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.

*****

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.

Mahogany amendment and the new Weaver House owner

I just want to give you a heads up that this column will not appear in the Messenger between August 28th and October 27th.  The reason for this is because we have a two month blackout period prior to Municipal Elections in which no advertising or columns can be printed.  This column will return following the election.

Mahogany Development Phase 1B

Some of you may have noticed signage that has been erected on the site of Minto’s Magohany development.  This sign highlights an amendment that has been filed to alter the plan for Phase 1B. Phase 1A is already registered and under construction.  Originally, the entire first phase was to include 197 units, with a mix of 60 foot lots and 35 foot lots.  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.  More information on this amendment can be found at Ottawa.ca/devapps.

Weaver House

I’m hoping to have a brief public meeting prior to the aforementioned blackout period to introduce to the community the new owner of the Weaver House.  Last December, we announced that we have found purchasers for the Ayres Building, the Weaver House and the Clapp property.  Unfortunately, the successful proponent for the Weaver House had to withdraw and this spring, we back out to the market.  While the sale doesn’t officially close until August 18th, I am pleased to report that the Weaver House will now be home to the Peppermint Spa.  The owners of the Peppermint Spa have an exciting rehabilitation plan for the historic building and will be a great addition to Dickinson Square.  By next week, I should have a date for a meeting.

Dickinson House & Manotick Brass Ensemble

On Sunday, August 10th at 2:00pm, the good people at Dickinson House will be hosting a Lawn Social on the grounds of Dickinson Square featuring a concert by the Manotick Brass Ensemble.  There will be ice cream and lemonade, as well as the delightful music of the Brass, of course. While there, you can also take in the newly opened Heritage Furniture exhibit in the House.

As always, admission is free, and donations are welcome. Find out more about Dickinson House on Facebook.

Rural Association Partnership Program

If you are an Ottawa organization operating rural fairs, rural farmers’ markets or rural business organizations such as Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement Areas, you may be eligible for funding of up to $7,500 through the City of Ottawa’s Rural Association Partnership Program (RAPP).

The second-round of RAPP funding is now available with applications being accepted until Friday, August 22 at 4 pm.

The objectives of the RAPP are:

  • To provide project based funding that supports the main priorities for rural organizations.
  • To contribute to the City’s rural economic health by supporting projects that will assist Ottawa’s rural business organizations, fairs and farmers markets achieve sustainability and capitalize on the proximity to Ottawa’s large urban market.
  • To assist in promoting Ottawa’s rural identity to both residents and tourists.
  • To provide economic benefits to small and medium sized enterprises in Ottawa’s rural communities.
  • Assist rural communities to overcome the business development challenges associated with smaller local population base.
  • To increase the capacity for rural communities to provide a quality visitor experience.

More information, including guidelines and an application form, can be found on the Rural Association Partnership Program webpage.

Prospective RAPP applicants are encouraged to contact the Rural Affairs Office at ruralaffairs@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424 ext. 28352 to discuss their proposal prior to submitting an application.

Fall & Winter Recreation Activity Registration

The City’s 2014 Fall-Winter Recreation eGuide and Mon Cyberguide francophone des loisirs are now online at ottawa.ca. Registration for swimming and aquafitness classes begins online and by touchtone phone on Monday, August 11th at 9:00pm, and in person at City recreation facilities on Tuesday, August 12th during regular business hours.

Registration for all other classes begins online and by touchtone phone on Wednesday, August 13th at 9:00pm and in person at City recreation facilities on Thursday, August 14th during regular business hours.

Due to the expected high volume of online registrations throughout the first week of registration, particularly the first evening, residents may experience longer than usual wait times. To make sure the registration process goes smoothly, residents are encouraged to review the list of classes and registration procedures ahead of time, and ensure they have a client barcode and a family PIN (Personal Identification Number), which is required to register.

Residents can now update their recreation account information online as the City continues to enhance its services available through ottawa.ca.

*****

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.