Mayor's Annual Progress Report - 2017 Edition | What's New
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Mayor's Annual Progress Report - 2017 Edition

The Town of Carleton Place experienced another amazing year of progress.  With growth projections and new housing builds still on target and plenty of new business opportunities, plus home investment and property values that continue to increase, the community is not only open for business but well positioned for receiving anyone who is looking for a new place to call home.

Conveniently located minutes away from the Nation’s Capital, the Town of Carleton Place is a remarkably picturesque community with some amazing offerings not typical of most Eastern Ontario communities. With the Mississippi River flowing through the heart of town, beaches, festivals, first class manufacturing and technology businesses, leading edge green initiatives, and a progressive growth agenda, the municipality’s economy continues to be well positioned for long-term growth and sustainability.

The Town of Carleton Place will experience yet another exhilarating year of continued growth, development and new initiatives in 2017. Our plan is to remain one of Ontario’s most livable towns. The Town realizes that to do so, we must in co-operation and consultation with residents focus on a framework, that integrates the Town Official Plan into a comprehensive road-map for our community. We are looking to the future with Carleton Place’s fiscal strengths in mind. We will enhance highly valued town and county services while keeping our continued progress affordable.

 

Challenges

Our main challenges are related to planning and managing the on-going successful growth of our community.  The latest census shows that Carleton Place growth rate is up 10.2 per cent over the last 5 years. Many of the larger employers in town plan on increasing their number of employees over the next few years while others have already completed their expansion.

Other challenges facing the Town include senior staff succession planning and corporate planning around the on-going cuts in provincial government funding. Carleton Place and other municipalities have come to realize that the grants from the Province are diminishing due to the continuing provincial deficits.

Through the efforts of staff and Council, the 2016 property tax increase was kept below 2 per cent (2017 property tax increase will also be held under two per cent). Our town continues to be viewed by other municipalities and by the Provincial government, as a well-run, fiscally responsible community with strong infrastructure and a sound financial and long-term asset management plan. It is these strengths that give us the ability to handle reductions in provincial grants and any unforeseen changes in provincial policies. This stability, this ability to move forward in a positive and safe manner, is a direct result of the diligent and dedicated work of town officials and senior staff.

 

New initiatives

In order to improve on the management and planning of the growth of Carleton Place, the town will continue to focus on community engagement and communications.

We have a clear commitment to improve communications and also improve the town’s direction and obligation to openly provide information about programs, services and decisions.  To do this, a more open approach of getting positive news out about the town, focusing on a two-way communications dialogue with the community and managing issues in an efficient and timely fashion is essential. 

This approach protects our existing communications assets and marketing investments; strengthens our relationship between constituents and local government; re-engages residents and vested parties in community problem solving; and ensures that everyone is going in the same direction, delivering the same message.

A preliminary plan “Communications Guide and Basic Plan” has been recently delivered to Council, the Business Improvement Association (DCP) and the Chamber of Commerce for review and discussion.

 

Economic development

In the coming years, the new McNeely Avenue extension to Highway 15 will open hundreds of acres of valuable property slated for housing, parks and trails, schools and highway commercial development. Opposite this property and located just southwest of the Highway 15 – Captain A. Roy Brown Boulevard junction, is a 35-acre site identified for light industrial/business use.

The Town of Carleton Place saw a steady but progressive amount of development for the Planning Department.  Two subdivision agreements were signed and developments started; one being 22 units along King Street for Brigil Homes and the other signing of the Jackson Ridge Subdivision for 134 units.  Construction has started in both of these areas. We welcomed developers Grizzly Homes and Inverness to the area.  High Gate Subdivision is approximately three-quarters occupied with units continuing to be built and sold.  Developers building homes within the Town of Carleton Place include: Talos Custom Homes, Bulat Homes, Summit Homes, Patten Homes, Doyle Homes and Luxart Homes.

Miller’s Crossing Subdivision, by Cardel and Meadow Ridge Estates by Olympia/Pegasus Homes have been issued conditional permits for model homes.  The number of units added to the Town of Carleton Place inventory will be 724 once complete.

The Town has added 10 new apartments downtown as a direct result of initiatives implemented by council including the waiving of development fees in the downtown core.  Five secondary suites have been constructed due to changes to the Provincial Policy Statement allowing secondary suites as-of-right.  Both the apartments and secondary suites will help to add affordable housing to the area.  Secondary suites will also enable multi-generational families to live together and provide for one another.

The Town continues with intensification in line with the Provincial Policy Statement by adding an additional 12 new residential lots within the existing established area, close to the downtown. 

JL Couroux School had an application approved for the construction of a large addition to their school to add a classroom for daycare and for internal renovations to improve barrier free accessibility.  St. Mary’s Catholic School has recently upgraded their facility including the reconstruction of their ramp to allow for barrier free access.  In addition, the hospital has also upgraded a shower room to make it barrier free.

The municipality welcomes a new McDonald’s restaurant to the Town of Carleton Place.  McDonald’s opened their doors in November, began hiring, increasing jobs within our community.  Next door to the McDonald’s, the Thruway restaurant has added an addition to their building for a kitchen and storage space.

Roy Brown Park is also under development due to the Town receiving a generous Canada 150 Grant from the Province of Ontario as well as through negotiations with Cavanagh Construction relating to the development of a water feature within the Roy Brown Park and construction of 2 new pavilions.  A network of pathways have already been constructed. This summer will bring further development of trail linkages between Roy Brown Park, Riverside Park and a proposed adjoining development.  These trails and many others including the Ottawa Valley Rail Trail, are currently under review by various departments as well as the Town’s Active Transportation Committee.

The Town has listed some of its own properties for sale and has recently sold lands on Bridge Street.  Development of which, has started for the creation of 2 townhouse blocks with a total of 8 units.  Further purchase and sale agreements of other Town owned lands are in the works for 2017.

In the community forum, it should be noted that the Planning Department updated both the Official Plan as well as the Development Permit By-law to add references to Source Water Protection as mandated by the Province of Ontario.  The Town also passed provisions allowing for the construction of both model homes and dry units in an effort to help developers engage their community while finalizing their plans for subdivision.

Both the Carleton Place Town Hall and arena will be undergoing upgrades. 2016 saw intensive masonry restoration on the side of the Town Hall facing onto Mill Street.  Planning for the expansion of the arena to allow for dressing rooms has been explored with design and construction to begin in 2017.  

Further, a portion of the Ottawa Valley Rail Trail that passes the Woolgrowers property is being designed as parkland and community space.  The Town has completed surveys to determine what the public would like to see in this area and has spoken with community leaders in this regard.  Work will begin in 2017 with the intention of it being open to the public in 2018.

 

Hospital construction & redevelopment

Several construction projects are now underway at the Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital. They include: a new roof with increased energy efficiency, a new boiler and various plant upgrades. In all, just over $1 million in renovations are underway, thanks to special funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

In addition to the above work, there will be a new 9000 square foot emergency room addition to our hospital. The estimated cost of the new addition once completed will be approximately $10 million with $8.75 million coming from the province. Construction is expected to begin in 2019.

 

Highlights

  • Municipal Property tax increase was held under 2.0 per cent.
  • $8.75 million in provincial funding for a new 9,000 sq. ft. emergency room addition to our hospital. 
  • Two new subdivision agreements were signed and developments started.
  • 2016 was a record year for new businesses in Carleton Place.  New businesses and expansions include:
  • McDonald’s Restaurant; Black Tartan Kitchen, Brown & MacFarlane Glass, Carousel Kids Consignment, Chesswood, Giardino Lifestyle Salon and Academy, Sargent Fire & Security, Ink & Iron Tattoo Co., Renewed With Love Bridal Outlet, Beckwith Kitchen, Rhonda’s Kitchen, The Twisted Barber, Under Pressure Coffee House, SAVEON Fitness, French Press Café, Et Cetera Home, Top Hat Home Comfort, NextGen Sign Specialists, CP Family Dentistry, Little Loves Co., Stalwart Brewery, Kirk Orthodontics, Ginger Café (expansion), Pet Value (expansion), Thruway (expansion)
  • An application has also been received for 19 Moore St., the former Mr. Gas property.  The application is for the construction of a new brew pub (microbrewery).  The brew pub will be approximately 232 square meters and back onto the proposed Ottawa Valley Rail Trail.  The building incorporates the area for the brewery itself as well as a brew pub and patio alongside the trail.  Bicycle parking will be included.
  • Recently announced, a new 12 unit affordable housing project will be constructed with a build-out value of $2.1 million at the corner of Lake Avenue and McNeely Avenue. Occupancy for this project is anticipated in June 2018.

 

Moving forward together, we will continue to focus on improving our downtown, and continue to upgrade our streetscape and improve our business community to create more opportunities while at the same time enhancing our town’s infrastructure. 2016 was an incredible year for our Town and we are excited to see what 2017 brings. 

Come and enjoy our town and help us celebrate Canada’s 150th.  Whether you stay here for a short time or put down roots for a lifetime, you are always welcome!