Remembering Mac Storey

To begin my column this week, I want to talk to you about the recent loss of one of Richmond’s leaders.  On August 2nd, 2014, Malcolm Storey, known to everyone as Mac, passed away at the age of 83.  Mac served as Councillor for Goulbourn Township from 1974 until 1978.  Prior to that, he served as a Councillor for the Village of Richmond from 1966-1969.  He spent the better part of five decades as a firefighter in Richmond as well but above all else, he was a resident of Richmond and he loved his village.

On the day of his funeral, the flags at the Goulbourn Town Hall flew at half mast in his memory.  He was a great man, a great leader and I was blessed to have known him.  The Richmond Fair and the suppers at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder for over 40 years, won’t be the same without Mac.  I always enjoyed our chats as he boiled potatoes outside of the church, no matter how cold it was.  He will be missed and his memory cherished for years to come.

Weaver House Sale

Last week, I mentioned that I would be looking to host a meeting on the Weaver House sale to formally present the winning bid for the heritage building.  I, therefore, invite you to come out to the Manotick Arena on Monday, August 25th at 7:00pm.  I will provide a brief summary on Dickinson Square as a whole but the primary focus will be the Weaver House, which will be the new home to Peppermint Spa.

Wind Development Update

As promised recently to a North Gower resident asking me to provide an update on the wind development situation in this column, I’ll do my best to provide a brief summary of where we stand on the issue.  As many of you are aware, there has not been an opportunity for any company to apply for a wind project since 2010.  What this has merely done is left residents in limbo as there has never been any outright rejection of the original proposal and the threat of a new application is still present.

In my column on November 20th, 2013, I reported that City Council unanimously supported my motion asking the Province to make the necessary legislative and/or regulatory changes to provide municipalities with a substantive and meaningful role in siting wind power projects.  At this time, municipalities continue to have no control but my motion seeks to change that for every municipality in Ontario.  Municipal Government is closest to the people and we need the ability to have an equal place at the table on these issues.  The motion also referenced the 1228 signatures on North Gower’s petition and their declaration as “Not a Willing Host”.

Leading up to the passing of the motion, and afterwards, I met with the Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli, and also a representative from Prowind to further voice the concerns of local residents.  By Minister Chiarelli, I was informed that the role municipalities would be factored in to the updated procurement process for Large Scale Renewable Energy projects.  To that end, I attended the Ontario Power Authority’s community consultation meeting in Napanee on February 4th, 2014 and discussed the situation with OPA Vice President of Electricity Resources, JoAnne Butler.  While she heard an earful from the 200 Napanee residents, she did take the time to speak with me and listen to what I had to say about North Gower and the circumstances surrounding the wind development application.

The OPA is currently in the midst of their Large Renewable Procurement Request for Qualifications stage, but is still not accepting applications for large renewable projects.  It is believe that the Request for Proposals stage will come in early 2015 and applicants will need to meet certain criteria, including development experience, financial capability and community engagement.  The latter is where my Council approved motion comes in but the OPA has not yet nailed down what “community engagement” is.  One possible component could be an approved Council resolution supporting the project, which I can assure you, will not be happening.

These details should be clarified in the coming months, leading up to the RFP stage.  In the meantime, no approvals will be given and I’ll be staying on top of the issue and will provide a further update in November, upon return of my column.

Rideau Valley Drive South

In the coming weeks, the City of Ottawa will undertake a geotechnical investigation along Rideau Valley Drive South, through the village of Kars. This work is being done to determine existing underground soil conditions as the initial part of planned improvements to the storm sewers, road reconstruction, and proposed pathway or sidewalk along Rideau Valley Drive South to improve transportation and drainage infrastructure in the village.

The geotechnical investigation work will involve the drilling of boreholes and obtaining soil samples for testing and determining sewer construction requirements and the roadway/pathway structure materials and should take approximately one week. For further information about this project, please contact the City’s Project Manager, Garry Pearce by email at Garry.Pearce@ottawa.ca or by phone at (613) 580-2424, Ext. 21514.

Mahogany Development Phase 1B

Last week, I mentioned an application by Minto on a change to their development.  The amendment would change some of the 60 foot lots to 47 foot lots and some of the 35 foot lots to 38 foot lots.  Ultimately, this results in an addition of 14 units.  However, the total number of units for the entire development remains at 1400.  What I failed to mention was the timing of the application.  I am working with staff to ensure that we include a public meeting on the application so that the community is offered an opportunity to ask questions.  This application may not appear before Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee until the new term of Council and as soon as we have a date for a public meeting, notice will be sent out.  More information on this amendment can be found at Ottawa.ca/devapps.

Taste of Manotick

For the 5th consecutive year, local businesses will line Manotick Main Street and the Manotick Mews showcasing all that our vibrant village has to offer, from fantastic specialty/gift stores, stylish clothing and many other services. There will be tasting, samples, draws, and demonstrations. The restaurants will be open to serve you a variety of menus as well as offer excellent service. Come out and enjoy live music, entertainment and food at its best! Musical entertainment will be provided by Tequila, The Dan Dunlop Band, Sticks’n Stones, The Full Nelson, and Without Boundaries.

As a special addition this year, and I feel obligated to mention it as the father of a 6 year old girl, Anna & Elsa from the movie Frozen will be at My Toy Shop from 4:30 until 6:30pm.  This is bigger than Justin Bieber and One Direction put together!  A Taste of Manotick is always a great time so I hope to see you there.

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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.

Rural clean water grants, rural pathways and Food Aid

NOTICE for Manotick Residents: April 11 meeting postponed.

In recent weeks and at my March 7 public meeting at the Manotick Arena, I spoke of another public meeting on April 11 to discuss the design of a new park in the Mahogany community, Major W. Ross Chamberlain Park.  Unfortunately, this meeting has been postponed and will be rescheduled.  As soon as I receive the new date, I will make sure you are aware.  For clarity, I therefore repeat that the meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 11 at the Manotick Area has been postponed.

Rural Clean Water Grants Program

The City is now receiving applications for its Ottawa Rural Clean Water Grants Program, which provides grants to projects that protect groundwater and surface water in rural areas. Landowners completing projects in 2013 may be eligible for up to $15,000 in grants depending on the project they are undertaking. The application deadlines are May 1, 2013 (and September 30, 2013, if funds are available).

Some of the many eligible projects include: buffer strips, grassed waterways, livestock restrictions, land retirement, stream bank stabilization, tile outlet protection, tile drain control structures, and well decommissioning. Funding is also available to decommission wells within the city’s urban boundary.

Farmers from rural and urban Ottawa and landowners within rural Ottawa are eligible to apply. Approved applicants must have a completed the third Edition Environmental Farm Plan (farm projects) or Healthy Home Guidebook (non-farm projects). 

Applications will be accepted through the LandOwner Resource Centre, which works in partnership with the Mississippi Valley, Rideau Valley, and South Nation Conservation Authorities and the City of Ottawa.  Top up grants are also available for projects supported by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (pending program renewal), Green Acres Rural Reforestation program and the RVCA’s Shoreline Naturalization program.  

Contact the LandOwner Resource Centre at 613-692-3571, toll free at 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1128 or 1132. Visit ottawa.ca/cleanwater for a full list of eligible projects and application forms.

Rural Pathways Shared-Use Policy Review

Have you visited one of Ottawa’s Rural Pathways?  The City of Ottawa is interested in finding out what you thought of your pathway experience. The City of Ottawa boasts three major pathways in the city’s surrounding rural areas. At a combined length of over 65 km, these converted rail lines provide significant year round multi-use recreational pathway links.

The Prescott-Russell Pathway extends eastward from the greenbelt near Blair Road through the Village of Navan to the Prescott-Russell Trail at Canaan Road. The Osgoode Pathway extends southward from Leitrim Road to Buckles Street in Osgoode Village. The Ottawa-Carleton Trailway extends westward from Bells Corners near Fitzgerald Road through Kanata and Stittsville to Ashton Station Road and beyond to the Town of Carleton Place. The Ottawa-Carleton Trailway is part of the Trans Canada Trail.

The City of Ottawa encourages all pathway users to share their experiences by completing the online Shared-Use Experiences survey before April 15, 2013. The survey is implemented as part of the Rural Pathways Shared-Use Policy. The survey results will be collected and analyzed to help the City develop appropriate policies and programming to improve experiences and interactions on the pathways and thereby ensure comfortable and enjoyable experiences for all pathway users. For more information and to complete the survey, please visit ottawa.ca/ruralpathways.

Food Aid & Rural Expo – May 31, 2013

The annual Food Aid BBQ is taking place at Festival Plaza, City Hall on Friday, May 31 this year. The BBQ will bring the Ottawa Food Bank that much closer to raising the necessary funds to sustain its beef program for a year and support local farmers. New this year will be a “Rural Expo” as part of the event, so that urban residents can learn more about what rural Ottawa has to offer. If your organization wishes to participate in the Rural Expo, please contact the Rural Affairs Office at ruralaffairs@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424 x28352.

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.

Column: Good news for Rural OC Transpo Riders!

Recently, OC Transpo has made some changes to transit that will affect riders in Goulbourn. After introducing the 201 shoppers bus in January, I noticed that it failed to go through the King’s Grant community which I felt needed to be addressed.
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Column: Minto Mahogany development has begun

Many residents around Manotick may have recently noticed that Minto has begun preliminary work on Phase 1 of their Mahogany development. One of the commitments made by Minto to the residents of Manotick was to not use Manotick Main Street during construction. Although this commitment was made well before I was elected, I was familiar with it and I expected it was worked out with City officials. Last week, unfortunately, I realized it was not and trucks were carrying on down Main Street with no real alternative as First Line Road is not a truck route.
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