Councillor’s Report – River Ward
In September, Council approved the 2002 Budget Directions report, giving City staff several directions to be used in formulating the draft operating and capital estimates for the coming year. For the operating budget, this included that there would be no increase in the tax rate, that the amalgamation savings target of $22.5 million would be achieved, and that adjustments to programs and/or spending over 2001 levels be clearly identified. The report also identified net budget pressures of $50 million.
Since then, more even budget pressures have been identified – significantly in excess of the amount put forward in the budget directions report. Staff report that in preparing for this, the first bottom up budget for the new city, they have discovered that some of the former municipalities had unsustainable base budgets, both in terms of revenues and expenditure recoveries. Direction was given to make the necessary adjustments required to freeze the tax rate, applying a hierarchy of cutting administrative costs, program support costs unrelated to service levels, and finally, if required, service level reductions or program eliminations. This has resulted in a delay in tabling draft documents for Council consideration.
The revised timetable is as follows:
The City has also put cost containment measures in place until the final deliberation and Council approval of the 2002 operating budget, including an interim freeze on all external hirings.
If you would like to receive more information on the 2002 budget, please call my office or visit the City’s web site. Public meetings (Open House format) will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 27th at Ben Franklin Place and Feb. 28th at Ottawa City Hall, between 4 and 7 p.m. – if you wish to speak with City staff one-on-one about the 2002 Budget or Official Plan review (see below).
draft Police Service budget documents will be tabled at a special meeting of
the Police Services Board on February 13th at 11:30 am in the
Champlain Room at City Hall, and delegations will be heard on Monday, February
25. They are available through any
police station or community police center, the Ottawa Police website or by calling
Tania Richard, Admin. Assistant to the Board at 580-2424, x21960.
In 2001, an average residential property in the urban area with an assessed value of $150,000 paid $1,996 in municipal property taxes (rest is education taxes remitted to the provincial government). This is how the City spent your money:
Ambulance $ 38 2 %
Fire 148 7
Police 246 12
Garbage Collection/Disposal 37 2
Public Transit 319 16
Roads/Traffic Operations/Parks 130 7
Library 32 2
Social Housing 104 5
Health & Long Term Care 21 1
Employment & Financial Assistance 163 8
Recreation/Child Care/Grants 91 5
Capital 352 18
Administration 192 10
Total Municipal Property Tax Bill 1,996 100 %
In 2001, OC Transpo carried more than 80 million customers, pushing ridership up 6% over last year. In order to keep pace with inflation, a small fare increase is proposed, effective July 1, raising the cash fare by 25 cents and monthly passes by $1 each (excluding seniors pass which would be raised by 50 cents). Transportation Committee will consider this increase on March 6th during their budget review.
To watch for: In mid-January the Canadian Urban Transit Association will join other partners to launch a continent-wide campaign designed to build support for public transit in Canada and the US.
City Council recently appointed a Citizens’ Task Force to study the City’s ward structure and make recommendations on changes to ward boundaries in time for the 2003 municipal election. Currently, the 21 wards range from 14,000 to over 60,000 residents, with one councillor to represent their interests on Council. The Task force will be guided by key principles, including:
For more information, or to submit views, mail to Citizens’ Task Force on Ward Boundaries, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1, by Thursday, February 28th. Residents may also attend and make a presentation at a public meeting on Monday, February 4, at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall, in the Council Chamber, or 3 other public meetings held throughout the new City.
Experts tell us that in the next 20 years, our city will be home to 400,000 new residents, 190,000 new homes, 300,000 new jobs and 200,000 new cars and trucks. Ottawa is charting a new course to manage these changes, a process which began with the Smart Growth Summit in June 2001.
The current step in the Ottawa 20/20 process is the discussion of Charting a Course – a strategy document which sets out the high level principles that will be used to guide the new Official Plan. At the Summit, it was suggested that these principles include: Equilibrium (a positive balance of wealth, equity, environment and health), Diversity, and Accessibility (universal access to services) within the context of Sustainability (planned, developed and managed to minimize our environmental impact).
The public is invited to participate in the first consultation phase on Charting a Course, beginning in February. Comments can be submitted through the website at www.ottawa2020.com which will include an on-line survey, or mailed in to 2 Constellation Cres., Development Services, 4th Floor, Ottawa, ON K2G 5J9. Community organizations will be sent copies of the report and invited to submit their comments. Town Hall sessions will also be held at each of the City’s seven satellite locations in February, including Ben Franklin Place on February 27th and Ottawa City Hall on February 28th, from 4 – 8 p.m.
1. Moffatt Farm: (Prince of Wales at Falaise) - DCR Phoenix has submitted Official Plan (OP) and Zoning Amendment applications, as well as a Draft Plan of Subdivision to the City. These items are now scheduled to go to Planning committee for consideration February 28th. I urge interested residents to continue to make their views known on this matter, as any land use change on this site will have a profound impact on the community.
2. Bank Street Home Depot: Home Depot has submitted a Site Plan application to the City for NCC and Hydro corridor land west of Bank Street near the Ledbury turn-off. Two public meetings have been held and nearby residents raised concerns about traffic flow and noise that could be generated from any development. City staff is reviewing a Traffic Impact Study to determine if the applicant’s proposals regarding traffic patterns are acceptable under City guidelines. A noise study prepared by the applicant shows that there will be an increase of only 1 decibel to noise levels. The Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans has recently approved the proposed realignment of Sawmill Creek. For further clarification regarding this application, please contact Gordon Harrison, City planner, at 580-2424, ext. 13868.
3. 1053 Hunt Club Road (off Pattermead): More than 60 residents attended a public information meeting I hosted to review and discuss details of this proposal. The applicant has made zoning amendment and site plan applications for the site, which is located south of Bankview Place. The proposal includes 25 freehold bungalows built on a private road. Written comments should be submitted to Doug James, city planner by the end of February. For more information, he can be reached at 580-2424, ext. 13856.
4. NCC lands Uplands Drive/Airport Parkway: NCC representatives hosted a public meeting Jan. 22nd to present a proposal to lease land for business park uses in the Greenbelt south of Hunt Club Road, adjacent to the Windsor Park Community. These lands are presently zoned Ig (Institutional government uses) and would require rezoning for the addition of commercial uses.
5. Norberry Apartments (cash-in-lieu-of-parking): This application is scheduled to be heard by Planning & Development Committee on Feb. 28th.
6. Bank Medical Centre/Oxygen Tank (Bank and Vancouver) - A revised site plan to move the tank in order to meet zoning and Fire Code requirements has received conditional approval. A minor variance to reduce one parking aisle width from 6.7 metres to 6 metres in order to accommodate three additional parking spaces will be considered by the Committee of Adjustment Feb. 5th. The parking spaces are needed to meet minimum parking requirements for the expansion of the medical centre (previously approved.)
7. 2930 Albion Rd. (Kitchener and Walkley) – Claridge Homes has submitted a zoning amendment for the single family dwellings that have been approved along Jasper. Claridge is seeking the amendment to reduce both front and back yard setbacks. For more information on the application, please contact Prescott McDonald at 580-2424, ext. 13854.
8. 2930 Albion Road (townhouses near Kitchener). The site plan for 30 townhouses fronting both public and private streets has been approved. Visitor parking and sound attenuation fences have been included in the approved design. For more information, contact Prescott McDonald, at 580-2424, ext. 13854.
9. 366 Hunt Club Road (south of Royal Route): SIL JVB Investments Ltd proposes building a 281.5 square-metre Tim Horton’s restaurant with a drive-through. The applicant requires a minor variance to allow front yard parking on the site. For more information on this site plan application, please contact Doug Bridgewater, City planner, at 580-2424, ext. 13387.
10. McCarthy/Cahill West Development – Minto’s Official Plan, Zoning Amendment applications and Draft Plan of Subdivision have all been approved. Committee members also agreed to earmark a cash-in-lieu of parkland payment from the development for the future expansion of the Hunt Club-Riverside Community Centre.
For more information on these, or any other issues before municipal government, please do not hesitate to call me at 580-2486. I look forward to your advice and direction.