4. CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES - 2012 LEVIES
PRÉLÈVEMENTS 2012 DES OFFICES DE PROTECTION DE LA NATURE
That Council approve the 2012 levies as presented in Document 1 for the following:
1. Rideau Valley Conservation Authority;
2. South Nation Conservation Authority; and
3. Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority.
RECOMMANDATIONS DU COMITÉ
Que le Conseil approuve les prélèvements de 2012 tels qu’ils sont présentés dans le document 1 pour les offices de protection de la nature suivants:
1. Office de protection de la nature de la vallée de la rivière Rideau;
2. Société d’aménagement de la rivière Nation-Sud; et
3. Office de protection de la nature de la vallée de la rivière Mississippi.
1. City Treasurer’s report dated 27 March 2012 (ACS2012-CMR-FIN-0013).
Report to/Rapport au :
Comité des finances et du développement économique
and Council / et au Conseil
27 March 2012 / le 27 mars 2012
Submitted by/Soumis par : Marian Simulik, City Treasurer/Trésorière municipale
Contact Person/Personne ressource : Joanne Farnand, Manager, Financial Services / Gestionnaire services financiers
Finance Department/Service des finances
613 580-2424, ext. 22712, email@example.com
Ref N°: ACS2012-CMR-FIN-0013
That the Finance and Economic Development Committee recommend Council approve the 2012 levies as presented in Document 1 for the following:
Que le Comité des finances et du développement économique recommande au Conseil d’approuver les prélèvements de 2012 tels qu’ils sont présentés dans le document 1 pour les offices de protection de la nature suivants:
The City of Ottawa is located in the watersheds of three rivers, all of which have an established Conservation Authority; the Rideau Valley (RVCA), Mississippi Valley (MVCA) and South Nation (SNCA). The taxation requirement by the Conservation Authorities has been excluded in the City’s budget as they have a separate levy on the tax bill.
The Conservation Authorities Act provides that Conservation Authorities shall apportion administration/maintenance costs amongst participating municipalities in accordance with the benefits derived. The City primarily acts as the tax collector on behalf of the Conservation Authorities and collects the amount in the same manner as municipal taxes for general purposes. Consequently, Council has no discretion over the amounts listed under the general levy. Council, however, does have discretion over the special and capital projects portion of their levy.
In accordance with Section 312 of the Municipal Act the municipality shall, each year, pass a by-law levying the separate tax rates for this purpose. Approval of this report will establish the levy requirements.
Levy rates are calculated based on the budgets as attached in Document 1, submitted by each Conservation Authority.
The City of Ottawa’s share of the general levy is apportioned on the basis of the assessment for the City of Ottawa relative to the total assessment within the watershed. The relative amount can change from year to year depending on the growth in Ottawa as compared to the other contributing municipalities.
There is some discretion on amounts identified as special and capital levies. In the past, funding requests for certain projects that specifically benefitted the City were identified as special levies and these programs are generally supported by staff and through Council approvals as they complement City initiatives resulting in staff partnering with the Conservation Authorities to deliver these programs. In some instances, the Conservation Authorities are able to leverage provincial funding for some of the projects such as the Ice Management Program.
The Capital Levy funds or offsets capital costs related to the design and renovation of new offices for two of the conservation authorities which do not fall within the definition of an administration or maintenance cost for inclusion in the general levy under the Conservation Authorities Act but which are classed as general benefitting and allocated to all member municipalities. Details on the special and capital levies are provided below.
DETAILS OF SPECIAL LEVIES
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
Rideau River Ice Management - There is a longstanding arrangement between the RVCA and the City concerning Rideau River Ice Management. By Council approval on June 8, 2005 (ACS2005-PWS-SOP-0003), the RVCA is to fund the full cost of Rideau River Flood Control through their special levy, beginning in 2006. In conformity with this direction, the RVCA is requesting $574,000 in special levies for the 2012 program.
Requests are usually based on the previous year’s actual cost and factors in any resulting adjustment that may be required for that year. Consequently, the $292,000 variance between the 2011 and the 2012 requests contains an adjustment to address the 2011 deficit resulting from an unusually low 2011 request and higher than anticipated actual costs, and another adjustment to bring it back in line with current costs.
As this is a preventive flood control measure, the RVCA is able to access provincial funding for this program
Ottawa Infrastructure Reserve – In 2010, when the Conservation Authorities’ budgets were approved, Council also established the Water Control Capital Asset Reserve proposed by the RVCA. This reserve is to be funded annually through a $10,000 special levy contribution by the City of Ottawa. It is intended to cover the City’s share of unexpected operating and maintenance costs, preventive maintenance and emergency repairs that exceed annual allowances for routine operation and maintenance of aging RVCA-owned flood and erosion control infrastructure in the City of Ottawa. If this year’s request is approved, the City’s contributions since 2010 will total $30,000.
Richmond Conservation Lands Development – On July 14, 2010, Council approved the Village of Richmond Environmental Management Plan (ACS2010-ICS-PGM-0122) which includes infrastructure and capital improvements to the Richmond Conservation Area, City-owned properties and parks as part of the overall Village of Richmond Community Design Plan.
The projects identified in the environmental management plan are estimated to cost $121,700 over a three year period. 2011 was the first of the three year development strategy and this year’s funds will be used to develop the trail along D’Allaire Crescent leading from the lagoons, add turtle platforms, bird boxes and other wildlife features and complete the trail and viewing area between Strachan Street and King Street.
Chapman Mills Conservation Area Pedestrian Bridge – The proposed Chapman Mills pedestrian bridge will cross a bay on the west side of the back channel of the Rideau River, connecting Winding Way Road to Carleton Lodge, providing a valuable, all-season link between the Chapman Mills Conservation Authority Area and Beryl Gaffney Park to the south. This linkage contributes to the overall off-road pathway network in the City.
South Nation Conservation Authority
Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program - The Rural Clean Water Program provides grants to rural residents to undertake projects that improve the quality of surface water and ground water. The program has been funded since 2005 and is important for promoting stewardship and reducing the impact of activities on water quality. Since its inception in 2000, eight hundred and sixty-four projects have been completed.
On July 14, 2010, Council approved the program for an additional five years, ending December 31, 2015 (ACS2010-ICS-PGM-0132). This new contract with South Nation Conservation Authority provides for a special levy of $200,000 per year. The 2011 – 2015 program has been modified to allow a one-window approach to the Ontario Rural Clean Water Grants Program (ORCWGP) and the Canada-Ontario Farm Stewardship Program (COFSP), and/or the Green Acres and Shoreline Naturalization Programs that will allow qualified farm operators who are pursuing the senior government grant and residents wishing to undertake projects that involve tree planting to streamline access to respective grant top-ups. Other changes include focusing on priority projects that result in direct improvement to water quality and developing outreach tools to recruit new participants such as non-farm property owners and other rural residents with large property holdings. In 2011, sixty-two projects were delivered in partnership with the RVCA, MVCA and the Ontario Soil and Crop Association.
Eastern Ontario Water Resources Committee - The Eastern Ontario Water Resources Committee works cooperatively to implement the recommendations of the Eastern Ontario Water Resources Management Study. The membership includes municipalities, conservation authorities, provincial ministries, the University of Ottawa, and farming groups. Initiatives funded in 2011 include continuing well decommissioning, works on cold water stream, the Children’s Water Festival, well protection, riverwatch and outreach programs.
DETAILS OF CAPITAL LEVIES
Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority
Mississippi Valley New Office Capital Costs – New office space requirement was identified several years ago and, since 2009, the City has contributed an average of $271,598 per year towards the design and construction of the new administrative office. The City’s 2012 assessed share is $270,671.
South Nation Conservation Authority
Finch Building Capital Cost Repayment – The South Nation Conservation Authority moved into their new headquarters in October 2008. Total cost of the renovations was $1,246,752, of which, $1,012,051 was the assessed portion that was to be recovered from the City. That year, South Nation gave its member municipalities the option of paying it off in full or amortizing it over twenty years. The City opted for the twenty-year amortization period and, based on an interest rate of 3.36%, the City’s 2008 amortized share was calculated at $65,752. SNCA reviews the interest rate each year and adjusts the annual amortization amount. For 2012, the capital repayment cost is $59,341, including principal and interest (1.75%).
Many of the Conservation Authority Programs such as the Rural Clean Water Program directly benefit the rural residents and agricultural operations of the City. The Authorities also support environmental objectives, stewardship and education in the rural area through ownership and management of conservation lands, operation of the landowner resource centre, and other initiatives with direct benefits to the rural area.
Budgets for Conservation Authorities are co-ordinated with the Environmental Sustainability Services Branch based on documentation supplied by the Conservation Authorities.
There are no legal impediments to implementing the recommendations of this report.
RISK MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS
There are no risk management impediments to implementing the recommendations of this report.
Per Council direction, the City's share of the funding requirements for the Conservation Authorities is raised through the establishment of separate tax rates applied to the various property classes within the City of Ottawa. Based on the requirements submitted in this report, the Conservation Authorities are requesting a total of $9,288,768, which includes an increase of $660,675 or 7.66% over 2011.
There are no accessibility impacts associated with this report.
The Conservation Authorities are key conservation partners with the City. Their programs assist in watershed planning and management and protecting the health of the watersheds. Programs funded through the general and special levy of the Authorities result in direct efforts to protect, monitor and report on watercourse conditions, and improve water quality. The authorities provide advice on land use planning, provide stewardship programs and undertake efforts to restore fish and wildlife habitat, restore shorelines and reduce water pollution.
There are no technical implications associated with this report.
The work of the Conservation Authorities is critical in achieving The Term of Council Strategic Priority - Environmental Stewardship, and especially, several of the objectives including subwatershed planning; enhancing and protecting the natural environment – its biodiversity and ecosystems; and source water protection to maintain and ensure a supply of safe drinking water.
Document 1 – General, Special and Capital Levies for Conservation Authorities, City of Ottawa 2012 Levy Requirements.
The Finance Department will calculate the property tax rates to generate the levies required, collect the funds and forward it to the Conservation Authorities. The City Clerk and Solicitor Department will prepare the appropriate by-laws.
General, Special & Capital Levies for Conservation Authorities
City of Ottawa 2012 Levy Requirements