September 12, 2005
- Fred MacLennan, President
- Art Miskew, Vice-President
- Alan Asselstine, Treasurer
- Peter Brimacombe, Secretary
- Gisèle Loiselle-Branch, Director
- Fred Winters, Director
- Maria McRae, City councillor
- Pat Murphy, City councillor’s office
- Erin Kelly, The News
- Ivy-Lea Lunau, David McGuinty’s Office
Motion: To oppose new restrictions on turns on or off Bronson Avenue. Moved by Alan Asselstine, seconded by Fred Winters. carried.
Maria McRae reported on the following:
- On Monday September 19, she is hosting a Family Fun Day for residents of River Ward. Hamburgers and hot dogs will be provided by Outback Steakhouse. Donations will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. Members of the Ottawa Renegades Football Club will be there: Kerry Joseph, Yo Murphy, Ibrahim Kahn and Johnny Scott.
- Integrated Road Safety Initiative is a program to reduce traffic fatalities or serious injuries. In July, the Police targeted sidewalk cycling and improper lane changing (by cars). In September the Police will target failing to stop for school buses and running red lights.
- Garbage Collection You can now recycle plastic tubs and lids (they have to be clean)
- Starting in January small business can buy garbage bags which the City will pick up on the regular collection days
- North-South Light Rail Project The City is doing an Environmental Assessment of the North-South Light Rail Project. This is an important part of the transportation infrastructure of the City. There will be a sod-turning event next year.
Art Miskew: The bottleneck in bus traffic are the bridges over the Ottawa River.
Maria McRae: Light Rail should cross the Ottawa River but the Province of Quebec resists it. By the way, thanks to Alan Asselstine for his work on Light Rail.
Alan Asselstine: The big problem is Albert and Slater Streets. They are jammed right now with buses, there is no room for buses and trains!
Art Miskew: You can have buses or trains but not both.
Maria McRae: This winter roads and sidewalks to be better maintained. The City expects there will be more freezing rain.
Alan Asselstine: Some older neighbourhoods have sidewalks on both sides of the road but don’t need them. It would be easier and cheaper to clear only one side and push the snow onto the other.
Maria McRae: I will send this suggestion to Transportation for comment.
Free parking for Veterans: 2005 is the Year of the Veteran. City will allow vehicles bearing a veterans license plate, issued by the Ministry of Transportation , to park for free at parking meters and in most City parking lots for the remainder of 2005.
The City has again received an AAA credit rating from Moody’s Investor Services. The City issues bonds to finance some of the capital projects it undertakes each year. The annual amount of debt issued by the City varies from year to year in a range of $50 to $100 million per year. The high credit ratings reduce the costs of the bonds.
2006 Budget: City Council directed staff to budget within the cost of living (2.4%) tax increase. The budget is severely pressured by
- high inflation on key materials, electricity , fuel and parts
- increase to purchased services as companies pass on their increased costs
- increased compensation to City’s unionized workforce
There will be a $60 – $70 million gap between revenue and expenditures this year!
Peter Brimacombe: There was a budget shortfall last year too. The budget shortfalls point to the need to be more efficient. To be more efficient, there has to be more density. The Southern Corridor is prime land for development, it can use existing road, water, sewer and hydro lines. It is located along the proposed east-west light rail line close to the north-south line.
Fred McLennan: There is a move on City Council to prohibit turns off Bronson Avenue onto Findlay Avenue. Residents of Hunt Club need this route to get onto the Queen Elizabeth Driveway. We need to revisit Albion Road closing.
Maria McRae: Uplands and Arnott Parks were refurbished this summer. Drugs and undesirables were reduced in Cahill Park by the use of motion detectors: After 23:00 people entering the park trigger an alarm, security staff can watch them and tell them to get out of the park. Motion detectors and cameras were donated by corporate sponsors.
Ivy-Lea Lunau: works for David McGuinty the Member of Parliament for the riding. David would like to help communities connect with federally-funded programs that meet their needs. Project Porchlight encourages homeowners to change their incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs to save energy.
Next meeting: Mon 3 Oct 2005 at 7:30pm