City’s draft budget includes 2% tax increase and infrastructure upgrades for Stittsville

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

Growth projects

  • $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

 


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5 thoughts on “City’s draft budget includes 2% tax increase and infrastructure upgrades for Stittsville”

  1. My problem is not so much that the City really needs this increase to run the City and provide services without going into debt. My problem with the councilors and mayor is that they keep saying that they are only increasing our taxes by 2%, implying that we’re only going to pay an extra 2%, which is complete bull, and they know it. With our MPAC property assessments going up at least 10% per year (mine is going up more), their 2% increase is ON TOP of the MPAC increase, so the City is collecting FAR more than the 2% increase that they tout.

  2. Traffic lights at Huntmar and Maple Grove are a step forward, but imagine yourself sitting waiting when it’s not that busy. While they may have sensors, you will still be waiting longer than with a stop sign.

    The answer is a roundabout. They keep traffic flowing well. They say there’s no room, but this is not true. We just need a small roundabout. See the web page linked here and read the section on mini roundabouts. They work very well in Britain.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundabout#Mini-roundabouts

  3. RE: traffic lights at Huntmar & Maple Grove.

    So why is the city always in reactive mode instead of proactive mode? What the heck did the city think would happen when a large residential community was built in that area? Then add in growing commercial business to the west of that. Where is the foresight in planning developments to show some vision instead of just waiting too long to react. Vision might have foreseen the need to require the developer to put aside some land for traffic measures instead of cramming everything to the brim. Likely this amount of money doesn’t see the improvements to Huntmar between Maple Grove and the CTC — it’s a damn narrow road.

    Time after time the city allows areas to be built up and then wonders why residents keep screaming at them to fix traffic issues afterwards. When will we have a forward thinking city council that will plan things out properly?

    I’m not against the lights just frustrated by the comments of our councillor that they failed previously to get the item in past budgets. I think the developer’s fees should have included a portion of this costs while the community was being built. Start thinking of the future instead of reacting to the present.

    1. Thanks for the comment Ian.
      Another example is the lack of sidewalk from Huntmar & Maple Grove to Sensplex and the Walter Baker Centre fields. That won’t be developed for years – and yet it’s a key connector for pedestrians and cyclists heading west from Fairwinds towards Kanata.

  4. Traffic lights will be great for this intersection. I say this instead of a roundabout only because traffic lights allow for priority to clear one direction of traffic for a prolonged period of time such as after an Ottawa Senators game or in evening rush hour to eliminate some congestion

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