The draft 2013 city budget has the lowest tax increase in six years at 2.09 per cent in the urban area. For the second year in a row, there will be a reduction in staff positions, with 139 fewer full time equivalent staff. Savings from efficiencies through ServiceOttawa will save $8.8 million in 2013. Council will continue the Ottawa on the Move funding to replace and repair water and sewer lines, roads, sidewalks and cycling routes. Council has added $5.5 million to improving our buildings and other assets, along with $2 million for accessibility capital retrofits. There will be no increase in parks and recreation fees and funding is provided for staffing and operating the Richcraft Recreation Complex when it opens next fall. Transit fares will increase by 2.5 per cent, one of the lowest increases in recent years.
Some limited investments are included for cycling infrastructure, cultural operating and capital investments, construction of parks in new areas, implementing the Older Adult Plan, addressing poverty and housing needs and investing in economic development. An additional $4.4 million will let the municipality continue to provide some social service benefits such as dental, prosthetics and funeral costs – these are no longer cost-shared by the province. The garbage collection fee has been reduced as a result of the changes in the pickup schedule.
The Light Rail Project is funded outside of the tax rate. A detailed multi-year budget for this project, as well as funding sources will be tabled later this year. Council has previously approved the funding of the city portion of the work on Lansdowne Park.
You can view the budget documents online at ottawa.ca/budget2013 or see a hard copy at a public library or city client service centre. Send your comments to the city by email email@example.com, on Twitter #ottbudget, or call 311 (TTY 613-580-2401), fax: 613-560-2126. You can also attend a public meeting at the Mlacak Centre on Nov. 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. for a presentation and to put forward your ideas. Those interested in particular parts of the budget can make a presentation to the relevant committee. You can see the committee dates at “Budget 2013” on the city’s website.
DEVELOPER TAKES 2 THE PARKWAY TO THE OMB
The developer has filed for an OMB hearing on the basis of the city not dealing with their application within 120 days. The plan used is from last spring, which is a nine-storey building with an amenity room on the roof making it 10 storeys. This means that their proposal submitted in August was withdrawn. City staff will send a report to the Planning Committee on Nov. 27 for approval of their position at the OMB.
CARP ROAD LANDFILL DEADLINE NOV. 2
Just one more day left to send your views to the Minister by the deadline. Send to Jeffrey Dea,. Tel: 416-314-7213/1-800-461-6290, Fax: 416-314-7774 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WOMEN’S MARKETPLACE will be at Ben Franklin Place on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. That same day visit the annual Craft Sale at All Saints Catholic High School.
DOUBLE-DECKER BUSES - More double-decker buses have arrived and will be used on some Route 60 and 68 express routes. The Route 93 is scheduled for one at the next delivery.
ELECTORAL BOUNDARY HEARINGS are being held next week. I will be attending to ask for all of the former city of Kanata to be included in the proposed Carleton-Kanata Riding.
A FLU CLINIC is scheduled on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at All Saints Catholic High School on Kanata Ave.
KANATA NORTH BUSINESS PARK BIA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 20 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Marshes.