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Committee and Council Meetings
Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings in December, as well as agendas and reports for January’s meetings, are available online.
Development & Infrastructure Committee: Monday, January 19 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Community & Corporate Services Committee: Tuesday, January 20 at 1 p.m.
Committee of the Whole: Thursday, Jan. 22 at 1 p.m.
Burlington City Council: Monday, January 26 at 6:30 p.m.
Service based budgeting is now in place for the 2015 budget.
This is budgeting by service delivered, not by organizational department. The overall goal is to ensure citizens are getting good value for their tax dollar.
There are 47 identified services of which 24 are public services, 13 are internally focused support services and 10 are managed externally by distinct governance structures but receive a portion of their funding from the city.
Business plans have been developed for all 37 of the services provided by the city. They were prepared using the Results Based Accountability methodology developed by Mark Friedman at the US-based Fiscal Policy Institute.
The city’s base budget to maintain services is presented with a 1.86% increase, which is below the three year rolling average of the Toronto Consumer Price Index (1.91%).
The 2015 budget continues council’s practice of an increase for the capital levy that provides a source of funding to address infrastructure renewal and helps ensure that funding is available to renew assets as required based on the city’s asset management plan. This brings the increase to 3.06%.
Business cases used to recommend changes to city services and existing service levels bring the increase to 3.44%. Business cases from local boards and committees of 0.11% result the total city tax impact of 3.55%.
Combined with the Region of Halton increase and the Boards of Education, the overall increase is 2.1% (compared to the most recent Toronto average CPI figure of 2.5%) or $19.36 per $100,000 CVA.
I believe an overall tax impact of 2.1 per cent is reasonable considering the high quality of life we enjoy in Burlington, but I am committed to seeing if there is a way to lower the city’s portion. This is easier said than done, but I will work with council to do my best.
I invite residents to attend the Public Consultation Budget Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 29 from 7- 9 p.m. in the auditorium at Mainway Recreation Centre, 4015 Mainway.
Public Meeting on Proposed 28-Storey Building on Martha Street
A public meeting is being held on the proposed 28-storey condominium building at 374 Martha Street as part of the Development and Infrastructure Committee meeting on Monday, January 19 at 6:30 p.m.
The mixed-use development proposed by Adi Development Group requires Official Plan and zoning bylaw amendments.The site’s current height designation is four storeys, with a provision in the Official Plan to go up to eight storeys with community benefits.There have been a number of concerns expressed by residents about this project, among which are compatibility, height, density, parking, drainage, urban design and traffic.
The tallest building approved to date is the upcoming Bridgewater development, at 22 storeys, on Lakeshore Road at the base of Pearl Street.
This was already identified in our Official Plan as the landmark building in downtown Burlington.My opinion is that under no circumstances is a 28-storey condominium building at this site acceptable.
This would completely change our downtown landscape, and not for the better. I am looking for a significant reduction in the height of this proposed building.More information on the application is available on the city’s website here.
Sale of Water Street Land Parcels
City council voted 6-1 at the December 18 council meeting to approve the sale of the waterfront land parcels behind three homes along a one-block section from St. Paul to Market streets.
I have supported the process of the land sale since discussion re-emerged around this issue in 2013.
I continue to believe this is not an ideal setting for a park. Its location behind a group of houses means it would be a difficult space to monitor by police. I am also concerned about the significant height of the land from water’s edge maintained by the sea wall. This poses a safety hazard.
I feel there are better places where we can invest resources to enhance waterfront access. Part of the proceeds from the sale of this piece of property will go towards improving the Windows-to-the-Lake at St. Paul and Market streets. These will be places where residents can sit and enjoy beautiful views of Lake Ontario. City staff will be developing options with budgets, as well as engaging the public, this year.
City staff also recently made some improvements to Port Nelson Park, which is nearby and another great waterfront asset for the city.
Burlington City Council dedicated itself several decades ago to providing waterfront access through Windows-on-the-Lake along Lakeshore Road. This decision continues that commitment.
Unfortunately, there is no meaningful opportunity to create a waterfront trail from downtown Burlington to Burloak Drive. If there was, I would look at this piece of property differently.
This issue has been unresolved for more than 20 years. I’m satisfied that now it has been determined, we can move forward on other waterfront initiatives.
Heritage Tax Rebate Program
During our recent cycle of meetings in December, city council approved the Heritage Property Tax Rebate Program.
This will allow eligible property owners who apply to receive a 20 per cent rebate for the municipal (Burlington only) and educational portion of property taxes.
There are 44 eligible designated residential properties in Burlington. If all of those owners applied for the rebate, the total would be about $20,500 in city funding for 2014.
The average rebate will be just under $700 for 2014.
The rebate program was proposed in a report called A New Approach to Conserving Burlington’s Heritage created by Heritage Burlington in 2012.
Heritage properties offer a glimpse into a different time in our city and are a reminder of the dedication of previous generations of residents in the creation of this great city. These homes also add to the character and quality of place for Burlington. My hope for this rebate program is that it will serve as an incentive for owners of non-designated heritage homes to take the steps required to become designated.
Council will be considering increasing the rebate to 25 per cent in the upcoming 2015 budget deliberations. The accompanying budget request is $25,500. I support this request, but will be looking for an update about whether the rebate has facilitated an increase in designated residential properties
Strategic Plan 2015-2018
As we did in 2011, we will again be providing many opportunities for the public to engage in the strategic planning process.
Last term we had unprecedented input from the public and I believe we can surpass this in our upcoming strategic planning process.
More information will be coming forward in the coming weeks on how you can get involved in the engagement for the Strategic Plan 2015-2018.
Our Strategic Plan determines where our city will be going over the next four years and in the future, how we will get there and how we will know if we were successful. The process involves a review of the city’s vision and the setting of priorities and goals.
Update on BEDC Restructuring
The Community & Corporate Services Committee received an update in December about the restructuring of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) from its executive director, Frank McKeown.
Council directed the BEDC be reconfigured in 2013 to put a further emphasis on economic development in our city.
McKeown reported the new board, which is populated with local business leaders, is in place and already working efficiently.
He also presented the BEDC’s updated strategic plan.
The four key strategies cited in the plan include: 1. Develop and deliver an economic strategy that compliments the city’s strategic plan; 2. Enhance BEDC’s expertise and deliver reports and data; 3.Attract, retain and grow the employment base and 4. Operate at the speed of business.
As a city that has essentially reached greenfield build-out for residential development, our focus continues to be on developing the remaining Industrial/Commercial/Institutional land to ensure a solid tax base and to lead the redevelopment and intensification of existing employment lands.
As important, fostering our economic sector will result in local jobs that will hopefully provide opportunities for Burlington residents to live where they work, rather than to commute to their places of employment across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.
I look forward to seeing the resulting data later in 2015.
Snow Control Update
As we head into late January, it is likely we will see more snow.
The city provides regular snow control updates on its website during significant winter storms.
More information, including the levels of service for road and sidewalk snow clearing operations, can be found at www.burlington.ca/snow.
To report an area that has not been plowed, please contact Roads and Park Maintenance at 905-333-6166 or by email at email@example.com.
Roads and Parks Maintenance asks residents to wait 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling before calling to let them know if a street has not been plowed.
Halton Region Budget
The proposed 2015 budget and business plan recommends a property tax increase of 1.5% for regional services and an increase of 1.9% for police services, resulting in a combined impact to the taxpayer of a 1.6% increase.
I feel this is a modest and acceptable increase for the region, considering the average increase has been at zero for the past eight years. Regional taxes fund a variety of services in Halton, such as public health and social assistance, regional roads and planning, paramedic services, a variety of children’s and seniors’ services, non-profit housing, heritage programs, emergency management, police services and economic development.
Lowville Winter Games
The Lowville Winter Games are an annual tradition in our city where residents can experience old-fashioned fun in beautiful rural Burlington. The event is set for Sunday, January 25 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in Lowville Park, 6207 Lowville Park Road. Admission is free. A full list of activities and parking/shuttle information can be found at www.burlington.ca/lowville.
Public Consultation Budget Meeting
A public consultation meeting on the city’s 2015 budget is being held Thursday, January 29 from 7-9 p.m. at in the auditorium at Mainway Recreation Centre, 4015 Mainway. The meeting will highlight the city’s 2015 current and capital budgets, as well as the impact the budget will have on 2015 property taxes.
Burlington, Ont. – Jan. 20, 2015 — Through its public art program, the City of Burlington is inviting the public to provide suggested locations and themes for a series of local murals and is offering three ways to comment between now and Feb. 6.
“This is a great initiative that will Increase local artist participation in the City of Burlington’s public art program,” said Angela Paparizo, manager of arts and culture. “We’re excited to engage residents in the creative process through mural site selection and community storytelling and hope they will take advantage of the opportunity to shape art in their community.”
The Burlington Mural Project is designed to tell local stories using local artists. The program has a budget of $5,000 to $10,000 for each mural and will commission small to medium-scale murals throughout the city, with one mural location and story selected for each of Burlington’s six wards.
These submissions will be reviewed by the city’s Public Art Implementation Team (PADIT) and a jury of citizens. Locations and artists will be chosen based on public input. The murals will be open exclusively to local Burlington artists. Free learning opportunities will be offered to artists who may not have experience creating public art and/or murals.
This program was developed in consultation with members of the local arts community. In October 2014, a brainstorming session was held with members of the local arts community. Based on this session and feedback, the following Program Guide has been developed: Program Guide.
Artist applications for the selected mural projects will be released in late February 2015.
Burlington residents can suggest locations and themes for the murals in three ways:
• Let’s Talk Burlington members will be asked to offer feedback on the Burlington Mural Project until Feb. 6
• Residents can complete the open survey online at www.burlington.ca/muralsurvey until Feb. 6
• Visit the Public Art Booth at the Lowville Winter Games on Sunday, Jan. 25 to share your ideas.
There is no limit on the number of submissions per resident.
About the Public Art Program
The mission of the city’s public art program is to enhance the quality of life in Burlington through the rich context of the arts. The program strives to bring artwork by both established and emerging artists to the city centre and the neighbourhoods throughout Burlington, Ont. The program provides cultural opportunity, guides the evolution of a vibrant artistic character for the city’s emerging public places and ensures a visual legacy for all to enjoy.
For more information about the city public art program, call 905-335-7600, ext. 7352, or visit www.burlington.ca/culture.
Office: 905-335-7600, ext. 7879
Manager of Arts and Culture
Office: 905-335-7600, ext. 7352
Burlington, Ont. – Jan. 16, 2015— The City of Burlington is hosting a public information night for residents to learn more about the proposed 2015 budget.
“This is a great opportunity for residents to learn more about results-based accountability and what it means for our budget,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “The 2015 budget includes increased funding to support the renewal of the city’s infrastructure as well as business proposals to increase transit service, support heritage properties and increase support for the Sound of Music Festival.”
The information night will be held Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 at Mainway Recreation Centre – Auditorium from 7 to 9 p.m.
The 2015 Budget is presented in a new service based format. Business plans have been developed for all 37 of the services provided by the city and were prepared using the Results Based Accountability methodology developed by Mark Friedman at the U.S.-based Fiscal Policy Institute.
Business plans provide depth and context about each service the city delivers. The plans highlight where investments are being made and will help residents learn more about the services the city offers with the overall goal to ensure citizens are getting good value for their tax dollar.
The proposed budget recommends a city tax increase of 3.55 per cent, which when combined with the Halton Region and the Boards of Education results in an overall property tax impact of 2.1 per cent, or $19.36 per $100,000 of Current Value Assessment. That translates into $77.44 a year for the average Burlington home valued at $400,000.
For more information, including the proposed budget, visit www.burlington.ca/budget or call 905-335-7600 ext. 7577.
Office: 905-335-7600, ext. 7885
Acting Coordinator – Budget & Policy
Office: 905-335-7600, ext. 7896
Burlington, Ont. – Jan. 15, 2015 — A few lucky residents in rural Burlington received a visit from on-duty firefighters this week who presented them with a home fire safety prize pack.
This summer, the Burlington Fire Department conducted home visits as part of its rural fire safety program, a public education campaign started in 2013 to test residential smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. The goal of the program is to keep residents safe by ensuring homes are protected and comply with Ontario smoke and CO alarm laws.
“We were able to visit about 1,700 homes over the course of the program and talk to many residents about home fire safety,” said Chief Fire Prevention Officer Joe Wintar. “Residents that participated in the home visit were entered into a draw to win a home fire protection gift basket valued at $250.”
Residents Rod and Karen Yuzik, Nick and Anna Basile and Maurice and Janet Davidson were the lucky recipients.
“We appreciate people taking the time to welcome us into their homes,” said Public Education Officer Kim Sopko. “Winning homeowners received a prize package that includes essential home fire protection items such as a smoke and CO alarm, a home escape ladder and fire extinguisher.”
If residents were not home at the time of the visit, they can still schedule a free in-home fire safety visit by calling 905-637-8207, ext. 6333 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow @BurlingtonFire on Twitter and visit us on Facebook or at www.burlington.ca/fire or for more information on fire safety.
Note – Photos attached of winning rural homeowners receiving a home fire protection package from Burlington firefighters.
Right to left: Acting Captain Dave Meehan, Firefighter Rod Mchaffie, residents Rod and Karen Yuzik, Firefighter Joe Savelli
Right to left: Firefighter Joe Savelli, Firefighter Rod Mchaffie, resident Maurice Davidson, Acting Captain Dave Meehan
Right to left: Firefighter Tim Hart, Acting Captain Shawn Gilroy, resident Nick Basile, Firefighter Alexander Zijlstra
Office: 905-335-7600, ext. 7879
Chief Fire Prevention Officer
Office: 905-637-8207, ext. 6207
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Burlington, Ont.—Jan. 9, 2015 – Bundle up for the Lowville Winter Games on Sunday, Jan. 25. The event begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. at Lowville Park, 6207 Lowville Park Rd., just a few kilometres north of Dundas Street.
Residents are invited to enjoy free activities for the entire family, including:
• Entertainment featuring the Snow Queen and Jack Frost
• Animals from Safari Science
• Horse-drawn wagon rides
• Rope making
• Winter crafts courtesy of Momstown
• Photos in the Burlington Events photo booth
• Face painting and balloon animals
• Skating (weather permitting)
For those who work up an appetite, there will be food trucks, including Wheeling Gourmet and Pappas Greek on Wheels.
For more information, visit www.burlington.ca/lowville or call the events hotline at 905-335-7766.
Shuttle Service: Parking is limited. Event attendees are encouraged to take the free shuttle bus from the Halton District School Board parking lot at 2050 Guelph Line near Upper Middle Road. Regular shuttles run to and from the park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
905-335-7600, ext. 7879
Supervisor of Festivals & Events
905-335-7600, ext. 7724