A special year end guest post by Barrhaven Councillor Jan Harder

Well, it is hard to believe that it is already time to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Barrhaven Councillor Jan HarderWhat a great year we have had here in Barrhaven! I believe 2015, the first year of the new term of City Council, will be a year filled with exciting new opportunities and challenges, and I am excited by the prospects that lie ahead. While I do not know the full extent of the year’s agenda, I do know a few issues that I believe are imperative to improve the City of Ottawa and the lives of future residents in particular.

Mayor Watson, in his inauguration speech, pointed out that light rail transit will be the top priority of this new Council, as it is for residents. In the future, LRT will connect many of the other important infrastructure projects we will be working on this term, including a new central library building, the Bayview Innovation Centre, and the Arts Court to name a few.

I will have a front row seat for the development of many of these important infrastructure projects as I have been chosen to act as Chair of the City’s Planning Committee this term. While this position carries a heavy workload, it is a role I feel particularly well suited for having served as vice-chair during the last term and having watched this city grow over the 17 years I have served its residents. Though the commitment needed in this role means that I will be stepping down as chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board, I will continue to be actively involved in libraries as I will be completing my last year  as secretary/treasurer of the Urban Library Council of North America. I will also be continuing to serve as a member of the Ottawa Police Services Board this term, as well as returning to the board of Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc. as a board member. In addition, I will be sitting on the Finance and Economic Development Committee and the Member Services Sub-Committee this term.

Coffee House – January 17, 2015

Aside from being involved in these key roles, my commitment to my community of Barrhaven will continue to dominate my priority list in 2015. As always I would like to hear from you directly what you think needs to be done in the community. Your first formal opportunity to chat with me will be on Saturday, January 17, 2015 from 10 am until 12 pm.  I will be holding a Coffee House at this time in the lobby of the new Minto Recreation Complex – Barrhaven. Please plan to come by, grab a cup of java, and speak with me about your ideas for 2015, the 2015 City Budget, winter road maintenance, and more; I’m eager to chat with you!

Stay Safe During Winter Fun

A reminder to please take care when tobogganing. Only hills maintained by the City of Ottawa are safe when declared open by the City.

To find out where the City’s tobogganing hills are located in Barrhaven and to check when the hills are open please visit the City of Ottawa Parks & Recreation Sledding Hills webpage

Barrhaven Seniors Centre Anniversary Celebration

The Barrhaven Seniors Centre invite you to join them in their celebration of their first year anniversary.   On the last Friday of January 2014, the first event was held by the newly formed “Barrhaven Seniors” group. To celebrate there will be a pot luck luncheon January 30th at 12 noon in the Walter Baker Centre (Nepean Hall A – second floor).

Myself and Mayor Jim Watson will be there to help celebrate so please come by.

To help us ensure that sufficient tables and chairs are available, please confirm your attendance by Wednesday, January 28th by email to chipchip@rogers.com or call Don at 613-440-3620. There will be a small charge of $2 per person towards covering the cost of coffee/ tea, plates and cutlery etc. Donations towards the operating costs of the Council are also gratefully accepted by our Treasurer, but are not required.

Four new reasons to love hockey

CapitalHockey.ca organizes and runs non-contact adult recreation programs in the Ottawa area. They have just secured four new ice times in the new Minto Recreational Complex and they’re inviting you to check them out. Full-time players and occasional spares are welcome!

Their programs are designed for players of all skill levels. They are quite social and well paced…you’ll have a great time!

Please visit www.myrechockey.com  or contact them by email at capitalhockey@rogers.com  for more details.

Have fun out on the ice!

A Winterlude tradition returns with City Snowscapes

Snow sculptures are returning to Winterlude in 2015.

Ottawa residents are invited to compete for cash prizes in the City Snowscapes Community Snow Sculpture Competition at Lansdowne Park, part of the City’s Winter Design Festival taking place during Winterlude, January 30 to February 16. The festival marks the first celebration of Winterlude at the new Lansdowne Park.

Sculpting teams have until Friday, January 16 to register their teams and submit designs. Everyone is welcome to apply and up to nine teams will be invited to compete. Visit ottawa.ca to register.

Teams will be able to build their sculptures between Wednesday, February 4 at 6 a.m. and Thursday, February 5 at 2 p.m.

Sculptures will be judged on:

  • Creativity/Originality,
  • Technique/Effort,
  • Visual Appeal
  • Communication (the power of the sculpture to capture and hold the interest of the viewer)

Be sure to visit the snow sculptures at Lansdowne, and receive updates on the competition through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Budget 2015 – Now is your chance to have your say!

The City’s 2015 draft operating and capital budgets will be tabled with City Council at a special meeting on Wednesday, February 4. Council will also receive draft budgets for each Standing Committee as well as Police, Transit, Public Health, Library, Crime Prevention and Committee of Adjustment.

City Council has directed that the 2015 draft budget for all City tax-supported programs be prepared on the basis of a maximum 2 per cent tax increase.

  • Before Council considers final budget recommendations on Wednesday, March 11, there will be several opportunities for public consultation:
  • Residents can to provide input via email at budget2015@ottawa.ca and through Twitter by using hash tag #ottbudget.
  • Residents will be invited to attend one of four regional public consultations hosted by the City. They are:

Wednesday, February 11, 7 to 9 p.m. at Nepean Sportsplex, Hall A.

  • Monday, February 9 – Central District, City Hall, Andrew Haydon Hall, 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 10 – West District Holy Trinity Catholic High School, Cafetorium, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 12 – East District, Shenkman Arts Centre, Richcraft Theatre, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

All Standing Committees of Council, along with the Transit Commission, Police Services Board, Library Board and Board of Public Health, will hold meetings to consider the 2015 draft budget for their respective areas and listen to public delegations on the budget:

  • Environment Committee – Tax-supported – Tuesday, February 17
  • Transit Commission – Wednesday, February 18
  • Community and Protective Services Committee – Thursday, February 19
  • Police Services Board – Monday, February 23
  • Planning Committee – Tuesday, February 24
  • Finance and Economic Development Committee – Tuesday, March 3
  • Transportation Committee – Wednesday, March 4
  • Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee – Thursday, March 5
  • Audit Committee – Date to be announced
  • IT Sub-committee – Date to be announced
  • Public Health Board – Date to be announced
  • Ottawa Public Library – Date to be announced

2015 rate-supported (water and sewer) budget timetable

The Environment Committee will consider the draft budget for the services supported by water and sewer rates during the same time period as the tax-supported budget. The Committee will listen to public delegations and deliberate on both the tax- and rate-supported budgets on Tuesday, February 17. The Environment Committee recommendations on the draft 2015 rate-supported budget would then rise to Council for its consideration on Wednesday, March 11.