Quarterly Report – April to June 2012

Quarterly ReportEconomic Development Following a lengthy interview process, our new Economic Development Co-ordinator, Jasmin Ralph, was hired and will begin her work with our community on July 9. Initially she will be working on a hotel feasibility study, industrial park signage, and an Economic Development website. The mayor and Council toured the many small businesses located in the Scandia Business Park in Industrial Park North; developer Volundur Thorbjornsson explained how his business incubator program operates as well as showcasing the numerous businesses who are producing materials for each other. Mayor LeBlanc toured Sam Bat with the US ambassador, David Jacobson. Council welcomed McEwen Gas back to their beautifully renovated property. Financial assistance from Lanark County for the McNeely Avenue extension from Highway 7 to Highway 15 passed County Council; this new road will open 230 acres of land for future residential and commercial development. Redevelopment of Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital Health Hub The redevelopment committee updated drawings and the business case which constitutes Stage 1 of the five development stages. At the June meeting of the LHIN, held in Carleton Place, the directors of the LHIN unanimously passed the motion to forward the proposal to Queen’s Park in Toronto. Our hospital was awarded a score of 99% in its recent accreditation and was highly praised for its efficiency given the difficult circumstances in which staff must work. Official Plan and Development Permit Bylaw Review Council and staff have had several half-day sessions with consultants from MacIntosh/Perry creating the draft Official Plan which was presented at an Open House on June 27; public are encouraged to comment on any part of the Official Plan. Revitalization of Downtown The BIA and Chamber of Commerce hired Pierre Cliche to study the downtown core and make recommendations; the first of two meetings open to the public was held to hear the report which will be studied by the Downtown Initiatives Sub-committee. Council and staff are studying the possible re-alignment of Bridge and Lansdowne Streets and options will be presented to the public in September. Future of Carambeck School Staff have worked with the Upper Canada District School Board to obtain the former Carambeck School for use as a community centre. It will also house the TR Leger School, the Youth Centre, and Before and After School Care Programs. Architectural plans for the building are being drawn up and renovations will be carried on over the summer ready for a September re-opening. An Open House showing plans will be held in July. Youth Centre The Youth Centre is moving from its current location on Mill Street to its brand new home at Carambeck School; two classrooms and the adjacent hall have been redesigned by Larry Gaines, architect, and will be reconstructed over the summer. Several students from the Skills Link program assisted with the Downtown planting this year. They also toured the Town Hall with Mayor LeBlanc as part of their history of Carleton Place study conducted by Kerry Ingram. Annexation and Future Growth The annexation from Mississippi Mills of the 30 acres of property which we purchased adjacent to Industrial Park North has been forwarded to the Minister for approval. An additional area north of Townline Road is also under discussion but will not likely be annexed at this time pending a study of sewer capabilities in the area. A Master Servicing Plan has been produced by MacIntosh/Perry consultants and presented to the public in a June Open House. Council Transparency and Accountability As in many other communities, Council has hired an Integrity Commissioner who will make determinations with regards to the Council Code of Conduct. Council continues to communicate with the public through press releases, print advertising, slide shows in public buildings, the official town website, social media (Facebook and twitter), an LED display sign at the new Farmers’ Market property and so on. Mayor LeBlanc reports monthly in a column courtesy of the EMC Newspaper, and takes part in interviews on the In Focus show on Lake88; tapes can be heard by clicking on interviews. Respect for Business Community Active representation at, and reporting of, Chamber of Commerce and BIA meetings. Mayor LeBlanc and members of Council visit businesses in the community and are pleased to welcome new businesses to town. Other Items Dealt with this Quarter Our Clerk, Duncan Rogers, received recognition for obtaining highest marks in the course, Executive Diploma in Municipal Management, from the Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario.The summer’s construction work will soon commence and thanks to the recommendations from Councillor Doug Black, we will be installing a Storm-ceptor on the corner of Frank and Emily Streets which will capture up to 90% of the suspended solids from storm-water run-off; this material would have flowed directly into the river. The Environmental Advisory Committee held a Recycling Day at Rona, which was very successful, and a free-cycle community event. Members of many organizations of all ages took part in Pitch-In Week.Constable Brian Sonnenburg retired from the OPP after many years of service to the community.The Carleton Place Farmers’ Market opened in its new and permanent location at the corner of Beckwith Street and Lake Avenue West on May 12. The number of regular patrons has increased significantly. Fundraising is still taking place to raise the roof. Attractive landscaping has improved this once-derelict corner. Jim McCready, volunteer chair of our Urban Forest/River Corridor Committee, won a prestigious award from The Rideau and Mississippi Valley Conservation Authorities for his outstanding work in educating the public and town about our tree canopy and planting trees in the community. Councillor Rob Probert was successful in obtaining a grant from Tree Canada to plant victory trees commemorating the sacrifice of the 94 persons who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars, and the Korean War. The auditing firm of Howard Allen made its annual report to Council and once again commended staff and council on their excellent management of the community and its funds. Members of the Good Neighbours/Great Neighbourhoods Committee are meeting on a twice monthly basis and plan to share their recommendations with Council in early fall.