Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Nov. 17


 

Posted Oct. 25

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
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Tim Tierney



 

 

 

   

(Updated 7:30 a.m., Nov. 18)
City sticks to 2% tax hike promise

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Orleans

Ottawa homeowners can expect a two per cent increase in their property taxes next year in accordance with a campaign promise made by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson in the last municipal election.

The tax increase is contained in the 2017 draft budget released by city staff last week and represents an extra $72 for the average home with a market value assessment of $395,400.

The draft budget contains a number initiatives aimed at keeping up with growth including monies for additional bus routes; 24 new paramedic positions and five new emergency response vehicles; improvements to urban and rural cycling infrastructure; additional funding for winter maintenance; increased funding to support and strengthen community, recreation and cultural agencies; and the establishment of an Arts Momentum Fund.

The draft budget also includes a proposal to create a special OC Transpo for low income residents. The “EquiPass” would cost users $57 per month, which represents a 50 per cent discount from the regular adult monthly pass.

Only those individuals with household incomes below Statistic Canada’s low-income cut-off will qualify for the Equi-Pass. The $2.8 million cost of the program will come out of the city’s social services budget.

Monies are also being set aside for two significant studies in 2017. Two million dollars will be spent to complete the planning phase the new central library and $7.5 million will be spent to further study the potential for a downtown tunnel linking the Queensway to the McDonald Cartier Bridge.

Specific to the east end, the draft budget includes $2.35 million for Cardinal Creek Park 18A; $1 million towards the construction of the Trans-Orléans pedestrian and cycling pathway which will connect Millennium Park in the east to Bradley Estates in the west; and $800,000 for the completion of Brian Coburn Blvd. Between Mer Bleue and Navan Road.

The draft also calls for a number of new fee increases including the introduction of 75-cent surcharge on tickets for productions in the Richcraft Theatre in the Shenkman Arts Centre and a $1.25 surcharge for productions in the main hall.

Ice rentals will increase 5.6 per cent in 2017 if council approves the budget and the cost of renting sport fields will increase two per cent, but minor leagues that want to rent artificial turf fields will see a 25 per cent decrease in rates. Most of the fee increases are in the two per cent range.

Ottawa social service agencies will get an additional $610,000 to share amongst themselves, which is $110,000 more than what they had originally asked for.

That’s music to the ears of organizations like the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre and the East Ottawa Resource Centre which has been lobbying the city to increase social service funding for years.
Residents can learn more about the budget by visiting ottawa.ca.

The city’s various standing committees will begin hearing from delegations on their portion of the draft budget starting on Nov. 22. Residents and public delegations can register to have their voice heard at http://ottawa.ca/en/city-budget-have-your-say.

Final debate on the budget will take place on Dec. 14.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

 

   

 


Posted Jan. 12



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