July Newsletter

Dear friends,

Summer is here! I am writing this in advance, as my family and I will be away on a Canadian summer road trip.  This year we have decided to take two weeks and will be trying to see as much of the East coast as we can. I want to wish everyone a Happy Canada Day, and hope that you are able to enjoy the celebrations with family or friends. There is a lot of free events in and around London this year, helping us to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

This month City Hall has been as busy as always, however we are now getting ready for a shorter meeting schedule for the summer months.  A few important notes for residents of Ward 10.

The development at Springbank and Wonderland – you may have seen the trees being removed at this location. The development proposal is moving through the last phases right now, and we will start to see building in the near future.

We had some really good news at our last Civic Works meeting – a few key projects were finalized.  The one I found most interesting is a bio-solid heat recovery investment at the pollution control plant.  We are already incinerating many of the bio-solids there, but with the heat recovery unit we are investing about 2 million dollars, and will be generating about 20 million dollars in revenue over the next 20 years.  This project is one of the many ways that the city is leading in innovative projects.

Regarding speeding and speed control.  The most common concern I get is speeding on residential roads.  We all need to make sure we are driving safely, and are aware of pedestrians and cyclist.  Council recently approved Vision Zero – a global movement dedicated to the elimination of traffic deaths and injuries caused by vehicular collisions while increasing safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all. I successfully petitioned to have a report come back regarding residential road safety – in other words, best practices in other municipalities have adopted with vision zero. Traffic calming and stop signs are not the answer here.  A few reasons for this:

1) most streets do not warrant traffic calming
2) traffic calming studies cost significant money and resources
3) if a street is approved for traffic calming – there is about a ten year waiting list for this to happen
4) many people who live near speed humps have expressed their dislike to me

Once our staff look at what other cities are doing, they will be reporting back regarding other options for traffic calming options that we can look at.  I will keep you updated about this as I find out more.  I have been asking police to enforce areas and do blitzes where speed is identified as an issue.

Another item that came up at my ward meeting was regarding the effect of the increase in home prices in current real estate sales.  Some of the questions were:

1) How will increased real estate prices impact my next MPAC assessment
2) If my home is valued much higher than it previously was, how will increased values be phased in?
3) Are houses being taxed at the rate of the sale price once they transfer ownership to the new owners?

My office research staff are currently pulling information about this, and I hope to have some information for you in my next newsletter.

The rain! Please remember to check your backwater valves to help keep your basements dry. If you do not have a backwater valve, you can apply to the city’s basement flooding grant program, which will pay 90% of the costs, and allow you to repay the remaining 10% over the course of 10 years with your tax bill.  This is a program which, although already existed, I successfully advocated for increased funding percentages to help residents protect their homes during rain events.  To learn more about the program, please click here.

I am considering doing another series for social media or my website.  In the past I have done ride-alongs with London departments or services, and shared my experiences on social media; a mid-term report card; and have done a month long blogging project. This summer, I will be sending out a ward wide mail out with relevant information about how to get a hold of me, and various city services.    My intent in doing these projects is to help bring municipal government closer to you.  I am interested to know if you are feeling engaged, and getting the information you are looking for from me as your councillor.  How could I better reach you? What types of things would you like to know about the city? I’m open to any ideas that you may have, please send them my way!

Kind Regards,

Virginia Ridley
Councillor
Ward 10

Call or Text: 226-927-0539
Email: vridley@london.ca
300 Dufferin Ave, Suite 314
LONDON ON N6A 4L9

Like me on facebook: www.facebook.com/vridley
Follow me on twitter: @virginia_ridley

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