Before getting into the bulk of my column, I just wanted to provide an update to residents in Richmond on the state of 74 Colonel Murray Street, a residence that, unfortunately, was lost due to fire last fall. The site has now become a bit of an eyesore generating some concern in the community. I just wanted to assure residents that the City of Ottawa will not allow the property to remain in its current state and will be cleaning it up if the site remains untouched as of May 15th.
On to more positive news, the annual Rural Expo & Food Aid Day BBQ returns to City Hall on Thursday, June 4th. The day will feature a great display of rural flavor on the front steps of City Hall, a pancake breakfast and a delicious lunch from The WORKS all in support of the Ottawa Food Bank. The Rural Expo helps urban residents 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-580-2424 x28352.
Summer has finally arrived and, with it, a number of great reasons to be outside. This Saturday, the Manotick Kiwanis Club will be out in full force for their annual spring clean-up. The following weekend, Watson’s Mill opens for the season. Activities will begin on Saturday at 10:00am, and the Season Opening Ceremony is scheduled to start at 11:30am featuring a full schedule of activities for the upcoming summer season. The ceremony will be followed by a community barbeque. The Manotick Farmers’ Market will also launch that morning and the Mill opening also marks the return of the Carriage Shed Book Sale.
A new season is set to begin at Dickinson House as well. You are invited to come & celebrate spring and Queen Victoria’s Birthday at Dickinson House on Monday, May 18, 2015 at 2:00pm. There will be cake and lemonade and an opportunity to see the special exhibit of 2015, “Tableware in Times Past”. As always, admission is free, and donations are gratefully accepted. Also of note, a new season at the North Gower Farmers’ Market kicks off at the end of the month on May 30th.
Dickinson Days is fast approaching and so too is the annual Rural Expo & Food Aid Day BBQ at City Hall. This year, our event is on Thursday, June 4th. The day will feature a great display of rural flavor on the front steps of City Hall, a pancake breakfast and a delicious lunch from The WORKS all in support of the Ottawa Food Bank. The Rural Expo helps urban residents 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 email@example.com or 613-580-2424 x28352.
While talking about being outside, it’s also the time of year for wild parsnip. Wild parsnip is an invasive plant that is commonly found within the City of Ottawa in areas of uncultivated land, roadside ditches, nature trails, as well as on and surrounding rural and residential properties.
Wild parsnip may pose a health risk to humans. The plant sap contains chemicals that will cause skin irritation and make the skin prone to severe burning and blistering when exposed to the sun. The blisters typically occur one to two days after contact with the plant. This can result in long-term scarring of the skin.
Wild parsnip is a highly branched plant, with hollow green stems. The compound leaves are green and dense growing. The yellow flowers are in clusters of up to 20 cm across. The plant can grow to a height of 0.5 to 1.5 meters. It is a biennial plant, reproducing only by seed. When working around wild parsnip or when walking through dense vegetation, wear goggles, gloves, long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Thoroughly wash boots and gloves with soap and water before taking off your protective clothing.
Children should be reminded not to pick wild flowers. Ensure children are able to identify wild parsnip in order to avoid exposure. If you are exposed to the plant sap, wash the contaminated area(s) thoroughly as soon as possible, and seek medical attention if skin irritation occurs. For more information, visit ottawa.ca.
Our Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee is receiving an update from Public Works this week on how we are managing wild parsnip this year. I do know we are increasing are resources when it comes to managing this invasive plant and I’ll provide more information on that next week.
Visit rideaugoulbourn.ca/wildparsnip for more information about the weed and what the City of Ottawa is doing to help prevent it spreading.
Property Tax Deferral Program
The City of Ottawa offers two property tax deferral programs for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities. Eligible homeowners may apply for a full or partial deferral of annual property taxes. Application for tax deferral must be made annually to the City of Ottawa to establish eligibility or confirm continued eligibility.
You may apply for one of the following programs: Full Property Tax Deferral Program or Partial Property Tax Deferral Program. For more information, visit ottawa.ca or call 613-580-2740.
Farm Grant Program
The City of Ottawa Farm Grant Program provides financial relief to working farmers. The grant program will assist eligible farm property owners by allowing the June final tax installment to be paid in December.
To qualify for the grant, the following conditions must be met:
- The property must be defined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation in the farmlands property class
- The property must not be owned by a commercial enterprise
- Taxes have been paid up to date before the June instalment
- The final tax instalment billed (mailed May) is paid in full in early December
How the program will work:
- Penalty charges will continue
- Notification of the amount to be paid will be communicated to you in the fall
- The grant amount will be the equivalent of the penalty charges and fees added to your account during the deferral
- The City will automatically calculate and apply a credit for the grant amount to your tax account; there is no application to fill out
Should you have any questions, please contact Revenue Branch from Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm (June to August 8:00am to 4:00pm) at 613-580-2444 (Transactions will be recorded for training and verification purposes). TTY: 613-580-2401.
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.