Currently Browsing: Debbie in the Community

Trees of Giving….last few days

Only 2 more days to enjoy the exhibition of Trees of Giving and to cast your vote with a loonie or more at the Heritage & Cultural Centre.  It is a diverse exhibit of trees decorated for the Christmas season. The trees have been decorated by various community groups;  as is tradition Council has also decorated a tree.  I encourage you to drop into to see them and vote on your favourite tree.   Final viewing and voting is Saturday, December 15 10-12 pm.   This year all proceeds go directly to the King For Refugees. And one community groups gets the “bragging rights!”

Water and Wastewater Rates

On Council agenda is a Staff recommendation for water and waste water rates for 2019.  The average  blended bill (i.e. water and waste water) for a household using 250 cubic meters of water /year is $158.56, 11.8% .  It is a big increase; logic for such is as follows.  1.  Consistent with previous 4 years the 9% increase in the whole sale rate from York Region is being passed on.   The increase is a direct result of York Region’s Financial Sustainability Plan which includes a 9%  increase annually through 2020.  The latter responds to Provincial legislation that all municipal water and wastewater systems operate on a full-cost recovery rate structure in order to ensure that there is financial capability to properly maintain and ultimately replace infrastructure. 2.  King has its own need to ensure that user rates support operational requirements and that we don’t have an underfunded water and wastewater system.

As indicated in the report our reserves are in a deficit position and it is  forecasted that the annual increases are going to continue to be in the 11% range until  York Region’s 9%/yr increase Plan ends which is 2020.  But what comes after that?  A positive note on how capital is being spent is incluoded in the report:  the automatic/remote meter reading solution has been implemented which enables real-time review and detection of unusual consumption.  I will be asking status of households being able to access data to better enable conservation.

 

KeeleOne Development Application

On Council agenda for December 10 there is report recommending approval in principle of zoning bylaw amendment for the KeeleOne project. It has been 2 years since the public meeting was held for this development.  I continue to be excited by this proposal and am relieved to see that the concept has not changed substantially.    Many of the concerns identified earlier have been addressed: size of units has been reduced and amount of commercial space reduced.  Both these changes decrease amount of parking required. Very importantly  the impact on the streetscape continues to be very positive; architecture is not like the late 19th century style on Keele further north but it is in harmony.

I do have questions and comments about the parking:  need to control access to site parking as frustrated GO train users will be attracted to it; stated opportunity for off peak hour parking on street will only “work” if there is enforcement.  I also want to hear more about the noise assessment and mitigation.  Finally, given its location and roof lines there is surely opportunity for solar.

 

Parking Exemptions

On Dec. 10 agenda there is Staff report recommending a significant change in how to respond to requests for exemptions to the bylaws restricting parking, particularly the restrictions during the winter months.  I think the recommended plan sounds excellent:  focused on customer/client need, uses technology, cost effective.

Parking By-law For Heavy Trucks

Here is Staff report proposing an amendment to our parking by-law to address the problem of heavy trucks parked on municipal roadways.  I think the recommendation to prohibit such across the Township is sound.

Trees of Giving

From November 24-December 15  there is a diverse exhibit of trees decorated for the Christmas season.  There is such a variety as each has been decorated by various Community Groups.  I encourage you to drop into the Heritage & Cultural Centre to see them and vote on your favourite tree.  One dollar is one vote.  This year all proceeds go directly to the King For Refugees.

 

How King Is Looking After Its Trees

Concerned Citizens of King Township is having their annual general meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at the new Town Hall (2585 King Road).  Meeting begins at 7PM.  The guest speaker is Chris Fasciano, King’s Director of Parks, Recreation & Culture. He will presenting the Township’s Tree Management Plan and approach for increasing the tree canopy.  Here is the advertisement for the meeting.  As I hope that in the new term of Council a bylaw regarding trees on private property will be presented for consideration I think it is particularly worthwhile to learn about the municipality’s approach.

Volunteer Opportunities

Now is the opportunity to get involved in some of the Township’s new projects and initiatives.  Volunteers are being sought out to join one of the committees or boards:  Accessibility Advisory committee, Sustainability Advisory Committee, Committee of Adjustment, Lbrary board, Heritage Advisory Committee, and Holland Marsh Drainage Board.  This is a great way to participate in your community.  Here is where you can learn about these various committees and boards so that you can find the one which fits your skills and interests.  Deadline for applications is December 14.

Plan For the 2019 Budget

At the Monday, November 12 Council meeting there is a report from Finance reviewing the plan for establishing the 2019 budget for operations and the 2019 and 2020 capital budget.  In 2016 we did the first two year capital budget and its my observation that it was a very worthwhile change in process; facilitated better planning which does enable better costs.  With a target of Council approval by 2/25 timing is aggressive but entirely appropriate as at that point already 2 of 12 months are gone.

Reminder:  November 12th Council meeting will be the last meeting with the current Council members and it will be in the new Town Hall.

 

Moving into new Municipal Hub

Municipal Business begins at the new location (2585 King Road) on Tuesday November 6 at 8:30 AM.  To allow for the move offices at the current location will be closed Friday (Nov.2) and Monday (Nov. 5).