While the summer is not yet officially over, kids are now back to school and, from a Regional Council perspective, we are starting into the arduous job of budget.
There are a lot of challenges for all municipal levels of government — the province will be downloading costs on services that are required, forcing the Region and others to figure out how best to make up funding deficits.
In addition, and was highlighted by me to you during our last budget go round, there are considerable capital budget requirements coming forward at the Region that were deferred during last term of Council and frankly need to get done.
This update, I am going to talk about traffic safety, Canada summer games, budget, waste management, and the AMO conference in Ottawa.
Traffic changes for improved safety
As I discussed earlier this year, I was very pleased with the Region implementing the community safety zone around Twenty Valley School in Vineland (Victoria Avenue).
Two recent articles in the St. Catharines Standard highlight why and what has happened since this area has been established:
Police traffic blitz:
And an article on distracted drivers in school zones:
I believe both of these show that zone development like this has been long overdue. And in discussion with various members of Lincoln Council, additional zones should be put in place. I will be working on this at the Region.
The Town of Lincoln is doing a first review of the Transportation Master Plan this Wednesday night in Council chambers (this is a project started last term and now coming to Council).
This is an important step for the Town to map out next steps in traffic for our municipality — the reports being presented are worth a read:
Finally, I was able to work with the Region and Town to get some sightline problems fixed in Vineland at the Frederick/Victoria traffic light coming out of Heritage Village. Sometimes these are small in nature, but improving safety is important for all of us.
Canada Summer Games / Niagara 2021
The funding for the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games is now in place. The federal and provincial governments have both put forward $29 million each, the Region has established its share required, and the lower tiers have all committed.
This is very positive.
Click on the image above and go to the website for the Games.
If you are interested, there are lots of opportunities available to get involved.
We are about to get into the budget process at Niagara Region. I am planning on doing one or two open house meetings in Lincoln in early October to talk about the challenges and the choices coming up for 2020.
I will be posting on Facebook and here more details soon.
Although I will say we have seen considerable improvements in overall waste collection here in Lincoln, we still get the odd situation where problems come into play.
Last week, for example, our contractor had significant problems with their equipment and staff, resulting in many areas being delayed up to a day.
Longer term, a new contract is going to be coming forward, with many of the challenges we have been happening being very much top of mind.
In the meantime, we will all continue monitoring and if you do have issues with waste collection, please check the website (https://niagararegion.ca/waste/collection/schedule/default.aspx?home_task=1) and, if there are concerns, contact either the Region or myself.
The AMO (Association of the Municipalities of Ontario) conference was in Ottawa again this year and, by all accounts, it was quite successful.
I participated in delegations for the Region and for the Town of Lincoln advocating to the provincial government on important matters for our area — all of these require partnerships, both with provincial government and Region/Town.
More to come on some of these initiatives in future discussions.
And finally …
I don’t have an official budget for things like promotion — however, I have created the following to help get messaging out:
Please visit these and like or follow.
You can also click here for my Niagara Region website page.
I look forward to continuing with you on this journey.