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.”

 

Investing in Infrastructure to Ensure a High Quality of Life Today and Tomorrow

Even though we have reduced taxes, Halton Region is investing billions of dollars to upgrade wastewater and water plants and to improve our road network.   The Regional Construction page on our website provides a great overview of projects currently underway.  Halton’s capital budget for Regional roads to ease congestion and improve safety has increased from $50 million in 2006 to $289 million in 2013.  This is the biggest investment in roads ever for Halton Region.  Consistent increases in our capital budget for roads reflects the additional revenue available from new development fees and supports Regional Council’s position that infrastructure related to new growth should pay for itself. We are also investing $150 million to upgrade our Skyway Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Join me on a walk by the pier at Bronte Harbour in Oakville as I reflect on the importance of investing in infrastructure so that we are well planned to meet the needs of the future.

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.”

Holiday Closure – 311 services available

On behalf of Regional Council and staff, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and aholiday closure safe, happy and healthy holiday season.

Halton Region’s administrative offices are closed for the holidays as of December 23 at 4:30 p.m. and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 2, 2014.

All essential services will remain available during this time. Essential services include:

If you need help with a Regional service during the holidays, please dial 311. Dialing 311 also gives you access to other Halton Government Services including Local Municipal Services, Halton School Boards, and non-emergency Police services in more than 170 languages. Did you know that 311 services are also available online at 311halton.ca. Through 311 online you can pay a parking ticket, find a Regional or municipal service, sign up for cold alerts, apply for a job, report a collision or missed waste collection and more. 

From my family to yours, I would like to wish you a wonderful Christmas and holiday. All the best for a healthy New 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 @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Great Planning = A Great Place to Live

Halton residents have one of the highest standards of living in Canada and a large part of why Halton is such a great place to live is because of the significant effort Regional Council dedicates to planning for a safe, healthy community.

As you can tell by the construction across the Region, transportation and infrastructure are key priorities for Halton residents and Regional Council, as identified in The Citizens’ Priorities- Halton Region’s 2011-2014 Action Plan. Over the next 10 years, Halton Region expects to spend more than $2 billion on water and wastewater infrastructure. These investments will help reduce your commute time, expand your water supply, and ensure the health of all residents and our natural environment through our infrastructure improvement program.

Halton’s Transportation Master Plan, a 20-year, $2.4 billion capital investment plan will support growth in the Region to 2031 and ensure that transportation improvements are in place to meet demand. By the end of 2016, the Regional road network across Halton will have grown to 1,087 kilometres of lanes. In addition, 217 kilometres of shared or dedicated on-road bike lanes and off-road multi-use pathways will have been provided as part of the Region’s Active Transportation Master Plan.

Construction is a critical component of supporting the water service, wastewater collection and transportation needs of our growing community. Over the next three years (to 2016), whether you’re impacted by the $430 million Regional investment in road improvements in the Town of Milton and Town of Halton Hills or the $300 million investment in road improvements to the Dundas Street corridor in Oakville and Burlington, we appreciate your patience as we continue to implement the plans that support our great communities.

Through sound fiscal management, Halton Region has delivered quality programs and services for residents while maintaining an average zero per cent tax increase for the past seven years. I’m proud to say that this is one of the best records in all of Canada.

For details on construction projects on what’s happening now and what’s planned for the Region’s busiest construction areas, visit www.halton.ca/construction to sign up for our e-newsletter.

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.”

Transforming our regional transportation network

More than once I’ve been told by corporate representatives that they’ve chosen to locate their business in Halton because of the Region’s commitment to maintaining and improving the Regional road system. These comments have reinforced my belief that our growing Region needs an effective road system for moving people and goods to ensure our quality of life and economic prosperity.

In 2011, Halton’s Transportation Master Plan –The Road to Changtransportpice –established a 20-year, $2.4 billion capital program to meet transportation demand to 2031. A recent presentation to Planning and Public Works Committee on the Transportation Capital Program and the improvements currently being delivered and planned through 2016 was impressive.

Highlights included:

  • Between 2011 and 2016, segments of all 15 major Regional road corridors will have been improved to provide additional capacity and 153 kilometres of new lanes.
  • By the end of 2016, capital improvements will have increased the east/west capacity on portions of our Regional roads by 16 additional lanes and the north/south capacity by 14 additional lanes.
  • New active transportation facilities – by 2016, 217 kilometres of shared or dedicated on-road bike lanes and off-road multi-use pathways will have been provided as part of the Region’s Active Transportation Master Plan.

The approved 2013 transportation capital budget is $289 million. This is a huge increase from the $50 million spent in the 2006 transportation capital budget . That’s strong evidence of the Region’s commitment to transforming the Regional road network, while keeping taxes low, at an average zero percent increase over the last seven years. .

The Region has already completed the widening of Dundas Street frtransportpic2om Proudfoot Trail to Neyagawa Boulevard, including the construction of the new Sixteen Mile Creek Bridge (at right) in the Town of Oakville. In the Town of Milton, we’ve widened Tremaine Road from Derry Road to Main Street and built a new four-lane extension to the James Snow Parkway from Regional Road 25 to Boston Church Road.

A number of major projects are still underway including:

  • Steeles Avenue widening from James Snow Parkway to Winston Churchill Boulevard and intersection reconstruction at Ontario Street
  • Derry Road grade separation (new CN underpass) west of Bronte Street
  • Dundas Street widening from Oak Park to Highway 403
  • Regional Road 25 widening from Derry Road to Britannia Road including a new bridge over Sixteen Mile Creek, from Highway 407 to Britannia Road, and from Highway 401 to 5 Side Road/Campbellville Road

Additional road improvements will be starting later this year on Tremaine Road in the Town of Milton and on Ninth Line in the Town of Oakville; and in 2014 we are scheduled to start construction on the widening of 12 kilometres of Britannia Road from Tremaine Road to Highway 407 in Milton.

To stay informed about what’s planned for Halton’s major transportation corridors over the next several years, subscribe to Construction Update.  Individual project information can be found on Halton’s website under Regional Construction Projects.

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.”

Tell us what you want to know about infrastructure

Halton residents consider infrastructure planning and construction to be key priorities for the Region. Building a Better Halton, our long-term infrastructure plan will support the growth across the region to the year 2031, with a total investment of approximately $3 billion.

In 2010, a series of focus groups was conducted to investigate what residents wanted to know about infrastructure planning and construction, and how they wished to be informed. That research led to the development of a communications strategy to engage and inform residents, business owners and commuters about the construction projects taking place across the region and our plans for future infrastructure maintenance and growth.

Our specially-branded communications efforts for the Building a Better Halton programBBH Logo have included highly-visible roadside signs for construction work, timely correspondence with affected residents and business owners, dedicated online resources (www.halton.ca/construction), print advertising and media relations.

We have recently developed new ways to increase awareness and understanding of the Region’s long-term infrastructure plan such as the interactive mapping tool for construction projects that we are now testing on our website and dedicated e-newsletters for key construction areas, currently Dundas Street in Burlington and Oakville, and Steeles Avenue in Milton and Halton Hills.

Construction affects all of us – on major roadways and local streets, in our newest as well as our most established communities. Halton Region has been working hard to keep you informed about our construction projects and the related impact on roads and neighbourhoods. Now it’s time to tell us what you think about our efforts.

Later this month, we’ll be issuing our next MVP (My View Point) survey to evaluate how effective we’ve been and identify areas where we can improve. If you’d like to be a part of the survey panel, please register by January 20, 2013 at www.halton.ca/MVP.

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.”

Planning the Road to Change together

Do you know what you’ll be doing in 2031? Probably not, but thanks to your input we have developed a plan for what the Regional transportation system will look like in 20 years.

On October 5, Regional Council approved Halton’s most recent Transportation Master Plan called The Road to Change which plans our transportation system up to the year 2031. By approving this master plan, Halton Regional Council continues its progressive and long term perspective on planning for growth in Halton.

Our transportation system is made up of a network of roads and services owned and operated by the Province, the Region and the Local Municipalities. Our Transportation Master Plan looks at all of these components and provides a long range plan to ensure that Halton residents and businesses can travel throughout the Region in a safe and efficient manner.  

The Regional road system includes more than $1 billion in road related infrastructure, with more than 900 lane km of roads, 206 traffic signals and 122 bridges and large culverts. Over the next 20 years the work identified through the Transportation Master Plan will bring the value of our transportation infrastructure to over $3 billion.

Halton’s transportation system must provide us with options and seamless travel within Halton and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. However, it’s not enough to just widen roads in order to accommodate the travel demand in 2031.  We also need to incorporate new road corridors, provide for cycling and walking, promote travel demand management External Link (such as carpooling) and accommodate enhanced municipal and inter-regional (GO) transit services.

I’d like to thank those of you who have attended past meetings and the workshop on our Transportation Master Plan – The Road to Change and given us your feedback, ideas and possible solutions for developing a Regional transportation network we can all be proud of.

Working together, we can ensure that Halton Region remains 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. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”