 2005, holes five through eight were considered to be outside the urban boundary. The urban boundary set the ward boundary lines. With the urban boundary changes that were approved in and around 2010, certain lands in Stittsville and Barrhaven that I now represent became developable, including this portion of Stonebridge. The intention is to correct these lines in 2019 with a ward boundary review. In the meantime, I will be working with Councillors Jan Harder and Michael Qaqish on the issues that impact our Barrhaven consituents.

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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. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

City of Ottawa's 2018 Budget

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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!

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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. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Flu Clinics, Woodlot Rehabilitation Program, and Dickinson House News

While the November 1st Finance & Economic Development Committee meeting will have already taken place by the time you read this, there are two key items on the agenda with relation to Rideau-Goulbourn, specifically Manotick. One is a report that I brought forward that seeks Committee and Council approval to retain Dickinson House and Carriage Shed in City ownership. This would conclude the Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation process and ensure that Dickinson Square remains as you see it today with Watson’s Mill and the Rideau Township Historical Society calling these two buildings home.

The other item is a land swap that will place the woodlots on the Mahogany lands in City ownership. This is something that came from the OMB decision approving the Minto development in the south end of the village. The woodlots are years away from seeing development occur near them, but this land swap will ensure that these lands are protected from development.  As part of the deal, the City is giving up lands in South Nepean to Minto.

Forcemain Project

On October 25th, a Commence Work Order was issued by the City of Ottawa to Robert Excavating to complete the upgrades to the forcemain project.  As many of you are aware, this is the culmination of nearly two years of planning and consultation

The original forcemain was built in the early 1980’s and is in need of repair. The construction project will involve repairs and modifications to the existing 500mm diameter forcemain, the installation of a new bypass 300mm diameter forcemain to facilitate the repairs, the installation of a new section of 600mm diameter forcemain for the proposed future development within the Village of Richmond, and decommissioning of an abandoned forcemain in the immediate vicinity of the Richmond Sewage Pump Station (RSPS).

This work is tentatively planned to begin any day now and be completed by October 2017. Spot repairs and modifications to the transition couplings, valves and valve accessories will be made at various structures along the existing forcemain between the RSPS and Lagoon Cell C as well as on Eagleson Road between the Jock River crossing and Robertson Road. An abandoned forcemain will also be decommissioned as part of the works and runs from the RSPS from Royal York St and along King St to Chanonhouse Dr. before heading north at Chanonhouse park through adjacent wooded lands prior to reaching the Lagoon site.

Ottawa Public Health Flu Clinics

During the 2015-2016 flu season, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) administered over 10,000 influenza vaccines at community clinics, while it distributed over 379,000 doses of the vaccine across the City through physicians’ offices, pharmacies, long-term care facilities and other vaccine providers. For the 2016-2017 flu season, OPH will again focus on providing access of flu vaccine to the general population through physicians’ offices and pharmacy providers, and outreach to vulnerable populations. As in previous years, OPH will continue to run community-based clinics in areas of low pharmacist / physician coverage.

For the upcoming season, over 170 Ottawa pharmacies will be offering the influenza vaccine.  Many pharmacies are open long hours, and are located throughout the city, making the publicly funded influenza vaccine ever more accessible.  In addition, more than 300 physicians’ offices across the city will be offering the flu vaccine to their patients.

OPH will be offering 12 community clinics in different areas of the city from October 29, 2016 to November 16, 2016, including at the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre on Thursday, November 10th and at South Carleton High School on Tuesday, November 15th.  Both clinics run from 3:30pm until 7:30pm. Local pharmacies offering flu shots include Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart and Paul’s Pharmasave in Manotick; Richmond Village Pharmacy and Richmond IDA; and North Gower Pharmacy. The eQuinelle Pharmasave and the Kemptville Shoppers Drug Mart also offer flu shots.

Woodlot Rehabilitation Program

As ash trees continue to decline within the City of Ottawa due to the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), it is important to address the safety issues and necessary tree removals within our parks and woodlots.

Part of the City’s EAB strategy includes selective park and woodlot rehabilitation; identifying City parks and woodlots with a high percentage of ash to remove unsafe dead, dying or invasive trees, encourage non-ash trees and shrubs with the exception of buckthorn and plant a selection of native tree species.

Many parks and woodlots hold significant plant and wildlife populations and make large contributions to human health and the environment: it is important to manage these significant areas, not only for public safety but also to conserve the many benefits they provide.

This winter, the City of Ottawa will begin removing all dead/dying trees from Beryl Gaffney Park, Ashton Woods and Van Vliet Park. For public safety reasons, identified areas of the park will be closed to the public during the tree removal operations. While most of these are passive parks, maintained areas of the park will be cleared of small woody debris once the snow has melted and conditions are dry enough for equipment access.

All areas subject to tree removal are to be replanted. Reforestation species will include: red maple, sugar maple, silver maple, serviceberry, hackberry, white pine, burr oak, red oak, American elder, white cedar, basswood, nannyberry, large tooth aspen, trembling aspen, dogwood and speckled alder.

Dickinson House News

To commemorate Remembrance Day, you are invited to Dickinson House where there will be a special display featuring the contributions made during WW2  by the late Lt.- Col David L. Fromow  and  Mrs. Barbara Fromo, both long-time residents of Manotick.  The House will be open on weekends from 10:00am to 4:00pm in November, and will be open on November 11th from 10:00am to 4:00pm as well.  Admission is free; as always, donations are welcome.

The Victorian Tea, which is at 2 p.m. on November 5th, is sold out; if you wish to be put on a waiting list, please call 613-692-6455.

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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.