City Council Updates
It's been a while since my last blog. Here are some updates from City Council:
West End Transit Terminal Relocation
Unfortunately, council voted in favour of the relocation of the west end transit terminal from College Ave. to Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital on Prince Rd. I advocated strongly in favour of keeping the terminal at College Ave but the majority of council did not see it that way.
I will continue find ways to help mitigate congestion and speeding on Prince Rd. and work with administration in those efforts. We also need to hold administration to account to install more lighting at the College Ave location as a bus stop will still be there.
Black History Murals
Council approved the relocation of our Black History Murals (formerly at West Side Foods) to Patterson Park. Once erected, the murals will be prominently displayed with lighting at nighttime. I am excited about this wonderful community project in sharing our history and heritage.
After a marathon session on Monday (12 hours long) council approved its first budget in its new term. Overall, I am happy with some of the items and improvements we got for the west side. These include:
1) Extending the bulk-item pickup program to 12 months (formerly from April to October) and asking for a report back on illegal dumping
2) Increasing the fines for dirty yards significantly to $245
3) $850,000 in new money for lights at Mic Mac Park
4) $2,000,000 in new money for development along the river at the foot of Askin where the City will be constructing a Celestial Beacon. This includes washrooms, landscaping, parking, and other amenities. It will be a significant addition to our waterfront development.
5) $1,000,000 in new money for University Avenue West construction. This is in addition to the nearly $5,000,000 already allocated to the project. The project is going through the Environmental Assessment phase which should conclude this year. Following that, construction will begin on parts of the road. A lot more money is needed to do the entire stretch from Huron Church to Victoria Ave, but this is a start nonetheless.
6) Council confirmed $500,000 for Bridgeview Park located south of Grove between Partington and Josephine. We will see trails, lighting, new parking, benches, and other amenities that will greatly enhance that park.
7) $200,000 reallocated to alley lighting and $850,000 allocated to alley maintenance. Much needed.
Road Construction Projects
You may have noticed that Huron Church construction has started. In addition to Huron Church, other road construction projects starting soon include:
1) Completion of Tecumseh Rd. W. from Huron Church to Partington (this will begin after Huron Church construction ends)
2) College Ave. W. from Campbell to McKay, and from Wellington to Crawford. Finally! This road needs to get done yesterday!
3) Curry Ave. and McKay Ave between Rooney and Adanac.
4) Many more roads will be done in upcoming years as they are already allocated in the 7 year capital budget. I will update as they come.
There are some changes happening in Sandwich Town and some on the horizon that will be critical to its revitalization. These include:
1) The Bridge Authority leasing space at the old Post Office (right across from my law office) that will see them there for at least 5 years. Welcome to the hood!
2) The Windsor Port Authority and STAG teamed up to install an outdoor marine at the WPA property on Sandwich and Mill (also neighbours of mine). The anchor has been installed and the marine should be complete this summer. Great addition to the street!
3) The John Muir Library opening this summer! Can't wait!
4) We've learned that there were successful purchasers of the old jail, registry and Mackenzie Hall parking lot. I look forward to working with the purchasers and I am hopeful that they will consult the community to transform that property to a positive community space.
5) No news on the grocery store yet, but I am excited to receive a report back on my council question regarding the Sandwich Town CIP. I really believe we can beef up the incentives in that document that could entice more business and residential development. Stay tuned!
6) There are other potential property developments but it is too early and premature to discuss at this stage. As more develops, I will keep you informed.
There are many things going on. I am meeting with residents on a daily basis regarding issues in their neighbourhoods; from dirty yards, property standards issues, rodents, infrastructure issues like roads, alley maintenance, illegal dumping, etc. This is one of the best parts of the job, meeting people and finding solutions to their everyday city issues.
We have a lot of work to do and I look forward to continuing to work with administration and my council colleagues to enhance our property standards bylaws, make more investments in infrastructure like roads and parks, and focus on quality of life issues in our neighbourhoods.
Stay in touch!