The Town of Milton has received an application for a proposed zoning change to permit a commercial plaza at the south west corner of Derry Road and Santa Maria Boulevard. The developer proposal includes two restaurants with a drive-through and three restaurants with a patio and retail centre. Residents are invited to obtain information, make a verbal presentation and/or written submission, to identify issues of concern and/or express views in support of, or in opposition to, the proposed application at a statutory public meeting hosted by the town at on Monday august 22, 2016 at 7pm. Although the town council meeting starts at 7pm the portion of the meeting related to this application and public meeting will likely not start until later.
A copy of the application and associated town planning report will be available on Friday, August 19 in the Clerk’s Division, Executive Services Department at Town Hall at 150 Mary Street. Planning reports will also be made available online on the council calendar of the town’s website at www.milton.ca
Questions or written submissions relating to this application may be directed to the Town of Milton via the Planning and Development Department by calling 905-878-7252.
If you have any questions or concerns I would also welcome you to email or call me (your local Milton Town Councillor) at 416-821-1219 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In speaking with the developer I have found out that the proposed two drive-through restaurants are currently planned to be a McDonalds and a Tim Hortons.
If you wish to speak at the public meeting, or submit a formal written submission on the application please do so directly through the Town of Milton (see additional information that will be posted online on the town council calendar at www.milton.ca on August 19th).
Milton’s second annual Kids Megafest will be held Saturday & Sunday (July 23-24) at Milton Fairgrounds. I’m honored this year to be serving as a Judge on sunday for the Kids singing, dancing and fashion contests along with Sam Kassam-Macfie and Rick Imus. For more information about the event visit kidsmegafest.com
Access will be maintained for all local residents on this portion of Fourth Line and through traffic will be detoured via Derry Road, Trudeau Drive and Clark Boulevard.
The Ontario Legislature recently had it’s 3rd reading of Bill 73 and has passed it. The full details of the regulations haven’t been released yet, but the act may have some serious implications to Milton’s long term financial sustainability in relation to future growth.
Bill 73, Smart Growth of Our Communities Act is an amendment for changes to the provincial planning framework in relation to both Ontario’s Development Charges Act and Planning Act.
The changes are numerous and far reaching. But the most impactful change in regards to Milton is related to sub section 59.1 which is in relation to voluntary payments we request and receive from developers. The current version of the Development Act strongly ties municipalities to what they can or can not charge developers for growth. With Development charges levied no longer being able to fully cover the costs (roads, sewers, infrastructure, etc). Currently only roughly 60% of the town’s costs are recoverable which would leave about 40% being a burden on the local tax payer. For most municipalities with small incremental growth year over year that cost isn’t overbearing. But with Milton over tripling in size since 2001 and with it being designated under the Places to Grow Act with continued fast paced growth, that cost would be unbearable and cause our debt levels to breach the allowed provincial maximums for a municipality.
Milton has been able to overcome the limitations on development charge maximums by negotiating with the development community voluntary payments from them along with additional parkland to allow us to pay for that future growth. Without that cooperation we would not be able to reach the growth objectives set out for the town and region.
Bill 73 seems to imply that future voluntary payments or contributions from developers would be disallowed. We have only been able to meet the province’s growth targets for the town by these negotiations of additional payments. If they were no longer allowed, we’d either not be able to reach the provincial mandates growth targets, or trip the 25% maximum debt capacity levels, or see future tax increases average 8 to 10% per year for the foreseeable future which isn’t sustainable, year over year.
We are Between the devil and the deep blue sea currently. We’ve submitted comments to the province hoping that the future regulations will account for our current situation but only time will tell if they’ve listened.
One of my joys is being a Trustee on the Milton Public Library Board. We receive outstanding value from our libraries in Milton which provides both online and physical material that is loaned out to residents as well as programs for both adults and children. Any time you visit our library you’ll usually see it fairly full with people using public internet access, studying, taking part in programs or just reading and signing out different material.
Recently a study on the economic impact that Milton Public Library (MPL) has was released highlighting how Milton’s libraries economically benefit the town.
The Library Board is different from other committees or boards of the town in that we have the Ontario PLA (Public Library Act) which is legislation governing how libraries are managed in the province. Under the PLA, libraries in Ontario must be operated under the management and control of a public library board. The board has the authority to formulate policies concerning the operations and services of the public library. The municipality appoints members (mainly local residents through an interview vetting process) to the board for the same term as council.
Trustees on Public Library Boards are tasked with providing a comprehensive and efficient public library service that reflects the unique needs of the community. MPL board is broken up into several sub committees to handle different governance and policy responsibilities. Based on the work load involved, boards of comparable municipalities have on average 9 to 11 members. Library Board Trustee positions are unpaid volunteer positions. Most boards have council member appointments that usually consist of 2 councillors per board. A large board like Mississauga, has 2 councillors and 9 residents while a small one like Halton Hills has 2 councillors and 7 residents. In Milton we’ve kept the board at the lower size level, with 2 councillors and 7 residents.
A staff report (see page 7 of report) has been issued today for Town Council approval on Monday that would (in my opinion) dramatically change the library board composition going from 7 residents and 2 councillors to a new make up of 3 residents and 3 councillors. It would change the dynamic of the board giving it less resident involvement and more Town Council control. It would also mean changing the work load currently done by 9 to 6, keeping in mind that historically the council appointments to the board didn’t sit on the sub-committees (i.e. larger responsibilities/hours done by local resident trustee members). Historically in Milton, the 7 resident members of the board consisted of a couple members from our halton school systems that were directly recommended by our schools. The report is quiet on whether or not in the change from 7 to 3 milton resident board members, if we eliminate the school’s involvement in the board appointments, or if instead we reduce the non-school resident involvement.
I’m not currently in favour of this report’s recommendations in regards to MPL. I feel it would reduce transparency, resident engagement and lower the overall effectiveness of the board and would result in a poorer overall library system in town with less value for our tax dollars. It would not save any money fiscally (trustees are unpaid). It would not result in any improvements to our libraries. It would give local residents less input and say in how our library system is governed and give politicians more direct control.
The Town of Milton likes to say we promote “an engaged population that contributes to matters of civic interest…” I don’t see how lowering public input into the governance of Milton Public Library board and increasing direct town control would promote that philosophy.
p.s. the above are my own thoughts and opinions, I am not able to speak on behalf of MPL or Town Council or the Town of Milton.
This year I’ve volunteered along with Councillor Colin Best to participate in the Downtown Milton Classic Cruise Night on Friday, July 18 from 6 to 10pm in Downtown Milton as one of the Choice Award Judges. I’ll have the pleasure of selecting one out of the over 120 Classic Cars for a Councillor’s Choice Award and at 7:30pm presenting my choice with a Certificate and Gift Prize at the main stadium.
- The event runs from 6:00 to 10:00pm. Main Street will be closed from 4pm to Midnight between Fulton and Brown Streets.
- Over 120 Classic Cars will parade from the Milton Sports Centre and line our Main Street.
- Live entertainment will be provided by Rolly Rocker and the Hemi Heads
- There is a new area this year – The Pit Stop – located at Main Street and Charles Street. Families can enjoy crafts, activities and fun food. A scavenger hunt and instant win game will provide opportunities to win great prizes from our Downtown businesses.
- Many restaurants will be extending their patios and many retail businesses will be open late.
I had a great time on June 21st volunteering for the Milton Strawberry Fair. It’s a community fundraiser that brings people together from all across Milton for some family fun in support of Milton District Hospital Foundation.
Recognition goes to Milton District Hospital Auxiliary which organizes the event each year. 2014 is the 34th year this event has been running, I’ve enjoyed volunteering for the past 5 – from helping direct traffic in the parking area to collecting hospital donations at the entry gate.
Also attaching a picture of Ryan and Kevin playing the kids zone area at the fair. After my volunteer shift is over we have some family fun at the sand mountain, bouncy castles and also enjoying the tasty strawberry desserts
The Town of Milton has opened up it’s Budget Survey to allow residents to give input related to next year’s budget (2015). This is your opportunity to help guide the creation of our new budget. You can go to Milton.ca/budgetsurvey to get started, the survey should only take a few minutes. It will ask you for your address to help confirm you are a Milton resident, but that information is kept confidential. The survey is open until the end of the month (June 30th) so go now before you lose this opportunity.
Please join me for the Budget Open House for the 2014 Town operating and capital budgets for all Milton resident’s to give their comments, concerns and ideas before council’s debate and decisions regarding staff recommendations
Milton Sports Centre in room 3 at 7:30pm Thursday November 28
The 2014 Proposed Capital and Operating Budgets have been posted online in PDF format
You can also view the Town of Milton budget page online at
The budget document is 454 pages of fun. But it’s also broken up into both a capital and an operating budget side. From a taxpayer basis your annual property taxes is more directly related to the operating budget side. But the capital budget also has long term implications that will impact future operating budgets.
Page 87 to 100 are what’s called the “Decision Packages” where decision points are made that would affect the property tax impact from between a 5% increase down to a 1% increase. On December 9th council members can question any part of the entire budget, bring up new amendments for cuts or savings not listed in the decision packages, and discuss and vote on individual or group items on the Decision Packages listings.
If your a ward 7 resident I’d especially welcome your comments, questions and input.