Meetings & Documents
 

February 2, 1998


Monthly Meeting
February 2, 1998


Attendees:

  • Fred McLennan, President
  • Art Miskew, Vice-President
  • Alan Asselstine, Treasurer
  • Peter Vasdi, Secretary
  • Bill Royds, Director (memberships)
  • Riley Brockington, Director (communications)
  • Nancy Seaby, Director (transit)
  • Fred Winters, Director (recreation/social)
  • Gisèle Loiselle-Branch, Director (representing Sequoia Coop and Twyford-Cahill area)
  • Robert Staples, Director (representing Quinterra/Riverwood Landings (west of Riverside))
  • Ted Requard, Resident (Hunt Club Woods)
  • Kathy Ablett, Resident (Hunt Club Estates)
  • Andrei Grushman, Resident (Quinterra/Riverwood Landings (west of Riverside)) – interested in green space protection.
  • Wendy Stewart, RMOC councillor
  • Karin Howard, City councillor
  • Lois Tuffin, The News

MOTIONS

See “Neighborhood Plan” below. Alan Asselstine moved that we provide a table manned by HCCO to provide a forum for people to vent their ideas, and solicit help from experts in area. Motion seconded and passed, with one nay.

See “Storm” below. Motion made to thank Region and City for cleaning up – timely and efficient removal and restoration of trees. Alan seconded the motion. Voted all in favor.

See “Banking options” below. Alan Asselstine moved to change HCCO bank account from business to a personal chequing account. Motion tabled until Alan checks into options.

KEY ISSUES

The following summarizes the issues discussed at the 2 Feb 98 meeting of the Hunt Club Community Organization (HCCO) at the Hunt Club Riverside Community Centre (HCRCC).

Regional Councillor, Wendy Stewart, submitted a report on the following:

  • Improving access to the Airport Parkway (see below).
  • Minimizing traffic noise at Hackett Pond (opposite Fine’s Flowers on Riverside Dr.) (see below).
  • Restructuring the city and regional governments (see below).
  • Protecting the Experimental Farm (see below).
  • Regional budgeting to meet expenses and yet not increase taxes (see below).
  • Reassessing your property values (see below).
  • Increasing the number of organizations that generate electric power (see below).
  • Regional council looking for volunteer voices to sing O Canada (see below).
  • Helping the public recover from the ice storm (see below).

City councillor, Karin Howard, submitted a report on the following:

  • Thank you concert planned for Sun 8 Feb at the Corel Centre to help raise funds for disaster relief and to thank local municipality, hydro, and out-of-town municipal employees who helped. Further detail to be provided on CJOH Newsline.
  • Retreeing Ottawa. A task force on retreeing Ottawa has been created and includes the girl guides, lead by Lynn Kaplanski. Some 6000 trees must be removed, and 30,000 require trimming. Volunteers are needed. If you wish to help, call Karin.
  • Maintaining Riverside Hospital services until final closure is complicated by a staff morale problem. If you move the equipment away, doctors won’t come and patients will stay away. There is a point of service level that might force the hospital to close before it is scheduled to.
  • Safety audit. City has developed a booklet to guide this process.
  • Pilot project in Deans’ ward, allowing the community to put up personalized message signs in public places. These were paid by the councillor’s special fund. However, requests from other communities will be refused because there is no funding for this.
  • Subsidizing the francophone games at the Terry Fox Athletic Centre (see below).
  • City budget for 1998 (see below).
  • Helping the Humane Society by reducing its taxes and interest payments (see below).
  • Council session to adopt new Z2020 zoning bylaw for the City (see below).
  • Neighborhood Plan open house (see below).
  • Saving the Southern Corridor (see below).
  • Helping residents cope with ice storm consequences, and preparing ourselves for future emergencies (see below).
  • Minimizing impact of ice storm on wildlife (see below).
  • Funding, managing, and improving Mooney’s Bay (see below).
  • Pros and cons of having a separate library for our area (see below).
  • Minimizing traffic noise from Riverside Dr. by Hackett Pond (see below).
  • Addressing traffic dangers at McCarthy Rd (see below).

Restructuring local regional/municipal government:

  • Citizens’ Panel on local governance has announced a series of community workshops to give local communities a chance to express views and ideas. Workshops are:
    • 7-10pm Tue 10 Mar, Jim Durell Rec Centre, 1265 Walkley Rd.
    • 7-10pm Wed 23 Mar, Nepean Sportsplex, Hall B, 1701 Woodroff Ave.
    • 1-4pm Sat 4 Apr, (location to be determined).
  • Workshops are structured meetings to obtain community views in an organized recordable manner. They will be followed by a series of public hearings, where citizens can present views directly to the panel.
  • To save money, Citizen’s panel will not cost out the 3 models presented to the City for this area, but will cost out the model that is selected through the open house process. However, this means that the financials won’t be available for public at the time of the open house. To compensate, City is going to update the existing study, currently available from the with Henson Consultants. City will ask them to update the cost for that study and submit them for citizens’ panel.
  • City is being asked to pick a model over others, likely the one that is most financially best.
  • Karin has asked staff to recommend principles they should stand behind in addition to financials. Danger of fixing yourself to an outcome before public gets a chance to vote.
  • Also, local governance hearings to take place at City Hall at Tue 14 Apr between 2-9pm (first hour of parking is free). Individuals/orgs can have up to 5 min say.
  • For more information, call the Citizens’ Panel.

Protecting the Experimental Farm:

  • A process has been initiated to designate the Farm as a National Historic Site. (Note that after this meeting, in early Feb, the farm was designated as a historic site, and is therefore protected from residential development.)
  • The Hon Lyle Vanclief, Min. of Agriculture, has invited Wendy to participate in the process.
  • Wendy will report back to the community on opportunities for people in the area to participate in the process.
  • For more information, call Wendy’s office.

Pros and cons of having a separate library for our area:

  • Karin did a survey about whether or not people wanted a library; results showed people were equally split between wanting a library now and waiting until time is right.
  • When South Keys offered the space for free, City didn’t have enough funds to cover operating costs alone.
  • Councillor Diane Deans would like to try a fund raising effort to get the library.
  • An option is a cut to the bookmobile service.
  • An Ottawa South library would not serve Carleton Heights or Riverside Park. The bookmobile does.
  • Bill Royds suggested using the Blossom Park branch to serve our area, and the Nepean branch to serve Carleton Heights.
  • All branches across city boundaries have been talking to each other for over a year about how they can share services.
  • Karin recommends that the idea of library has to be looked at in context of potentially changing governance.
  • For more information, call Karin’s office.

Addressing traffic dangers at McCarthy Rd:

  • Working group, with whom Karin hasn’t met yet, to put in barrier to protect sidewalk pedestrians. City needs a way of making the barrier ends safe.
  • City staff has done a bit of a study.
  • City has lost 2 of its planning staff, which could slow this process down.
  • Barrier would be just a stopgap to stop cars slipping on the road and injuring kids walking on the sidewalk.
  • Will take until year 2004 before City has enough money to pay for such improvements.
  • Art Miskew said that there was no problem traffic danger if cars stay within speed limit.
  • For more information, call Karin’s office.

Subsidizing the francophone games at the Terry Fox Athletic Centre:

  • Some uncertainty whether Federal government is just giving operating dollars right now or whether there are federal dollars already subsidizing the games.
  • Bill Royds said that Ontario lotto money is available for this purpose.
  • Maybe Jean Pigott will handle this, after she’s finished with the disaster relief fund.
  • For more information, call Karin’s office.

Funding, managing, and improving Mooney’s Bay:

  • Local residents expressed a need for more community involvement in Mooney’s Bay and Terry Fox athletic complex.
  • There is a volunteer board that advises on policy.
  • Part of Mooney’s Bay Park redevelopment plan could be to propose a board, composed of community residents, to manage the facilities (buildings in poor state of repair and possibly not used as fully as they could be).
  • $225K in place for this effort. Karin doesn’t want to spend this money until a management board is put in place and a long-term business plan is put together so that, if money is spent, it is spent wisely. No time limit to spend this money, therefore no urgency to spend it now. City can’t touch this money. Francophone games are coming and will be held at Mooney’s Bay.
  • Should be a rep from HC area and Riverside Park area on this board.
  • Need to also get business corporations involved in upgrading the area through corporate sponsorship.
  • The area is managed by city staff; person responsible is Howard Friendly.
  • Benefit that other parts of the city will also be invited to be part of the board, because other areas also use Mooney’s Bay.
  • For more information, call Karin’s office.

Crime prevention program:

  • Money available for police and community to work together to come up with scenarios to prevent crime.
  • Police dept has sent in for more markings on their cars to get more money into their budget.
  • Can community get more money in regional budget to go towards crime prevention?
  • For more information, call Wendy’s office.

Reassessing your property values:

  • Ontario Bill 106, Fair Municipal Finance Act, changed the way in which property was to be taxed, giving the Region power to set tax ratios between the 7 categories of property taxes. To give an example, the Region can now determine whether residential property is to be taxes 2 times (or whatever ratio) more than commercial property. The Province still retains the power to assess how much each property is worth.
  • A private corporation, the Municipal Assessment Corporation, is to be created (board has 14 members) to determine how much properties should be worth in the future, and to administer and disseminate that knowledge, and to handle the appeals from owners who don’t agree with their assessment.
  • All properties have already been reassessed at their “current 1997 value”, and notice of this will be mailed out to all property owners on 13 Feb. Owners will have 90 days after they receive this notice to launch an appeal.
  • Open houses and public consultations are planned.
  • Although it is too early to tell what the impact of reassessment, in real tax dollars, will be to ratepayers, it is reasonable to expect that municipal governments will hold the line on the tax requirement from the property tax base to operate and deliver services.
  • For more information, call Wendy’s office.

Saving the Southern Corridor:

  • Importance of new Z2020 zoning bylaw for City:
    • Final consideration to take place at City Hall, Council Chambers, 9:15-12noon and 1:15-5pm 19 and 20 Feb. Time period for public comment begins the morning of 19 Feb.
    • No appointments being made, and all who wish to comment should be there by 9:15am. (Note that, since then, Council has approved Karin’s motion to accept appointments – those wishing to speak can therefore request appointments ahead of 19-20 Feb.)
    • Several people want to be heard, including developers.
  • If we link with other orgs, we can protect their green areas.
  • Z2020 council meeting on 19 Feb and the more people who can attend the better.
  • Approaching 100th anniversary of Archibald Lampman’s poem “Winter in the Uplands”, written about the open area of the Southern Corridor on 18 Feb 1898, one week before Archibald died. Marcel beaudry’s office called and wants to meet with Karin re the Southern Corridor:
    • Karin will accept the invite and will need a secretary to take notes.
    • She is waiting for a community feedback.
    • Meeting is on Fri.
  • NOSS study has been delayed 2-3 months.
  • For more information, contact Shelley Parlow or Peter Foulger.

Minimizing traffic noise at Hackett Pond area:

  • Region does not have noise barriers or material like cement, etc., in stock and was never in the business of putting sound barriers beside existing regional roads. When such roads are widened, though, the Region includes the cost of putting such barriers in place in the overall work to be done, and contracts the work.
  • Barriers that meet Regional standards would cost $500/m, which makes them as expensive as building 1 m of a 2-lane road.
  • Region has decided to:
    • Analyze the problem, based on existing data.
    • Review past RMOC practice to see if there have been exceptions to Regional policy, whether noise barriers were funded elsewhere after roads were built.
    • Have the Regional forester inspect the area around Hackett Pond and make recommendations to tree/evergreen plantings that can withstand conditions and become a natural noise barrier.
  • Region is already exploring a new policy to address traffic noise on a Region-wide basis. Policy will take into account an increase in noise over time AFTER construction is completed.
  • When these avenues have been explored, Wendy will, together with Karin Howard, organize a public meeting to present the information, receive community feedback, and analyze other options. This meeting may be held this spring (98).
  • A resident, Ted Requard, spoke for residents in his area:
    • Doesn’t think concrete barriers are what is required; the residents didn’t ask for this. Residents would be satisfied with wooden barriers, like those by the houses just to the south. Local residents aren’t happy because of increased noise in recent years. Wood fences would protect the vegetation, if not prevent sound.
    • Region considers wood fencing as privacy fencing, not sound attentuation.
    • Wood fencing south of pond was put in by the developer.
  • Bill Royds suggested that the residents coordinate themselves to build a privacy fence:
    • Question: Will Region or City coordinate homeowners to build such a fence so that cost is reduced. Everyone could put in a minimum amount and pay for the fence at a reduced cost. Answer: Up to community to organize themselves, not up to government to organize the community.
    • Bill Royds suggested that Residents could set up an organization that could accept money to coordinate a residents’ group that could finance such an effort. HCCO could help by providing a base organization to handle this money.
    • Requard: Get approval from Region to go ahead and put fence in, then citizens would put up fence themselves. Wendy will look at laws and regulations, and seemed positive to this suggestion.
  • Region feels that residents do want to tunnel the roads by bordering them by barriers.
  • Hackett Pond is City owned and operated.
  • When buying homes initially, residents could not have been totally aware of what they were moving into, especially when developers were selling their houses backgrounded on existing forest and trees. A resident said that the City should have been more aware and is therefore liable for increased noise and lack of community awareness.
  • City fenced both sides of bicycle path behind houses along Hunt Club Creek between Country Club and Uplands Dr. Residents had to pay for gates in this fence. Homeowners planted trees and got privacy that way.
  • City should put up barrier, and people should individually plant whatever they want.
  • $15000 available from Karin’s office and could be used for traffic calming.
  • Karin wants to work together with Wendy to get barriers cheaply or at cost.
  • For more information, call Karin’s office.

Working on the Neighborhood Plan:

  • Karin said that the City is definitely interested in hearing from the community.
  • Open house scheduled for 6-9pm Wed 11 Mar at the gymnasium of Holy Family School on Owl Drive.
  • Karin offered to make copies (of documentation) and to distribute flyers notifying public about the open house.
  • Role of the PAC in the Neighborhood Plan effort, and how to best inform and involve the community in the open house: Next PAC is 17 Feb to prepare for public open house on 11 Mar. Bob Spicer has notified The News.
  • Developing a flyer to distribute before the open house:
    • Art Miskew to get better map of NCC proposal to develop open areas from Peter Vasdi.
    • Art Miskew is still working on flyer.
    • Discuss at next HCCO meeting, and select people to distribute the flyer.
    • Peter Vasdi offered to copy 200 double-sided.
    • Art to plan effort and return to HCCO with cost.
    • Maybe provide individuals with originals and have them do copying.
    • 2 more The News issues before 11 Mar (4 Mar the last publication date) to advertise the open house.
    • Decided not to include an ad for $3 HCCO membership fee, to limit flyer to only the plan, and not for HCCO beyond mentioning HCCO role.
  • Involving other organizations:
    • Bill Royds has list of other orgs rep’d by Greenspace Coalition.
    • Peace and Environment Org Centre has list of interested parties. Bill will start contacting these and will contact people electronically.
    • How would downtown Ottawa react to increased development in our area, which would result in increased traffic in their area?
  • Discussion of how, and how much, HCCO should get involved in open house:
    • Some doubt about City ability to assess and report community feedback because City can’t reveal contents of questionnaires the public fills out if the person has put his/her name on the questionnaire.
    • Bill Royds wants to prepare a petition sheet for community at open house so that people can give their concerns to an organization other than the city. However, people will not want to complete two questionnaires.
    • Question about where does community input go? Shouldn’t input be shared by other members of PAC? Answer: city summarizes input for PAC; PAC doesn’t get to see the detail that goes on behind the summary of data.
    • City must share this info, and it is up to individuals to access that info.
    • Residents won’t fill in two questionnaires; much better off to insist, ahead of time, that we be given access to all results.
    • In May meeting, Bill asked for results of poll and was refused. Bill proposed to have a meeting to verify questionnaire.
    • People from HCCO go to PAC and ask Bob Spicer for data on May meeting.
    • Perhaps City can make details available without names.
  • For more information, contact Peter Foulger.

Collecting garbage efficiently:

  • Difficulty found by residents in cutting up large pieces of cardboard to required 3x3ft size for garbage pickup:
  • Region is looking at this problem.
  • Osgoode Township charges for their garbage pickup.
  • Current ministry of env wants to pay as you go, and return cost to manufacturer. Must retain incentive so that manufacturers reduce and also so that people reduce (cost can’t be put totally into one lap).
  • Pay as you go will prompt people to reduce as well.
  • Most bottles that end up in landfill should have been recycled.
  • For more information, call Wendy’s office.

Increasing the number of organizations that generate electric power:

  • In Nov 97, Ontario proposed to restructure Ontario Hydro and to allow other companies to generate and sell electricity. (White paper “Direction for Change: Charting a Course for Competitive Electricity and Jobs in Ontario.)
  • Public consultations are taking place Jan-Mar 98, followed by legislation in Spring to replace the current Power Corporation Act, and to redesign the Ontario Energy Board to empower it to oversee the transition to full competition by year 2000.
  • Wendy has been appointed to a Task Force on Electricity Restructuring, established by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. This task force is to research and develop a response to the white paper from the municipalities of Ontario, representing the people (us) who live in those urban areas. For example, integrating certain city services (such as the treatment of sewage) may lead to substantial savings.
  • Soft copies of the white paper can be viewed and downloaded from the Internet at http://www.ene.gov.on.ca
  • For more information, call Wendy’s office.

Regional council looking for volunteer voices to sing O Canada:

  • Council has some 24 meetings a year and each meeting begins with O Canada.
  • Regional councillors are looking for groups or individuals from their ward to sing.
  • Council meetings are held every 2nd and 4th Wed at 1:30pm in Andrew Haydon Hall at 111 Lisgar St., and are broadcast live on Rogers TV, channels 22 and 23.
  • For more information, call Wendy’s office.

Helping the Humane Society by reducing its taxes and interest payments:

  • Society owes the City taxes it hasn’t paid and is therefore also liable to pay interest on the taxes not paid.
  • Council has agreed to waive some interest and back taxes.
  • Karin’s position is that Council should take a principled approach to the tax base and that the correct tax base should be ahered to. If a charity or municipal service should not be taxed, or shouldn’t have been taxed, then Council has the duty to correct the error. The costs of these corrections can be phased in, if required, but anything else would be unfair. Council did agree on 21 Jan 98, to waive $28,000 in arrears of interest and backtaxes owing to the City by the Humane society.
  • For more information, call Karin’s office.

Improving access to the Airport Parkway:

  • Council approved, again, access ramps at Hunt Club Rd.
  • Design work for NW corner ramp at Walkley Rd. (allowing downtown S-bound traffic to exit at Walkley) is to be included in this year’s budget.
  • 1st step is to reposition sewers and adjust the Cahill tributary to be completed before ground thaws in order to minimize impact on fish habitat in spring. Because ground will still be frozen, mature trees cannot be moved towards residences as a sound barrier; the move would kill them. When weather permits, smaller trees will be planted instead.
  • Hunt Club ramps schedule for completion is Oct 98.
  • APETIS: Mr. Ducette agreed to disagree about the ramps, but won’t challenge them any more.
  • For more information, call Wendy’s office.

Helping residents recover from with ice storm, and preparing ourselves for future emergencies:

  • Two avenues are possible for residents to apply for compensation: complete and submit forms to the Ottawa-Carleton Disaster Relief Committee or sue the City.
  • Residents should first review their insurance options (many insurance companies are waiving their deductibles), before requesting or persuing compensation.
  • Disaster Relief Committee:
    • Has applied for charitable tax status so that it can receive donations.
    • Has begun to process claims.
    • Has 18 members, including two volunteer residents, Larry Malloy (from Hunt Club) and Linda Seguin (from Riverside Park). Karin congratulates them for volunteering.
    • A preliminary claim form is available from RMOC and at locations throughout the region.
    • When a form is received from a claimant, Region will assign a claim number and mail out a detailed claim form, if necessary.
    • These forms should be made more accessible by putting them at community centers, libraries, etc.
    • Could they be put on the internet?
  • Marlene Caterall, MP Ottawa West/Nepean, submitted a cheque for $40M from the federal government to the City to help with disaster claims.
  • Claims against the City (no forms) can be dropped off at Office of Claims at City Sollicitor for falling on slippery surface or objects being damaged by falling branches. Claims against the City initiate a legal action against the city.
  • What is there to prevent people from double-claiming for same event from City and Region. Wendy doesn’t think it will be possible because disaster is handled not by the City or Region, but by a separate committee.
  • Linda Seguin has a real background on history and insurance claims, and apparently is doing a good job in this new position.
  • Kathy Ablett wondered if HCCO would send a letter to compliment how well the city and region worked together:
    • It is nice, even if one is doing their job, to get a letter of commendation for a job well done.
    • Cleanup was timely and efficient removal and restoration of trees. All crews who came up did it at own cost (chipper crews from Pennsylvania, etc.) Crews paid for own travel; were paid by their employers for work done, however.
    • Send letter to mayor and regional chair to thank his staff and staff that came from other areas, for taking quick and appropriate action (and give a few examples). Use the trees as an example.
    • Kathy and Alan would write the letter. Kathy to organize the writing of the letter on behalf of the community.
  • There exists just one plan for disaster, not a separate one for City and Region.
  • Lower tier mayors have jointly come up with proposal to devolve emergency effort down to lower level; however most people recognize that Region was very effective. If community assoc truly represent the grass roots; should they have met, been involved?
  • All in favor.
  • Emergency preparedness for future disasters:
    • Try and improve procedures. Karin wants to review what happened during the ice storm. She believes that, if the City doesn’t review what happened, we won’t be able to improve our response to the next emergency.
  • For more information, call Wendy’s office, Karin Howard, or the Disaster Relief Committee.

Minimizing impact of ice storm on wildlife:

  • Before cutting down trees, look in hollows for nests and ensure wildlife is gone.
  • Move nests to secure location in nearby trees.
  • While trimming trees, first tap leaf nests with cherry picker to similar vehicle/tool to encourage squirrels to leave nests.
  • If you begin to feed wildlife, continue to supply food throughout winter.
  • Stacking branches in a corner of your backyard will provide ground cover for ground-feeding birds, rabbits, and other animals.
  • 3 squirrel boxes to be put up at Carleton wildlife center, to help squirrels out during the ice storm; however, emergency is over for squirrels as well.
  • For more info, contact the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre.

Minimizing bank charges for the HCCO account:

  • Scotiabank has a new policy of min $5 charge/month for business accounts.
  • Personal chequing account doesn’t have a fee, but won’t return cheques.
  • What is the change in liability should HCCO change its account from savings to chequing?
  • Can we be audited if we don’t have the cheques; with a personal chequing account bank retains cheques.
  • Do other banks have a different policy?
  • Could save $60 a year in bank charges.
  • Bank of Montreal has special exceptions for non-profit organizations.
  • For more information, contact Alan.

Regional budgeting to meet expenses and yet not increase taxes:

  • Normally, the Regional budget spends all of the money it receives on providing the services it is required to do (roads, water, sewers, Police, OC Transpo, etc.) – revenues balance expenses. Downloading services from the Province will probably save Ontario $500B, but those services will now need to be maintained and funded by the Region.
  • Although some of those services also provide revenues on their own (Police tickets, transit fares), the total additional expense added onto the cost of traditional Regional services is around $56M for calendar 1998.
  • Many of the services to be downloaded from the Province to the Region are still being managed by the Province. Therefore the Region has little insight into the nature of the cost of those services and less ability to anticipate or recommend cost saving measures. The latest figure is $29M.
  • The region is already managing downloaded services, the anticipated cost of which is around $27M.
  • In addition there is pressure to increase salaries to the Police, OC Transpo and other employees.
  • An Executive Summary re these expenses will be presented to Regional council on 11 Feb and is to include recommendations on how to reduce these expenses so that taxes will not need to be increased.
  • On 12 Feb, detailed information on the Police and OC Transpo is to be released in order to help those involved understand their mandate and processes and funding requirements, and therefore enable those people to recommend informed solutions. Hard copies are available from Wendy’s office, and soft (electronic) copies can be viewed and downloaded from the RMOC web site on the Internet.
  • By 4 Mar, the Corp Services and Economic Development Committee will then consider the impact (on us) should they decide to try and fund their services without raising taxes (of a no-tax-increase scenario), and develop a strategy that will go to Council on 11 Mar for approval or rejection.
  • During the two weeks starting 23 and 30 Mar, policy committees will review the anticipated costs (departmental draft estimates) and proposed adjustments (the strategies), and present their recommendations to Council. Council decision and approval is scheduled for 15 Apr.
  • A public meeting is being planned for Wed 18 Mar, by which time budget documents will be available.
  • Question: why didn’t Region budget for the year 2000 when they knew it was coming? Answer: no organization was totally prepared for scope of year 2000 computing problems; Region is as prepared as any.
  • Wendy is meeting in Toronto next week to hammer out cuts and impact on personal taxes.
  • For more information, call Wendy’s office.

City budget for 1998:

  • Committed to 0 percent increase in property taxes for 1998.
  • 1998 budget document to be available on 1 Apr.
  • Public hearings on budget to be held on 23,24 Apr. Council debate and approval of budget to take place 4-6 May. Staff have been holding workshops.
  • City isn’t taking into account revenues from recreational services, some of which do generate income; therefore, rec services seem to cost more and there is intense pressure to increase fees for services.
  • Process for preparing budget info is the reverse from that which it should be. Public workshops to gather feedback from the community are to be done in Feb/Mar, which would mean that the public feedback would not be ready in time for city staff to incorporate into their recommendations to Council.
  • Karin wants to have a workshop for our ward on this AFTER the workshop results are ready.
  • City may sell of all city parking lots and do other revenue-generating services. City parking is mostly a loss right now. Increases to fees and charges, mostly in the recreation area.
  • Karin voted against increasing user fees for ice rinks, soccer pitches, and for Mooney’s Bay area.
  • Fees to use services and rent facilities at Mooney’s Bay are 10 times more than in other public areas. Karin has asked City staff to show docs to justify this extra cost.
  • Budget 98 for city is available to community.
  • Useful to attend workshops re budgets, but Karin should be accompanied by experts from City who can make the budget decisions. This is what Karin plans to do. She doesn’t plan to conduct budget meetings on her own.
  • For more information, call Karin’s office.

Riley and Peter Vasdi are to get together to come up with a new brochure.

Woman seriously injured her elbow at Owl Park rink.

Anne Brandel: don’t forget the garage sale in May.

HCCO has insurance.

Next meeting: Mon 2 Mar 98 at 7:30pm