Budget Time Is Coming

Its that time of year again.

No, not Halloween…thats over.  Not Christmas time either.  Its 2013 BUDGET TIME.

Now these words normally spread fear in the hearts and minds (and therefore changes the sleeping patterns) of elected officials but its a very important time of the year.  If youve been reading the local papers, other Halton area municipalities are beginning their budget discussions.  Just today, there was an overview of the Halton 2013 budget presented to regional council and should be made available online today www.halton.ca/budget for public view.

The Town of Milton budget will be available a little later this month on November 26th…unless they get it ready sooner.  Id much prefer to have it available earlier as to give members of council and the public time to go over some of the major projects underway.  The town does have budget call reports throughout the year as Ive posted on my blog many times and this is the final budget to be reviewed before the meeting on December 10th and 11th.

As I outlined on my Twitter feed earlier today from the Regional Council meeting, here are some of the highlights of the 2013 Halton budget overview.

* Long term plan for Halton might be increases at or around rate of inflation. Provincial cutbacks might throw curve ball in future years.

10:17 AM – 14 Nov 12

* Clr Meed Ward asking what can future years increase look like for Halton & sites her experience in Burlington with spiked tax inc’s.

10:16 AM – 14 Nov 12

* Are we preparing for more download from province of services due to their financial condition at the Region of Halton?

10:14 AM – 14 Nov 12

* Reg Clr Meed Ward is concerned about the “party being over” for 0% increases. Inflation right now roughly 1.8% now.

10:08 AM – 14 Nov 12

* Reg Clr Colin Best asks questions re MPAC to ensure speed of new assessments. #MiltonON growth closer to 8% rather than 1.5% region wide.

10:07 AM – 14 Nov 12

* Region of #Halton continues to have a triple A credit rating

10:04 AM – 14 Nov 12

* 66% of $3.9 B in growth related infrastructure all funded by development charges #Halton

10:03 AM – 14 Nov 12

* Timing of project depends on allocation programs in 2013 and beyond. #Halton

10:02 AM – 14 Nov 12

* On the Capital side $3.9 B ten year program for transportation, waste management projects etc…#Halton

9:59 AM – 14 Nov 12

$584K for new waste diversion programs to increase life of the landfill which is “the most important asset of the region of #Halton

9:55 AM – 14 Nov 12

Rate impact for #Halton ends up being zero due to GTA pooling savings.

9:54 AM – 14 Nov 12

* Assessment growth is expected to be 1.5% (new prop)#Halton MPAC assessments have been done. If you’ve incr more than avg taxes might go up.

9:52 AM – 14 Nov 12

* Region of #Halton budget to be put online in packet format to help those who use tablets as well.

9:49 AM – 14 Nov 12

SO needless to say the next few weeks will be busy reading these documents, finding out where money is being spent and getting feedback from the public on both the Region of Halton and Town of Milton budgets.  From time to time here on my blog, I will be posting reports and some feedback I have about the budgets and I hope you take time to read them.

For those of you who are interested, there will be a budget “information session” at the Milton Sports Centre on Wednesday November 28th in Room #4 from 7pm to 9pm for you to be able to ask questions and give us feedback and your thoughts on the Milton and Region of Halton budgets for 2013.  Regional Councillor Colin Best, myself and hopefully some more of our council colleagues will be there.  Send me an email mike@mikecluett.ca if youre interested in attending.

MADD Canada Documentary Being Filmed in Milton

Just as a reminder to my previous post, the area around Louis St Laurent and Hwy 25 will be closed to traffic as MADD Canada is filming its 3rd documentary in Milton.

The filming will include a simulated car accident so if you do see activity there, thats the reason.  Halton Police and Milton Fire Department will be on hand during the filming and area residents have been informed.

Here’s the email received today with further details.

Further to my e-mail from a few weeks ago, please be advised that filming permits have been issued for the above filming project which is a documentary.

Filming will be taking place on October 25,26,27, 2012 (rain date October 28, 2012)from 6:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.

Louis St Laurent Avenue will be closed to through traffic between Bronte Street South and Diefenbaker Street during the filming as a car crash will be taking place. Advanced Road Closures have been in place for the past week and detour signage will be installed during the filming. Halton Regional Police will be on site during the entire filming project.

Access to local residents will be maintained via Diefenbaker Street and Leiterman Drive.

Milton Fire Department will be on site while the crash is occurring. After the crash the car will be removed off of the street and placed on the shoulder until the next night. The filming company will be signing the car so passerby’s know it is related to filming and not an actual crash.

Area residents have been notified and signed a petition in support of the filming.

It should be noted that this is the 3rd time that MADD has filmed a documentary in Milton.

New Elementary School Breaks Ground in Ward 6

Board officially breaks ground on new Milton elementary school

Officials and future students celebrate official groundbreaking of new Milton school

From the HDSB site

Oct. 23, 2012
Rain didn’t dampen the spirits of officials and future students who gathered this afternoon to officially break ground on a new elementary school in Milton. It is currently referred to as Milton #7, located at 625 Suave St., near the intersection of Fourth Line and Derry Road.

This new school will help address the growth in student enrollment occurring in south Milton. Construction of the school will begin this month, with the official opening anticipated for September 2013.  The school will be built for approximately 700 students.

The Halton District School Board has awarded the architectural tender to Allen & Sherriff Architects, Richmond Hill, and the construction contract to Everstrong Construction Ltd., Orangeville.

UPDATE Report on Cell Tower Application

Please find attached a copy of the report that will be presented to the Administration & Planning Standing Committee this coming Monday.  Essentially its an update for information report on the status of the application for the cell tower at Thompson and Clark Blvd in Milton.

Report No. PD-053-12

Subject: Telecommunication Tower Proposal at 824 Thompson Road (New Life Church) – Update Report

RECOMMENDATION: THAT Report PD-053-12 be received for information;

AND THAT the Town Clerk be instructed to forward a copy of Report PD-053-12 to Lisa Raitt, Halton MP, for information
purposes;

AND FURTHER THAT staff be directed to report back to Council upon receiving any new information on the New Life Church tower proposal and/or the status of the investigations relating to alternative locations for tower infrastructure in the area of Louis St. Laurent Avenue and Thompson Road.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Town’s experiences with applications over the past few years, has brought about public awareness and highlighted issues and concerns in relation to the establishment of telecommunication facilities within the Milton community. Upon completion of a
review of the Town’s telecommunication related policies in early 2012, the Town revised its Telecommunications Facility Policy (Protocol) in May 2012.

At the same time that Council adopted the revised Protocol, Staff and Council took a position of non-concurrence in relation to a proposal for a free standing 29.9 m cross style tower on the New Life Church property at 824 Thompson Road. This proposal
raised a number of concerns with neighbouring residents during the public consultation phase of the application and brought about questions relating to the appropriateness of the proposed location. Staff and Industry Canada encouraged the Proponents to
investigate other alternatives prior to filing an impasse.

Since it has been several months since the public and Council have heard anything on this site specific matter, staff would like to provide an update on the application.

REPORT Background

In May 2012, Planning staff brought forward Report PD-026-12, which outlined the purpose and results of the Telecommunication Policy Review that staff had been undertaking for several months in consultation with industry representatives, area municipalities, and Industry Canada. Recommendations for revisions to the existing Protocol were outlined in a series of appendices to the report and a new Telecommunications Facility Policy (Protocol) was adopted by Council.

In addition to the above, the report also discussed an application for a proposed 29.9 m cross style telecommunications tower (with co-location opportunities for Bell and Public Mobile) on the New Life Church property located at 824 Thompson Road. This proposal raised a number of concerns during the public consultation phase for the proposal in relation to health, aesthetics and visual impact, and the proximity of the tower in relation to two daycares on the site and several residential dwellings in the adjacent neighbourhoods.

Staff evaluated the proposal and requested that Council consider and endorse the directions as set out in a draft letter of non-concurrence, attached as an appendix to the report. Council adopted the position of non-concurrence as discussed by staff and directed staff to provide the correspondence to the Proponent and Industry Canada to complete the consultation process associated with the tower proposal on at 824 Thompson Road.

Upon receipt of the Town’s position, the Proponent indicated their interest in filing an impasse with Industry Canada. Staff and Industry Canada encouraged the Proponents to investigate other alternatives prior to filing an impasse.

Discussion

Over the past few months, members of the public who took a significant interest in the tower proposal on the New Life Church property have contacted staff for an update on the application as the matter has seemed rather dormant. Both the public and the
affected Ward 6 and 7 Councillors are aware that staff and Industry Canada were encouraging the Proponents to look at alternative locations before filing an impasse.

Staff would like to note that prior to considering the subject site for the proposal, the Proponent (Bell) and other service providers who have a great need to provide service in this area, had explored opportunities with the commercial plaza at the northeast
corner of Louis St. Laurent Ave. and Thompson Rd., as well as the Town owned park across the street. Since they were unsuccessful in acquiring a willing landlord on these sites, Bell looked for other alternatives (i.e. the church property).

Since the May meeting, staff has continued its contact with Industry Canada, Bell and Public Mobile (carriers looking to establish on the New Life Church site) and Rogers (carrier looking for opportunities in the area) regarding the investigation of alternatives
for tower infrastructure closer to the intersection of Louis St. Laurent Avenue and Thompson Road. Staff is aware of the following activities since the Town provided its letter of non-concurrence on the New Life Church tower proposal:

• Bell is still pressing to move forward with the establishment of the cross style telecommunications tower on the New Life Church site;

• Bell tried to file an impasse with Industry Canada, however, Industry Canada will only accept an impasse request once all feasible siting alternatives in the area have been reviewed and exhausted, prior to reviewing and providing a decision on such matters (e.g. lands at the intersection of Louis St. Laurent Ave. and Thompson Rd. and other surrounding opportunities, if any).

• Public Mobile, who currently has a temporary tower on the New Life Church site, has investigated the feasibility of relocating the proposed joint tower with Bell to planned Tim Horton’s site (i.e. the northwest corner of Louis St. Laurent Ave. and Thompson Rd.). Public Mobile was advised through their site acquisition consultant that the landlord of the Tim Horton’s site is not willing to move
forward with a lease at this location in a timely manner. Public Mobile has indicated that they cannot wait any longer with respect to providing much needed coverage to the community. Resulting from the failure to find a site to relocate to, Public Mobile has requested through correspondence, that the Town give approval of the existing application proposed for 824 Thompson Road.

• Rogers has shown an interest in the area of Louis St. Laurent Ave. and Thompson Rd. for quite some time and has continued to work with the commercial plaza at the northeast corner of the above noted intersection to establish an agreement. Rogers and Bell have been in touch with one another to discuss opportunities in the past and more recently for co-location at this location. Rogers has noted that they have been unsuccessful in finalizing an agreement to date with the landowner and they do not have an estimate on
when they will have a concrete proposal to move forward with. They will keep Bell, the Town, and Industry Canada apprised of their progress.

• All options in the area, with a focus at this point on the intersection of Louis St. Laurent Ave. and Thompson Rd. are under review.
Even some of the alternatives mentioned above may be viable, Staff is uncertain at this point whether delays in securing a landlord would have any effect on Industry Canada’s decision to overturn the Town’s position, should a formal impasse be filed and accepted.

Members of the Public who have continued their contact with Planning staff on this matter have also been discussing their concerns with the New Life Church tower proposal with Halton MP Lisa Raitt. To ensure that Ms. Raitt continues to be informed, this report will be forwarded to her office.

Staff will endeavour to continue discussions with all parties involved and provide an update to Council as new information is available.

If you have any questions after reading the report, please let me know.

Thanksgiving Stuff A Bus A HUGE Success

Release from the Town of Milton

NEWS RELEASE

October 16, 2012

Milton Transit’s Thanksgiving Stuff-a-Bus collects over 1,700 lbs of food donations

Milton Transit held its Thanksgiving “Stuff-a-Bus” on Saturday, October 6, 2012 where over 1,700 lbs of food were collected, including some cash donations for the Salvation Army food bank in Milton.

“On behalf of Milton Transit, I would like to thank our generous Milton community and the many volunteers who helped make this year’s Thanksgiving Stuff-a-Bus such a great success,” said Milton Mayor Gord Krantz. “A special thank you also to Metro food store in Milton for their support and assistance during the event.”

Milton Transit will hold its next Stuff-a-Bus event during the Milton Santa Claus Parade on Sunday, November 18, 2012.

For more information on Milton Transit, visit www.milton.ca, e-mail transit@milton.ca or call 905‑864-4141.

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For further information, please contact:          Paul Cripps – Director, Engineering Services