Shuffle could save transit cuts, CPO - Metro US

Shuffle could save transit cuts, CPO

A plan may be in the works to save Crime Prevention Ottawa and avoid cuts to many city bus routes by doing away with unnecessary maintenance around Lansdowne Park and delaying expansions to the green bin program.

The city is spending $3.4 million to maintain Lansdowne Park in its current state. If the Lansdowne Partnership Plan to redevelop the area passes next June, most of the money would not be needed.

Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson said the city could reduce the park maintenance budget to around $1 million and use the rest for transit routes and to fund Crime Prevention Ottawa.

Wilkinson said they could save additional funds by postponing the second stage of the green bin program. The city had planned to start collecting organics from low-rise multi-residential buildings in late spring.

City council has blocked off the entire week to hear public delegations on the 2010 city budget.

Although 45 speakers had registered to speak yesterday, several were unable to attend due to the weather, making it arguably one of the most subdued opening days of budget discussions.

Before and after lunch councillors were forced to take an extended break because speakers were running almost an hour ahead of schedule.

Those who did make presentations lent their support to Crime Prevention Ottawa, tree maintenance and trimming programs, and transit routes that are at risk of being reduced or cut.

Barry McMahon, chair of the city accessibility advisory committee, urged council to maintain funding for the program in order to preserve a new CPO initiative called Connecting on Disability and Abuse. The program was created in August to raise awareness and help people with disabilities.

“We hate to even think it’s happening, but it is,” said McMahon.

Chair of the Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee Nicole Parent called a proposed reduced funding to tree trimming and maintenance programs short-sighted.

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