Champion Editorial Comments on 3 Bag Limit

Unloading baggage

We fully support Halton Region’s plan to reduce the bi-weekly number of garbage bags residents will be able to place curbside before a user-pay system kicks in.

Next spring (April 1, 2013), residents will be provided with complimentary bag tags to affix to any garbage bags beyond their three-bag limit (currently residents enjoy a six-bag limit) they place at the curb on their regularly-scheduled waste collection day.

Five months later, on September 9, 2013, after having had ample opportunity to monitor and adjust their waste habits, residents will be asked to pay $2 for each tag they affix to garbage bags beyond the three-bag minimum.

There will be some exemptions granted, to those living in townhouses with common collection pile areas, those with diaper/medical condition-related waste as well as a two-week exemption for everyone immediately following the December holiday period.

While some municipalities have similar limits to free waste collection — Durham’s bi-weekly limit is three bags and Peel’s weekly limit is two bags — other municipalities — like Wellington (Guelph) — charge residents for every bag collected on garbage day.

We believe the Region’s tag concept is an incentive for Halton residents to be less wasteful and more thoughtful when deciding what should and shouldn’t get thrown out. The goal is to reduce the amount of Halton waste ending up in the landfill and, by doing so, extending the number of years before the landfill will be full. Regional staff say a three-bag limit could extend the landfill by as much as four years, creating an overall savings of $15 million.

Halton has been a leader in waste diversion among GTA municipalities with a rate of 57 per cent. That success is due, in part, to 85 per cent of homes already placing three garbage bags or less to the curb.

Only five per cent of Halton homes don’t participate in the Blue Box program each week, while 70 per cent of residents have been regular users of GreenCart since its Halton launch in mid-2008.

In order to help Halton homeowners reduce their waste, the Region is also planning to expand its Blue Box program to include mixed plastics like clear clamshells and yogurt and pudding cups, empty steel paint cans and cardboard spiral cans, which are commonly used for products such as refrigerated dough, frozen juices, chips, nuts and other snacks, powdered drink mixes and baby formula, shortening and powdered cleansers.

With this boost to the Blue Box program will come a larger 22-gallon container to hold the additional recyclable items.

Hopefully these initiatives will convince more of us to divert our waste and maintain Halton’s place among the greenest communities in the GTA.

UPDATE On Construction Louis St Laurent

I know I havent been updating my blog as much recently and I thought occured that I do one REALLY BIG one.  Sort of an omnibous blog post.  Theres so much going on in Ward 6 and surrounding areas it would be too much to read and to post.  So stick around, you’ll see more updates coming including information on the most recent public meeting on the Milton Education Village, updates on the new Blue Boxes that are coming from the Region of Halton as well as changes to the bag limits for collection.

As many people in Milton have now noticed, the intersection of Thompson Road and Louis St Laurent has been under construction from Sept 29th to most recently today.  That intersection should be fully operational by the days end, which I know is a relief to those who live on Kennedy Circle on both sides of Thompson.  I know that because many of you have called and emailed me.  We thank you for your patience during this process and the construction was only extended an extra day (TODAY) so they were pretty good at keeping their deadline.

The contstruction will continue westward on Louis St Laurent towards Hwy 25 (Ontario Street – Bronte Road) to complete the water main installation from the Region of Halton.

Stay tuned to my Twitter account for up to the moment details of road construction in and around Milton.  Thank you to everyone for your kind comments on Twitter and email about the information I post here and on other forums (Facebook, Hawthorne Villager) in keeping with my promise of informing residents of whats happening in town.  I really do appreciate them.

Thanks again to everyone for their patience, and I’ll see you at the doors.

Blue Bins With Lids? Could be coming soon.

Coming up at tomorrow’s Region of Halton Planning & Public Works meeting will be a report on the Blue Box Litter Containment Study.  As some might remember this past spring, there were a number of days that were very windy not only in ward 6 but everywhere in the town of Milton.

During these windy days of spring, a number of people came home daily to piles of recycled waste all over lawns, in parks and along the sides of many roads.  It almost came to be expected that whatever day your garbage was to be collected, the wind would blow it away.

I never really saw it as much of a problem since the Blue Box program began many moons ago, but this time it felt different.  Every week the number of email’s I received would increase.  “Why is the garbage all over the place?” “What is the town going to do with all the flying garbage?”

Garbage collection in Milton is handled by the Region of Halton and after a few windy weeks, it was brought up at Regional Council and hence this report was prepared.

From the report the recommendation is as follows:

RECOMMENDATION

1. THAT Council approve the 22 gallon Blue Box as the new standard Blue Box in Halton Region as outlined in Report No. PW-65-12 re: “Blue Box Litter Containment Study”.
 2. THAT Council authorize staff to issue a Request for Proposal for the manufacture and supply of a 22 gallon Blue Box with an affixed lid.

The report outlines a number of different options in order to handle the flying recycling debris problem that Milton has faced over since this past spring, including lids on the blue boxes, accepting recycled materials in clear plastic bags, or going to the “new standard” 22 gallon blue box.

Obviously there will be additional costs to the Region to order, produce and deliver these new 22 gallon Blue Boxes which will be subsidized by taxpayers.

Is this something you feel is needed at this point?  Can the Region provide better communications / instruction to homeowners to better pack their blue boxes in order to avoid this flying debris problem we’re just now facing?

To give you an idea, here’s the financial impact from the report:

FINANCIAL/PROGRAM IMPLICATIONS

Based on the annual average number of Blue Boxes distributed each year, the cost increase as a result of implementing the 22 gallon Blue Box as the new standard is an estimated $28,600 per year.

The annual purchase of 2,000 Blue Boxes with an affixed lid is estimated to be $30,000.

As a result, a total of $58,600 will be incorporated into the 2013 Budget and Business Plan for consideration.

Let me know what you think in the comments or email me mike@mikecluett.ca – on Twitter www.twitter.com/mike_cluettor Facebook!

 

Boyne Survey Moves Forward

With the approval of the Boyne Survey financial agreements, we are moving closer to adding another estimated 50,000 new people to the town of Milton.  I have some concerns about the estimated total however.  Municipalities have been burned in the past underestimating the number of people projected for each area, which can lead to under servicing of the area, not just by the town or region, but by the province of Ontario as well.

We don’t have to look very far in the Greater Milton Area (GMA) to see problems that the Region of Peel had to endure over the past several years.  There is a new reality to home ownership in many parts of Canada and Halton isn’t immune to this…multiple families per home. 

With the prices of homes on the rise, the cost of home ownership is also increasing.  There are families who have difficulty paying day to day bills in our economy with both parents working.  It is apparent that this new reality of home ownership will mean more people living in areas than planned for.  This can affect many services including water and waste as well as provincial services like education.

Its important to keep in mind our estimations going forward when site plans are submitted to council for review and approval.  When our reports state that 50,000 new residents will move into the Boyne Survey when its all said and done, I worry that it might be a lot more.  I would be more comfortable planning for a higher total in the range of 60-70,000 so that we can over estimate instead of under estimate when it comes to servicing of the new survey.

More on this to come, but here’s the story by Julia Le from the Milton Canadian Champion.

Council approves agreement to develop Boyne Survey

 

The Town of Milton is one step closer to developing 2,300 acres area of land bounded by Louis St. Laurent Avenue to the north, James Snow Parkway to the east, Britannia Road to the south and Tremaine Road to the west.

During a special meeting Monday night, councillors unanimously approved the Boyne financial agreement between the Town and the Boyne Landowners Group to develop the Boyne Survey Secondary Plan area.

It’s the third residential growth area located in the Milton urban expansion area. The other two growth areas are the Bristol and Sherwood surveys, which have been under construction for most of the past decade.

The Boyne Survey Secondary Plan area is planned to accommodate an additional 50,000 residents when fully developed. It’s intended to integrate with the existing urban area.

The report outlines the deal agreed upon by the Town’s negotiation team, which met with representatives of the Boyne Landowners Group over the past several months to iron out the details of the planning and financial requirements associated with developing the Boyne Survey.

The landowners group has agreed to pay a capital contribution on a per unit basis in addition to development charges when residential building permits are issued.

The contribution is expected to generate about $38 to $40 million, which will be used to finance infrastructure required to support the growth of the area. This in turn, will minimize the impact on property taxes and assist in keeping dept capacity within legislative and policy limits.

Town Treasurer Linda Leeds said the Boyne Landowners Group has also agreed to provide, at no cost to the Town, a total of 105 acres of parkland within the secondary plan area.  

“In addition, the landowners have agreed to acquire and transfer to the Town at no cost lands that are known as the CMHL (Central Milton Holdings) lands,” she said.

This additional 158.4 acres of parkland is located just outside the secondary plan area. The acquisition of the CMHL, located on the north side of Main Street, west of the CN Rail line and the 43.7 Ha (108 acres) of parkland known as the Jannock lands, is expected to be finalized now that council has approved the financial agreement. It will accommodate the community-scale facilities required to serve not only future residents of the Boyne Survey, but also the broader community.

“The CMHL lands are strategically located. They’ll be joining onto the Jannock lands that overall will create the largest urban park in Canada, which is a real legacy for this town council to be able to secure,” said Leeds.

Other agreements include the early dedication of lands so that the Town can construct roads and plan for the appropriate infrastructure in accordance with the Town’s capital program.

Council heard from delegate Glen Schnarr of the Boyne Landowners Group, who expressed his personal satisfaction with the agreement.

“In our minds since we conceived the notion of the off-site parkland dedication of the CMHL lands so close to the core of downtown Milton, at the end of the day personally I am very proud to be a part of that,” said Schnarr, president of land development consulting firm Glen Schnarr & Associates Inc. “I know that the landowners group feels it’s a monumental accomplishment and I believe through working with your staff what we have achieved if the agreement is approved this evening is a major moment in the history of Milton.”

Mayor Gord Krantz thanked the Town staff and the landowners for spending a considerable amount of hours pulling together the agreement.

He told The Milton Canadian Champion that growth should pay for itself and the town is well on track of making it happen.

Bill Mann, the Town’s director of planning and development, used the analogy of the agreement being the first domino in a set of dominoes ready to fall into place.

Now that the agreement has been approved by town council, he said secondary plan , with minor medications made, will go before them again in the fall. It will then be passed to Halton Region’s director of planning, the delegated authority to give final approval.

If all goes according to plan, the developers will then enter an agreement with the Region and be part of the Region’s infrastructure staging plan and allocation program. A part of this process will be the planning of subdivisions through the town. By 2014, the Town can expect to issue building permits for the expected 17,500 residential units to be built in the Boyne Survey area.

Mann said the Town is on the right track to building a balanced community within Milton.

“Non-residential growth is a direct result of residential growth,” he said, adding that big companies are looking for a local employment base that’s growing because of affordable housing.

Mann said the Town has been making a conscious effort at providing a full range of retail shops while maintaining the downtown core as the centre focus. With the anticipated addition of the CHML lands, Mann said residents can look forward to 1,200 acres of green space that connects to the Jannock lands, Kelso Conservation Area, Country Heritage Park and is a gateway to the Niagara Escarpment.

The town is in its third phase of residential and employment growth originally designated in the 1997 Official Plan. The plan anticipated Halton Region’s delivery in 2000 of ‘The Big Pipe’, carrying Lake Ontario water up from Oakville to Milton, and a population that would grow to about 165,000 people by 2021.  

Milton Town Council Meeting July 16, 2012

The next meeting of Milton Town Council is on Monday July 16, 2012 starting at 7pm at Milton Town Hall.

The governing body of the Town of Milton is Town Council, consisting of the Mayor and 10 Councillors who represent Milton’s eight wards.  Milton residents elect members of Council for a four-year term of office.  You can find a link to watch the Town Council meetings here.  The meetings are also broadcast on TV Cogeco (Channel 14).

Town Council deals with:

  • Matters requiring policy direction
  • By-laws or by-law amendments
  • Responses or actions to pertinent issues

Council also makes decisions on the recommendations of Milton’s two Standing Committees of Council:

  • Administration & Planning Committee
  • Community Services Committee

The link to the agenda can be found here.

Some of the highlites in the agenda are as follows:

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me mike@mikecluett.ca You can also go to the Watch Online link on my page to view from the comfort of your home.  I look forward to seeing you there.