QUARTERLY REPORTECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Jasmin Ralph, Economic Development Co-ordinator, has explored the installation of fibre optic cabling in Industrial Park North and Hooper Street Business Park. She identified the need for higher speed internet services through her ongoing Outreach Program where she meets one-on-one with local businesses. Business leaders have expressed firm interest in accessing this service. Based on feedback received by the Town and the business owners, Bell is also upgrading DSL infrastructure in the North Industrial Park and South Industrial Parks. The Economic Development received $42 000 in grants so far this year from the Eastern Ontario Development program, the Rural Economic Development program through OMAFRA and the site certification program through the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment. REDEVELOPMENT OF CPDMH HEALTH HUB There is no new information available about the hospital redevelopment. Councillor Probert, Council representative on the hospital board, provides monthly updates about the operations of the hospital. OFFICIAL PLAN & DEVELOPMENT PERMIT BYLAW REVIEW The Official Plan received final approval by the County of Lanark. However, a local developer has appealed it in its entirety to the Ontario Municipal Board; the Town is awaiting a ruling on the appeal. The final public meeting for the Development Permit Bylaw was held and currently the changes that came from the public meetings are being incorporated into the document. REVITALIZATION OF DOWNTOWN Several new businesses have opened recently: Mr. Mozzarella, Grumpy’s, Simple Pleasures, and Voila . The 2014 Façade Improvement program, jointly funded by the BIA and the Town, was very popular this year, and additional funds were allotted to accommodate all the requests. New flower beds in tribute to our Sister Cities of Comrie, Scotland and Franklin, Tennessee were added to Market Square, a joint effort of the Sister City and Carleton Place in Bloom Committees. CARAMBECK COMMUNITY CENTRE The Community Centre along with the Police Services Board hosted a Seniors’ Forum jointly with the OPP focussing on crime prevention. Space is available for use by the public; there are various sizes of rooms, some at no-cost, others at low cost. COUNCIL TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY Following concerns brought by members of the public to Council about the posting of all agendas and minutes of Council, Committees of the Whole and Standing Committees, Council has requested that staff look into the possibility of either upgrading the Town website or using Civic Web. The following decision was made: That staff proceed with updating the Town’s web site and related practices by asking all municipal committees to forward their agendas and minutes to the Town Hall for posting on the Town’s web site; identifying all upcoming meetings on the Calendar located on the Town Hall Home page of the web site; having the web site search engine upgrades so it searches attached PDF files; and presenting the idea of paperless agendas/minutes to the new Council for consideration along with the Civic Web system. The Ombudsman’s Office has directed that the general nature of the topic to be discussed in camera be stated in public; Clerk Duncan Rogers sent a memorandum to all Council and Town Committees noting that the general nature of the reason a person declares pecuniary interest also be disclosed. RESPECT FOR BUSINESS COMMUNITY Mayor LeBlanc and members of Council have excellent working relationships with both the Chamber of Commerce and the BIA, and are pleased to attend Grand Openings of new businesses and welcome them to the community. Mayor LeBlanc and Jasmin Ralph, along with several councillors, regularly attend Business Breakfasts and Movers and Shakers event sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Members of Council attended downtown events including Comic Book Day and Lambsdowne Festival. Several members of Council attended the Familiarization Tour of local businesses, sponsored by the Chamber, BIA, and the Town. OTHER ITEMS DEALT WITH IN THIS QUARTER The Town was thrilled with the success of The Carleton Place Canadians as they won the Bogart and Fred Page Cups and went onto the RBC Cup. A parade for the players welcomed them back to the community and celebrated their successes! The Fire Services Master Plan was received by Council; this report, the result of 8 months of work by a steering committee made up of members of the public, the fire department and Council, is posted on the Town Website Council dealt with infrastructure failures affecting private property – flooded basements and sewer backups. As per the standard practice, the Town is responsible for paying for damages if it is deemed to be responsible; this was not the case in the incidents discussed. The telephone system in the Town Hall received a much-needed updating. Senior Citizen of the Year, Carol Dryburgh, received a certificate from the Province for her volunteer efforts. The 2014 Construction Open house was held in April; this year’s projects include Franklin, Mill and McLaren Streets. The pool roof will be replaced and the water tower will be refurbished and repainted this year as well. Another successful Home and Fashion Show was held at the arena, and the Hospital also hosted Health Fest. The Town will inoculate significant ash trees this year against the Emerald Ash Borer which is now present in our community; the success rate for this project is generally high. The 2013 Annual Report for the Carleton Place Wastewater Pollution Control Plant was received by Council and compliance was met for all parameters except two minor exceedences. The report is on the Town website. The Town continues to work with LAWS and the Lanark Animal Pound group to come to an agreement about pound services; in the meantime, Carleton Place is continuing its working relationship with LAWS. The Towns of Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills have met on several occasions and held public meetings regarding the annexation of property off Townline Road into the Town of Carleton Place. Final meetings with the County will be held before the annexation becomes official. An application for a subdivision has been received for the lands on the northwest corner of Mississippi Road and Highway 7 by Devcore. The land can be developed either residential or commercial or a combination of the two.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT The new economic development website - www.businesscarletonplace.ca - is still being populated by Economic Development Co-ordinator, Jasmin Ralph; an interactive feature showing the status of development properties within town limits is a unique feature. Housing development plans were presented to Council by Planning Department staff and developers for Jackson Ridge, for an apartment complex by Brigil, and for several properties owned by Devcore. Economic Development subcommittees, including Industrial Initiatives, Downtown Initiatives, and Tourism Committees, meet monthly and report to the Community Development Committee. REDEVELOPMENT OF CPDMH HEALTH HUB Mayor LeBlanc, Councillors Probert and Black, Hospital CEO Toni Surko and Hospital Board Chair Lois-Anne Brebner met with Senior Policy Advisor Michael Coe and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health, Dr. Helena Jacsek, and were pleased with the positive outcome of the meeting; check out the March 11, 2014 Policy Review Committee Action Report at http://carletonplace.ca/photos/custom/Policy%20Review%20Action%20Report%20-%20March%2011,%202014.pdf to read Mayor LeBlanc’s report. OFFICIAL PLAN & DEVELOPMENT PERMIT BYLAW REVIEW The Official Plan is still awaiting final approval by the County of Lanark; meanwhile, staff and members of Council have held three sessions to review the Development Permit Bylaw and the draft final copy has been distributed for final review; an open house will be held in early April for public comment, followed by a Public Meeting in mid-April. REVITALIZATION OF DOWNTOWN Several new businesses have opened or opened in new locations recently: Sunshine’s Then and Now, The Hair Chair, and The Queens. The 2014 Façade Improvement program, jointly funded by the BIA and the Town, is once again being promoted. New owners of a significant business block in the downtown have plans to create quality apartments above the street level businesses. CARAMBECK COMMUNITY CENTRE Pickleball has been a very popular activity during the winter months at Carambeck! The 2nd Annual Winter Carnival, held at two venues over the course of the day – Carambeck and Market Square – was a successful event thanks to the work of a core group of dedicated volunteers. Plans are underway to host a Seniors’ Forum jointly with the OPP focussing on crime prevention. Space is available for use by the public; there are various sizes of rooms, some at no-cost, others at low cost. COUNCIL TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY Following concerns brought by members of the public to Council about the posting of all agendas and minutes of Council, Committees of the Whole and Standing Committees, Council has requested that staff look into the possibility of either upgrading the Town website or using Civic Web. The Ombudsman’s Office has directed that the general nature of the topic to be discussed in camera be stated in public; Clerk Duncan Rogers sent a memorandum to all Council and Town Committees noting that the general nature of the reason a person declares pecuniary interest also be disclosed. RESPECT FOR BUSINESS COMMUNITY Members of Council attended the AGMs of both the BIA and the Chamber of Commerce this quarter; Mayor LeBlanc and Economic development Co-ordinator, Jasmin Ralph, were guest speakers at the BIA AGM. Mayor LeBlanc and members of Council are pleased to attend Grand Openings of new businesses and welcome them to the community. Mayor LeBlanc and Jasmin Ralph, along with several councillors, regularly attend Business Breakfasts and Movers and Shakers event sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. OTHER ITEMS DEALT WITH IN THIS QUARTER Mayor LeBlanc presented her Annual Address to Council highlighting community progress in 2013; the speech can be found at www.wendyleblanc.ca. Howard Allen, Municipal Auditor, once again commended Staff and Council for their diligent work in making Carleton Place a financially stable, well-run community. Working to find a solution to the necessity for an animal pound and continuing a strong relationship with LAWS was dealt with on several occasions; the group of five municipalities working together are seeking the best solution to some of the problems concerning the matter. Members of Council attended the annual OGRA/ROMA Conference in Toronto in February and met with Ministry of Health officials concerning hospital redevelopment and Ministry of Education officials about issues concerning Daycare ratios and finances. Check out the March 11, 2014 Policy Review Committee Action Report at http://carletonplace.ca/photos/custom/Policy%20Review%20Action%20Report%20-%20March%2011,%202014.pdf to read Mayor LeBlanc’s report. Contracts to refurbish the water tower and to install an up-dated telephone system in the Town Hall were awarded. The Quarterly Drinking Water Quality and the annual Drinking Water Inspection Reports both indicated that the quality of the drinking water in Carleton Place continues to be excellent. A Community Builder award was presented to Joshua Piche for his fundraising efforts for CPDMH during the Christmas season. Councillor Rob Probert is the Council representative on the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital Board of Directors. His first report, which was well received by Council as being comprehensive and informative can be read at the February 18, 2014 Community Issues Action Report at http://carletonplace.ca/photos/custom/Community%20Issues%20Action%20Report%20Febriaru%2018,%202014.pdf. The 2013 Annual Review and the 2015 Information Guides were both distributed to all residents during this quarter.
ITEM CURRENT STATUS Economic Development Council is pleased to announce the sale of the property adjacent to Market Square on Beckwith Street to Parkview Homes; the development will consist of ground floor commercial with apartments above. The developer paid full asking price and did not request any concessions in the form of dropping of development or other charges. Other housing developments that have received approval include the Jackson Ridge subdivision between Napoleon Street and Mississippi Road, and Devcore’s stacked townhomes at Lansdowne and Arthur; planning for an apartment building on Allan Street is in early stages. The shovel is now in the ground for Highgate subdivision between High Street and Townline Road. Economic Development Co-ordinator Jasmin Ralph launched the Town’s new economic development website: www.businesscarletonplace.ca . She continues to meet with business leaders in the community and will be profiling these industries on the website. [Read more...]