2 More Days for 2012 Budget Input

This is just a reminder that you have until June 8th to submit your comments through the Town of Milton’s website for the 2012 Budget Call Report.

Here is the link to the survey.

The survey collects information from residents asking them questions on the priorities YOU would like to see Milton Town Council & Staff focus on for next years budget.  Personal information collected will not be used/sold for any other purpose.

Some of the priorities it will ask you about is fire services, winter control, transit, roadway maintenance, parking, traffic signals, parks, recreational facilities among others.  It will ask for your opinion if we should increase funding, maintain service levels, or decrease them.

Your comments are important and there are options for you to provide your opinions including if you support property tax increases to allow for increase in levels of services or new services.  Another question it asks if you support the dedicated tax levy for hospitall expansion and if you have any additional comments.  This question is very important and we’d like to hear your opinions on the matter.

So please take some time, if you havent already, to complete the survey.  It should take no more than approximately 5 minutes for you to complete but the input is important.

As always if you have something specific you’d like me to bring to council regarding these issues, feel free to call or email me mike@mikecluett.ca

The Town of Milton will continue to ask for input throughout the year as will your councillors to make sure that this upcoming budget represents what you feel our priorities should be.

The Budget Call report will be delivered to council this month and of course, there will be opportunities to meet with me and others over the next few weeks to have more comments submitted.

Democracy is a two way street and we need as much input as possible.  Dont be shy, complete the survey today!

Traffic Calming Policy

The Town of Milton has issued a report outlining the new traffic calming policy for our roads.  

The Town’s Traffic Calming Policy provides guidelines, procedures and criteria to initiate, investigate and implement traffic calming measures within residential neighbourhoods. Its purpose is to address safety concerns related to speeding and excessive volume in a fair and efficient manner.

Guidelines in the Policy apply to local and collector roadways within primarily residential neighbourhoods.

Traffic calming measures can be effective in addressing issues related to vehicle speed, excessive traffic volume and overall neighbourhood safety. Commonly used traffic calming measures include speed humps, traffic circles, curb extensions, curb radius reductions and raised median islands.

The Policy was developed by staff and approved by Milton Council. Residents will be notified about the implementation schedule and procedures.

Here is a link from the Town of Milton website.

Will The Race Go On?

Here is an article from Christina Commisso from the Milton Canadian Champion about last Monday nights Community Services Standing Committee Meeting.

Farmer fears race will hurt business

Plans for Milton to host the premier race during June’s Canadian Road Cycling Championships are in jeopardy, following opposition from a local strawberry farm.Saturday, June 25 is the date elite riders are to take to Milton streets for grueling 157 and 180-km races that could very well determine which Canadians will be heading to the 2012 Summer Games. Among these cyclists will be Canada’s golden girl Clara Hughes, a two-sport Olympic medalist.

June 25 is also one of the busiest days for business for Springridge Farm on Bell School Line.

With road closures planned for throughout the day and a route that runs on Bell School Line — Springridge’s home for more than 50 years — owner John Hughes is worried the race will have serious implications on his business.

During Monday’s community services meeting, Hughes asked the committee to say no to the race.  “This is not a charity race, but an elite race with talk of the Olympics down the road for some. For Springridge, the strawberry season is our Olympic season.”

Hughes said the hundreds of bikes that will hit Milton streets combined with the 1,000 to 1,800 cars and anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000 strawberry pickers expected to make their way to the family-owned farm don’t make for a good mix.

“The liability exposure for all concerned is huge,” said Hughes, pointing to the poor visibility issues and crumbling infrastructure on Bell School Line.

Race Director Craig Fagan of Midweek Cycling said scrapping the Milton event all together will be “disastrously difficult.” 

“This is by far the most prestigious event. It is what determines who is going to be selected to represent Canada at the Olympics.”   He said Appleby Line is the circuit’s “key climb.”

“That’s what really sets the national champion apart. The women will be climbing that hill eight times and it really determines who’s the strongest.”

He added that riders from as far as Quebec have been spending their weekends in Milton to train for the race. The event is considered a primer for the Canadian Olympic qualifier.

Currently, the women’s race (nine circuits) is set for 10 a.m. to noon and the men’s race (14 circuits) from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The route begins at Rattlesnake Point, travels northbound on Appleby Line, east on No. 14 Side Road, south on Bell School Line, and west on Britannia Road.

Fagan said about 5,000 racers and spectators will descend on Milton to watch the race. With major artillery roads being closed to traffic on and off throughout the day, the committee said traffic snarls are certain. 

During the meeting, Councillor Colin Best suggested the race times be changed — the women’s 2.5-hour race in the early morning and the men’s 4.5-hour race in the evening.  “I have no problem with riders starting at 7 a.m. or earlier if that’s what we need to do to get things done,” said Fagan.

However, he added that four hours of prep time would be needed prior to each race, which could cause noise concerns for neighbours.

Insp. Ivan L’Ortye of Halton police, who’s coordinating police during the paid-duty event, said traffic will be moving in the same direction of the race with left turns on the circuit prohibited.

“The underlying theme is we don’t want to mix cyclists and cars. We want this to be well-choreographed,” he said. “Obviously I think there will be significant delays, but we don’t feel it’s safe to have northbound traffic on the course.”

Mayor Gord Krantz asked Fagan about possibly compensating Springridge for the potential loss of business due to the race.

However, Fagan pointed out that with events of this scale, in many cases municipalities pay for the event to come to town.

“These events tend to turn around and deliver. In Halton, that will be one-point-something million dollars coming back to the community, which we don’t get a piece of. We haven’t asked the municipality for any financial aid.”

The committee delayed voting on the cycling championships until Town staff work with organizers and Springridge to determine if a new time for the race is possible. The report will have to go council for approval before the June 25 race is permitted. 

So with the committee’s decision to delay the vote, it will provide the parties involved with the opportunity to come to a compromise with the start time to accommodate Springridge Farms regular business hours.  As John Hughes stated, that day is the farms busiest day in revenue terms and it would have a severe hit on their business.

I hope that they can come to a resolution, but still there is no doubt the traffic issues will be intense.  Other concerns brought up at the meeting by Councillor Lunau was the condition of the road.  Bell School Line hasn’t undergone a major repair since the last race in 2007.  The race organizer assured council that these are “semi-pro’s” and they know how to handle themselves on rougher terrain.  With cyclists flying down the road at speeds of “80-90 km/hr” the risk is still there for a disaster to happen.

Another issue that came up was the fact local residents were not informed of the race route during the planning stages of the event.  One area resident spoke up during the meeting letting their concerns be known and as far as I know, they plan on speaking again when the report comes before committee.

How should these “world class” races be planned in the future?  Should their routes be approved by the local municipality before they are advertised around the world?  As Mr Fagan said, people from all over will “descend” upon Milton to practice for the race, which will bring in revenue for the town.  Whether this race goes through or not, I would make a suggestion to the race organizers to pay closer attention to the local residents and possibly submit their race plans/routes BEFORE they begin their advertising campaigns.  This way it wont look like the municipality is backed into a corner to approve a race mere weeks before it begins.

I will await the updated report on negotiations and council will make its decision at that point.

Traffic Calming Report

Here’s a little weekend reading for you.  I thought given the intense desire on the part of many councillors for this report, they would have it up on their sites as well (hint hint 🙂 )

Over the course of the last municipal campaign and in fact over the past several years people have asked what we can do to stop speeding and make our streets safer.  Million dollar question.

Do we put more police on the streets for enforcement purposes?  Are speed bumps the answer?  How can we narrow a road like Scott (Expressway as its been called) Blvd to get people to slow down, especially in school zones?

Town staff has returned a report that will be tabled at the Community Services Standing Committee this coming Monday night at Town Hall.  I haven’t had the time to review it myself in detail (thats my homework for this weekend!) and I wanted to provide the link for you to download and read the report.

Here is the link to the agendafor Mondays meeting.  There will also be a number of quarterly reports for 2010 from a number of departments including the Fire Department, Community Services, and Engineering Services as well.  Other consent items include the Nassagaweya Tennis Club lease agreement, Milton Farmers Market agreement, and other staff reports on implementing all way stops at some intersections (Mowatt & Coates – Scott Blvd & Pringle).  There will also be some presentations on the towns “Move More Milton” program and the concept design of Milton’s Fire Hall #3.

Here is the link to the traffic calming report from Town of Milton staff.

Residents are invited to speak to the committee by letting the town clerk know before 10AM on Monday and stand as a delegation.  That means YOU have homework too!

Feel free to comment here or send me an email to mike@mikecluett.ca with your comments that I can direct to the committee on your behalf if you cant make it Monday.  Of course you can also follow along at home by watching the meeting online (sounds nice to say that finally)  I’ll put the link off to the right hand side for easy reference.

Getting back to the traffic calming ideas, the easiest solution to making our streets safer for drivers and pedestrians alike is for people to drive with care and abide by the speed limits, avoid illegal passing on streets, and to take more caution when driving.  Most drivers do these things, but its the few that cause issues and concerns with Milton residents.

Will all of these solutions be perfect for Milton?  Likely not.  Each area in question will have to be assessed separately and not just cookie cutter solutions for all.  As the report outlines, there are costs involved in each of these measures and will require extensive training of drivers in town to get used to them once/if they are implemented.

So take some time to review the report, submit your questions or concerns to me, or your councillor if you like, and watch the meeting on Monday night starting at 7pm.

I’ll see you at the meeting.

In case you missed the last council meeting, its now available on demand from the Town of Milton website.

Monday February 28th, 2011 Milton Council Meeting

Milton Police Blotter December 23

From the Milton Canadian Champion

Milton Police Blotter

Shortly after 12:30 a.m. last Thursday, a pick-up truck was seen by police driving dangerously at Thompson and Derry roads.

Soon after, police say, the vehicle left the road and swiped a curb before coming back onto the road. 

When signaled to do so, police say, the truck didn’t stop, but it was eventually halted after police cruisers boxed it in on Bolingbroke Drive. 

A 20-year-old Port Elgin resident was charged with dangerous driving, flight from police and over 80.

Car wedged between house, tree

A 31-year-old Milton man has been charged with impaired driving and over 80 after a four-door Mazda became wedged between a tree and a home’s bay window at 1:45 a.m. yesterday.

The incident occurred on Churchill Avenue. There were no injuries and the house was largely undamaged.

Man charged with impaired

A 45-year-old Milton resident was charged with impaired driving and over 80 after police stopped a vehicle driving erratically on Commercial Street.

The incident occurred at about 1 a.m. December 15.

Police dogs used to track suspect

A man was arrested in a break-in into a fenced area behind a shop Sunday near Steeles Avenue.

Police dogs were used to help track a suspect.

A 28-year-old Hamilton man is charged with possessing burglary tools.

Delivery vehicle stolen

Friday between 10 and 10:27 a.m., a delivery vehicle from Dimpflmeier Bakery was stolen from the rear of the Loblaw Superstore while making a delivery.

The white panel van valued at $10,000 was a day later recovered in Fergus.

Car left warming up stolen

On Saturday, shortly after midnight, a vehicle left warming up for five minutes with the keys in the ignition was stolen.

The dark blue, four-door, Honda Civic is valued at $10,000 and had license plates BBPY 653.

Police are investigating.

Wallet stolen

On Friday between 9:15 and 9:45 a.m., a woman’s pink wallet was stolen from a car that was parked in a lot at Thompson Road and Main Street. 

The wallet contained cash, credit cards, a driver’s licence and a health card.

There was no sign of forced entry, police say.

Vehicle drives through R.I.D.E. spot check

A 42-year-old Milton man was charged with over 80 and impaired driving last Friday at 9:30 p.m.

Police say the charges came after a vehicle drove through a R.I.D.E. spot check on Bronte Street, south of Steeles Avenue.

(As noted by a previous post, there have been an increase in thefts from vehicles both locked and unlocked in the Ward 6 area.  In one day 10 vehicles were broken into.  Make sure you keep your valuables inside your home, instead of in your car.  I was also a victim of this crime recently.  The more we do to prevent this, the more they move on.  Hopefully Halton Police will find these criminals!)

Ten thefts from vehicles in day

Ten vehicles on local streets were broken into Tuesday.

The streets included Irving Terrace, Deacon Drive, Zimmerman Crescent, Clarke Boulevard, Hearst Boulevard, Gordon Heights, Ferguson Drive and McDermott Way.

Police are investigating.