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July 7, 2016: City Report; Many projects for a busy team.

July 7, 2016: City Report;
Many projects for a busy team.

By Councillor Jeff Leiper.

Hi Kitchissippi. Summer is now upon us, but the pace in the office will likely be intense for at least a few weeks more.

First, I’m very pleased to announce that Tom Pechloff is joining us on June 27 as a new assistant with Team Kitchissippi. He’ll be helping me on most of the major files on our plate with the exception of Planning, with which Fiona Mitchell will continue engaging. One of Tom’s first tasks will be to make sure that our traffic calming budget is on track to be spent; procurement and other delays in implementing various requested measures have been frustrating of late.

We’ll probably have a busy fall grappling with various proposed developments ringing the ward. On our edges, the 900 Albert towers, Kristy’s towers, and Westgate redevelopment are all big files on my desk at the moment and for the summer. In the heart of the ward, there are tall towers proposed for both the SW and SE corners of McRae and Scott, as well as the six-storey, two-tower development proposed for the back of the Superstore lot. We’ll continue to keep an eye on Main & Main’s drive-through proposal for the SW corner of Island Park and Richmond Road, though I think they’ve heard the consistent message from everyone involved that it would be inappropriate.

We’ll also be busy working on reversing the proposed closure of the eastbound Queensway ramp at Westgate. The ramp, according to the province, needs to be closed to create a safe merging lane for the remaining ramp after a new travel lane is created through the Maitland-Island Park corridor. As I’ve stated several times, the impact of closing the ramp will be to divert thousands of cars a day to other ramps that cannot handle the traffic.

On a much more positive note, there is significant work being done in our parks this year and next. Starting next summer, Laroche Park will see its contaminated soil removed as we get closer to a redevelopment of that site. Bayview Friendship will see a new ramp installed this year that will make the park accessible (and thus eligible for replacing the sand with wood chips). Mahoney Park will get a face-lift as the old equipment is replaced. McCormick Park is also slated for some small updates as part of the City’s initiative to make our parks friendlier for older adults. And, our parks fund is beginning to replenish itself from development money. This fall, or possibly very early next year depending on the state of my office budget, we’ll begin a facilitated conversation about how to spend that.

I will be around town for the most part this summer even as City Hall pauses meetings for parts of July and August. Watch for my pop-up office hours to continue with notification of those by email. If you’re not subscribed to my weekly(ish) email newsletter, I hope you’ll consider doing so at http://www.kitchissippiward.ca/ .
Have a great summer!

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