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 You likely heard talk of a proposed 2.5% increase but that was withdrawn following the announcement that the City had a surplus for the second straight year and $10M of that surplus would be dedicated to infrastructure renewal.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.

Proposed Development in Manotick, Kars Post Office Closure, ARAC Agenda

I first want to begin my column this week by offering condolences to the Saunders family following the loss of Anne Saunders. Alongside her husband, Bill, Anne founded the happiest place in Rideau-Goulbourn; Saunders Farm. She also spent 33 years with the Carleton Board of Education teaching kindergarten. Whether during the daytime or on evenings and weekends, Anne touched the lives of countless youth. Her legacy and her memory will be remembered fondly by those in Munster and across the city.

As we embark on this new year in an ever changing media landscape, communication strategies will need to be tweaked in order for our office to stay connected with you. While you will still be able to find this column in the Stittsville News weekly and the Manotick Messenger every two weeks, there are many more ways to stay connected with our office and what’s happening around Rideau-Goulbourn. We actively post information on our website, via our monthly e-Newsletter and on social media as well.

Regional Development Proposal

On Thursday, January 19th, the City hosted a public meeting to discuss the proposed development at 5721, 5731 and 5741 Manotick Main Street. The main issue for those in attendance was density. The density matter, however, was determined prior to the application being submitted. During the Manotick Secondary Plan review, the community was heavily involved in looking at how Manotick should grow. This process took place over the course of two years and there was significant input from members of the community. During the review, it was determined that medium density would be the target for several properties in the village including the site in question. This is a debate that occurs throughout our growing communities. Do we intensify our communities or do we expand them? There is a fairly clear consensus in Manotick that village boundary expansion is not an option. Therefore, when we plan for the next 25-50 years, we need to consider where growth can occur and what housing options are desired.

Thursday’s meeting did bring forward a productive discussion on a variety of concerns regarding the proposed plan. In the coming weeks, residents still have the opportunity to submit comments to Jeffrey.Ostafichuk@ottawa.ca. Please copy me on those comments so that I can work with staff on them going forward. I have already spoken with the applicant regarding many of those comments and we are working on addressing them. I cannot guarantee that the number of units will change but there were many other concerns that can be worked on.

One question that I feel was not adequately addressed at the meeting was around the zoning exception being requested by the applicant. This exception does not increase the density within the project. As stated above, those density figures were set through the Secondary Plan. The exception allows for a wider building footprint to accommodate the fact that this development consists entirely of bungalows. Without the exception, you would be more likely to see a more traditional suburban development of two or three storey towns which would not be in keeping with the community vision.

As part of the next steps, we will continue to work on the application based on the comments we have received and I will provide updates through this column. The Manotick Village & Community Association is also involved so they will provide updates on this as well. They send out a weekly e-Newsletter to members, which is another way to stay engaged within the community.

Kars Post Office Closure

Please note that as of February 1st, 2017, the Kars Post Office will no longer operate out of the Kars General Store. As they look for a new home in the village, temporary community mail boxes will be set up. They are currently working with the City on locating those boxes near the Kars Recreation Centre. They will work on this swiftly in order to avoid any disruption in service delivery. If a new location for the post office cannot be located, permanent community mail boxes will need to be installed throughout the community. Please contact me should you have any questions.

Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee

The first ARAC meeting of 2017 is scheduled for Thursday, February 2nd at 10:00am in The Chamber at Ben Franklin Place. This meeting has a relatively short agenda including the following items:

  • Zoning Amendments as a result of Surplus Farm Severances for 7110 Third Line Road, 3117 Roger Stevens Drive, 3285 Eagleson Road
  • Minor Rezoning of 5810 First Line Road reinstating certain storage uses
  • Commemorative Naming: David & Judy Makin Trail
  • Amendment to Richmond Secondary Plan
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Ottawa 2017’s Agri 150 presents Fire & Ice

The first Agri 150 event of the year has now been announced and tickets are currently on sale. The culinary adventure will take place on Saturday, February 11, just prior to Valentine’s Day, at the SunTech GreenHouses near Manotick Village.

Renowned chef Marc Lepine is creating the menu for this four-course gourmet experience, which highlights molecular cuisine. The evening begins at 6:00pm with a winter cocktail and outdoor fire and ice entertainment, followed by a small-plate fine dining meal inside the cozy ambiance of the tomato greenhouse.

Tickets for Fire & Ice are $100, or $125 with a wine pairings. A round-trip shuttle service, from one of three points of departure, can be added at cost of $12 per person. To purchase tickets, visit Ottawa2017.ca.

Announced in June, Agri 150 is an Ottawa 2017 program stewarded by Just Food to boost rural tourism during the celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday in the nation’s capital and for years to come. More than 20 unique outdoor events will take place over the course of the year to allow people to discover Ottawa’s rural communities in all four seasons, and enhance their knowledge and appreciation of rural resources, while enjoying rejuvenating adventures.

It’s Time to Shiverfest!

Manotick’s aptly named Winter Carnival will build on the huge success of last year’s event. It will kick off on Friday night with a skating exhibition, magic show, family skate and bonfire with live music, hot chocolate and Timbits. Saturday morning will feature the Kiwanis pancake breakfast and a children's fun time, with sleigh rides and fire truck tours. The chili cook-off on Saturday afternoon is always a popular event, where you get to be the judge of both the professional and amateur entries!

Two events that had successful débuts in 2016 will be repeated in 2017: bingo, put on by ROSSS, and curling demonstrations at the Manotick Curling Centre.  A new event for 2017 is a dance on Saturday night to help fund the arena expansion.  As a result of adding that, the trivia contest at the Mill Tavern is moving back to its original time of 4:00 to 7:00pm on Sunday.

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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.

Rural to Rural Accessible Taxi Service Pilot Program

The Community Support Service (CSS) agencies of Eastern Ottawa, Western Ottawa and Rural Ottawa South are piloting a program that will provide wheelchair accessible transportation services within the rural area. This service is for non-ambulatory customers who use a wheelchair or scooter.

A few key details on the pilot:

  • Runs from July 1 to December 31, 2013
  • Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • 48 Hour Advance Reservations

The CSS agencies can prioritize transportation requests:

  • 1st Priority - medical appointments, including Adult Day Programs, rehabilitation, foot care and counselling
  • 2nd Priority - other essential appointments such as banking, lawyers, grocery shopping
  • 3rd Priority - all other appointments including social recreation activities

Contact the Community Support Services agency in your area to reserve a trip. Reservations can be made at least 48 hours in advance.

  • Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre 613-741-6025 x328
  • Rural Ottawa South Support Services 613-692-4697
  • Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre 613-591-3686

On your behalf, the agency will make arrangements with West-Way Taxi to provide the accessible taxi ride. Customers who use this service are required to pay transportation fees (as shown below) to the CSS agency that arranged the ride. You will receive an invoice at the end of each month.

Rural CSS Transportation Fee Schedule:

1 - 10 km = $10
11 - 30 km = $15
31- 50 km = $20
51- 70 km = $30
71- 90 km = $40
91 km and over = $0.45/km

This pilot program will run until December 31, 2013. For more information, or to provide feedback, please call the Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre at 613-741-6025 x328.

Plasco and Roads

With summer somewhat drawing to a close, I just want to remind you of a couple items.  On September 12th, there will be a public meeting at the Richmond Arena, beginning at 6:30pm.  This meeting will be an opportunity for Mattamy Homes to present their plans for either side of Ottawa Street in the Western Development Lands. Their current proposal calls for 1100 units, which will include singles and towns.  Please mark your calendars and come out to ask questions and provide comments on this development proposal.

A week later, it's the Richmond Fair! Hoping for some great weather once again and I hope to see many familiar faces over the course of the weekend. As usual, I will be at my booth for the majority of the weekend.  I believe I spent nearly thirty hours at last year's Fair so there will be plenty of opportunity to chat and provide comments on local issues in and around Richmond.  Looking forward to another great Fair!

August is quickly becoming a big month for events in Manotick.  A Taste of Manotick was, once again, an overwhelming success and it was followed up by this past weekend’s Soap Box Derby/Picnic in the Park event.  The 3rd Annual Soap Box Derby was bigger and better than the previous events and has become a tremendous family event.  The smiles on the kids’ faces were bright and ever apparent and two big kids, myself and Pierre Poilievre, had a lot fun in our 2012 rematch.  The good news is that Pierre did not crash into the Legion this year while the bad news is that he did not win.  All of this bodes well for the 2014 Soap Box Derby as Pierre and I are now tied 1-1.  Of course, I’m fairly certain that only Pierre and I actually care about who wins.

Congratulations to the Manotick Village & Community Association for a successful Picnic in the Park and Soap Box Derby event.  Thank you to Allan Haan, Klaus Beltzner and the entire MVCA Board for bringing such a great event to the streets of Manotick.  It is these types of events that create a community.

Plasco

Last week at Environment Committee, Plasco’s CEO Rod Bryden asked for an extension to his funding deadline to December 31, 2014.  As approved in December 2011, this project is scheduled to be fully operational by March 31, 2016.  The extension request is only on the funding deadline and does not affect the operational deadline.  For this reason, staff supported the extension as it creates no financial impact to the City of Ottawa.

At this committee meeting, I put forward a motion stating that should Plasco not achieve its funding targets that City of Ottawa staff immediately commence a Request for Expressions of Interest to find alternative technology that will allow for the lengthening of the life of the Trail Road Landfill.  If Plasco works, the lifespan moves beyond 2070 but if it doesn’t, we are back to 2035.  There are other technologies that should be explored and while similar technology is not much further advanced than Plasco is today, we shouldn’t waste any more time should Plasco fail.  This motion was approved by Committee and goes to Council on August 28th.

Manotick Main Street/Bridge Street Intersection

Many people are now aware of the recent changes made at the intersection of Manotick Main Street and Bridge Street.  These changes are the result of nearly two years of correspondence and public input from residents of Manotick.  I received several requests to implement a “Right Turn Only” lane at this intersection in the northbound lanes of Main Street.  I looked into it at that time and it was determined that the straight through lane would be overloaded unless left turns were restricted.

On March 7th of this year, I hosted a public meeting at the Manotick Arena with 117 residents in attendance.  At that meeting, I presented the proposed changes for input before moving forward.  My presentation included the “Right Turn Only” lane and the “No Left Turn” onto Maple Avenue.  The left turn restriction was implemented as traffic counts show only 10 cars per peak hour make that turn and the restriction allows for free flowing movements in the straight through lane and the right turn lane. This proposal received near unanimous support with only one resident being opposed at the meeting.

As you now know, this was implemented almost entirely consistent with the proposal I put forward in March.  The one difference is the “No Right on Red”.  I have asked staff to review this element and report back to me.  The way I see it is that we have always gone through this intersection without the red light restriction and the accident rate is relatively low.  I’ll provide an update on this as soon as possible.

Road safety a top priority as children return to school

As students head back to school this fall, the City of Ottawa, the Ottawa Police Service, and Ottawa Public Health remind all road users to be extra attentive to the rules of the road and speed limits, especially in construction zones, school zones and around school buses.

Ottawa Police Service will also be focusing on back to school road safety education and enforcement in the coming weeks.  Safer roads also mean more active and healthy children who feel safe getting back and forth from school by walking or cycling.

This back-to-school initiative is part of the Safer Roads Ottawa Program, a partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health, and the Public Works Department. This initiative has been put in place to prevent road deaths and serious injuries in the City of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment.

The City will continue to see major construction and renewal in the fall months and will provide mobility options to residents. For more information about how the construction will affect residents, visit ottawa.ca

ROSSS Walk of Care

Join Rural Ottawa South Support Services on Saturday, September 7th for their Annual Walk of Care fundraising event.  This event will include a 5km walk along the Osgoode Multi-Use Pathway from 9:00am to 1:00pm, a BBQ, prizes and entertainment.  Come out and support your parents, grandparents, seniors and adults with physical disabilities as ROSSS raises funds to provide programs and services to help these individuals remain in their homes, living independently.  For more information, please visit rosss.ca or call 613-692-4697.

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.