In the May 9th edition of the Milton Canadian Champion, town CAO Mario Belvedere said the town of Milton was doing an “outstanding job” managing growth and roads over the past several years.
Town doing ‘outstanding job’: CAO
Town of Milton CAO Mario Belvedere tells council growth has been managed well overall
Melanie Hennessey, Published on May 09, 2008
While things may not be perfect when it comes to the timing of development and infrastructure in Milton, Town staff says that overall it’s doing a good job in managing growth.
This was one of the key messages staff delivered on Monday afternoon at an information workshop for council on growth management.
CAO Mario Belvedere told council he feels that generally the Town has done an outstanding job in managing growth.
He acknowledged there might be “hiccups” when it comes to things like the timing of road construction.
“But other than that we’ve done a pretty darn good job,” he said.
Town Director of Planning and Development Mel Iovio shared similar sentiments.
He said the planning, development phasing and financial agreements the Town has struck with developers have generally resulted in a controlled and logical growth pattern.
“I think we’re in pretty good shape,” he remarked.
He noted the fast rate of growth has caused some inconvenience, but on the plus side it’s resulted in communities being completed much faster.
Town Director of Engineering Services Paul Cripps pointed out that some roads projects are being fast-tracked through the Accelerated Transportation Capital Program, such as the widening of Derry Road from Tremaine Road to Bronte Street.
The work wasn’t slated to get underway until next year, but the timeline has now been moved up so that construction will start this spring and wrap up in the fall.
“We want to continue working with the development community to accelerate as many roads projects as we can,” he said.
He went on to outline other Town and Region road works scheduled to take place from now until 2021. Within the next few years, those projects include:
2008 — construction of James Snow Parkway from Steeles Avenue to Boston Church Road
2008 — reconstruction of Thompson Road from Derry Road to Main Street
2010 — construction of a road underpass on Main Street at the CPR tracks
2010 — widening Regional Road 25 from two lanes to four between Derry and Britannia roads
Cripps explained the timing of the projects coincides with when the “capacity crunch” will come along for those roads.
The downside of this, he said, is the pressure the Town receives from residents who are pushing for roads to be up to par before the development boom.
But Cripps said there’s also an advantage. With the new roads coming on board after the majority of developers’ heavy construction traffic has come and gone, residents will “get a brand new road with a maximum life expectancy.”
Ward 3 Councillor Cindy Lunau asked staff to keep in mind the road upgrades that are also required in the rural area. “We need to reserve a certain portion of our budget each year to maintain the quality of life in the rural area.”
Cripps said staff is mindful of the needs in rural Milton.
The workshop also included presentations from each of the Town’s senior staff members on the responsibilities and roles of their departments when it comes to planning for growth. For example, the Corporate Services department handles development charges and the financial agreements made with developers, Engineering Services looks after transportation issues and Community Services plans for facilities like arenas.
Iovio detailed the numerous items on the Planning and Development department’s plate for the coming years, including plans for the Derry Green Business Park, the next phase of residential development and the Milton Education Village, which will hopefully see Wilfrid Laurier University come to Milton.
Melanie Hennessey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
While I will disagree with some people who say the towns done a horrible job managing growth, outstanding isn’t a word I’d be using. That article made the town and its council sound very arrogant. Bad choice of words. It almost ranks up there with Mayor Gord Krantz telling the Champion during an interview that Milton didn’t have a traffic congestion problem right under a picture of Thompson Road (before all the work started) backed up from Main Street to Derry Road.
I think it isn’t up to the town to decide if they are doing a great job as only time will tell that tale for certain.
This article brought up a number of responses in the Letters to the Editor. Hmmm, next time a slice of humility before speaking with the press, shall we? It’s making those of us, like the author of this blog, who know everything look bad.
Let us decide if Town is doing the ‘wonderful’ job CAO claims
Published on May 16, 2008
In last Friday’s Champion, the front-page headline read ‘Town doing outstanding job: CAO.’
I think it would be a good idea if town council and members of regional council took a look around Milton before they decide how “wonderful” things are.
If they really want to know how things are going, they should have a town hall meeting and invite townspeople to speak about this subject — without limiting how people can voice their opinions and views.
AGOSTINO GALIOTO, MILTON
Comment on management of growth tough to swallow
Published on May 16, 2008
As a 22-year resident and taxpayer of Milton, it pained me to read the verbal diarrhea that emanated from the lips of our illustrious Town of Milton CAO, Mario Belvedere, at a recent town council meeting.
He stated that the Town is doing an “outstanding” job and that growth has been managed well overall. Not surprisingly, the statement was supported by his minions in the planning and engineering departments, who make me ask — outstanding compared to what?
The term outstanding is used to describe things that are exceptional, terrific, wonderful, stupendous, dazzling, marvelous, excellent, great or superior, not abysmal, myopic, unresolved, unsettled or incomplete.
Attempts to downplay the glaringly-visible deficiencies that plague Milton are disappointing to say the least, as statements suggesting there might be “hiccups” when it comes to things like the timing of road construction can only lead one to believe there have been and will continue to be numerous glitches, interruptions and setbacks. In my opinion, this has been characteristic of the progress of the roadwork and other infrastructure-related projects to date in Milton.
Now one may ask, how was the City of Mississauga able to implement access roadways into and out of subdivisions — equipped with proper turn lanes, fully-functioning street lights and pedestrian crossing systems — prior to new subdivisions being completed? Might it have something to do with the fact that the City of Mississauga actually controlled the manner and pace in which growth was implemented?
This logic seems to have evaded the grasp of the current director of engineering services, whose portfolio includes both transportation and community services plans for recreational facilities such as arenas.
In terms of roadways, commuters traveling east on Derry Road are now treated to a traffic backlog stretching all the way from Trafalgar Road down to Trudeau Drive.
Sixth Line south of Britannia Road is another source of commuter frustration, as drivers are greeted with an absence of turn lanes and traffic lights. Town Engineering Services Director Paul Cripps’ reply to this is that “staff is mindful of the needs in rural Milton.” Okay, prove it.
Meanwhile, Milton District Hospital is a mess that speaks to the collective inaction by the four levels of government within our area to ensure it’s able to adequately service the health-care needs of Miltonians. It’s abundantly clear that it isn’t.
I’m thankful my children were born between 1988 and 1992 when the hospital was able to adequately manage the patient load, and the emergency room was treating emergencies.
What has the Town of Milton’s executive and administration done in conjunction with the Region of Halton, provincial and federal levels of government to ensure the provincial minister of health, premier of Ontario and federal minister of health are aware of our hospital’s needs? And what has the Town done to secure the requisite funding to resolve the hospital’s need for expansion?
C.J. MCCARROLL, MILTON
OUCH. Maybe the Town needs a little help getting ready the next time it decides to pat itself on the back.