Currently Browsing: The Issues

Laskay Hall Update

There is a report on February 26 Council agenda about Laskay Hall.  For those anxious to see the Hall re-opened for public activities the report includes a review of work yet to be done with a plan for completion in May.  As reviewed it has taken longer than anticipated for reasons identified; and it has cost more than budgeted.  The plan for funding the incremental costs is presented.  Given the unforseen structural challenges due to carpenter ants I am glad that the re-location project came about as the Hall’s collapse, at original site, would have been only a question of “when.”

Amended 2018 Budget

An amended budget and business plan is on the Feb. 5 Council agenda.  As directed by Council in the previous Council meeting (Jan 29) Staff is presenting a budget offering a 0% increase in the Township property tax rate as opposed to an increase of 1.99%. To achieve either level of increase is remarkable given the need to absorb the costs of Bill 148, Fair Workplaces , Better Jobs Act which we estimate to be $300,000 (about 1 property tax point).  In addition both original and amended budget were done on basis of no reduction in service levels.

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Inclusionary Zoning

At February 5 Council meeting there is a Staff report reviewing feedback to Ministry of Municipal Affairs ‘s proposed regulations for inclusionary zoning. (The latter being policies requiring residential development proposals over a certain size to include a percentage of affordable housing.)  I am posting this as I believe that many people, including myself, are concerned about the cost of housing and how so much of it is beyond the fiscal abilities of so many.  This is not an issue which I have focused on.  I found this report to insightful as to what such policies might be. The recommendations proposed by Staff sound appropriate.

400-404 link Resolution

On Feb. 5 Council there is a draft resolution requesting that the design and construction of the Highway 400-404 link be expedited.  When we received a copy of a similar resolution from another municipality earlier I indicated that I would not be supporting it.  My reason:  over last couple years I have lobbied against the GTA West Corridor (Hwy 413).  I cannot now call for this link which will be 16 kilometers of pavement.  At a very macro level I understand the need; but, I do not understand the issues, the consequences of building it.

2018 Budget

An additional Council meeting has been scheduled for Monday Jan. 29 with the primary purpose of presentation and discussion of the draft 2018 Budget.  You can read Staff report and the draft budget here.  I will not comment on it as I have not reviewed it yet.   I will say that despite the aggressive schedule for approval. as indicated in the opening paragraph, I consider the target approval date (February 5 Council meeting) as not being cast in stone.

Sale of Current Municipal Offices

Staff report on Jan. 22 Council summarizes the negotiated agreement with Zancor for the purchase and sale of the current Township Offices & plaza.  Sale price is $10,750,000 which is 50% of total costs of new Town Hall, the new community facilities (gymnasium) and York Region Police (YRP) substation. The financing of the other 50% is the capital contribution from YRP, development charges, infrastructure reserve and about $4 million provided through debenture financing.  As reviewed in the report this negotiated agreement meets our needs in terms of timing and financial value.

Enabling Commuter Cycling

King has received a grant of $91,459 for construction of a cycling path between Hwy 27 and 10th Concession.  The grant comes from a provincial program to assist municipalities with implementation of commuter cycling infrastructure to encourage more active commuting habits.  As reviewed in the report our required share of the capital costs (20%) is covered in the funding already approved for 2018 road projects in Nobleton.  There are many gaps in our cycling infrastructure; but as there will never be the financial capability to build it “end-to-end” we need to grab the opportunities for building sections.

Sign By-law

When considering the new sign bylaw at previous Council meeting input was provided by a business owner in King Ridge that there should be opportunity for a 3rd temporary sign on the King Road frontage.  Given the feedback and discussion Staff did detailed thorough analysis of the frontage and confirmed that a 3rd sign was feasible.  Here is Staff report which includes the final bylaw.  I believe the new bylaw represents a balance between needs of our business community to promote their services and merchandise and our desire to not diminish the aesthetic of our streetscapes and landscapes with signs.

Review of 2018 Budget is Delayed

Due to unforseen circumstances the  2018 budget and business plan is not available for review now as was anticipated.  At Jan. 22 Council there is a a Staff report providing a top level perspective on the budget.  As I don’t have any of the details I cannot comment on whether I am supportive.  Its good to read that the draft budget, if approved as it is, will amount to a tax rate which is then applied to assessed value of a property, being reduced.

Although not confirmed tentative plan for presentation and review of budget is a special Council meeting Jan. 29. I anticipate that the budget will be available for public to review it before then.

An Act Replacing OMB

On Jan. 8th Council agenda there is a staff report reviewing implications of Bill 139, the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watershed Act.  (This is the Act which eliminates Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).)The Act provides a framework whereby those who hear appeals of Council decisions on land use applications are required to give much more regard to the policies of the local municipalities.  Other changes include restriction on what can be appealed and how the appeal is actually carried out with an objective of making the process shorter.  A critical aspect of the Act is the plan for transitioning to it:    I am in full agreement with the Staff recommendation on feedback on the transition plan except I would like to see our rationale for a different transition schedule to be stronger.

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