July/August 2015 Progress Report

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Committee and Council Meetings

Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings in July, as well as agendas and reports for upcoming meetings, are available online.

Upcoming Meetings

No meetings are scheduled for the month of August.

Summer in Burlington

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Mayor Rick Goldring on Canada Day 2015 in Burlington.

Summer in Canada flies by quickly and never seems to last long enough for most people.

Here in Burlington, however, we make the most of our summer with an ambitious agenda of fun events and activities such as Car Free Street Festivals, the Sound of Music, Canada Day, Beerfest and the Burlington Downtown Car Show.

While these events provide entertainment for local residents, they also attract visitors to our city from near and far who spend money on local businesses and support many local jobs. When Canada’s largest Ribfest takes place on this Labour Day weekend at Spencer Smith Park, it will attract 175,000 attendees, roughly equivalent to the entire population of Burlington. During the Ribfest, attendees will inject approximately $800,000 into the local economy, according to Tourism Burlington. 

Special events and festivals in Burlington are both great fun and great business. Enjoy!

Burlington Flood 2014: Remembering one year later

It has been one year since the City of Burlington received nearly two months of rain (191 millimetres) in approximately eight hours. The record rainfall on Aug. 4, 2014, caused significant flooding and damage in parts of the city. Roads, highways and more than 3,000 homes were flooded.

Thousands of people in the community came together in the days after the flood to dedicate time and financial support to assist flood victims working together with Halton Region, the Province of Ontario and the Burlington Community Foundation Flood Disaster Relief Committee.

Two hundred and seventy-two claims totalling $2.7M were approved for victims of the flood.

Many of the families who have received payments have expressed their sincere appreciation to those who donated funds to the relief efforts. A total of $905,000 was raised by the Burlington community and matched two to one by the provincial government’s Ontario Disaster Relief Program for a total of close to $2.9M (this program is now closed).

Thank you to everyone who gave generously to the flood relief effort and showed such tremendous resilience and determination following the events of Aug. 4, 2014. We are so proud of the way this community pulled together.

Pan Am and Parapan Am Games update

Canadian athletes won 78 gold medals and 217 overall in the best Pan Am Games ever by the Canadian team. I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the athletes, coaches and support staff who participated and put in the thousands of hours of time and effort to achieve what they did and make our country so proud, particularly Burlingtonians Mark Oldershaw, Canoe (Silver Medal) who also led the team of over 700 athletes at the opening ceremony; Brady Heslip, Basketball (Silver Medal); Autumn Mills, Baseball  (Silver Medal); Tyler Muscat, Taekwondo; Kate Psota, Baseball (Silver Medal); Mike Green, Racquetball (Bronze Medal); Brady Reardon, Kayak (Fourth Place) and Ashley Stephenson, Baseball (Silver Medal).

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Torchbearers at the Parapan Am Games Torch Relay in Burlington.

 

Brandon Wagner and Mayor Rick Goldring.

Brandon Wagner and Mayor Rick Goldring.

The Parapan Am Games run August 7-15. I wish everyone wearing the maple leaf, including Melanie Hawtin who plays with the Burlington Vipers and is part of the Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball team, all the best in the games.

I was proud to attend the Parapan Am Games Torch Relay on August 5 in Spencer Smith Park. Thank you to all the torchbearers, including wheelchair basketball parathlete Brandon Wagner who carried the torch for the City of Burlington, at the Parapan Games Am Torch Relay.

For tickets to Parapan Am events, visit: http://www.toronto2015.org/news-details/the-action-continues-toronto-2015-parapan-am-games-begin-august-7/6102

 Coyote Update

On September 14, 2015, Burlington City staff will be presenting a staff report to the Development and Infrastructure Committee of Council regarding the feeding of wildlife and wildlife management, particularly as it relates to the coyote presence here in Burlington.  The report will include a draft “coyote response strategy” that will outline a leveled response for coyote management.

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Mayor’s Participation on Provincial Review of Ontario Municipal Planning Legislation

Many readers will be aware that the Ontario government announced a review of its principal legislation governing planning by municipal governments in this province.

The four pieces of legislation are the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe; the Greenbelt Plan; the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and the Niagara Escarpment Plan.

The provincial government is consulting with municipalities, non-government stakeholders, planning experts, academics and others on the best way forward. I was pleased to have taken part in this process recently in being invited to join a panel discussion on aligning transportation infrastructure with growth planning with former Toronto Mayor, David Crombie, Minister of Municipal Affarirs and Housing, Ted McMeekin, former Conference Board of Canada Chair, Anne Golden and several others. Burlington is perhaps uniquely impacted by these planning regulations given that just over half of our land area is deemed agricultural and rural – thereby protected from further development – while almost all of the remainder is already developed. The

Ontario government is addressing challenges of its own in aligning some of its own day-to-day decision-making with the broad policy objectives of these pieces of legislation that are supported by Burlington and we are working with the Province to bring this about. For more information, visit: http://news.ontario.ca/mah/en/2015/02/co-ordinated-review-of-ontario-land-use-plans.html.

Randle Reef Contracts Awarded

The funding partners in the Randle Reef sediment remediation project – which includes the City of Burlington – recently announced the awarding of three major contracts related to this project.

A contract was awarded to McNally Construction Inc. for constructing the engineered containment facility (ECF) into which the contaminated sediment will later be placed. The contract for the reconstruction of an adjacent harbour wall, which is in poor condition and therefore necessary to allow dredging of contaminated sediments in Stage two of the project, was awarded by the Hamilton Port Authority to Dean Construction Co. Ltd. of LaSalle, ON. Work to re‑construct the harbour wall is expected to begin in September.

An Engineering Services contract was awarded to Riggs Engineering Ltd for civil engineering services for the supervision of Stage One Construction. Preparations for ECF construction, including the development of a detailed project schedule, will begin later this year.

I appreciate the opportunity to provide some clarification around City of Burlington and Halton Region support for the Randle Reef Project. The total contribution of both the City and the Region is $4.3 million and the total project is $140 million. I strongly support providing the funding for the project for two prime reasons. Burlington Bay feeds into Lake Ontario, which is the source of drinking water. Many Burlington have been also been employed by the steel plants and other industries that contributed to the pollution of Randle Reef.

Burlington City Council Approves $20.4 Million for Storm Water Infrastructure Improvements

In one of its final acts before rising for the summer, Burlington City Council approved an additional $20.4 million to funds already budgeted for storm water infrastructure improvements as recommended in the City’s Flood Vulnerability, Prioritization and Mitigation Study, conducted after the Aug. 4, 2014, flood in Burlington.

Council also voted to approve:

  • An extension of the City’s grant program, which helps eligible homeowners cover the cost of building permit fees related to flood prevention home improvements. The program has been extended to Dec. 31, 2016.
  • The addition of one full-time storm water management technician dedicated to storm water concerns, such as lot grading and drainage.
  • An amendment directing city staff to report back to City Council in the fall of 2015 with funding options to  finance storm drainage operations and capital costs, including a review of other Ontario municipalities that have put in place a storm water user fee.

The Flood Vulnerability, Prioritization and Mitigation Study, completed by AMEC Foster Wheeler, assessed the areas of the city impacted by the Aug. 4, 2014 flood to better understand how the City’s storm drainage system works and to look at other factors that led to flooding damage. The City has identified an additional $20.4 million in funding over the next 10 years for storm water management capital upgrades, such as larger creek culverts and creek channel improvements.

While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of flooding in the city, these infrastructure improvements will enhance the level of service provided by the city’s storm drainage system and reduce the risk of future flooding. The number of extreme weather events in Southern Ontario is increasing. Together, the city and residents have a role to play in protecting our homes and businesses from extreme weather events. A planned public outreach campaign will help private property owners identify flood mitigation opportunities.

For more information about the Council report, visit www.burlington.ca/agendasandminutes.

Meanwhile, plans are underway for my office to host a workshop of municipal technical experts in this area in Burlington in November. Ontario municipalities will share their experience and best practices with the goal of expanding knowledge and extending better flood protection to homeowners and municipalities.

Burlington City Council Approves $20 Million to Capital Program to Fund Road Repairs

Burlington City Council approved an additional $20M to the capital budget over the next four years to fund repairs to city roads needing immediate rehabilitation.

This infusion of short-term funding is a cost-effective way to maintain the city’s infrastructure. By investing $20 million over the next four years, the City will be able to renew roadways that would otherwise have escalated to $47M worth of needs.

Since 2013, the City of Burlington’s Asset Management Plan has adopted a life-cycle costing approach to manage its capital assets that include roads and buildings. The plan predicts the rehabilitation needs of the city’s infrastructure assets for the next sixty years and includes a long-term financing plan to meet those needs.

As part of the Asset Management Plan, staff identified a backlog of roadways in need of immediate repair. Council directed staff to look at ways a short-term capital funding infusion could prevent these roads from slipping into a state of more costly repairs.

As time passes, there are cost implications to delaying repairs. Resurfacing a road at the right time in its lifecycle may cost the city $1M compared to $10M to reconstruct the same road if it is not resurfaced at the proper time.

The $20M in short-term funding will be provided through debt and the capital reserve funds. Council approved an additional 0.2 per cent tax increase for the years 2016 to 2019 to finance the repayment of the debt. More information about the council report visit: www.burlington.ca/agendasandminutes.

Landmark Climate Statement Signed in Ontario

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Ontario and 22 other states and regions have signed the first-ever Pan-American action statement on climate change. The Climate Action Statement highlights the urgency of combatting climate change, affirms that state, provincial and municipal governments are leaders in achieving impactful global climate action and acknowledges the need to work together to continue reducing greenhouse gas pollution.

I was pleased to add my signature as Mayor of Burlington and with peer Ontario municipalities to the declaration of sub-national governments, which draws the world’s attention to provincial, state and municipal leadership in preparation for the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP21) in December while calling for strong action by national governments.

Political Forum with the Burlington Chamber of Commerce

Along with Burlington’s new City Manager, James Ridge, I am looking forward to joining members of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce on August 26 at the Downtown Waterfront Hotel to hear members’ questions, comments about city business. For more information, visit www.burlingtonchamber.com.

Teddy Bears Now on Fire Trucks Across the City

The Aldershot Lions Club recently donated 50 stuffed teddy bears to the Burlington Fire Department. The bears will be placed on the department’s fleet of fire trucks for on-duty firefighters to give to children involved in traumatic emergency response calls.

“We are grateful to the Aldershot Lions Club for providing us with these teddy bears that will help calm children involved in stressful situations, such as car accidents or home medical calls,” said Deputy Fire Chief Ross Monteith.

The Aldershot Lions Club wanted to partner with the fire department to do something special to help children in our community. The club plans to buy more bears in the future by setting up a public sponsorship program.

For more information about the teddy bears, please contact the Aldershot Lions Club at 289-337-5558 or hardy2504@hotmail.com. For more information about the Burlington Fire Department, please visit www.burlington.ca/fire.

City of Burlington Now Hiring Crossing Guards

The City of Burlington is now hiring school crossing guards for the upcoming 2015/2016 school year.

Areas of the city in the greatest need of crossing guards are the Orchard community and southeast Burlington, near Mohawk Public School and Pineland Public School.

Burlington’s crossing guards play an integral role in our city, working tirelessly to keep our children and pedestrians safe. We are looking for dedicated leaders to help fill this important role in the community.

The city’s crossing guard program includes full training, a uniform and reimbursement of mileage. Applicants selected for interviews will be required to complete a police check. All successful applicants will be paid for two hours of work a day.

For more information on how to apply to be a crossing guard in Burlington, visit www.burlington.ca/crossingguard.

Council Approves Construction of New Halton Court Services’ Courthouse

City Council has approved construction of a new consolidated Provincial Offences Court for Halton, located at 4085 Palladium Way in Burlington.

The new courthouse will administer provincial offences court services for all of Halton Region. Halton Court Services’ two provincial offences courts in Burlington and Milton will relocate to 4085 Palladium Way.

Acting on behalf of the Province, the City consulted with its municipal partners-Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville-to get input and approval for this location at the corner of Walkers Line and Palladium Way.

Halton’s two courthouses have been operating at 100-per-cent capacity since 2011 and the number of charges has increased by 41 per cent since services were transferred to the municipal partners from the Province of Ontario in 2001. More courtrooms, auxiliary space, court services and staff are needed.

A request for proposal to hire a builder for the new courthouse will be issued in September 2015. Construction of the new building is expected to begin in the spring of 2017 with the new courthouse opening in December 2018.

For more information about the new Provincial Offences Court in Halton, please visit www.haltoncourtservices.ca.

Burlington Transit Seeking Input Through Rider Survey

Burlington Transit is conducting ridership surveys on various bus routes, at the downtown transit terminal and online at www.burlingtontransit.ca to help develop new service standards.

It is gathering information from our riders to determine what is important to them. These findings will be part of a report presented to City Council later this fall to help shape the future of Burlington’s public transportation.

The online survey will be available until Aug. 10, 2015 at www.burlingtontransit.ca.

For more information about Burlington Transit, including fares, schedules and the PRESTO card, visit www.burlingtontransit.ca or call 905-639-0550.

Upcoming events

Movies Under the Stars  

The City of Burlington is inviting residents to enjoy free movies under the stars, presented by Tim Hortons, every Thursday night until August 20.

The movies, which were selected by residents this spring via online polls, are shown on 25 by 14 foot outdoor viewing screen and begin at 9 p.m. on each on the following remaining dates:

Thursday, August 6 at Kilbride Park: Finding Nemo

Thursday, August 13 at Mohawk Park: Maleficent

Thursday, August 20 at Spencer Smith Park: Home

Rain Date: Thursday, August 27 at Burloak Park. If one of the movie titles above is rained out, that movie will be shown on this date, in this park, instead.

The City of Burlington is encouraging residents bring their own lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy a night of family-friendly fun. Washrooms and limited parking are available at each park.

For site maps, movie previews and weather delay or cancellation information, visit www.burlington.ca/movies or call the festivals and events hotline at 905-335-7766.

Jazz on the Plaza at BPAC

Every Friday in August, the Burlington Performing Arts Centre will have a free concert on its plaza, featuring a different performer each evening. The bar will be open and in the event of rain, the performance will move from the plaza into the lobby. For more information, visit: http://www.burlingtonpac.ca/what-s-on.html.

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