The State of Our Roads: Good News for Infrastructure Renewal

One of the most significant issues that any Councillor deals with on a daily basis, and certainly every rural Councillor, is the state of our roads. Since 2012, Council has continuously worked to close the funding gap when it comes to infrastructure renewal. This would include buildings, parks, sidewalks, roads, etc. In 2012, Council approved a one-time funding program called Ottawa on the Move that saw $340M invested directly into renewal between then and 2014. Additionally, over the last six years, Council has set aside annual increases to our renewal budget to help close that gap in our annual budget. It has helped but it hasn’t been nearly enough.

The commitment that has been made in recent years has seen vast improvements in our rural road network throughout Ottawa. Over 30% of all annual road renewal funding is spent in the rural area. This year, for instance, the City is resurfacing Shea Road, Bleeks Road and William McEwen Drive. In recent years, we’ve seen renewal of Moodie Drive, Century Road West, Donnelly Drive, Bridge Street, Church Street, Ottawa Street and so on. Every time the City resurfaces a road, though, there is really no time to rest on our laurels as we have an abundance of other roads that require attention.

The last time that the City did a Long Range Financial Plan and updated its Asset Management Plan was in 2012 and the result was that increased commitment to renewal and the Ottawa on the Move program. In recent weeks, Council approved our next Long Range Financial Plan with a major focus on infrastructure renewal. Even though we had been adding more money in every budget, our annual funding gap toward renewal is $70M. We are spending $125M on infrastructure renewal when we should be spending $195M.

In June, Council approved our most recent update to the Long Range Financial Plan with the following key recommendations:

  • That the contribution from taxation for the renewal of existing assets be increased by inflation (Construction Price Index) and an additional $10.5 million in the 2018 budget, as a priority within Council’s approved tax targets.
  • That the annual contribution from taxation for the renewal of existing assets be increased annually by inflation and an additional $7.8 million per year starting in the 2019 budget for 9 years as outlined in this report.
  • That staff continue to pursue permanent stable funding from the federal and provincial governments for the renewal of existing assets.

This significant increase in funding will help advance more roads, parks and building renewal projects in the coming years. Further to that, we have also improved some additional funding for this year and I have been working with staff to try and secure some improvements in Richmond on Strachan, Martin and Colonel Murray. It likely won’t be full resurfacing but something better than the patch work that was done previously.

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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.

Prince of Wales Drive Construction Plans, North Gower Recreation Association AGM and the Scott Moffatt Golf4Youth Classic

Prince of Whales Drive Under Constructin.jpg

While local resurfacing projects on William McEwen Drive, Shea Road and Bleeks Road are slated to commence shortly, another resurfacing project will likely have a significant impact this summer on Rideau-Goulbourn residents. A Commence Work Order has been issued for the resurfacing of Prince of Wales Drive. Construction along Prince of Wales Drive, between Strandherd Drive and Hunt Club Road, is scheduled to begin June 5th.

The Contractor will maintain a minimum of one lane of traffic in each direction along Prince of Wales during daytime hours (5:00am‐7:00pm).  The staging and sequencing of construction will on occasion require sections of Prince of Wales to be left as compacted granular material, but the distances for these granular surface areas will be limited, and the length of time which these areas have a granular surface will be restricted to 1-2 days, weather-permitting, before the asphalt can be placed.

A nightly detour of Prince of Wales northbound traffic, from Strandherd Drive to Fallowfield Road, was permitted under the Contract in order to complete the project this construction season while minimizing impacts to commuting motorists. The proposed nightly closures of northbound Prince of Wales Drive, from Strandherd Drive to Fallowfield Road, are currently scheduled to begin the evening of Sunday, June 11th. The nightly closures of northbound traffic, between 7:00pm and 5:00am, will last approximately two months.  Overnight works are scheduled from Sunday night to Friday morning of each week. There are no proposed weekend closures of Prince of Wales scheduled at this time.

The signed detour route for the northbound closure will be to direct traffic west along Strandherd Drive to Woodroffe Avenue, north along Woodroffe to Fallowfield Road, and east along Fallowfield to Prince of Wales Drive. The City will be installing digital messaging signs along Prince of Wales Drive to notify commuters in advance of the nightly closures. Cyclists will be encouraged to use alternate routes during construction and a cycling detour route will be signed.

North Gower Recreation Association

The Annual General Meeting for the North Gower Recreation Association takes place on June 19th at 7:00pm at the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre. The NGRA has oversight for the Alfred Taylor Centre and the Gerry Lines Bowling Alley. They also run events such as Christmas in the Gower and Canada Day in the Gower. All are welcome to attend the AGM.

Richmond Heritage Mural RFP

Artists are invited to submit a bid to enter into a contract with The Richmond Village Association (RVA) to commission the 7th mural in the Richmond Heritage Mural Gallery. Richmond was founded in 1818 as a British Settlement and is the oldest village within the current City of Ottawa. In 2018, Richmond, Ontario will celebrate its 200th anniversary. A variety of events will happen throughout 2017 and 2018 to honour Richmond’s past, celebrate its’ vibrant present and look forward toward the future. To commemorate Richmond’s Bicentennial, the Richmond Village Association is undertaking to add the 7th mural to The Richmond Heritage Mural Gallery on the Richmond Memorial Community Centre. The mural is to be completed and installed so that the unveiling of the mural can take place on Friday, June 25th, 2018. 

The mural should:

  • Evoke a sense of neighborhood
  • Historical reference is key
  • Promote excitement and interest for the community as a whole
  • Celebrate the identity and rich heritage of the neighborhood
  • The design concept shall be compatible with the design of the existing murals

Bid evaluation will be carried out by the RVA and will be based on a combination of artistic merit, quality of previous work as provided in your portfolio, quality of material offered and price. To obtain the complete RFP Package, email David Proulx, President RVA at davidproulx@richmondvillage.ca.

Scott Moffatt Golf4Youth Classic Presented by Caivan Communities

Join me on July 7th for the Scott Moffatt Golf4Youth Classic Presented by Caivan Communities at the Canadian Golf & Country Club. It promises to be a fun day for the whole family with all proceeds going directly to the Youth of Manotick Association (YOMA) and the Richmond Youth Centre (RYC). I would love for you to participate!

We are also acquiring sponsorships and silent auction donations. If you are a local business and want to be involved in this event, please contact me and we’ll find an exciting way to get you involved.

For more details or to register, visit www.golf4youth.ca. Hopefully we can make this a successful event that will benefit kids and families all across Rideau-Goulbourn.

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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.

 

Get Ready for Construction Season!

With the snow finally behind us (I think), it is now time to look ahead to our other season in Ottawa: Construction. Once again this summer, there are a number of road projects that will impact Rideau-Goulbourn. I would like to take this opportunity to list those projects here.

Since 2012, the City has made an increased commitment to resurfacing roads throughout the City of Ottawa. The total contribution to infrastructure renewal has increased year over year during that time. For 2017, our rehabilitation program has just been awarded to Cavanagh Construction and will include the following Rideau-Goulbourn roads:

  • Shea Road (Hemphill Street to Fernbank Road)
  • William McEwen Drive (South of Brophy Road)
  • Bleeks Road (Dwyer Hill Road to 80m East of Munster Road)

Road resurfacing projects are to be carried out between April 24th and October 24th of this year. I will have more specific details on timelines in the coming weeks as the contractor presents their schedule. Another project that could have significant impacts for Rideau-Goulbourn residents will be the resurfacing of Prince of Wales Drive from Hunt Club to Strandherd Road.

Gravel road resurfacing will be carried out on Bleeks Road, Bowrin Road, Conley Road, Goodstown Road, McLinton Road, O’Neil Road, Rushmore Road and Woods Road in Goulbourn. In Rideau, residents can expect to see gravel resurfacing on Callendor Road, Flood Road, Gilroy Road, Harbison Road, Mackey Road, Paden Road and Weedmark Road. This work involves the addition of new gravel, a reshaping of the crown of the road to ensure proper drainage and a calcium application to reduce dust. Gravel roads have a lifecycle of four years. The roads listed above were last done in 2013, except for McLinton Road, which was done in 2012.

As for gravel roads being upgraded from gravel to hard surface, 2017 will see the completion of work on Mackey Road that begun in 2016. Additionally, Gallagher Road, from Mackey Road to Malakoff Road, will be upgraded from gravel to a hard surface. Pavement preservation projects will be carried out on Third Line Road (South of Lockhead Road), McCordick Road (Donnelly Drive to Mackey Road), Harnett Road and Donnelly Drive (Merlyn Wilson Road to the City boundary). Pavement preservation is generally a microsurfacing of the road which sees a layer of asphalt added to add life to the road at a fraction of the cost of resurfacing. These works have been awarded to Miller Paving with works scheduled to be carried out between April 24th and August 11th.

5514 Manotick Main Street Update

Over the last year, I have spoken about the Falls House at 5514 Manotick Main Street in this column and also during the November 15th Town Hall meeting in Manotick. Since last fall, the property owner has been working with an architect on the proposed building. Since last winter, the owner has also been consulting, through my office, with several community leaders. Having said that, the owner has submitted a zoning by-law amendment to the City prior to sharing this with our ad-hoc consultation group. The application and the proposed design are now available for public comment.

The property is zoned VM9 which is a mixed use zone specifically for villages in which commercial and residential is permitted. The 9 refers to the prohibitions imposed through our recent Manotick Secondary Plan Review, such as gas bar, townhouse dwelling, funeral home, automobile service station and so on. In terms of height, it is the village standard 11 metres, or three storeys.

As mentioned, a zoning by-law amendment (ZBA) has recently been submitted for this application. The main part of the amendment only applies to a small portion of the property. Recently, the property owner was approved for a lot line adjustment between 5514 Manotick Main Street and 1157 Maple Street that was necessary for access purposes. 1157 Maple is zoned Village Residential so that portion needs to be rezoned to make it consistent with the balance of the property. However, the ZBA also seeks to change the building height from 11m to 12.5m as well as some other less significant proposals on setbacks.

Ultimately, we all know this intersection is changing with the plaza having approved an expansion, the former McNeil Motors property for sale and the demolition of the Falls House. The good news for the village is that the owners of 5514 Manotick Main Street are from the village and have shown a strong willingness to work with the community since the initial acquisition in 2015.

More details and information are available at rideaugoulbourn.ca/fallshouse. Your comments are welcome.

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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.

2017 Draft Budget and Future Projects in Rideau-Goulbourn

The 2017 Draft Budget was tabled on November 9, 2016. As part of the pre-budget consultation process, Councillors conducted information sessions from mid-September to mid-October, providing information on the municipal budget process to residents and getting views and ideas on the priorities for this draft budget. With the 2017 Draft Budget tabled, there are still opportunities for residents to offer comments and input before the final Budget goes to Council for consideration on Wednesday, December 14th.  Information on the 2017 Budget is available at Ottawa.ca/budget2017 and you can submit comments via email at budget@ottawa.ca.

The draft budget includes a predictable 2% increase in keeping with the previous three budgets. It takes into account recent changes in the bureaucracy at City Hall that created an annual operating savings of approximately $18M. It features more money for roads, snow maintenance and parks. It also features the introduction of a low income transit pass.

In Rideau-Goulbourn, residents can expect to see a continuation of our commitment to infrastructure renewal with the resurfacing of William McEwen Drive, Shea Road and Bleeks Road. Outside of the ward, Prince of Wales Drive will also be resurfaced between Strandherd Drive and Hunt Club Road. The hard surfacing of Mackey Road will be completed this summer and pavement preservation treatment projects will take place along McCordick Road (South of Mackey Road), Third Line Road and Harnett Road. The City will also be microsurfacing Donnelly Drive between Merlyn Wilson and the City of Ottawa boundary, just west of Burritt’s Rapids. Residents on the north end of Long Island in Manotick will see the renewal of the McLean Bridge near the entrance to David Bartlett Park.

When it comes to sidewalks and cycling projects, the Federal Government has provided some funding that will go toward improving cycling in the rural area in the form of paved shoulders. These projects are not yet determined. There is also federal money that will be spent on exploring opportunities to improve cycling along Bridge Street. The primary focus will be the two bridges. With bridge reconstruction still several years away, planning now will feed into that work down the road. The 2017 Budget also identifies upgrades to the Beaverwood sidewalk, between Manotick Main Street and Ann Street. This will bring the sidewalk up to current standards.

There are several Parks & Recreation projects around the ward as well including two previously funded projects; the Manotick Arena expansion and the Remembrance Park in Dickinson Square. There is also design and construction on two parks in Richmond; King’s Grant Park and a new park on Nixon Farm Drive which will be named Sarah McCarthy Park. These two were also partially funded and announced in the 2016 Budget. In addition to the expansion at the Manotick Arena, there will also be lifecycle works completed at the same time in the form of roof replacement, septic system decommissioning, fire alarm system replacement and new flooring. Design work will also begin on replacing play structure equipment in Blue Rock Park in Kars and Richmond Lions Park.

As mentioned earlier, more information on the budget is available at www.ottawa.ca/budget2017. Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.

Snow Go Program

Need help clearing your driveway and/or walkway during the winter? The Snow Go Program can help you. This program is divided into two parts to match your individual needs to the appropriate service. The two programs are as follows:

The Snow Go Program provides a matching service for seniors and people with disabilities looking to hire an individual or contractor to clear snow from private driveways and walkways. Residents who participate in this program are responsible for paying the individual or contractor removing the snow.

The Snow Go Assist Program provides financial assistance to eligible low-income seniors or persons with disabilities looking to hire an individual or contractor to clear snow from private driveways and walkways.  Approved participants may be reimbursed for 50% of the cost of snow clearing per event, up to a seasonal maximum of $250. Rural applicants, who pay excessively high costs for snow removal, as defined by staff, are eligible up to 50% of the cost of snow clearing for their private driveways and walkways per event, up to a maximum of $450 per term.

Check ottawa.ca/snowgo to find the agency that services your neighbourhood.

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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.