Today Council began its decision making process to determine spending for 1998. The Budget meetings will continue until noon on Wednesday, at which point decisions will have been reached regarding allotment of City funds. Council is additionally scheduled to meet at its regular time Wednesday afternoon.
Saudi Arabian Embassy Site Plan
I do not support the Planning Committee decision to deny the Embassy a residential access to the site and a security guard box on the south side of the site. We are not "stuck" with an Embassy as one Councillor stated; we are blessed with excellent diplomatic relations with numerous foreign nationals. The overriding concern for Council now is to ensure that a satisfactory compromise is achieved. We are working toward this.
Hot Dog Vendors responsible for Market Violence?
At the Council meeting of April 15th, a staff report was submitted recommending that vending from Market stands or hand-powered vehicles be prohibited in the By Ward Market between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. The objective was to curb late night crowds, fights and damage to property. I voted against this, but it passed.
The draft NOSS Study Report has been released for public consultation. Copies are available at libraries and community centres. I have asked for and been promised some extra sets of the executive summary. Full sets cost $100.00 each.
Parking Restrictions - McCarthy Road
As many of you may already be aware, the City's Licensing, Transportation and Parking Division has recently decided to alter parking and stopping regulations along a designated portion of McCarthy Road. The purpose of the new restrictions is to enhance road safety for cyclists operating in traffic with motor vehicles. Details of the changes are provided below:
Ice Storm Tree Damage Update
For the next eight to ten weeks crews will be removing dead wood and stubs from any roadside tree that was damaged during the storm. City crews will also be undertaking bolting and cabling of trees that have minor splits but can be saved with surgery. The tree inspectors are undertaking an assessment of all the trees to determine their condition and to identify those that need to be removed in the coming months. They are evaluating the degree of damage to the trunk, the leaders, the major branches and the crown of each tree top assist in determining whether the tree should be retained or removed. An assessment of the park trees will be undertaken in conjunction with Community Services staff. In addition to this, many of the trees in the passive park areas, along the nature trails and in the general wooded areas still have a great deal of hangers in them that have to be removed. Crews will be working on this throughout the spring season and well into the summer. The Department is further undertaking a sweep of the roadsides City-wide to pick up any branches that were missed; it is the City's intention to try to do this just once. Any broken branches removed from backyards after the initial sweep will be left for pickup by the Region's refuse collection contractors as part of their yard waste collection program.
A complete inventory of the roadside urban forest must be undertaken this summer. This inventory will identify the precise number of trees that have been removed and the general condition of the trees that remain. It is expected that this process will commence early this month and will take approximately five months to complete.
Mayor's Award for Community Service
Just a quick reminder that Mayor Watson will be announcing the first recipients of the Mayor's Award for Community Service in the fall. These awards will be given on an annual basis and were created to honour the ongoing and invaluable contribution of those who give generously of their time and talents in aid of their community. Nominations for this award can be directed to Mayor Watson's office at 111 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1N 5A1, faxed to (613) 244-5379 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The nominee's name, address and phone number should be included in your submission, along with a brief explanation detailing why s/he is deserving of the award. Also requested is the name and number of the nominator, who may be contacted for more information. The HCCO may wish to nominate a number of recipients for this award.
OMB Decision 4160 Riverside Drive
I have recently been informed that Mr. Justice Kealey has granted the Region leave to appeal the OMB Decision relating to 4160 Riverside Drive and airport noise issues. You may recall that the OMB, on a preliminary Motion, decided in effect that the related subdivision and zoning by-law appeals were to be heard by the Board without any noise evidence being adduced. The appeal hearing will determine whether this exclusion of evidence shall continue to apply. The City lawyer responsible for this case is Ms. Hana Nader-Merhi, who can be reached at (613) 244-5300, ext. 3579.