The City of Ottawa tabled a 2015 draft budget on Wednesday that includes a 2% property tax increase and several improvements to traffic infrastructure in the west end, including Stittsville.
Stittsville councillor Shad Qadri says he’s happy with what he’s seen in the budget so far.
“I’m ok with the 2% increase because I think as a growing city we need to increase in terms of the services that we’re providing,” he says.
“If you talk about bus service to our area for example, we are growing and we need bus service. I have spoken with OC Transpo and we need some kind of a local service within the community. That’s one example of a growing community.”
“Not that anybody likes to see an increase, but it is necessary because our cost is going up in our city from a labour perspective and material perspective.”
OC Transpo fares are slated to go up by an average of 2.5%. The budget proposes an additional $1-million for OC Transpo, which Qadri says will be allocated to areas with a need for increased bus service.
“[OC Transpo Manager John Manconi] is going to work with each ward in the growth areas to re-align that bus service,” says Qadri.
There’s a further $36-million in the budget for an extension of the Transitway from Bayshore to Moodie.
The budget also includes $250,000 for traffic lights at Huntmar and Maple Grove.
“From my Stittsville perspective, that’s the one project I wanted in this time, as we missed the boat in the last two budgets because it didn’t meet the cut-off line. [I wanted] to make sure that the traffic light was included, and it is included,” said Qadri.
Another major transportation project is nearly $11-million to extend Campeau Drive from Didsbury to Huntmar in Kanata North. That road will connect the growing Tanger Outlet shopping district directly with Terry Fox Drive.
The budget would also allocate $32-million to “strategic priorities” to fund capital projects in a variety of areas. Qadri says one of those areas could be traffic calming, where each ward in the city could receive between $30,000-$42,000. That money could be used to install “flex posts” like the ones installed last year on West Ridge, Fringewood and Kittiwake to slow down vehicles.
From a broader perspective, Qadri says he was glad that the proposed budget includes an investment in the city’s gangs and guns strategy.
“$400,000 is a very good investment for this city, especially with the concerns we’re having in this city in terms of shootings,” he says.
“I think the piece that’s missing in that strategy that we’ve been developing is the piece about the exit strategy, for an individual who raises his or her hand to get out of this lifestyle. The feds and province have to come together on this as well. We said today we’re willing to invest in that strategy, we need you to come to the table also.”
The City of Ottawa is holding a series of consultation meetings about the budget in the coming weeks. The closest one to Stittsville is on Tuesday, February 10 at Holy Trinity Catholic High School (180 Katimavik Road) from 7:30pm-9:30pm.
Residents can also comment online via ottawa.ca/budget2015
The budget goes to City Council for approval in March 11.
Budget highlights for western Ottawa
(Hand-out provided by the Shad Qadri.)
In the West Region, Draft Budget 2015 allocates $10.39 million to asset renewal projects and $30.11 million to growth initiatives.
Asset renewal projects
- $6.8 million for integrated roads, water and wastewater infrastructure renewal on Banning Road, Abbotsford Road, Balbair Drive and Singal Street in the Glencairn neighbourhood
- $1.17 million for rural roads
- $844,000 for the Anderson Road Bridge (John Shaw Road).
- $673,000 for the Shea Road Flowing Creek
- $235,000 to replace pathway lighting in Cattail Creek
- $135,000 to replace pathway lighting in Escarpment Park (Chimo).
- $102,000 for traffic management measures Knudson Drive-Kanata Avenue-Campeau Drive.
- $100,000 for the Diamondview Road culvert.
- $85,000 to replace the fire alarm panel at the West Carleton Community
- $84,000 for the Ottawa Road 29
- $75,000 for the Woodkilton Road
- $10.75 million for Campeau Drive (Huntmar to Didsbury).
- $9.35 million for the Kanata West Pump Station and
- $6.1 million for the Kanata West
- $2.3 million for Klondike Road (March Road to Sandhill Road).
- $514,000 for the Fernbank Sanitary
- $430,000 for Richardson Ridge
- $349,000 for the Kanata Town Centre Trunk
- $300,000 for improved intersection and traffic control measures in the West Urban Community
- $52,000 for the Jackson Trails
For full information on the Draft 2015 budget, visit ottawa.ca/budget2015