Mark Taylor’s March Column

Dear Neighbours,

Last month I found myself writing about extreme cold temperatures and this month Mother Nature continued to demonstrate her power as she treated us to more snow ice and rain.  I want to commend our City work crews who have been working around the clock and doing an outstanding job clearing our streets and sidewalks; and to the many residents who have also stepped up to help clear local catch basins and sidewalks in your neighbourhoods, thank you!

Britannia Infrastructure Announcement:

Since being elected in 2010 my office has worked very hard to address residents’ concerns about flood protection and restrictive property development in the communities of Britannia Village and Belltown.  On February 14th, 2014 I was pleased to be joined by Minister Bob Chiarelli and representatives from the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority at the Britannia Yacht Club to announce a $1.3million funding agreement between the City of Ottawa and the Province of Ontario.  The agreement will address flood control by building a waterfront berm in Britannia and re-mapping the flood plain in Belltown to account for existing flood control measures like the NCC pathway.  This has been a long-standing and complex issue for many years.  By performing this work we finally give residents flexibility with property development and flood protection after near 25 years of uncertainty.   In Britannia Village the City will be contributing $670,000.00 which includes $195,000.00 from a local levy. The Province is contributing $500,000.00.  In Belltown the Province has agreed to pay $150,000.00 towards flood mapping and risk identification studies while the City will perform the work on the ground and look at any mitigation measures necessary.  I have to acknowledge the hard work, patience and commitment put forth by local residents as we all worked towards solving this issue and moving forward in a meaningful way for everyone.

Month of Consultations and Carnivals:

February was a busy month filled with community consultations and local carnivals. As always my staff and I enjoy attending local winter carnivals and meeting and speaking with residents as they enjoy a skate on a local rink or ride on a horse-drawn sleigh.  This year was no exception as we visited winter festivals from one end of Bay Ward to the other.  I want to congratulate the numerous Community Associations and volunteers for their efforts in putting together such wonderful events.  When we take the time to get to know our neighbours we are building stronger communities for everyone.

We hosted a couple of important community meetings as well.  In the spring of 2011 due to a decline in ridership, OC Transpo Route 154 was eliminated through the Queensway Terrace North Neighbourhood.  For many local residents this was an important service. In an effort to address the needs of those who used the bus and keeping in mind the need to provide responsible transit solutions we presented to the residents of Queensway Terrace North a proposal to bring back a few bus trips in each direction per day.  Approximately one hundred residents came out to the meeting where we gave proposed routes and times for the new service.  The meeting gave residents the opportunity to get clarification on the proposed service and ask any questions they may have.     

Out in Crystal Beach-Lakeview a number of local residents attended two presentations on the proposed new development for the old St. Thomas School site.  The new development has been an important issue for local residents and in an effort to ensure the new design fits with the existing community, residents were able to see drawings and plans for the entire site.  On hand to answer questions were City staff and representatives from the developer.  Before construction can begin the development goes before planning committee on April 8th** and then to Council for final approval.  

**UPDATE March 12, 2014: Planning Committee meeting has been rescheduled to April 22nd, 2014

March Break:

If your family is like mine, you are looking forward to the March Break and hopefully a day or two of some well-deserved family fun.  If you haven’t made plans yet I encourage you to take a look at the City’s website and see the many activities available over March Break.  http://ow.ly/tTczl

Tim Horton’s Cleaning the Capital Campaign:

Registration for the 2014 spring clean-up begins on March 15.  If you are part of a team, school, club or community association I encourage you to consider registering your group and together we can all clean the Capital.  You can find out about registering, important dates, and get more information by visiting http://ow.ly/tTcHr

If you have an idea, or question regarding our city, please feel free to contact me at our City Hall or Community office.  You can also visit our website www.Baywardlive.ca to learn more about our community and to stay up to date on what’s new and happening.  If you are travelling this March Break I wish you safe travels and for those who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day have fun but please remember to do so responsibly.

Sincerely,

Mark Taylor

Ottawa City Councillor, Bay Ward


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