At the May 2nd meeting City Council will be asked to endorse a new plan for the portion of Bath Road that runs from Bayridge Drive west to Collins Bay Road. The plan calls for new bike lanes and sidewalks that will allow residents to safely walk or bike along a section of Bath Road where it is currently difficult to do either. The catch is that in order to make room for the new sidewalks and bike lanes, the width of this section of Bath Road will need to be reduced from 4 lanes to 2. Here is a visual of what this section of Bath Road would look like:
So what do you think? I’m looking to get feedback from residents on this proposal in advance of City Council’s vote, so please take a moment to vote in the poll below.
The Financial Times has named Kingston as the best small city in the Americas for Foreign Direct Investment strategy and as the sixth best small city in the Americas for Human Capital and Lifestyle! These awards came out of a comprehensive study of over 400 cities across North, Central and South America as part of the Financial Times’ special issue on ‘American Cities of the Future.’
Based out of the U.K., the Financial Times is one of the most respected business publications in the world. To receive this level of international recognition is a tremendous achievement for Kingston. Putting Kingston on the global radar is a key part of my vision to make Kingston a smart and livable 21st century city and making it to the top of the Financial Times American Cities of the Future list is a great way to help spread the word around the globe about what’s happening in Kingston!
Our recent success in attracting international companies like Frulact and Feihe has clearly drawn attention well beyond Ontario and Canada. The leadership at both Frulact and Feihe have become our city’s newest and most enthusiastic international ambassadors, and I am thrilled by the opportunity to partner with them to persuade other foreign companies to locate here in our city.
My sincere thanks to the board and staff at the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, City staff, and the vast array of passionate business and community leaders that have contributed to building such great momentum for the future of economic growth in our city. Congratulations Team Kingston!
The Third Crossing is almost shovel ready, and City Council will soon be asked to decide if and under what conditions to move forward with constructing this link across the Cataraqui River. In the lead up to this decision, city staff will be holding two public open houses on April 26 and April 27 to present the results of the preliminary design work, the business plan and the cost-benefit analysis for the bridge. Staff has shared with me a few of the following highlights that will appear in the cost-benefit analysis;
Significantly improved traffic flow projections across the city – the bridge will result in reduced travel times and distances both for those who use the bridge, but also those who don’t use the bridge because of more efficient traffic flow.
Reduction of emergency response times – which will save money on additional emergency services that would be required if the bridge is not built.
Increased appeal of industrial lands – the bridge is projected to generate more sales of industrial land in the east end of the city.
Recently staff has advised the public that the estimated cost for the Third Crossing will be higher than the $120 million identified in the 2011 Environmental Assessment for two central reasons;
Inflation – the updated cost needs to account for inflation and updated to 2017 dollars.
Environmental sensitivity – due to the environmental sensitivity of the surrounding area and discussions with Parks Canada, the Third Crossing will have to be constructed using a temporary work bridge, rather than dredging the river, which is a more expensive construction method but more environmentally responsible.
As we hear more details about the proposed benefits and costs of the Third Crossing, I want to share my position going into this discussion.
When I ran for mayor, I was very clear that I supported the Third Crossing. However, I was also very clear that we need to live within our means, by holding property tax rate increases to the inflation rate. My position is that constructing the Third Crossing must not require a property tax rate increase.
What this means for me is that the city’s share of the Third Crossing must fit within our existing capital investment plans. We have several road and infrastructure projects planned for the coming years, and the Third Crossing will have to fit within this plan. That means that we will also need both the provincial and federal governments to come to the table to invest in the Third Crossing. This to me represents a balanced way to move our city forward, to create infrastructure that benefits our whole community.
Every year one of the privileges I have as mayor is to recognize outstanding citizens and volunteers in Kingston. The Mayor’s Award for Youth Volunteerism, in particular, recognizes young people who are working to make a difference in the lives of others. The First Capital Distinguished Citizen/Honourable Achievement Award recognizes individuals that have made significant lifetime contributions to our community.
This year for the very first time, I am pleased to announce that the awards for youth volunteerism will include a scholarship, to help these outstanding young people further their education and develop their ideas to make Kingston a stronger and more caring community. This new scholarship program has been made possible by the United Way youth fund that was created thanks to last year’s incredibly successful Kingston Penitentiary tours.
The scholarship program for Youth Awards for Volunteerism have the following monetary value for each category;
Grades 5-8 – $750 *to be used toward a school project of their choice or design
Grades 9-12 – $1,500
Post-secondary youth (up to age 24) – $2,000
I’m calling on all Kingstonians nominate a youth volunteer you know is making a positive impact in the lives of others, or a Kingstonian that has made a lifetime contribution to our community. The deadline for nominations is April 28. For more information and nomination forms please visitwww.cityofkingston.ca/CivicAwards
I look forward to recognizing this year’s award winners in a special ceremony on the front steps of City Hall as part of Kingston’s celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1.