Report to the Hunt Club Community Organization
February 1, 1999
1. Adult Crossing Guard Program - 1999 Regional Police Service Budget
Steve Kanellakos, Director General of Finance, Ottawa-Carleton Regional Police Services confirms that $54,600 has been allocated in their base budget for 1999 to accommodate funding for the Adult Crossing Guard program at 10 locations in the Region. R. Byrnes Curry, on Owl Drive, is one location in Ottawa which has been identified for crossing guard service.
This program has traditionally been cost shared between the school boards and the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Police with one-half of the amount allocated to be recovered from the school boards. In addition, approximately $23,500 has been built into the Police budget for expansion of this cost-shared program into areas such as Kanata.
2. New Water Billing System
The regional Finance Department introduced its new water billing and customer information system during the first week of January. Watch for an information pamphlet to be included with your next water bill. The new format will feature consumption history from the last six bills issued. Not only will this show you, on average, how much water you use, but it could help identify unusual usage that could potentially cost money.
Please notice that account numbers have changed to provide for this updated business practice. If you do your banking by telephone or via internet, please advise your bank of this change A.S.A.P. All financial institutions have been notified of this change and old and new account numbers are being recognized. This should not lead to problems with accounts either unpaid or transactions not recognized.
3. Drinking Water and Health Concerns
In November, a new federal government analysis concluded that chlorinated drinking water may pose a cancer risk to humans, particularly the risk of bladder cancer. In North America, approximately 98% of urban municipalities, including the Region of Ottawa-Carleton, use chlorine or a chlorinated product to purify raw natural water for domestic use.
The report, based on an exhaustive review of dozens of studies across the globe, has already caused the Federal-Provincial Drinking Water Committee to re-examine existing standards for levels of chlorine by-products, and has generated concern in local communities.
The challenge is to strike a balance between the acute drinking water health risks posed by bacteria, viruses and pathogens versus the longer term possible health risks of continued consumption of potable water containing disinfection by-products.
Disinfection by-products are formed when chlorine reacts with organic matter in water. All surface water has naturally occurring organic matter from the decomposition of leaves, trees, etc. The most prevalent by-product from chlorine is trihalomethanes (THM). The current federal and provincial guideline for TMNs is 100 micrograms per litre (ug/L). In December 1998, the United States Environmental Protection Agency reduced their THM standard to 80 ug/L. It is reassuring to know that over the last five years, Ottawa-Carleton’s levels for THMs have averaged below 40 ug/L.
RMOC has been aware of these concerns and is trying to increase customer knowledge and confidence in our potable water system.
In our Region, water is drawn from the Ottawa River and treated at the Lemieux Island and Britannia Water Purification Plants. To prevent the passage of pathogens from the water, the Region uses a "multiple barrier principle". First water is disinfected by adding chlorine to kill pathogens, viruses, and bacteria. A process of coagulation/flocculation followed by sedimentation settles small water born particles in large tanks. Sand and anthracite filters then physically separate particles from the water. The final treatment process of chloramination is provided to protect against deterioration of this high water quality when it travels through watermains to homes and businesses.
RMOC works very closely with universities, research councils and drinking water associations to form partnerships on research issues and keep up to date on new developments. The Regional Health Department is also involved in quality, issues and research involving the Region’s drinking water.
An annual water quality report is available to any water customer in our Region. Additionally, a web page is currently being completed specifically related to drinking water issues and the Region’s water quality. Please let me know if you would like more information on this issue.
4. OC Transpo – New Approach to Labour Relations
The OC Transpo Commission has authorized its management team to enter into an agreement with the company’s largest bargaining unit, the Amalgamated Transit Union. In this agreement, both the union and management forego their right to lockout and strike as ways to settle differences.
Instead, the system known as mutual gains bargaining will enable parties to engage in joint problem solving at the bargaining table, rather than the traditional combative way of negotiating. Binding third party resolution is available as a safety net for those issues where an impasse is reached.
5. Local Company to Expand
Congratulations to IOGEN Corporation, our local industrial biotechnology company, on the announcement of the construction of a $25.3 million demonstration plant next to its current enzyme manufacturing facility on Hunt Club Road. The acknowledged world leader in the development of cellulosic ethanol, Iogen produces fermentable sugars from such feedstocks as straw, hay, grasses and oat hulls.
With funding from the federal government and support from Petro-Canada, Iogen is developing innovative clean fuel technology intended to greatly reduce greenhouse gases in the transportation sector. The new facility is intended to lead to the commercialization of ethanol from cellulose – a greenhouse gas neutral transportation fuel – that can be put directly into today’s vehicles without requiring any engine tooling or disruption to the existing transportation infrastructure.
In December 1997 Canada agreed, at an international meeting in Kyoto, Japan, to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2008 - 2012. Transportation accounts for one-third of the country’s current emissions and is one of the fast growing contributors. Every litre of ethanol substituted for gasoline will reduce CO2 emissions by 70 to 90 % compared to gasoline.
A publication marking the centennial of the National Capital Commission has been released and is tabled with the HCCO. Extra copies are available for members of the Southern Corridor Protection group and interested residents. One hundred years of urban planning, construction and programming in Canada’s capital is traced, with work undertaken since 1899 highlighted.
Mr. Beaudry, NCC Chair, calls the book an expression of the NCC’s confidence in their capacity to build upon this heritage for the future so that our capital city remains a source of pride and inspiration for all Canadians in the new millennium.
7. Airport Parkway Traffic Counts Taken
Preliminary counts to measure the effectiveness/impact of the new ramps at Hunt Club Road and the Airport Parkway are completed. Increased volumes confirms that the ramps were long overdue.
During the morning rush hours, for instance, before the opening of the access ramp, 980 vehicles/hour travelled north on the Parkway between Hunt Club Road and Walkley. An additional 830 vehicles/hour have taken advantage of this convenient access following the intersection completion.
Likewise, in the evening rush hours 1050 vehicles/hour use to travel south between Walkley and Hunt Club. Post ramps, that number increased to 1730 with 830 vehicles/hour exiting at Hunt Club Road.
Further analysis is necessary to meet the requirements of the Environmental Assessment before the exit ramp which has been approved for Walkley can begin detailed design and construction. This is further complicated by Council’s direction to restudy the necessity to twin the Airport Parkway in the near future. I’ll keep folks posted.
8. Hunt Club Neighbourhood Plan – Transportation Analysis
As a follow up to my verbal report at the last meeting, this will confirm that the RMOC Transportation Department has concerns with the City of Ottawa’s proposal to change the designation of the Southern Corridor lands to accommodate some 1600 dwelling units to the east of Riverside Drive. The implications of this change on the Regional Transportation system could be significant, particularly when one considers the need to accommodate the approved growth areas south of the Airport.
The Regional Transportation Department cannot support the City’s proposed Local Official Plan Amendment at this time because the documentation supplied does not address the transportation implications of the proposed changes in land use. An "Area" Traffic Impact Study must first be undertaken to examine the implications on the carrying capacity of the Regional Road system in the longer-term.
Additionally, capacity problems arise if the twinning of the Airport Parkway is removed from the Regional Official Plan as proposed. A twinned Parkway is deemed "very critical" to transportation service in the area of the Southern Corridor.
Another concern which would have to be addressed in the Transportation Study is our ability to provide effective transit service to these lands.
Sidewalk maintenance in the City of Ottawa falls under the jurisdiction of the City in most cases. However, a section of sidewalk on the south side of Hunt Club Road, just east of the intersection of Riverside, is actually called an "apron" intended for the storage of snow. The Region is responsible for snow removal and clearing along Hunt Club Road and this location has not been cleared of snow due to its special purpose. Serious problems have been identified, however, because a bus stop is located on the north side of Hunt Club Road as well as an asphalt path (which pedestrians use in summer months as a sidewalk). The bus stop has been cleared of the snow but the pathway is not considered a sidewalk and therefore not eligible for plowing.
This presents a dangerous situation for pedestrians who must walk along this stretch of Hunt Club to access their place of work or otherwise. This matter was raised with some urgency at Transit Services Committee and Regional Council this past week and staff are currently reviewing regional policy in order to deal with this situation as soon as possible.
10. Revocation of Walkley Road Truck Route
Committee consideration of the proposal to revoke the Truck Route status of Walkley is tentatively scheduled for March 3 (Transportation Committee). Please contact my office if you would like to receive a copy of the revised staff report which includes comments from the extended public consultation and staff response.
11. 1999 Regional Budget
Thanks to the stalwart residents who braved foul weather to attend my Budget Open House meeting in January. I am still firmly committed to holding the line on taxes.
One specific item which did come up was the maintenance of lands adjacent to the Airport Parkway. This route is considered by many to be the entry point to the Nation’s Capital for visitors. Unsightly weeds that have been allowed to grow between the curb and pavement at the Brookfield exit ramps are one example of apparent lack of regular maintenance. I have proposed that adequate funding be identified in the 1999 Budget for improved level of maintenance.