- Councillor's Corner
Road resurfacing and rehabilitation of the city's roadways is the best way to maintain and extend the life of the infrastructure and prevent roadway failures requiring more extensive reconstruction.
West of Stagecoach Rd
Between Lafortune Dr and Lawrence St
|West of Bank St and Lafortune Dr|
Between Marvelville Rd and Victoria St
|Mitch Owens rd||
Between Ramseyville Rd and Farmers Way
Between Yorks Corners Rd and Boundary Rd
|Between Lawrence St and the dead end|
Grey's Creek Rd
|Between Snake Island Rd and Bank St|
|Culvert Replacements & Renewals|
|Snake Island Rd||
At Doyle Creek Municipal Drain Culvert ( Design)
.08 Km South of Snake Island Rd
|8th Line Rd||
.41 Km North of Pana Rd
8th Line Rd
|.63 Km South of Marvelville Rd|
8th Line Rd
|2.9 Km South of Marvelville Rd|
.01 Km West of White Spruce St
.01 Km Est of White Spruce St
|9th Line Rd||
.83Km North of Castor Rd
|9th Line Rd||
.67 Km North of Victoria St
|Bridge Replacements or Renewals|
At Cassidy and 8th LIne Rd
|Sale Barn Rd||
At Reaney Crt and Parkway Rd
|Multi Purpose Pathways||
Old Prescott Rd to Remington Way
|Brambles Lane Park||
Replace senior play structure
|Buckle's Neighbourhood Park||
Quinn Farm Park
The budget limits the municipal tax increase to three per cent, amounting to an extra $115 for the average urban homeowner and $88 for the average rural homeowner. The average household connected to the City’s water supply will pay an additional $37 per year on their water bill. Rural households not connected will pay an additional $7 per year for their stormwater fee, which pays for culverts and stormwater facilities that help prevent flooding and reduce the amount of pollutants entering waterways.
For the third year in a row, the budget commits $15 million to develop new affordable and supportive housing units. With an additional $32 million in federal funding, the City will invest $47 million in capital funding for affordable housing. This is in addition to $112 million in support of housing needs, which includes $33 million for community-based housing and homelessness programs and supports.
Budget 2021 includes funding for 14 new paramedics, to better serve Ottawa’s growing population and address increasing emergency call volumes, along with $25.2 million in community funding for agencies that help residents with the greatest need.
Investments and work on Stage 2 of Ottawa’s LRT system continue. Once Stage 2 is complete, 77 per cent of residents will live within five kilometres of LRT. The cost of the EquiPass and the Community Pass for Ontario Disability Support Program recipients will remain frozen at 2018 rates for another year.
The budget also increases funding to maintain and renew infrastructure like roads, sidewalks and facilities by $25 million, for a total investment of $171 million. With increased support for infrastructure maintenance, the City will close the infrastructure gap – the difference between what the City spends and what it needs to spend annually to maintain infrastructure in good repair – in seven years, rather than 10 years. With an additional $19 million in one-time federal gas tax funding, that’s a total investment of $171 million for infrastructure in 2021.
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Budget 2021 invests $3 million to retrofit City facilities to reduce energy use and costs, with a net payback of $365,000 a year expected in eight years. An additional $18.7 million will help protect air and land at the Trail Waste Facility, $2 million to conserve natural lands in rural areas and $1.5 million to plant trees and regenerate Ottawa’s tree canopy. These investments complement the $2.6 million that Council committed in October to Energy Evolution projects.
The City will have one additional ward in the next municipal election, in 2022. Council approved a new ward structure with 24 wards – 12 urban, nine suburban and three rural – that minimizes changes to existing boundaries.
To mitigate the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Lansdowne, Council approved amending the partnership agreement with Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. The amendments do not require any taxpayer funds and will restore the balance and alignment of risk in the partnership. According to an audit of the financial partnership for Lansdowne, the City has processes to monitor and validate its financial results. The audit identified a need to increase the frequency of examination and analysis to reduce risks to the City and ensure that forecasted returns are accurately reported.
Council also received audits on the Stage 1 LRT contingency fund, management of City facilities, by-law enforcement, and Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe and Shenkman Arts Centre.
Based on the mid-term governance review, Council approved re-establishing the Debenture Committee to improve the City’s access to financial markets and reduce debt-servicing costs. Other outcomes of the review include changing recruitment and hiring practices for resident appointments to advisory boards and taskforces, implementing a new performance review process for the City Manager and Auditor General, and adding optional sections in Committee reports for climate, economic, and Indigenous, gender and equity implications.
Following Councillor Jenna Sudds’ resignation as Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee, Council appointed Councillor Matthew Luloff to chair the Committee. Councillor Sudds replaces Councillor Luloff as a Deputy Mayor.
Council delegated authority to the City Clerk and the Manager of Council and Committee Services to hire staff and approve spending for College Ward for the rest of this Term of Council.
Council approved a motion to conduct an environmental assessment and design an interim multi-use pathway for the Prince of Wales Bridge. The City hopes to secure funding from other levels of government to create this additional active transportation link between Ottawa and Gatineau.
Intersection Lights in 2017
In December of 2017, I was proud to finally activate the intersection lights at the corner of Mitch Owens and Manotick Station. This area has had significant traffic issues for decades. In the past, the intersection failed to qualify for improvements when staff investigated during the spring, off-peak season. I recognized that during the summer, community events and sporting groups put a tremendous amount of stress on the intersection, which was not captured in previous assessments. I requested that staff re-assess the traffic during the summer months when seasonal usage was very high, and it then qualified for improvements. To make funding possible, I paired the intersection with the previously scheduled realignment of Apple Orchard and Stagecoach. This new traffic light will make the intersection much safer for both drivers and pedestrians, as well as help to alleviate congestion in the area and at neighboring intersections.
Intersection Re-Alignment in 2017
During my first year as Councillor, many residents contacted my office about the possibility of a roundabout at the intersection of Apple Orchard/Parkway Road and Stagecoach Road. The previous Councillor for Osgoode sent out a survey to see which type of traffic measure (roundabout or traffic light) the residents would prefer; neither of these two options were cost-friendly which made it unfeasible for staff to support. There was one cost-effective alternative that was not originally proposed: a re-alignment of Apple Orchard Road and Parkway Road. After working with staff and acquiring additional funding to get construction started, the re-alignment was completed in 2017, allowing east-west commuters to cross the intersection more safely.
Left Turning Lanes
For quite some time, residents have brought to my concern the intersection of Rideau Road & Bank Street, with requests for proper turning lanes. After meeting on site with the Director of Traffic Services in 2017, staff completed a road assessment and approved the warrants for turning lanes; funds for the projects were provided in the 2018 budget for the intersection engineering designs. Once the designs are finalized in 2018, construction is expected to begin in 2019.
Stormwater is the rain runoff collected in major culverts under our roads, ditches, collection pipes, and storm ponds; this does not include private culverts at the end of resident’s driveways. This underground infrastructure maintained by the city ensures the water runoff is safely and strategically transported to protect roads, properties and local waterways to avoid flooding and erosion.
The stormwater fee is an annual charge on resident’s property tax bill, and this fee is devoted only to funding this imperative underground infrastructure and does not go into general revenue. All City residents benefit from stormwater management.
Cross culvert on 8th line road replaced in Summer of 2018. These culverts contribute to stormwater management.
As the stormwater fee is to fund underground infrastructure around the City of Ottawa, such as culverts underneath the roadway, it does not fund the maintenance of private culverts at the end of resident’s driveways. As per the City’s Private Approach By-Law (No.2003-447, Section 15), the maintenance and replacement of a private approach, including culverts, curbs, and headwalls, is the responsibility of the property owner.
The City of Ottawa does have the right to access the ditches and culverts along privately owned land and is able to alter ditches to address drainage issues as long as they are alongside City roads or carry water flow from public lands. Some alterations often include changes to ditch depth or width, or the replacement of stormwater infrastructure.
Historically, all properties were paying for stormwater. Prior to alamgamation, Township of Osgoode residents paid a tax levy for stormwater services on regional roads such as Bank Street (Regional Road 31) and Mitch Owens (Regional Road 8) to the Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton (RMOC). They also paid for stormwater services on local roads within the Township of Osgoode through their road taxes. Meanwhile, City of Ottawa residents paid for stormwater services as part of their rate structure on their municipal water bill.
In 2001, the Township of Osgoode amalgamated with the City of Ottawa.
After amalgamation, stormwater charges for all former Township of Osgoode and City of Ottawa residents was moved entirely to the City of Ottawa water bill. The transition Board overseeing the implementation of the amalgamated City of Ottawa commissioned a report which provided recommendations on how an amalgamated city could assess properties for stormwater costs. That report recommended cost collection through either the general tax rate or a specific fee charged as a line item on your tax bill. The Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee, who was dealing with the issue at the time, ignore the report and chose neither option.
Relying on private wells and therefore not having a water bill, former Osgoode Township residents were not contributing to stormwater services to the City of Ottawa. This meant that many roads were not receiving the necessary funds to maintain proper stormwater infrastructure, which led to roads like Mitch Owens becoming more damaged with flooding and more frequent potholes during the spring thaw.
In 2013, the Infrastructure Master Plan addressed many stormwater issues within rural communities, but the majority of the changes were deferred until after the 2014 Municipal Election. This meant that decisions that could address the issue were further ignored and postponed.
The City of Ottawa conducted a widespread consultation process in March and April 2016 to solicit input from residents on options for new rates for water, wastewater and stormwater services to correct the problem. This included consultations with stakeholder groups, eight public meetings across the City, and an on-line survey. Residents also provided input to the City via email. Staff were able to develop a new rate structure based on their findings and the feedback provided from residents across the city.
In October of 2016, the City of Ottawa approved the new Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater rate structure to replace the old billing system. I did vote for this stormwater fee, once it was negotiated to a smaller and reasonable charge. If I would have voted against it, it still would have been implemented but would be at a much higher rate than what is being implemented today.
The impact of the new stormwater rate for residents will depend on certain criteria including the classification of the property, service area, and service type instead of the consumption of water. The stormwater fee will be phased in over the next four years, to allow non- connected property owners time to adjust. In 2017, the charge will be at 25% for the total fee, with progressive increases of 25% over a 4 year period.
The funds will go towards building better roads by improving the infrastructure below the roads and making the roads much more stable. In a way, the stormwater infrastructure functions similarly to a house foundation: no matter how much money you use to build a house, it will quickly fall apart, sink and experience water damage without a proper foundation. Both storm water infrastructure and a house foundation are vital to ensure the structure’s longevity.
The new stormwater drainage maintenance fee will result in better road conditions in the future, as the improved major underground drainage infrastructure will reduce erosion of major regional roads and thus more likely to be maintained in the future. With the new charges on non-connected property owners, greater lengths of former regional roads and local roads are being improved.