Initiatives

Expected Outcomes

Status & Comments

Services

Rural roads and ditches: $6.36M investment in 2006

 

Includes $795,000 in new money supported by Rural Task Force, approved by Council

·1 Better and safer roads for rural residents. New gravel, some upgrades to hard surface, and spot improvements at hills, intersections and railway crossings.

·2 Better ditches result in better drainage which prevents deterioration and flooding of roads

·3 Will fund more than 200 rural projects in 2006: 90 gravel resurfacing projects, 120 ditching, numerous spot repairs

·4 $795,000 in new money is a Summit benefit delivered

·1 Already approved

·2 To be implemented this year

Governance

Create Rural Affairs Office

·5 Provides full-time advocate for rural residents who is plugged-in to decision-makers at City Hall

·6 Will consult with rural residents, community groups, farmers and business owners and connects them to City Hall

·7 Brings issues and information to ARAC

·8 Pro-actively looks to improve services and address rural concerns

·9 Tracks international, federal and provincial agricultural policies and issues and connects local farmers – and City – to other levels of government

·1 Apr 20: ARAC (committee)

·2 Apr 26: City Council

·1 April 2006: Post job for Officer

·2 Spring/Summer 2006: Fill position

·3 Summer 2006: Officer hires staff

 

 

 

Governance

Staff Rural Affairs Office

·1 See above

·1 Summer/Fall 2006: Staff office

Governance

Expand powers of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC)

·10 Puts rural issues more in the hands of rural representatives, in a forum where the focus is on rural residents and their priorities

·11 Rural planning issues (e.g. re-zoning, severance applications, Village secondary plans) and transportation issues (e.g. gravel road maintenance, intersection improvements) to go to ARAC instead of going to Planning and Environment Committee or Transportation Committee. (Some issues to require joint meetings)

·12 Rural appointments to some boards and organizations (Carp Airport, Committee of Adjustment) to go to ARAC instead of Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee

·13 Some bylaw issues having primary impact in the rural areas to go to ARAC instead of Emergency and Protective Services Committee (e.g. appointment of livestock valuers, fence viewers)

Timeline for New Terms of Reference:

·3 Apr 20: ARAC (committee)

·4 Apr 26: City Council

·5 April 27: Take effect, if approved

Governance

Establish Rural Issues Advisory Committee (RIAC)

·14 Dedicated group of farmers, rural residents & business owners who have the ear of ARAC, Council and staff to make sure rural views influence City decisions

·15 Includes representatives from Rural Council, agricultural associations, rural tourism, rural business

Timeline for New Terms of Reference:

·1 Apr 20 - ARAC

·2 Apr 26 – Council

Spring/Summer 2006: First meeting

Policy

Work plan to resolve wetland issues

·16 City to work with – not against - property owners

·17 Establish Wetland Stakeholder Group to implement work plan

·18 Fix existing drainage problems

·19 Find ways to protect both real wetlands and the interests of rural landowners

·20 Petition province for changes to wetland evaluation system

Workplan:

·1 March 9: ARAC approved

·2 April 5: Stakeholder group held 1st meeting

·3 Summer 2006: Report on results

Rural Business

Make City contracts more accessible to rural companies

(i.e. "review and change procurement policies to allow for contracts based on smaller dollar amounts, location, reduced security, and insurance requirements")

·21 Give rural companies a better chance to win City contracts

·22 Strengthens rural economy

·23 Give rural businesses chance to do public works in their community as before amalgamation

·24 Give City options for greater efficiency (e.g. crew in rural area can make purchase at nearby hardware store instead of going back downtown to main supplier)

·1 March 2006: Review underway

·2 April/May 2006: Report to ARAC/ CSED

·3 May 2006: Report to Council

·4 Spring/Summer 2006: Workshops for small business on how to win City contracts

Rural Business

Expand Broadband

·1 Access to broadband for every rural resident and business owner by 2008

·25 Provide services that are difficult or impossible to get with dial-up: video conferencing, video-on-demand, online learning, distance medicine

·1 Results in new business opportunities, and improved access to services, information and entertainment

·1 Report underway on potential to use towers for expanded wireless telecommunications and broadband

·2 Spring 2006: Tower report complete

·3 2006/2007: Develop Masterplan and public consultation strategy

Rural Business

Expand Toll-Free Calling

·26 No more long distance charges calling anywhere within Ottawa-Hull

·2 Rural residents and business can call anywhere in City with no long-distance charge or extra hassle

·3 Introduce city wide, 3-year surcharge to recover toll-revenues forgone because of toll-free calling

Report to move ahead and select surcharge option:

·4 Apr 27: ARAC

·5 2 May: CSEDC

·6 10 May: Council

·7 Sept 2006: CRTC application

·8 2007: target implementation

Rural Business

Establish City-Centre Farmers’ Market

·27 Build partnership between City and Ottawa Farmer’s Market Association

·28 Give local producers new source of revenue; helps keep farming viable

·29 Gives local consumers something they want: fresh, home-grown produce and meat and local crafts

·30 Encourage expansion of grow-local, sell-local producers

Report endorsing project, granting start-up support:

·1 March 23: ARAC approved

·2 April 12: Council approved

·3 Summer 2006: pilot project underway at Lansdowne for summers 2006 and 2007

·4 2007: Staff report on options for permanent market

Rural Business

Buy Local Brand Campaign

·31 Help local producers distinguish their products from imports. Strengthens local farmers, creates market for local goods

·32 Recognize and promote the historical role and cultural relationship between urban communities and the farming community

·33 City to lead creation of Steering Committee with community, business, agricultural partners

Rural Business

Rural Association Partnership Program

·1 City to match funds (up to $7,500) put up by rural business groups, farmers markets and fairs for projects that support rural economy

·2 Puts project selection in hands of jury made up of community members

·1 March 23: ARAC approved

·2 April 12: Council approved

·3 April 13: Open for applications

·4 May 15: deadline for 2006 submissions

Access, Communication and consultation

Train front line staff (3-1-1, Client Service Centres) about rural issues, communities

·1 Staff answering calls and emails and greeting residents at service counters will know enough to take ownership of problem/question

·2 Staff can deal with straightforward inquiries themselves and directly refer more complicated issues to the right person

·3 Results for client: better answers, shorter wait-time, greater accountability

·1 Recommended by Task Force

·2 March 2006: Training complete

Access, Communication and consultation

Train "Rural Experts" among Client Services staff (in 3-1-1, Client Service Centres) to handle issues that need in-depth knowledge

·3 Gives residents and business easy access to staff who can deal with more complicated or specialized rural questions, issues

·4 Fall 2006: Training to be complete

Access, Communication and consultation

Develop Rural Website at Ottawa.ca

·5 One-stop site for everything rural residents and business owners want to know about City services and issues

·6 Info on everything from well-water testing to rural bylaws to applying for a burn permit

·7 Makes it easier and faster for rural citizens to access and deal with City on the issues that matter to them

·8 Highlights and promotes important rural events (e.g. fall fairs)

·9 Spring/Summer 2006: develop concept, consult with rural residents, businesses

·10 Summer/Fall 2006: Launch site

Agriculture

Appointment of Livestock Valuers - from the community - to review claims for livestock losses

·34 Directly responds to concern that compensation for livestock losses was too low

·35 Instead of bylaw staff implementing evaluation process, the job will now belong to members of agricultural/rural community

·36 Brings back common pre-amalgamation practice of appointing officers from community

·9 2005: Concept approved by Council

·10 March 23: Councillors Brooks and Thompson selected to review applications and select valuers

·11 Spring 2006: community valuers appointed

Agriculture

Grant program to offset building permit fees for farm buildings required by Nutrient Management Act

·37 Relieves farmers of one more expense; helps in a small way to stay competitive

·38 Some compensation for increasing costs (taxes, fuel) and lost revenues (e.g. BSE)

·39 City used to waive these fees before province changed rules in July 2005

·40 New program will give grants in 2006 and reimburse farmers who paid fees since July ‘05

·41 $35,000 in new money is a summit benefit delivered

Report outlining program:

·1 April 4: Approved by Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee

·12 April 12: Approved by Council