Halton Region committed to high quality infrastructure: 2015 update

One of the things that makes Halton such a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire is our commitment to high quality infrastructure. We have long-term plans in place and continue to make significant investments in order to ensure we keep up with growth in our region and are able to keep goods and services moving. For example, in 2015 alone, we are investing $295 million into water, wastewater and transportation projects, with a $2.9 billion investment planned over the next 10 years.

Spring and summer have been busy construction seasons for us and we’ve made progress on a number of significant projects. Here’s an update on some key projects that are close to completion across each Local Municipality:

  1. Britannia West Corridor Project
    This water and wastewater project in Milton is on track for completion by late fall 2015. The project has involved:

    • The extension of close to three kilometers of water and wastewater mains to service newly developed land from 16-Mile Creek to Tremaine Road, south of Louis St. Laurent Boulevard.
    • The use of micro-tunnelling technology, which allowed for work to be done with minimal road closures and disruptions.
    • Roughly 12 metres of sewers tunnelled and completed below ground.
    • Portions of the watermain under Regional Road 25 and CN Rail were constructed using the same technology.
  2. Dundas street from Towne Boulevard to Sixth line
    This watermain project is the final link between watermains on Neyagawa Boulevard and Sixth Line, and ensures the growing areas of North Oakville and Milton will be efficiently serviced. The main spans 1.65 kilometers and construction is now complete. Final testing is underway and water service will officially begin to this area in early fall 2015.
  3. Steeles Road reconstruction
    The widening of Steeles Avenue between Winston Churchill Boulevard and Trafalgar Road in Halton Hills will be complete fall 2015. This widening project, along with other ongoing and completed projects along Steeles Avenue, will connect Halton Hills, Milton, Mississauga and Brampton for commuters and businesses between Halton and Peel. It will take the existing two lane stretch and widen it to four and create an arterial link between Winston Churchill Boulevard and Trafalgar Road in Halton Hills.
  4. Derry Road Underpass
    The underpass grade separation on Derry Road west of Bronte Street in the Town of Milton provides:

    • A much needed east-west road link; and
    • A four-lane road underneath the railway bridge, which was opened to traffic in time for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Games.

    When the underpass is fully complete in fall 2015 it will provide a safe and efficient connection for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians with the addition of bicycle lanes and multi-use paths.

This is only a highlight of some of the ways our investment in infrastructure is making a difference across the region this year. The work we are doing now serves our current population today and ensures we are ready for generations to come. For more information on Halton Region’s construction projects, visit halton.ca/construction or dial 311.

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 on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter,”The Carr Report.”

Keeping Halton moving by investing in infrastructure

To meet the needs of a growing population, Halton Region has continued to deliver a roads capital improvement program which invests, on average, more than $120 million every year towards ongoing or new construction projects. In 2013, Halton committed $289 million to Regional roads, an increase from $50 million in 2006. Not only is investing in infrastructure important to our residents, it also attracts businesses to our region which helps keep our economy strong.

Join me at Halton’s first Regional, dual-lane roundabout on Tremaine Road in Milton as I discuss the importance of investing in our transportation infrastructure.

By continuing to plan for today and tomorrow, Halton Region will make sure our transportation infrastructure meets the needs of our community, while protecting the environment, today and in the future. I’m proud that our investment is helping keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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.”

Building a Better Halton: Construction season underway

Summer is fast approaching and Halton Region has started to work on a variety of construction projects as part of our continued commitment to well planned, built and maintained infrastructure. As Halton Region continues to grow it is important to maintain existing infrastructure and build new infrastructure that is required to meet the needs of the community today and in the future.

Residents have told us that infrastructure planning and construction are key priorities for the Region and that high quality infrastructure is one of the many reasons why Halton is such a great place to live. Due to smart financial planning, Halton has been able to invest in our infrastructure while keeping taxes low, with eight consecutive years of a tax freeze. The Region’s 2013 Budget included more than $3 billion for the 10-year Capital Program primarily for roads, water and wastewater infrastructure.

Part of the Region’s commitment to infrastructure is keeping residents informed about construction activities. Our Building a Better Halton communications program is designed to help residents and business owners get the notifications they need about upcoming Regional construction projects and identify any potential impacts to them. The program includes road signs, direct mailings, newspaper advertisements, online information and e-newsletters for areas where multiple projects are occurring and/or planned.

For more information about current construction projects, alerts for road closures and lane restrictions, and links to your local municipality’s construction information, please visit www.halton.ca/construction.

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.”

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.”

 

State of the Region

Halton is a great place to live and Regional Council is committed to making fiscally, responsible decisions that ensure we can provide high quality services that contribute to your quality of life.  Earlier this month, Regional Council approved the 2014 Budget and Business Plan and for the fourth time in eight years (2008, 2010, 2011 and 2014), we were able to reduce property taxes on Regional programs and services while maintaining and enhancing service levels.  Over the past eight years, we have either reduced or frozen taxes, this is an incredible achievement.  We are one of the few municipalities in Canada that has been able to reduce taxes.  Since becoming Regional Chair in 2006, my focus, along with my colleagues in Council, has been on policies that ensure Halton is resident focused; well planned; and safe and healthy with minimal impact on your pocketbook, as a Regional taxpayer. 

There are a number of important achievements in 2013 that will support and guide us in the years ahead.  With our AAA credit rating and reduction in taxes we are attracting jobs and investment to the region.  We are also making significant investments in infrastructure to ensure we have the waste management, water and road infrastructure in place to meet the needs of our growing community.

Great things are happening in Halton and my latest video blog highlights some of the achievements of the past year.  Join me on a walk through Halton as I share with you my thoughts on the State of the Region.

 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.”

Chair’s Corner: Q3 Accomplishments

Fiscal Responsibility

AAA credit rating reaffirmed

On July 25, Standard and Poor’s affirmed its highest credit rating, AAA for Halton. This marks the 23rd consecutive year that Halton has maintained the highest rating of AAA.  Standard and Poor’s has also attached a stable outlook to this rating indicating its confidence that Halton will continue to demonstrate strong budgetary performance.

Budget directions meeting in July
On July 10, Regional Council set 2014 budget directions, supporting a tax increase at or below 1.5%. Regional staff are working to prepare the 2014 Budget and Business Plan, which will be discussed at the budget review committee on December 9 and will go to Regional Council on December 11 for final approval.

Attracting & Retaining Jobs

Successful Summer Company program

Eleven Halton students participated in Summer Company, a provincially funded program which helps students aged 15 to 29 start and grow their own businesses. Summer Company provides participants with up to $3,000 and hands-on coaching and mentoring to start and operate their own business. Halton Region’s Small Business Centre coordinates the program in Halton for the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment and delivers it with the help of volunteer business advisors from the community.

Promoting Tourism

Summer Wonderful Photo Contest

Halton Tourism held a summer wonderful photo contest celebrating summer which received approximately 50 entries.  A selection of entries was posted on Halton Tourism’s social media channels, Pinterest and Facebook, helping to promote the many beautiful attractions here in Halton Region.

Continue reading…

Halton Region celebrates Small Business

October is Small Business Month, a time of year when we recognize the important contributions entrepreneurs make to the economy and our community.  And the third week of the month, October 20 to 26, is Small Business Week.  This week includes many free local events and activities such as workshops, seminars and conferences hosted by our Chambers of Commerce and others in the community offering support and resources to encourage the growth of small businesses in Halton.

Attracting and retaining jobs in Halton is one of the priorities in Halton’s Citizens’ Priorities 2011-2014 Action Plan.  That’s why Halton Region’s Small Business Centre works year round to support the small business community, including prospective and existing businesses, young  entrepreneurs and new Canadians

We know that starting and running a small business requires planning and a great deal of effort.  The Centre provides entrepreneurs and small business owners with the tools and resources to start and continue to grow their business ventures. Over the past 10 years, staff have responded to over 86,000 inquiries and met with over 9,300 clients in one-on-one consultations and hosted numerous events and seminars.  They also connect with the community through an active social media campaign that includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and a Blog.

These initiatives are proving successful as more and more businesses are choosing to locate here. Halton is truly is an economic hotspot and a desirable place for people to live and start a business.

Congratulations to Halton’s entrepreneurs for your achievements over the past year, and for your continued success in the future.  Thanks to your efforts, Halton is a great place to live, work,  raise a family and retire.

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.”