Halton Region celebrates our dedicated Public Works staff

PW-WeekHalton Region is proud to celebrate National Public Works Week (NPWW), which runs from May 17 to May 23, 2015.  Celebrated in municipalities across the country, NPWW recognizes the tens of thousands of North American men and women who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services collectively known as public works, such as planning, waste management, transportation, water and wastewater services.

NPWW provides us with a great opportunity to recognize the commitment and hard work of all public works professionals in our community and increase awareness of the important services they provide in the region and our Local Municipalities. It is appropriate that the theme of this year’s National Public Works Week is “Community Begins Here.”  Halton’s PW staff work diligently to help us plan healthy, complete communities and protect the natural environment, two of the priority areas identified in Halton Region’s Strategic Action Plan 2015 – 2018.

To help plan and deliver healthy, complete communities to our residents and businesses, our dedicated PW staff is committed to continually improving the Region’s transportation network—a safe, well-managed network, which currently includes 309 km of Regional Roads, 90 bridges and 232 traffic signals.

Our dedicated PW staff also helps the Region deliver infrastructure to support growth in urban areas across Halton.  Our staff:

PW-Week2This year alone, Halton Region is making a significant commitment to infrastructure by investing over $300 million in water, wastewater, transportation, waste management and planning projects.  Over the next 10 years, the Region will invest $2.9 billion in infrastructure projects—all part of Building a Better Halton, Halton Region’s infrastructure construction plan for roads, water, wastewater and waste management projects across the Region. It’s our commitment to improving your quality of life through reduced commute and drive times, high-quality water supply and wastewater collection, and the creation of sustainable communities.

On behalf of Regional Council, I would like to thank our Public Works (PW) staff for the important work they accomplish 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Farewell to Mitch Zamojc, Commissioner of Public Works

Halton Region’s Commissioner of Public Works, Mitch Zamojc, is retiring after nearly six years of service to Halton residents.

Commissioner Zamojc joined Halton Region as the Commissioner of Public Works in 2008 after serving the public for more than 28 years including 12 years as Commissioner at the Region of Peel.

Under his leadership, numerous infrastructure plans and strategies for the future have been completed, as well as a number of big projects—everything from bridges, large diameter water mains and water storage tanks to wastewater plant upgrades—and the largest investment in roads Halton Region has ever made.

During Commissioner Zamojc’s tenure:

  • Master Plans for waste, transportation, water and wastewater have been updated to ensure requirements are clearly identified to meet Halton’s needs in the future.
  • Several major capital works projects have also been completed including the Sixteen Mile Creek Bridge on Dundas Street in Oakville, a second water feed to Milton, a new elevated water storage tank in Halton Hills, as well as upgrades to the Oakville Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • A number of innovative initiatives were implemented including the Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) for water and wastewater services and a customer service initiative through social media for Waste Management.  Commissioner Zamojc also led staff in achieving Halton’s solid waste diversion target of 60 per cent.

Commissioner Zamojc has been a valued member of the Region’s Management Committee and a real champion for both innovation and exemplary customer service. On behalf of Regional Council, staff and Halton residents, I would like to thank Commissioner Zamojc for his commitment to Halton Region.

The recruitment process to replace Commissioner Zamojc is underway. His last day at Halton Region will be April 11, 2014.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

 

Reduce Your Outdoor Water Use

Summer is finally here and Halton is reminding residents to be mindful of their outdoor water use to ensure there is enough water for essential and emergency services like firefighting.

Water conservation is very important during summer months when water consumption can double due to the increase in outdoor water use from activities such as lawn watering and car washing.

outdoor water use

In order to ensure a continuous supply of water for essential and emergency services, residents are asked to conserve water by following Halton’s Outdoor Water Use program. The program consists of a three level, numeric, colour-coded system that considers factors, including water demand, water storage levels, groundwater levels and weather patterns:

LEVEL 1 (Blue) – Careful Use

  • Voluntary odd/even lawn watering between 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. & 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.:
    • Properties with odd address numbers water on odd numbered calendar days
    • Properties with even address numbers water on even numbered calendar days
  • Car washing and watering of trees, shrubs and gardens is allowed.
  • Although level one is voluntary, resident cooperation to reduce regular outdoor water use is important.

LEVEL 2 (Yellow) – Limited Use

  • Mandatory odd/even lawn watering between 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. & 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.:
    • Properties with odd address numbers water on odd numbered calendar days
    • Properties with even address numbers water on even numbered calendar days
  • Use a hand-held device such as a watering can.to water trees, shrubs and gardens.

LEVEL 3 (Red) – Stop Use

  • No outdoor lawn watering or car washing is permitted in order to conserve water for emergency and essential services.
  • Watering of trees, shrubs and gardens can be done using a hand-held device following the odd/even watering rule.

For tips on how to reduce your outdoor water use and to sign up to receive an email alert when water restrictions are in effect visit www.halton.ca/waterconservation.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Halton’s Quarterly Accomplishments (Q1, 2013)

Fiscal Responsibility

AAA credit rating – Halton’s AAA Credit Rating was reaffirmed by Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s. The AAA Credit Rating is an achievement that is widely recognized in the investment industry and an acknowledgement of Halton’s strong financial position.

Attracting and Retaining Jobs

Celebrating women in business – On March 6, in celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8), Halton Region’s Small Business Centre, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, hosted a business event for Women Entrepreneurs to “learn, connect and grow!”

Lowe’s Distribution Centre – On March 11, Halton Region joined the Town of Milton at a board cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Lowe’s Canada Distribution Centre at 3333 James Snow Parkway (West of Hwy. 25) in Milton.

Economic Development Strategy report – Halton Region’s Economic Development Strategy is on track, with all 50 actions scheduled for 2012 complete, according to a report presented to Regional Council on March 27. This is the first report marking the progress of the Region’s 10-year Economic Development Strategic Implementation Plan, which was approved by Council in 2011.

Promoting Tourism

Cycling event announced – Three-time Olympic cycling medalist Curt Harnett was at the HaltonRegionMuseum on January 22 to help announce the PwC Epic Tour Halton, a GranFondo-style mass participation cycling event featuring some of the most spectacular cycling terrain in the Greater Toronto Area. The first annual event is scheduled for September 8, 2013, coinciding with the Museum’s 3rd annual Alexander Family Farm Day.

Museum performances – On Monday, February 11 the Halton Museum Foundation presented two performances of “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman” at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. The performances celebrate the life and work of the famous Underground Railroad conductor.

Public Engagement

2012 Report to the Citizens – Halton Region issued the second annual Report to the Citizens about progress on the Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan.  Key accomplishments highlighted in the 2012 Report to the Citizens illustrate how Halton Region continues to deliver value to taxpayers.

Partnerships

Non-profit networking – Over 90 people from various sectors participated in the first session of the Let’s Talk…Let’s Connect networking series with the non-profit sector on February 13. The session focused on creating opportunities for conversation, networking and learning to strengthen relationships and build capacity within the non-profit sector.

Be an Employer of Choice

Recruitment video – Human Resources launched a recruitment video to help job seekers see the advantages of working for Halton Region.  The video is posted on Halton’s website and on YouTube.

Transportation

EA completed – To help make sure road infrastructure is ready in 2015 for the opening of the new Oakville hospital, Halton completed the Class Environmental Assessment Study for widening Dundas Street to six lanes that will include curb High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. The expanded Regional Road will include enhancements that will create an attractive space for pedestrians and cyclists in order to encourage and facilitate active transportation.

Infrastructure

Watermain Replacement – Sections of the watermain on Martha Street and Lakeshore Road in downtown Burlington were replaced as part of the Region’s infrastructure maintenance and improvement program. Final restoration of the work area will take place this spring.

New Watermain installed along Louis St. Laurent – Construction of a new transmission watermain along Louis St. Laurent Avenue, between Fourth Line and Regional Road 25 in the Town of Milton, was completed and commissioned. The new watermain will deliver water to new and established neighbourhoods in the area.

Zone 5 Pump Station at Fourth Line in Milton – In January, construction was completed on a new water booster station on Fourth Line south of Louis St. Laurent Avenue. The new pumping station will help deliver clean, safe drinking water to residents of Milton.

New infrastructure to support commercial development – New water and wastewater mains were installed along Steeles Avenue, between Trafalgar Road and Eighth Line North. The new Halton Hills Wastewater Pumping Station #3, located east of Eighth Line North, is also now in service.

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

Public Works recognized by the Consulting Engineers of Ontario – The recently completed Inlet Works project at the Acton Wastewater Treatment Plant was the recipient of an “Award of Excellence” from the Consulting Engineers of Ontario. This award was presented on April 20 at the Ontario Science Centre.

Lake Erie Proposed Source Protection Plan – To help protect the sources of Halton’s municipal drinking water systems, Halton Region’s Water Services, together with the Local Municipalities, reviewed and provided comments on the Lake Erie Proposed Source Protection Plan. The Plan is a component of The Clean Water Act, passed by the Province of Ontario.

Annual reports for municipal drinking-water systems – Halton Region Water Services completed annual reports for each of Halton’s five municipal drinking-water systems. The reports, legislated by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, demonstrate the Region’s continuous commitment to providing safe drinking water.

Waste Management

Online waste collection toolIn February, Halton Region launched the new online Waste Collection Calendar Tool at www.halton.ca/wastecalendar. The new tool allows residents to easily and quickly search for the dates and materials of their next waste collection by inputting their address. Users can also sign up to receive email, phone or Twitter waste collection reminders, or add a waste collection schedule to their personal iCal, Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook calendar.

Service request tool for garbage tags – Halton Region launched an online service request tool to help resident order garbage tags from Halton’s website. A total of 3,102 online orders placed through www.halton.ca/GarbageTags were successfully fulfilled in March 2013.

Blue box pick-up events – In March, Waste Management Services held eight Blue Box Pick-up events for residents.  At the events, new larger (22 gallon) Blue Boxes were available to residents to help them manage new recycling materials (www.halton.ca/NewInBlue) accepted in Halton’s Blue Box program as of April 1. Blue Boxes were also available at Halton Regional Centre, Robert C. Austin Operations Centre, and the Halton Waste Management. A total of 50,000 Blue Boxes were handed out in March.

Corporate Sustainability

Earth Hour – Halton Region turned participated in Earth Hour on March 23 by turning off the lights and all non-essential electrical equipment in support of this global initiative to raise awareness about the importance of taking action to fight climate change.

Children and Youth Development

Online prenatal program – The Health Department’s new online prenatal program—The Gift of Motherhood—was evaluated earlier this year. The evaluation showed a significant reduction of the waitlist for face-to-face classes and that 600 additional families have now been able to receive prenatal education. The online prenatal program continues to be offered free of charge to Halton residents.

Seniors

Accreditation with Exemplary Standing – Halton Region’s Service for Seniors Division and the North Halton Mental Health Clinic achieved Accreditation with Exemplary Standing as the final result for the 2012 Accreditation Canada on site survey. Exemplary Standing is the highest level of performance that a Canadian healthcare provider can receive, indicating that the services provided have met and exceeded national standards.

Assessment Entry Module – On March 18, Halton launched our new Assessment Entry Module software in our Community Programs. This new software allows assessment information to move with a client from one health service provider to another to improve quality of care.

Protecting Public Health

Food handler training – On January 1 the first phase of Halton’s Mandatory Food Handler Training Bylaw came into effect. It requires all high-risk food premises to have a certified food handler on site while the kitchen is operating.  To support owners and operators in Halton, the Health Department offers several options to complete the food handler certification training including online study guides, a full day course and on-site training.

Income and Health Inequalities report – On January 29 the Health Department released the Income and Health Inequalities in Halton Region (pdf) that examined 23 health indicators to determine how much income effects health for Halton residents.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”


Halton Region rain barrel truckload sales start May 11

On Saturday, May 11, Halton Region will hold the first of four rain barrel truckload sales events to help encourage wise outdoor water use. Halton residents can purchase a rain barrel for their home at a cost of $40, cash only, at any of the four truckload sales events.

Rain barrels are a valuable water conservation tool. By diverting water from a downspout into a rain barrel, residents are able to catch rain water and store it for future use to water their garden, flowers and shrubs.

Since the first Halton Region rain barrel truckload sales in 2009, over 16,500 rain barrels have been sold, which at full use have the potential to save a combined total of over 3 million litres of tap water

Conserving water is especially important in the summer months when water consumption can often double from an increase in activities such as lawn watering and car washing. Every effort residents can make to limit their outdoor water use helps to ensure there is a continuous supply of water for essential and emergency services like firefighting.

The rain barrel truckload sales will run from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and are scheduled at the following locations:

Saturday, May 11rain barrel
Robert C. Austin Operations Centre
11620 Trafalgar Road, Georgetown

Saturday, May 25
Milton GO Station Parking Lot
780 Main Street East, Milton (Main Street, west of Thompson Road, across from the Superstore)

Saturday, June 1
Halton Regional Centre (parking lot “A” – enter at North Service Road)
1151 Bronte Road, Oakville

Saturday, June 8
Mapleview Mall (lower parking lot by The Bay)
900 Maple Avenue, Burlington

For more information about the rain barrel truckload sales events or the water efficiency program please access Halton Region at by dialing 311 or visiting www.halton.ca/waterconservation.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Halton Region Spring Compost Give Away starts May 6

Halton Region’s popular Spring Compost Give Away is back. Starting Monday, May 6 to Saturday, May 11, residents are invited to pick up compost free of charge as a thank you for helping to divert yard waste away from Halton’s landfill.

When it comes to diverting residential waste, Halton residents are the best in the Province.Compost Through participation in waste diversion programs like recycling, composting and yard waste collection, Halton households continue to divert 60% of waste away from the landfill, up from 40% in 2007. These efforts are important because they help conserve the life of Halton’s landfill, one of the Region’s most valuable physical assets, a savings of $15 million for taxpayers.

Each year, the yard waste (e.g. leaves, garden trimmings and brush) set out for collection by residents is turned into high-quality compost at our Waste Management Site. In 2012, approximately 31,000 tonnes of yard waste was collected in Halton and the resulting compost is now ready for residents to use in their own gardens and landscaping projects.

The event takes place at the Halton Waste Management Site, 5400 Regional Road 25 in Milton between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., from Monday, May 6 to Saturday, May 1.1 Residents are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or cash donation, to be distributed to Halton-area food banks.

Residents must also bring their own bags or containers (maximum seven per household) and a shovel in order to bag their own compost.

For more information about the Spring Compost Give Away, access Halton by dialing 311 or visit www.halton.ca/waste. You can also follow Halton Waste Management on Twitter @HaltonRecycles #HaltonCompost and visit the blog at www.haltonrecycles.ca.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

First of seven Special Waste Drop-off Days begins April 20

Spring cleaning? If so, you might want to mark April 20 on your calendar. On Saturday, April 20, Halton Region will hold the first of seven Special Waste Drop-off Days throughout the community.

In 2012, 128 tonnes of electronic waste and 108 tonnes of household hazardous waste were dropped off at Halton’s Special Waste Drop-off Days.

In 2012, 128 tonnes of electronic waste and 108 tonnes of household hazardous waste were dropped off at Halton’s Special Waste Drop-off Days.

Special Waste Drop-off Days help make the recycling of electronic waste and recycling and safe disposal of household hazardous waste more convenient. The first event will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Halton Regional Centre located at 1151 Bronte Road in Oakville.

Halton already has one of the highest residential diversion rates in the Province.

Single-family households continue to divert 60% of waste away from the landfill through curbside and special waste drop-off programs, up from 40% in 2007.

Household hazardous waste items, dropped off at Special Waste Drop-off Days, are processed and diverted from the landfill, helping to conserve one of Halton’s most valuable physical assets. By dropping off household hazardous waste and electronic items, we can help extend the life of Halton’s landfill, saving taxpayers $15 million.

To learn more about Halton’s efforts to extend the life of the landfill and why it’s so important, visit the Halton Recycles blog.

For more information about dates and times regarding upcoming Special Waste Drop-off Days and details about which items are acceptable for drop off, dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca/dropoff.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”