Council unanimously approves City’s 2023 budget Last week Council unanimously passed the 2023 Budget, which prioritizes affordable housing and protection for those most at risk in our community, greater equity, inclusion and diversity, reliable and affordable public...
2023 City of Ottawa Budget
City staff presented a draft budget for city for 2023 based on the direction from Council to prepare it based on a 2 to 2.5% increase from last year’s budget.
I have not yet determined if I can support this budget and will not be able to do so until it is finalized. I have heard from residents and I think there is still room for improvement.
The draft budget can be reviewed here: 2023 Budget Information | City of Ottawa
HOW YOU CAN CONVEY YOUR VIEWS ON THE BUDGET
There are many ways for you to participate in the City’s Budget process.
I am holding a budget consultation for the ward on February 23 at 7:00pm.
You can join using this TEAMS link: Virtual presentation.
This link will be unlocked at the time of the meeting.
I have also organized several budget presentations at area schools, so the next generation of citizens can learn how the city’s budget works.
You can also find information on the budget process by checking out the city’s budget consultation website on Engage Ottawa.
Each Committee of Council will also be hosting meetings on the sections of the budget that falls under their mandate. Details on which committee will be looking at what areas of the city’s operations can be found here.
For example, the Community Services Committee on which I serve (covering issues such as Homelessness, emergency shelters, opioid crisis, recreation, city funding programs ectara) will meet on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.
All City Council, standing committee and advisory committee meetings are open to the public and your attendance is welcomed and encouraged. Information on how to participate in Council and Committee proceedings can be found on the Council, Committee and Boards pages on Ottawa.ca
If you would like to attend one of the Budget Meetings you can register at Engage Ottawa. If you have any questions on how to register, please contact Alan Neeff in my office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the upcoming weeks I will be providing more information as I review the budget in detail. The final budget is scheduled to be approved by Council on March 1, 2023
The draft budget does include funding commitments for these projects in Ward 12.
• $6.7 million to conduct integrated road-sewer-water projects, including:
o $1.7 million to design the project along Montfort, Alfred and Granville streets – part of a multi-year investment of $8.8 million
o $680,000 to revitalize Montreal Road – part of a multi-year investment of $64 million
o $4.4 million to rebuild and improve Greenfield Avenue, Main Street and Hawthorne Avenue – part of a multi-year investment of $42 million
- $4.2 million to renew roads on Belisle Steet, Besserer Street, Daly Avenue, Eastwood Place, King Edward Avenue, McArthur Avenue, Nicholas Street and St. Patrick Street
• $4.7 million for bridge renewal, including St. Patrick Street Bridge, as well as stairs in the park on Tabor Avenue
• $922,000 to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility at Lafontaine and McArthur avenues, and to renew sidewalks on Belisle Street
• $400,000 to improve the reliability of the St. Joseph stormwater pump station
• $470,000 to rehabilitate the water system on York Street at ByWard Market Square
Parks, recreation and culture
• _$5 million to replace the Genest outdoor pool and building at Optimist Park
• _$1.7 million to replace or rehabilitate parks, recreation and cultural facilities, including:
o $670,000 to rehabilitate Arts Court
o $460,000 to replace hydro equipment at Bernard-Grandmaître Arena
o $552,000 to improve Annie Pootoogook Park (walkways), Gamman House (roof work), Lowertown Complex (pool lining), Champagne Bath (roof work), Sandy Hill Arena (brick work) and Dutchie’s Hole Park (new bench)
• $15,000 to install a new bus shelter at Laurier Avenue and Cumberland Street
• Additional investment of $1.8 million required for a Shepherds of Good Hope project on Murray Street with 48 supportive housing units and a drop-in centre – part of a multi-year municipal investment of $6 million allocated to date
• Additional investment required in a Gignul non-profit Housing project for Indigenous households on St. Denis Street with 12 units – part of a municipal investment of more than $1 million allocated to date.
- $700,000 to replace windows and roofing at Fire Station 13 in Sandy Hill
ALL ABOUT SNOW – Plowing & Removal
Over the last couple of weeks I have received over 100 emails outlining concerns on snow removal.
I have diligently brought your requests to the attention of City Winter Maintenance staff and 311 and will continue to do so. However, please understand as a Councillor I cannot direct city staff to do specific work.
But as your City Councillor I can propose changes to the current standards.
I am writing with an explanation of what the current City standards are for snow removal, and more importantly what you can do to influence a change in those standards, which have not been revised since 2003.
I have requested that City Winter Maintenance hold a public meeting here in the ward to explain the current standards but as of now no date has been set.
Part of the current situation is we have gotten a lot of snow in a short period which as many of you have noted is likely to occur more often in the future due to climate change.
So far this winter we have received 199cm of snow. The yearly average is 225cm. So thus far Ottawa has received 90% of our annual snowfall, and we are only about halfway through the season. This is scary as it compares to the 2018/19 winter where the city received a record 312cm of snow.
The other part of the problem is the limitations of the current standards, coupled with the snow budget and staff available to deal with the snow. Following the 2018/19 winter the city did undertake a “Winter Maintenance Quality Standards Review” and was to issue a report with recommend new standards to the city in the fall of 2021. Unfortunately, that deadline was pushed back until sometime this spring with city staff anticipating changes to the standards for next winter (2023/24). The current 2003 standards are fairly complex so I have attached a general summary of the standards for residential streets, sidewalks and cycle tracks at the end of this message.
As the report and recommendations are being still being finalized, I think there is still time to make an impact on those recommendations as the city is still accepting comments via email at: email@example.com
As well you can upload your photos and comments that you send to the city to my website using this link so I can compile a report with visual evidence to present to the Committee and Council later this year. If possible, include information relevant to the standard while it is still evident. Measure the cleared distance between the banks, and the height of the banks where it is impairing your ability to see stop signs for example, or hydro hydrants and so forth. As well as any information about when – if – snow was removed this winter from your street.
Another avenue to express your concerns is through the budget consultations. If you think the city should be spending additional money on snow operations or allocating more of the existing budget to snow operations, please participate in the city’s budget consultation make your views known. In particular if you don’t want to attend a meeting you can fill out a survey that includes the priority you place on snow removal. My own budget consultation is on February 23 at 7:00pm. You can join using this link Virtual presentation
Presentations can also be made at Transportation Committee’s budget consultation on February 23, 2023 at 9:30am. As registration information for the committee becomes available, I will circulate it.
Lastly, when the Winter Operations Review Report goes to Transportation Committee, you can make your views known to the Committee, and as details for that meeting are finalized later this year, I will send you an update on how to comment.
Generalized summary of City’s Winter Maintenance Standards for Information only.
The 2003 standards –are SUSPENDED whenever a Significant Weather Event is declared – which is pretty much every time there is a storm, These standards dictate when the plows should start working – after the last snowflake has fallen – with a timeline for the work to be complete.
I have tried to summarize the standards for our neighbourhood streets in a general manner below:
For residential sidewalks the first trigger is 2.5cm of snow for downtown core sidewalks and the winter cycling network, and 5cm for residential sidewalks. There is no minimum standard for the width of the cleared sidewalk. Sidewalks are only required to be cleared to “snow packed” not the pavement unless they are beside an arterial road or in the Byward Market or the downtown business district.
Street plowing to the pavement starts at 5cm of snow fall for secondary roads and minor collectors and 7cm or more for residential streets. Residential streets need be cleared to “snow packed” under the standards.
The city removes snowbanks when specific thresholds are hit as it relates to travel widths on roadways based on a priority system, starting with main roads having no snowbanks allowed.
For minor collector roads snow removal is to take place when the banks reduce the street to less than 6m wide, or if there are many parking permits, the clear width is to be 8.2m. after which the city is to remove the snowbank or widen the lane within 14 days.
For residential streets, snow removal is to take place when the banks reduce the street to less than 5m if there is a parking lane or 2.5m if no parking lane or if one way. Again, once the street is that narrow city staff have 14 days to widen the clear section or remove the snowbank.
Lastly, whenever there is a storm, all snowbank removal stops as resources are diverted to plowing.
The standards do not refer to winter cycle lanes at all, but the city on their website on the cycling in Ottawa page does state they maintain them, but City staff so far have not been able to give me information on where that standard is actually outlined.
On-street cycling lanes will be plowed following 2.5 to 5.0 cm of accumulation within the timelines identified in the Maintenance Quality Standards (within 24 hours following thecompletion of snow accumulation). Raised cycle tracks and multi-use pathways will be also be plowed following 2.5 to 5.0 cm of snow accumulation, however they are maintained to a snow packed standard with the exception of those adjacent to arterial roadways. Snow removal will be scheduled when snow banks are encroaching on to 50% of the existing width of the bike lane.
Here are two articles sent to me via Louise and Madeleine – two very involved residents, on the subject of the opioid crisis and how municipalities can better respond to mental health crisis.