Quarterly Report – January to March 2014

Quarterly ReportECONOMIC 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.