Milton Taxes – Value For Dollars Spent?

Earlier this month Racheal Williams from the Milton Canadian Champion approached members of council and the public a question about the property taxes we pay in Milton.  Do we get value for our tax dollar?

As you will read in the following article, there are a number of my colleagues who don’t share the same outlook when it comes to property taxes.  I don’t see taxation at different levels as others do.  I don’t look at one service and say “this will only cost $1.30 per $100,000 of the value of my home.”

Its the bottom line that matters.  The total at the bottom of your municipal tax bill should be affordable.  The total you see at the bottom of your tax bill is the regional portion, local portion and educational portion of the property taxes we pay.  Most taxpayers don’t see it that way.  Its the total amount of money that comes out of their bank account every quarter that makes the difference.

Milton has the second lowest tax rate in the GTA.

net muni levy

A lot of people “know” that but they don’t feel it.  In a recent budget call report to Milton Town Council, there were survey results that show only 20% of people perceive that the property taxes are lower than other jurisdictions.

This does shed some light as to what the Town of Milton, and quite frankly myself, needs to do to improve this.  We need to make sure the residents of Milton better understand the value for tax dollars they receive.

Here is a link to the article from Rachael Williams 

Milton mayor steadfast in keeping tax rates low

Milton School Boundary Review Coming Up

Many thanks to Milton School Board Trustee Donna Danielli for sending me this information today.

As I go out knocking on doors speaking with Milton residents, one of the top concerns I hear is schools.  When will we be getting more?  When is the next one being built?  When it is built will my children be transferred.

We found out in October of last year (see my post) there will be a new school constructed near Fourth Line and Derry Road for occupation (HOPEFULLY) for September 2013.  With that announcement a lot of people were curious as to what will happen with their children.  There is no doubt about the need for more schools in Milton as many councillors including myself attended an AMO Conference this year to meet with education officials at the provincial government about it.

One of the main concerns of those in our ward who were once attending Hawthorne Village PS and transferred to Tiger Jeet Singh PS is … will they have to move again?  Many parents would NOT like to move again for a number of reasons, and as a parent I have to agree.

So Donna has let us know there will be a school boundary review coming up on January 17th, which as a parent I will be attending.

Here are the details.  Many thanks Donna!

The Halton District School Board invites parents and members of the community to attend a public consultation meeting regarding school boundaries in southeast Milton.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at Bruce Trail Public School (1199 Costigan Road, Milton), beginning at 7 p.m.

As a result of the opening of the new Milton #7 public school (625 Sauve Street) in September 2013, the Board is conducting a boundary review that will impact Bruce Trail PS, E.W. Foster PS, Hawthorne Village PS, Sam Sherratt PS, Tiger Jeet Singh PS and W.I. Dick PS. The purpose of this meeting is to provide information about the boundary review process, review boundary scenarios and give members of the public an opportunity to provide feedback.

The scenarios being presented at the meeting will be shared on the Board website at www.hdsb.ca, under the heading “Program and Accommodation”.

Milton Hospital Expansion News

This is great news!  Slowly but surely the process of the expansion of our hospital continues.  Many thanks to all Miltonians who over the last several years fought with us to ensure this happens as quickly as possible.

Released today via Halton Healthcare Services website.

For immediate release
October 4, 2012

Milton Hospital Expansion Launches Into Next Stage of Planning

Staff and physicians at Halton Healthcare Services (HHS) are working diligently ‘behind the scenes’ as plans for a significant expansion at Milton District Hospital continue to develop.
In April 2012, Halton Healthcare Services received a $22.5 million Planning & Design grant from the provincial government to fund the prepatory work that must take place before the first shovels hit the ground.  Work on the project has now proceeded to the next stage of planning – the development of the Functional Program.

The Functional Program is an essential planning document that outlines all the functions, operations, staffing, major equipment, room and space requirements for each department or service in order to describe the components of the expansion. The Functional Program must be submitted to the Ministry of Health and Long‐Term Care for review before the Hospital can continue its work with the architects on the more detailed design work.

“I am very pleased that we are launching into the functional programming stage of the project. Through this process we will identify the equipment and staffing requirements and also lay out the detail necessary for the architectural design and construction phase of this exciting project,” said Al Coady, Executive Director of Milton Redevelopment at HHS. “It really is a cornerstone document for us because it forms the basis for all the future planning and design decisions that will need to be made as we move forward in the process.”

The development of the Functional Program involves numerous HHS employees organized into teams based on the area or department in which they work.  These teams consist of managers, key staff members, representatives of the medical staff and, in some instances, the senior team member responsible for that area. The Hospital’s Functional Program teams have already started meeting in order to ensure the plan is submitted to the Ministry in November 2012.

“There is a tremendous amount of work to be completed prior to the start of construction. We are very excited to begin this planning because we know that each stage we complete brings us one step closer to getting this project into the ground,” said John Oliver, HHS President & CEO.

Milton District Hospital was built in 1959 and, following the Hospital’s last major expansion in 1987, was prepared to meet the healthcare needs of a population of 32,000 people. With the Town’s population nearing 100,000 and growing, this much needed expansion will approximately triple the size of the current facility.

The approval for the expansion at Milton District Hospital was announced by the Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long‐Term Care at an event held on August 25, 2011. Plans for the Hospital’s expansion include new space for the Emergency Department, Diagnostic Imaging Department, Maternal Child Unit, Surgical Suites, Intensive Care Unit and the Medical Surgical Inpatient Units.

“Ensuring Milton families have access to the primary care services they need is among the highest priorities for Halton Healthcare Services,” concluded Mr. Oliver. “In order to do that, we absolutely need a larger more modern facility, right here in Milton.”

Contact:
Andrea Korol
Communications Specialist, Redevelopment
Halton Healthcare Services
905‐878‐2383, ext 6531
akorol@haltonhealthcare.on.ca

URGENT NOTICE FOR PEOPLE IN CLARK / BENNETT AREA

158PM UPDATE

As at 1300 hours, Union Gas advises that approximately 400 homes have service restored. They hope to have the remainder completed this afternoon.
 
 
 

815AM UPDATE

Just received a call from Hawthorne Village PS and school classes are on for today despite the fire damage and Union Gas workers across the street. 

745AM UPDATE

It looks like half the homes have been brought back online throughout the night by Union Gas workers.  Many of you have emailed me around 2 or 3 AM saying that they were there…wow thats amazing.  Union Gas stated this morning they are looking at getting everyone back up by later on this morning.  If someone can stay home today as they go around or if you can have a neighbour with your key it could speed things up.  If not, they will leave a contact number and as soon as you get home … call and they will have someone out very soon.

Again, I will try to find out how we can help this family out because I along with other people have been blown away by the tweets, emails and phone calls of concern and support fo this family, especially at this time of year.  I was just on air with Scott Fox from Z1035 Morning Show (click HERE for the interview)and HE’S been called as well by hundreds of people on how they can help out.  THIS is why Milton is the best place in the world!  Updates will be coming soon.

1149PM UPDATE

Some gas services have been restored for homes in the affected area.  I was at the warming centre at EC Drury earlier this evening and spoke with the represetnatives at Union Gas.  The number of homes affected are approximately 500, instead of the originally reported 1200.  They are running into some delays due to water in the pipelines that has to be removed.

Ive asked them to send me updates as the process goes and I’ll do my best to update this site as it comes in.

I spoke with Regional Chair Gary Carr (who is at the warming station as we speak) and he updated me that the union gas worker who was injured suffered second degree burns to his face and is at Milton Hospital with family.  Everything looks good so far.

I also wanted to say big thanks to other Milton Councillors who came out to the warming station to lend a hand.  Regional Councillor Colin Best, Ward 2 Councillor Greg Nelson and Ward 8 Councillor Zeeshan Hamid.  We have a great team and this just proves it more.

AGAIN…there is a warming centre at EC Drury set up for people with no heat and they will put families up at the Best Western overnight so please, if you are at home and its cold especially with small children, head out to that area.  Union Gas is doing what they can to get people up and running and it might be by the early hours of the morning before all service is restored.

Stay tuned!

806PM UPDATE

Ive uploaded CHCH News coverage of todays events.  They were there on the scene and did extensive coverage of today’s fire and have an interview with the home owner as well.  Great Job CHCH News.

 

Regarding homes that are currently in the process of having their gas turned off, PLEASE NOTE that there is a warming centre at EC Drury School on Ontario Street.  It will get cold tonight and if youre by yourself, or dont think you can stay warm PLEASE go to the warming centre.  Better safe than sorry.

More updates to come.

737PM UPDATE

For some more information on today’s events go to MILTONSEARCH.COM and their coverage of the fire.  Between tweets of todays events, phone calls from obviously stressed out and scared residents in Ward 6, its been a busy day.  Many people have been asking how they can help this family out.  From what Ive been told by Councillor Colin Best is that the Red Cross has been called in and taking care of the immediate needs of the family.  I should have more information tomorrow on how you can help out.

From the last news release I’ve received Mayor Gord Krantz is still on the scene from about 630PM onwards reviewing the progress.  Thanks to everyone who tweeted, re-tweeted updates from myself and others on the scene and for your generous inquiries to help people out.  THIS is what makes Milton the best place in the world.

Say a prayer for the family involved and I will have some more information tomorrow.

721PM UPDATE

NEWS RELEASE

December 15, 2010

Structural fire contained in Milton’s Beaty neighbourhood 

On Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at approximately 2:30 p.m., a structural fire occurred at the intersection of Clark Avenue and Bennett Blvd in Milton. The fire is suspected to have been caused by damage to a natural gas line.

The fire has now been extinguished by the Milton Fire Department, and the area is safe for residents.

Three of nine interconnected townhomes at the intersection of Clark and Bennett have been affected by the fire. Approximately 10 to 20 homes in the area were evacuated.

Non-life threatening injuries were sustained by one Union Gas worker, who is currently in hospital.

As part of the repair process, natural gas service to approximately 500 customers in the area may be temporarily interrupted. The natural gas supply has been shut off to the affected residential area of Yates Blvd to the north, Thompson Road to the west, Clark Blvd to the south and Bennett and McDowell Avenues to the east.

Please note that Union Gas representatives will need to enter affected homes and businesses to safely turn on all natural gas appliances and equipment. Union Gas employees or their representatives showing proper identification will be going door-to-door to do this. If residents cannot be at home, please consider leaving a key and access instructions with a neighbour.

In the unlikely event that your home has no heat and you do not have friends or family nearby to visit, Halton Region has opened a warming centre in the auditorium of E.C. Drury High School at 215 Ontario Street South in Milton. The centre will be open as long as needed. Families are advised to bring books, activities, etc., to keep children entertained during their time at the centre. No pets will be allowed in the warming centre.

Please ensure at least one member of your household remains at home as Union Gas representatives need to turn on all natural gas appliances and equipment in affected homes in order to restore gas service.

For continued updates, contact 311 or visit www.milton.ca until the situation has been resolved. For Union Gas customer service, call 1-877-969-0999.

– 30 –

For further information, please contact:         On Duty Staff Sergeant

                                                                        Halton Regional Police Service
905-825-4777 ext. 2400

                                                                        Andrea Stass

                                                                        Manager, Public Affairs and Media Relations

                                                                        Union Gas Limited

                                                                        519-365-1010

New Look to the Blog

Trying some new things every now and then so if it looks like somethings been changed….youre right! It has. Let me know what you think. I’ll be trying to make it look a bit better so it might change some more over the next little while.

Im trying to incorporate this blog into my website so it will be easier to go to www.mikecluett.ca instead of this blog. As with everything…a work in progress.

Speaking of a work in progress, the Amazing Race is coming up next month as well. It looks like the teams are now set in place and they wont be accepting any new applicants…BUT we will need lots of people to come out and cheer the teams on.

This race has been many months in the making, and its going to be a fitting end to the 150th Anniversary celebrations. Go to www.milton.ca and click on the 150th logo for more information.

As well, one of the top rated schools (Hawthorne Village Public School) will be having its “WELCOME BACK FUN FAIR” on September 29th starting at 11am. Theres going to be tons of stuff going on so even if you dont have kids in the school…come on by.