All posts by Stittsville Central Staff

Council adopts key dates for 2015 budget process

(Press release from the City of Ottawa.)

The City of Ottawa has finalized key dates for the 2015 budget timetable and multi-ward public consultations.

2015 tax-supported budget timetable

The City’s 2015 draft operating and capital budgets will be tabled with City Council at a special meeting on Wednesday, February 4. Council will also receive draft budgets for each Standing Committee as well as Police, Transit, Public Health, Library, Crime Prevention and Committee of Adjustment.

City Council has directed that the 2015 draft budget for all City tax-supported programs be prepared on the basis of a maximum 2 per cent tax increase.

Before Council considers final budget recommendations on Wednesday, March 11, there will be several opportunities for public consultation.

  • Mayor Jim Watson will launch an online pre-budget public consultation starting in mid-December, asking residents to provide input via email at budget2015@ottawa.ca and through Twitter by using hash tag #ottbudget.
  • Residents will be invited to attend one of four regional public consultations hosted by the City, to learn more about and comment on the proposed budget, dates and locations to be announced.
  • All Standing Committees of Council, along with the Transit Commission, Police Services Board, Library Board and Board of Public Health, will hold meetings to consider the 2015 draft budget for their respective areas and listen to public delegations on the budget:
  • Environment Committee – Tax-supported – Tuesday, February 17
  • Transit Commission – Wednesday, February 18
  • Community and Protective Services Committee – Thursday, February 19
  • Police Services Board – Monday, February 23
  • Planning Committee – Tuesday, February 24
  • Finance and Economic Development Committee – Tuesday, March 3
  • Transportation Committee – Wednesday, March 4
  • Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee – Thursday, March 5
  • Audit Committee – Date to be announced
  • IT Sub-committee – Date to be announced
  • Public Health Board – Date to be announced
  • Ottawa Public Library – Date to be announced

2015 rate-supported (water and sewer) budget timetable

The Environment Committee will consider the draft budget for the services supported by water and sewer rates during the same time period as the tax-supported budget. The Committee will listen to public delegations and deliberate on both the tax- and rate-supported budgets on Tuesday, February 17. The Environment Committee recommendations on the draft 2015 rate-supported budget would then rise to Council for its consideration on Wednesday, March 11.


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Petition to rename Palladium Drive to Alfredsson Way closes in on 2,000 signatures

Alfie's back!
“Alfie’s Back” – photo by Derek Mellon, from the OttawaStart Flickr Group. (Click for full size.)

A fan petition to rename Palladium Drive that started only five days ago already has nearly 2,000 signatures.  Organizers want to name it in honour of former Sens player Daniel Alfredsson, who retired last week. Continue reading


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Recommended listening: Jim Bryson’s Instant Holiday Album

I ran into Jim Bryson last week at Quitters during the Parade of Lights and we chatted briefly about his Christmas EP, Instant Holiday Album.

Bryson’s a Stittsville-based singer-songwriter who’s well known in Canada’s indie music scene. He’s also a frequent collaborator with Quitters owner Kathleen Edwards.

He released it two years ago as a fundraiser for Shepherds of Good Hope and the Royal Ottawa Hospital.  The name of the album is a nod to the fact that all the songs were recorded in a single day — over 15 in hours, to be exact, at Little Bullhorn Studios.

You can download the album here…

The album features a lengthy roster of local singers and musicians and has a cozy, mellow feel.  It’s perfect for a cold December afternoon with the fire going and a warm beverage by your side.

Favourite tracks: Good King Wenceslas, Mary New Year’s Eve, Silver Bells, Walking in a Winter Wonderland.


 

If you want to see Bryson perform live, he’s doing a show at the Black Sheep Inn on December 20.


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PHOTOS: Mount Pakenham opens for skiing this weekend

Above: Alex Weir adjusts the snow gun near the top of  a trail at Mount Pakenham. Hill workers have been busy preparing for this weekend’s opening of the ski season.

Mount Pakenham opens for skiing this weekend, 9:00am-4:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.  Lift tickets are $18.  The ski resort is about a 30 minute drive west of Ottawa. Continue reading


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LETTER: Please no modern high-rise on Main Street!

(Above – the heritage building near Abbott and Stittsville Main, before it was demolished.)

Re: It came in like a wrecking ball: 1518 Stittsville Main Street demolished

You are asking for opinions on what the residents would like to have built at the site of Karl Skoff’s store. (You are calling it Bradley’s store when in fact, it was purchased by Karl Skoff in the early 1970’s.)

Mr. Skoff is now deceased, but it is still owned by his wife, Stasia, and I believe that as owner she has the say in what she wants built there.

PLEASE no modern high-rise. Let us have a new building of maximum 3 storeys that ties in with the heritage buildings along the Main Street, complete with gingerbread trim, etc.

The Stittsville Villa is gorgeous and the Poole Creek Manor is lovely also, so please give us more of that and much less of the terrible eyesore condos on Abbott St., and beside the Legion. (Also the hideous red and blue container-looking house on Main St.)More brick  and less plastic siding.

We’ve always been proud of our “little village” feel and would like to keep it that way. Quitters coffee shop blends in quite nicely, but let us keep the “container condos” to a minimum. Thanks for letting us voice an opinion.

Joan and Roy Palmer


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CBC: Stittsville priest charged in 2008 sexual assault of teen

UPDATE / MAY 2, 2017: Ottawa priest found not guilty of sexually assaulting teen boy


CBC reports:

An Ottawa priest has been released on bail after being charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy inside a west end Catholic church in 2008.

Stephen Amesse, 56, was charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual interference involving a child under 16.

Amesse was suspended from all ministry and his position as pastor at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Fallowfield after he was charged on Thursday, according to his archdiocese.

Ottawa police believe there could be other victims. None of the allegations has been proven in court.

Amesse was well-known in Stittsville’s Catholic community.  He had a nine-year tenure at Holy Spirit Catholic Church before his departure in 2009, and has been involved with Sacred Heart High School.

Reaction to the report has been mostly shock and disbelief.  Here’s some of the reaction from Facebook and Twitter.  Many appear to come from students so we’re keeping the identity of the posters anonymous.

  • “Just because someone said father Steve did this and he got charged doesn’t mean he actually did it… he’s a dope guy regardless.”
  • “Father Steve was charged, he is not yet convicted. Stop jumping to conclusions.”
  • “Father Steve man literally what’s your buzz… Thought you were the man, that’s messed.”
  • “Literally talked to father Steve 2 weeks ago…. Last thing I’d EVER expect.”
  • “Father Steve made mass bearable in elementary school… I’m so shocked.”
  • “Lets see how justice prevails….i just find it hard to believe knowing him personally for many years”
  • “He baptized me and my son and married my husband and I. In all my interactions with him he’s always seemed to be such a wonderful Christian man. It’s so hard to believe.”
  • “Father Steve was such a great priest in the community. I am shocked to hear this.”
  • “Woooooah Father Steve charged. NOOOOOO I thought he was an exception to the stereotype.”

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STITTSVILLE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS #2: Sunnyside near Fernbank

Where are the best Christmas light displays in our community?  Send us a note or send a photo to feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca

These pics are from the home of Jhoanna and Nick Prinzo at Sunnyside (near Fernbank).  (They also had a pretty amazing Halloween display that we highlighed back in October.)  Drive by and have a look – it’s even more impressive in person!

Continue reading


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Dead and damaged trees removed from Pioneer Plains Park in Jackson Trails

Over the past week city forestry crews have been removing some trees in Pioneer Plains Park in Jackson Trails.

Shad Qadri provided this update on Facebook earlier today: “They are only removing dead trees that pose any danger and wind damaged trees to make the park safe as well as the residents property’s along Bryce place. These are not stand alone trees but more in the forested areas. So no replanting is necessary. Should you have any questions please email me at shad.qadri@ottawa.ca”


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STITTSVILLE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS #1: Montserrat St

Where are the best Christmas light displays in our community?  Send us a note or send a photo to feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca

Jennifer and Sheldon live at the corner of Montserrat and Par-La-Ville north of Maple Grove Road, and for the past three years they’ve been putting up an elaborate sound and light show that covers just about the entire south and west sides of their house.

“We use the software and controllers from light-o-rama in the States.  I had always been fascinated by the huge displays in the states and researched how to do them ourselves,” says Jennifer.

“We have 32 channels this year,  not sure how many lights though, we’ve lost count.  The song sequencing is the hardest part of the whole display, sometimes we will spend hours just for a couple of seconds of song.”

Jennifer says their hydro bill doesn’t go up too much because the display in comprised mostly of LEDs.  “Last year we only saw an increase of about $25/mth.”
The lights are on Monday-Thursday from 5:30pm-10:00pm and Friday-Sunday from 5:00pm-11:00pm.
“We love seeing all the neighbours come by,” she says.

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Parents speak out on Munster Elementary options

Low enrolment at Munster Elementary  is putting the facility at risk of closure.  The school board is holding a public meeting on December 3 to discuss options to keep the school open, including introducing a new french immersion program.

We asked parents about their thoughts and concerns regarding some of the proposed changes.

Continue reading


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LETTER: Concern over continuing impact to groundwater safety at Carp landfill

Re: Carp landfill exceedances don’t pose a threat to drinking water, says MOE

Yes there has been historical off site groundwater contamination at the site. In fact it was first noted in 1986 when the Ministry of the Environment ordered the landfill operator of the day to supply residents along Carp Road with clean city water. Subsequent studies have shown that this historical contamination has moved primarily in a northeast direction to lands across Carp Road from the landfill. This is where the water quality guideline exceedances mentioned in the press release continue today.

It is true that the Ministry of the Environment has required Waste Management to put in place control systems to try and control the level of contamination leaving the site. And they continue to operate these systems even though the landfill closed in 2011; as they are required to under the terms of their Certificate of Environmental Compliance until such time as the level of contamination is reduce to acceptable levels. As well as the control systems, Waste Management has been required to purchase lands east of Carp Road that have elevated levels of leachate indicators. These lands comprise a Contaminate Attenuation Zone (CAZ) where land use is restricted until such time as the high levels of leachate parameters are reduced by natural attenuation to levels that are within the provincial guidelines that are designed to protect groundwater use on adjacent lands.

The Ministry of the Environment is charged with the conservation of the groundwater resources of the Province. In order to achieve this, guidelines on water quality have been developed to assure that discharge to neighbouring properties has no more than a negligible or trivial effect on the existing and potential reasonable use of adjacent property. As shown in the press release these guidelines (B-7) have been exceeded since 2001 when monitoring on the CAZ property began and continues today. On average these exceedances have been 60% over the guideline limits during the monitoring period.

The guideline limits are designed to be on the conservative side so they are less than the drinking water standards set out by the Province. Thus there is a safety margin when it comes to protecting the drinking water supply. This is understandable because if the guidelines were set at drinking water standards it would be too late for corrective action if they were exceeded. However in 1986 when the contamination problem was first detected there were families living along Carp Road using the groundwater as a source of water. Since that time the families have moved, the wells abandoned and houses have been moved or demolished. Surly this is a sign that the drinking water quality has been impacted.

The concern is that the landfill has impacted the groundwater to the extent that 125 acres of land had to be purchased by Waste Management to act as a Contaminate Attenuation Zone so that high levels of contaminates can be attenuated to acceptable levels over time. And that where families use to live using groundwater as the source of drinking water there are now empty lots. The control systems proposed and put in place by the landfill operator over the years seem to have limited effect as to this day there are exceedances of the guidelines and new control systems being proposed. How can a site that for years has impacted the groundwater resource and exceeded provincial guidelines, be considered for expansion until proven controls are in place?

Harold Moore, DLOGTW Campaign


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16 treated in hospital after carbon monoxide poisoning at Iber Road arena

 

The Ottawa Sun has more on the story here…


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PHOTOS: Stittsville Parade of Lights

This year’s Stittsville Village Association Parade of Lights featured over 50 entries, including a live donkey and Santa himself. Parade marshalls were Gertrude Brown (Stittsville Senior Citizen of the Year), Tyson Lefebvre (Stittsvillle Youth Citizen of the Year).

Send your photos to feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca