Halton Region Lifts 3 Bag Limit Until Jan 31st

What a crazy week its been in Milton.  After two full days of freezing rain & snow, many parts of Milton were left in the dark as power lines were damaged due to the weather.  Many of us in wards 1, 6, 7 & 8 were spared the trouble of the long term power outage, there were pockets of darkness in the rural areas of town.

Over the last few days I have met with many of you to talk about the challenges we faced and what can be done in the future to ensure that in case this does happen again, we are going to be better prepared going forward.

Was it a perfect process? Not at all.  There were some issues regarding communication from Milton Hydro that I feel were addressed quickly and if you followed them on Twitter and their website, they did improve as the work continued connecting people back to the grid.

Many thanks goes to our field workers at Milton Hydro for their hard work and dedication to get the power back up as quickly as possible. From their most recent account it looks like almost everyone is back up and running.

With all of this in mind the Halton Region has decided to temporarily lift the 3 bag limit until January 31st so that homeowners affected by the ice storm can get their household waste out & aid in the clean up of broken branches around their properties.

From the Halton Region website

In order to assist with clean-up efforts after last weekend’s ice storm, Halton Region is lifting the three-bag limit for garbage pick-up, allowing households to place as much as six bags of garbage for collection on their scheduled collection day until January 31. Brush debris will also be picked up on the same day as garbage from January 6-31 in designated urban areas. For rural areas, Halton Region is coordinating additional resources.

Until January 31, residents and contractors can also drop off brush debris at the Halton Waste Management site free of charge. Large bins are also available at Lowville Park and Ella Foote Hall for residents to bring brush and wood from downed trees.

“I want to thank residents across the Region for their patience as we continue to work to clean up after the storm,” said Gary Carr, Regional Chair. “Halton is a compassionate community and I also want to thank the many staff from the local municipalities, councillors, utilities and the hundreds of volunteers who have gone above and beyond to help their communities.”

Storm clean-up is expected to take several weeks and crews will work each day to collect as much debris as possible. However, due to the volume of brush to be collected it will take time and all debris may not be picked up in one collection. In order to assist with the clean-up, residents are asked to pile branches with a maximum of 7.5 centimetres (3 inches) in diametre and 2 metres (6.5 feet) in length on their regular garbage day.

For more information about Regional efforts related to the ice storm, please visit www.halton.ca/severeweather.

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 500,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, dial 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at www.halton.ca.

Transit Information Sessions

Last night was the first two of four information sessions put on by Milton Transit at the Seniors Activity and Milton’s Sports Centre.  According to Transit Coordinator Tony D’Alessandro the first session was well attended with over 25 people showing up.  Last nights session at the Sports Centre had roughly 10-15 people attend to find out about the newly designed routes through town (the files are about 3MB so if you have a slower internet connection be warned) and the plans for the future.  Jan Mowbray, one of our current town councillors who is an advocate of transit in Milton, was also in attendance last night

There are two more sessions tonight (Thursday August 19th) and they will be held at the Milton Public Library (Beaty Branch on 4th line) from 2-4pm and Town Hall will host the final one from 7pm to 9pm.  If you have time, make sure you come out.  There will be lots of people from Milton Transit, the transit advisory committee and the company who runs the buses and they’ll love to answer any questions you may have.

As I brought up before here on the blog, I told Tony some of my concerns about each of the routes.  The routes that run through Hawthorne Village, while they cover the area very well, all revolve around the GO Station as the main hub.  For instance if someone from Ward 6 wanted to go downtown Milton to shop or eat would have to take the bus to the GO Station, transfer there (waiting approximately 10-15 minutes) and then take the bus to downtown.  Going through the schedule that trip would take roughly 30-35 minutes if everything is running on time.

The alternative is someone from Ward 6 getting into their car and driving downtown Milton which at non rush hour times takes roughly 10-15 minutes.  Where is the incentive from a time and convenience aspect for someone to say “I’ll take the bus instead of my car.”  Nothings perfect of course and the transit system is still in its infancy but these are concerns that are brought up at the door when speaking with voters.

These routes are constantly being reviewed and alternatives can be considered depending on usage.  Tony mentioned that ridership is up 15% since the new routes were put in place which sounds encouraging but I’d like to look at the numbers from a paid ridership point of view.

As our town continues to grow over the next several years, the need for a vibrant and efficient transit system is a must.  If we get the Wilfrid Laurier campus on the west end of town and as the Derry Green Corporate Business Park is developed there will be added pressure to ensure the transit system works, is efficient and able to meet the needs of the public.

I won’t be at the Transit meetings tonight as there is another public meeting at the Sports Centre about Milton Hydro’s proposal to install 2 vertical wind turbines in front of that same sports centre.  I was the first to bring up the meeting back in July and while I have been out at the doors the last few weeks, this issue has been on the mind of many voters.  They have concerns about how they will look, possible sound pollution and what benefit the Town of Milton will get from such a proposal.

There will be a presentation made followed up by a question and answer session where members of the public will have an opportunity to get answers.  Following this public meeting a report will be sent to council for review and approval.  I don’t know about the timing of the report and when the decision will be made, so it might be this council that makes that decision or it could be the next after Oct 25th.

I hope to see some of you out at tonight’s meeting and at the transit meetings later today.  This is an opportunity to have your say…so get out and speak.

Until then, I’ll see you at the doors.