Ward 9 Great Neighbourhoods Calgary – Gian-Carlo Carra

This is the official website for Gian-Carlo Carra, City Councillor for Ward 9 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Ramsay and Inglewood Community Objectives Workshop Invite

Hello to all of my Ramsay and Inglewood Neighbours!

I believe that great neighbourhoods make a great city and to build great neighbourhoods, community stakeholders must work with their elected official to discuss the direction of their communities. In 2016, your Team Ward 9 ran a series of Community Objectives Workshops (lovingly known as COWs) in every one of our great neighbourhoods. From this work we were able to come together and develop a game plan on tackling important issues in each neighbourhood. We recorded all the data collected (which can be found in our Inglewood & Ramsay Raw Data Report) and distilled this information into the Ward 9 Strategic Report 2013-2017.

This was an opportunity for our Ward 9 neighbours - including residents, community associations, businesses, service providers and community institutions - to come out and tell us what they love about their community, how we can improve their quality of life and how they can help drive the change they want to see in the future. 

I am very proud to announce that I will be continuing to host the Ward 9 Community Objectives Workshops (lovingly known as COWs) in all Ward 9 neighbourhoods in 2018 and I would like to invite all our Ward 9 neighbours in Ramsay and Inglewood to join us for a follow up session to our first COW.

What are the goals of the 2018 COWs?

The goals of the 2018 Community Objectives Workshops are to:

  • Re-evaluate and review the priorities established from the first workshop in 2016 and identify any new issues and concerns; 
  • Identify the needs and concerns of residents, businesses, community institutions and service providers;
  • Prioritize those needs and concerns and discuss potential solutions;
  • Formulate a strategic plan to resolve and achieve these solutions;
  • Connect that strategic plan with the larger strategic goals of the Ward 9 Office; and
  • Prepare the 2017-2021 Ward 9 Strategic Report for Ward 9 residents that outlines the strategic plan and goals, and how they will be achieved.

These workshops continue to be a huge success and the results will help to direct and guide the work that we do on your behalf.

When: Saturday,  February 24, 2018

Time: 10:30am to 2:30pm 

Where: Inglewood Bird Sanctuary - 2425 9 Avenue SE

*Light refreshments & lunch will be provided*

 

Interested in participating? RSVP by clicking HERE

 

Please note: You did NOT have to attend the 2016 COW to be able to participate in our 2018 series and all are welcome, although space IS limited.

I hope you will join me in building Great Neighbourhoods.

 

Gian-Carlo Carra

City Councillor, Ward 9

 

P.S. Contact me by email at ward09@calgary.ca or by phone at 403-268-5330. If you’re on social media follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram through my username, @gccarra, to get updates about your community, Ward 9, and Calgary.

Bioengineering Demonstration and Education Project Update (Inglewood and Ramsay)

Hello, Neighbours.

The Bioengineering Demonstration and Education Project is nearing its construction phase scheduled for early March through to December of 2018. Though the project will have a large net benefit to the environment and every effort has been made to save as many trees as possible, 42 trees need to be removed for the project to be completed. The trees that require removal were flagged on February 5, 2018 and will remain flagged for at least two weeks prior to their removal. The removed trees will be compensated for with a 3 to 1 ratio and much of the removed tree material will be used in the design itself to create habitat for wildlife.

This project has been presented at several open houses in the Inglewood and Ramsay communities over the last year and was featured in the July/August Inglewood Community Newsletter. Community engagement on this project will continue up to and through construction and will include door knocking and mail drops to nearby homes prior to construction.

Background

The City of Calgary and Alberta Environment and Parks are working together to improve fish habitat and improve slope stability between Pearce Estate Park and the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, two much loved amenities in Inglewood. When complete, the techniques used here to re-establish the area after the 2013 Flood, will be used across Calgary and the Province to create fish and wildlife habitat, stabilize steep slopes and improve area aesthetics.

What’s Next?

During this time work continues to bring this project to completion.

  • Steep areas will be graded into stable terraced riverbanks, which will include the removal of 42 trees, however, much of the plant material being removed will be re-used in the project creating habitat for fish and wildlife.
  • The trees and a number of shrubs will be removed in late February in order to prevent issues with nesting birds.
  • The majority of the trees that are being removed are ornamental and not native to southern Alberta.
  • Over 150 new native trees and thousands of native shrubs will be planted to restore a natural vegetated corridor and healthy riparian zone.
  • There will be a temporary closure of the current regional pathway during construction, to be replaced by a new and improved regional pathway and a new nature trail.
  • Temporary impacts during construction will be mitigated with erosion and sediment control plans, and Environmental Construction Operations plans.
  • After project completion, fish and wildlife habitat will be improved, and the naturalized corridor will provide enhanced opportunities to experience nature along the Bow River.

My office and I will continue to monitor the progress of this work and remain open to, and encourage, citizen and resident feedback during this construction phase. 

As always, my office is available to speak with you, and address your concerns regarding this, or any other matter.

Gian-Carlo Carra

P.S. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact me at ward09@calgary.ca or via telephone at 403-268-5330. If you’re on social media, I would encourage you to follow my online pages to get updates about everything that impacts your community, Ward 9, and The City of Calgary.

P.P.S. Have you given any thought of joining and participating in the Inglewood Community Association and Ramsay Community Association? They are a solid group of neighbourhood volunteers who our office relies on to give us insight into the concerns and issues of the community. It’s been shown that there is a direct correlation between the number of residents who volunteer with their community association and the quality of life of the neighbourhood. Check them out and let’s continue to build our #GreatNeighbourhoods.

Applewood Park and CN Rail Whistle Cessation update

Hello, Neighbours. 

First off, I want to say 'hi' to the residents of Applewood Park who now are a part of Ward 9.  In October of 2017, the Ward Boundaries were updated, which has brought the great communities of East Calgary together under one ward.

I want to thank all of my friends and neighbours in Applewood Park who reached out to my office, rolled up their sleeves and got involved in improving their neighbourhood’s quality of life by letting me know the challenge they face with the train whistle and the disruption it can cause to their quality of life and enjoyment of their home.

I also want to update you on a local project.  We have heard from a number of residents regarding the CN Train Whistle at the new at-grade pedestrian crossing situated northeast of Applewood Park. 

The multi-use pathway is an ambitious $50M project by the Parks Foundation to provide a ‘pedestrian ring road’ around our City.  The City is very pleased to be gifted the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway.

As a city built up around the spine of rail lines, I appreciate and respect the immense role that trains had in building our city, province and country. As we’ve grown and evolved from a town sitting on bald prairie fields to a modern metropolis, conflicts between residents and trains have arisen, particularly around at-grade crossings – where trains cross at the same level as cars – and noise, typically represented by the historic train whistle.

While we all have stories of being “caught” at a railway stop while waiting for the train cars to go by (I always ensure that I’m never caught off guard by having a great podcast ready in the queue) and the frustration that can result of that, many Calgarians, including myself have come to almost regard it as a rite of passage to the great Calgary experience. However, what most residents find much more frustrating than being at a railway crossing for 10-30 minutes (throwing entire schedules to the wind) is the ear-piercing train whistle.

As irritating as it is, trains must whistle prior to travelling through at-grade crossings, unless an agreement has been reached between The City of Calgary and the railway company. In Applewood Park, residents have indicated to my office and I that they would like such an agreement put in place between The City of Calgary and CN Rail to stop train whistles at the at-grade crossings in Applewood Park.

I’m glad to inform you that this process is well underway.

There are four main steps required to cease the whistle blowing in Applewood Park.

  • Assessing the feasibility of whistle cessation;
  • Issuing a notice to the railway company outlining the intent to cease whistle blowing in Applewood Park;
  • Passing a resolution at Council; and
  • Notifying Transport Canada once the resolution is passed.

To date, The City of Calgary has hired engineers to do an assessment of the feasibility of whistle cessation in Applewood Park. A report was completed that whistle cessation was feasible and it was further identified with The City’s contractor that construction of required infrastructure elements (installing fencing, gates, signage, etc.) is on target and will be completed before the end of February. This construction will be inspected with a CN representative in early February.

Additionally, The City has been working with the Law Department to get the required notifications drafted and they are ready to be sent out to relevant community institutions and public stakeholders as soon as the inspection of the infrastructure is complete.

Once these public notices are out, the next step is to have a resolution passed by Council declaring that whistles will cease at the Applewood Park location. That resolution may either come before Council through a Notice of Motion from my office or through a report from Parks at the Standing Policy Committee on Community Services and Protective Services.

Lastly, once that resolution is passed by Council, a copy of the resolution and documentation will be sent to CN Rail and Transport Canada’s Rail Safety Directorate with the effective date of whistling cessation. At this point, CN Rail will no longer be required to sound the whistle at at-grade crossings and residents will be able to rest easy and be afforded the same expectations that their fellow Calgarians who live, work, and play close to railways and trains have.

Again, I want to thank the folks who reached out to me and my office and let me know about this. I understand that you have been living with this for a long time, and I am proud that I was able to move this issue forward as quickly as I have been able to with City Administration.

As always, my office is available to speak with you, and address your concerns regarding this, or any other matter.

Gian-Carlo Carra

P.S. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact me at ward09@calgary.ca or via telephone at 403-268-5330. If you’re on social media, I would encourage you to follow my online pages to get updates about everything that impacts your community, Ward 9, and The City of Calgary.

P.P.S. Have you given any thought of joining and participating in the Applewood Park Community Association? They are a solid group of neighbourhood volunteers who our office relies on to give us insight into the concerns and issues of the community. It’s been shown that there is a direct correlation between the number of residents who volunteer with their community association and the quality of life of the neighbourhood. Check them out and let’s continue to build our #GreatNeighbourhoods.

Evraz-Navajo Metals and Lynnwood Ridge Update

There has been a lot of talk about Evraz-Navajo, Lynnwood Ridge and the issues of noise and explosions lately.

I want all residents of Lynnwood Ridge and Millican-Ogden to know that I have been working with The City, Lynnwood Ridge residents, the Millican-Ogden Community Association, and the leadership of Evraz-Navajo to find a solution to this issue since it was first brought to my attention when I was first elected to represent the amazing community of Ogden in 2010.

While things have gotten remarkably better since I’ve started working on this matter, there are still instances when the commercial practices of Evraz-Navajo conflict with the neighbourhood.

This tension between Evraz-Navajo and Lynnwood Ridge residents has been happening since 1992 and while I’m proud of the forward movement on this file and the improvements that have been made, things aren’t where they need to be and I will continue working to find a long-term solution for all parties.

Background and Timeline

For those who may not be familiar with this issue, Evraz-Navajo is a licensed scrap metal recycling salvage yard and auto wrecker that has been licensed since the 1960s.

Working with Calgary Business Licensing, further inquiries were made with the Calgary Fire Department and Calgary Police Service for calls for service histories.

From April of 2010 to June of 2014, Calgary Fire Department had responded to 22 calls for service to the Evraz-Navajo - 9 appear to be related to a call for a fire and 1 appears to be related to an explosion. Additionally, there were 7 calls for service noted as “No incident found on arrival at dispatch address” which may or may not be related to fire and/or explosions. The remaining 5 appear to be unrelated to The City’s investigation.

At the same time, from January 1, 2014, to July 2, 2014, Calgary Police Service responded to 15 calls for service to the property which included 7 noise complaints, 4 explosion complaints and 1 fire complaint, and 3 unrelated matters.

What’s been done

On January 20, 2015, your Team Ward 9, the Millican-Ogden Community Association President Rick Smith and I met with senior leadership at Evraz-Navajo to discuss the concerns of residents regarding the explosions they were experiencing.

At this meeting we learned that Evraz-Navajo was aware of the issues and were actively working to improve their operations. Some of those improvements included conducting a four-phase inspection procedure to minimize prohibited items from entering their systems (such as pressurized gas cylinders and fuel tanks).

During the meeting, Evraz-Navajo’s Manager of Technical and Environmental Services explained that the main reason for explosions were that pressurized gas cylinders were being hidden the items sold to them in order to increase the weight of the metal being sold for scrap. Evraz-Navajo’s records show that they are good, although not perfect, at removing all incendiary devices before the metal is entered into their feedstock. To be fair to Evraz-Navajo it is worth noting that 800 to 900 tonnes of scrap metal is being processed at this facility per day.

I am of the mind that they must continue and improve upon their efforts to increase quality control procedures.

After reviewing Evraz-Navajo’s records and procedures, the records of Bylaw, Licensing, Environmental & Safety Management (City of Calgary) and speaking with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, our office confirmed that Evraz-Navajo had reduced the number of noise-related incidents from 52 vehicle explosions in 2013 to a record low of 21 in 2014.   

Evraz-Navajo admitted that they would not be able to completely eliminate noise-related incidents as scrap yards are not quite commercial and industrial uses. In saying that, they were aware of, and sensitive to, the concerns of residents and agreed to work with residents and improve their internal quality control mechanisms.

Beginning December 17, 2014, Evraz-Navajo implemented new policies to seek to further reduce the occurrence of noise-related incidents. These new policies culminated in a revised and more stringent vehicle acceptance criteria which included:

  • The removal of the fuel tanks from the vehicle;
  • The removal of propane tanks from the vehicle; and
  • Removal of mercury switches and other potentially incendiary devices.

 While I was pleased with this meeting, I indicated to all parties that my role was to ensure that Evraz-Navajo got as close to 0 with their explosions as possible and commit to forming a much better relationship with the residents of Lynnwood Ridge and the community association.

While the trend line for the explosions have steadily been decreasing, they weren’t getting to where they needed to be, and apparently continued to interfere with the residents’ enjoyment of their homes.

On March 11, 2015, a ‘Notice of Hearing’ was served on the business. In May of 2015 after a pre-hearing meeting, Evraz-Navajo, through Counsel, committed to a number of items to improve safety for both the public and its employees. Additionally, the business committed to providing records and plans of equipment used, records of employee training, records of explosions, confirmation of fire suppression systems, a commitment to prevent smoke from leaving the site, and assessment of emissions from the site to evaluate odour and irritation concerns.

As a result of this meeting and commitment, the hearing was not convened.

Between June 2015 to March 2016, Compliance Services received allegations of 20 explosions from residents and adjacent businesses, with the business reporting 6 explosions during this time frame.

In 2016, an investigation was conducted following citizen complaints about excessive noise, explosions, fire hazards and contaminated air (pollution) originating from Evraz-Navajo Metals. The investigation involved Business Licensing, Bylaw Services, and the Calgary Fire Department.

As a result, The City issued mandatory conditions in a letter advising Evraz-Navajo Metals of conditions that had to be met in order to maintain their business license (The City is given this authority under the Business License Bylaw).

Next Steps

While complaints continue, to date Evraz-Navajo Metals has been found to be in compliance with municipal bylaws and provincial legislation.  All complaints are being diligently investigated by The City as they come in.

Bylaw has conducted an investigation into the noise violations and is currently reviewing the allegations with the Law Department. The City and the Ward 9 Office is committed to finding a win-win-win solution that respect and successfully balances the needs and operations of businesses with the right to residents to enjoy their homes.

The City and I take all citizen complaints seriously. While we continue to work with the residents and Evraz-Navajo towards a long-term solution, The City has imposed a number of conditions on the company in order to ensure that compliance continues from the business and they can continue their operations with clear and concise expectations from The City and to create a mechanism whereby residents can hold The City accountable on following up on their complaints. These conditions include:

  1. The Licensee, whether by principal or agent, shall comply with both the Alberta Fire Code and Safety Codes Act.
  2. The Licensee, whether by principal or agent, shall comply with the Community Standards Bylaw as it pertains to both noise and nuisance escaping the property.
  3. The Licensee shall ensure that no activity involving the crushing or shredding of material that is likely to, or has been demonstrated to cause an explosion and/or a noise that disturbs, occurs after 6 PM.
  4. The Licensee shall maintain a list of each and every explosion/fire incident that occurs and have that list available upon demand for inspection by a Police Officer, Safety Codes Officer or Licence Inspector.
  5. The Licensee shall immediately satisfy the direction of the Calgary Fire Department pertaining to the explosions occurring on site.
  6. The Licensee shall report any explosion/fire incident that occurs no later than 24 hours after such incident to the Calgary Fire Department and Calgary Compliance Service member(s) identified.
  7. The Licensee shall test, at its own expense, at point of origin including at the point where the private property borders adjacent properties, the smoke, dust or other airborne matter that has been shown to be escaping from the property and provide the results to the City of Calgary in order that this smoke, dust or other airborne matter may be shown to not have a deleterious effect on the Public at large.
  8. The Licensee shall provide confirmation of the installation of the fire suppression system for the motor room, being a record from a third party fire suppression system company.

The Licensee shall maintain annual maintenance records and provide the records to the Calgary Fire Department on demand.

I will continue to work with Evraz-Navajo, MOCA and the residents of Millican-Ogden-Lynnwood to encourage and help facilitate dialogue and create neighbourly relations.

As always, my office is available to speak with you, and address your concerns regarding this, or any other issue that you have.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact me at ward09@calgary.ca or via telephone at 403-268-5330. If you’re on social media, I would encourage you to follow my online pages to get updates.

 

Should Calgary invest more in snow removal?

Every winter my office receives calls, emails, and social media messages about snow and the conditions of our roadways. From concerns about sidewalk and pathway clearing, to windrows and access to public transportation, people are frustrated with our winter conditions and The City’s ability to effectively remove snow and ice and ease mobility issues.

I have noticed a significant shift in our conversation about our priorities and the need for a new approach to snow removal. As we become more urban, inadequate snow removal on sidewalks, pathways, crosswalks and in front of bus stops has become unacceptable to some. Today our values not only include having safe roadways for cars (undoubtedly critical) but also involve creating a more accessible city for pedestrians and cyclists.

It is true that other Canadian cities are doing a better job of clearing snow from infrastructure for their citizens. Calgary’s Winter Operations budget is $38.7 million currently (an increase of $600,000 from 2017) and is one of the lowest. For comparison, Montreal’s budget for winter maintenance is $155 million. Toronto’s is $94 million and Edmonton’s is $63 million. Obviously, increased capacity to manage snow and ice would come at a cost and a substantial shift in our priorities.

Having built a city that for decades has allowed urban sprawl to go largely unchecked has also produced challenges to snow removal. If we were to place every piece of roadway in Calgary from end-to-end it would be enough to go to Halifax and back, twice! That is a lot roadway to clear every time it snows and if we wanted to see better winter maintenance operations in our city we would need to invest at least another $50 - $60 million to the snow removal budget. 

Calgary’s underinvestment in winter maintenance operations is largely due to climatic realities - we are situated on a high-plains desert with one of the lowest precipitation rates in the country and a frequent freeze-and-thaw cycle due to our chinooks. As such, former and current City Councils have decided to invest your tax dollars into other city services rather than having the winter maintenance budgets we see in other cities.

My question to all of my Ward 9 neighbours is this: Is it time that the City of Calgary start significantly investing in our Winter Operations budget?

Name *
Name
1 *
1
The City of Calgary does an adequate job in removing snow and ice on all roadways in Calgary (note: roadways include any road that allows for car traffic).
2 *
2
The City of Calgary does an adequate job removing snow and ice from sidewalks, crosswalks, pathways and bus stops.
3 *
3
The City of Calgary should put more of a priority on clearing roadways in Calgary.
4 *
4
The City of Calgary should put more of a priority on clearing sidewalks, crosswalks, pathways and bus stops in Calgary.
5 *
5
The City of Calgary should increase the Winter Operations budget to provide better snow and ice removal on roadways.
6 *
6
The City of Calgary should increase the Winter Operations budget to provide better snow and ice removal on sidewalks, crosswalks, pathways and bus stops.
7 *
7
The City of Calgary should increase the Winter Operations budget by reducing services elsewhere.
8 *
8
The City of Calgary should increase the Winter Operations budget by increasing taxes.
I believe the Winter Operations budget should be increased by:
10 *
10
Residents should be responsible for clearing the sidewalk outside of their homes.
11 *
11
Businesses and community institutions (e.g. schools, faith organizations, community centres) should be responsible for clearing the sidewalk outside of their buildings.
12 *
12
If residents, businesses or community institutions do not clear their sidewalks within 24 hours they should be fined immediately.

2018 Property and Business Assessments – What’s next?

(2 minute read)

As you probably know by now, The City of Calgary has mailed out more than 500,000 residential, non-residential, and business tax assessments in early January.

Hopefully, you have received yours by now. It is important that you take a look at your assessment.

Remember, assessment notices that you have received are NOT tax bills. Tax bills are mailed to business owners in February and to property owners in May.

These property and business tax assessments are an estimate of property and business market values as of July 1, 2017, which are used to determine you taxes.

While 56 per cent of Calgarians will see a tax decrease due to the revenue neutral tax system nature of our system, many single-family homes will see a higher tax bill.

For non-residential properties, The City of Calgary estimates that that approximately 61 per cent of these properties will stay between plus 10 per cent or minus 10 per cent of 2017 property taxes.

I am mindful of the continued difficulties faces by our business community, and it is one of the reasons I voted to extend the $45 million dollar Municipal Non-Residential Phased Tax program which caps those property taxes at five per cent from large shifts in market value that are a result of the massive decrease in market value of office buildings in the downtown core.  

Again, I encourage you to review your property tax assessment. If you do not agree with your assessment, you have the ability to file a complaint with the Assessment Review Board.

This complaint can ONLY be filed during the Customer Review Period which runs from the date you received your income tax assessment in January 2018 until March 12, 2018.

Before you file your complaint, if you have questions about your 2018 property or business assessment notices, please call the Assessment Business Unit at The City of Calgary at 403-268-2888 to talk to a tax assessor.

If the assessors aren’t able to answer your questions and your assessments are complicated, please contact me at ward09@calgary.ca and my office and I will do our best to clarify your matter and to find a solution prior to you looking into filing a complaint on your tax assessment.

It’s important that The City of Calgary get how we tax our citizens right and that when we get it wrong, you have a way to correct it.

In addition, here are some helpful online resources:

p.s.

Don’t forget to connect with me on social media and online to stay informed and to keep our conversation on building Great Neighbourhoods moving forward.

Thanks!

          

Is the future of your neighbourhood important to you?

Hello Bridgleland-Riverside & Renfrew Neighbours,

In 2016, I ran a series of Community Objectives Workshops (lovingly known as COWs) in every one of our Ward 9 neighbourhoods. This was an opportunity for our Ward 9 neighbours - including residents, community associations, businesses, service providers and community institutions - to come out and tell me what they love about their community, how their quality of life can improve and how we all can help drive the change we want to see for the future of our great neighbourhoods. 

From this work, we were able to come together and develop a game plan on tackling important issues in each of our communities. Your Team Ward 9 and I recorded all the data collected (which can be found in our Bridgeland-Riverside & Renfrew Raw Data Report) and distilled this information into the Ward 9 Strategic Report 2013-2017.

I would like to invite you to a follow up session from our first COW. In this workshop we are looking to re-evaluate and review our priorities established in 2016 and identify new issues and concerns. The ideas, thoughts and knowledge gathered from this session will be used for our 2018-2021 Strategic Plan. 

You did not have to attend the 2016 COW to be able to participate in our 2018 series.

Join Your Team Ward 9!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

10:30am to 2:30pm

Renfrew Community Association – 811 Radford Road NE

*Light refreshments and lunch will be served*

 

Please RSVP at http://www.gccarra.ca/cow-bridgeland-riverside-renfrew/

 

As you know, I believe that great neighbourhoods make a great city. Come out and help drive the good work being by your Team Ward 9.

Yours,

Gian-Carlo

 

BR and Renfrew COW - 2018.jpg

3 More Sleeps!

December 22, 2017

With just 3 more sleeps before Christmas, I wanted to update you on the current Snow and Ice response.

Update

Roads Snow and Ice Control (SNIC) operations update for December 22:

Roads crews have restarted P1 routes with snow event #9 starting on Dec 21 at 14:00h. The new snowfall overnight was between 1-2 cm.

Our priority system consists of Priority 1 - 4. The current status is:

  • P1 - 60% complete
  • P2 - 5% complete
  • Cycle Track - 10% complete
  • Bike Lanes - 0% complete
  • P3 and P4 - 0% complete

We recognize the amount of snow is significant and a parking ban may be of some benefit. The decision to not invoke a parking ban was made for the following reasons:

1/ Type of snow:

This type of snow has a dryer less cohesive, i.e. powdery type composition and is more easily managed and less intrusive for parking areas than heavy wet snow.

2/ Time of year:

This time of year, many vehicles are left on-street by people who have left Calgary and although they are responsible for the vehicle there is a lower ability for them to manage their vehicle during this time of year coupled with an influx of visitors creating a greater demand for on-street parking. If a ban were called it would be in effect starting December 21 for up to 72 hours, ending on Dec 24th.

3/ Favourable forecast:

Favourable snowfall forecast, so minimal new accumulation that would further affect parking along snow route parking ban corridors.

4/ Field assessment:

We assessed the access and egress in several neighbourhoods along snow route parking ban routes and saw vehicles navigating relatively easily. Only trouble was at 26 bus locations and those are already being addressed and bus zones are already parking restricted.

For these reasons, we decided not to invoke a parking ban. Our focus will be on intersection clean-up and other priority routes. We understand there may be some minor impacts associated without calling a parking ban as windrows adjacent to parked vehicles reduce convenient access but felt on balance this was the best decision for the community at this time of year.

Click to see completed routes and current progress on: https://maps.calgary.ca/RoadConditions/?redirect=/roadconditions

The cost so far to respond to snow event #8 is $665k including $69K of contractor costs.

Material usage during snow event #8: 2289 tonnes of salt, 1544 tonnes of pickle mix and 19,756 litres of liquid products (salt brine, calcium chloride brine and a carbohydrate based brine).

Total 3-1-1 SR’s (Service Requests) is 396 SR’s.

dec 22 snic.png

Everyday I'm shovellin', shovellin'

December 20, 2017

I hope that everybody has made it safely through the snow over the last 24 hours.

As I can imagine, there may be some frustration out there about roads getting cleared, but be assured that the City of Calgary does have a plan and here’s the update for December 20.

Update

Calgary’s received between 12-20 cm of snow since noon yesterday leaving roads, sidewalks and cycling infrastructure snow-covered. Snow flurries continue to fall in some pockets of the city. The City of Calgary’s full complement of crews are out working on high volume routes, clearing snow and laying down material.

Our friends, family and neighbours who drive are reminded to slow down and drive for the winter road conditions.

The focus for City of Calgary crews is on P1 (Priority 1) Routes and there has been a good response to this storm.

Our priority system consists of Priority 1 - 4. The current status is:

  • Priority 1 - 5% complete
  • Priority 2 - 0% complete
  • Cycle Track – 0% complete
  • Bike Lanes - 10% complete
  • Priority 3 and Priority 4 – 0% complete

You can keep track of completed routes and current progress by clicking here

The cost so far to respond to this latest snow storm has been $289k including $12K of contractor costs. Annual budget of $38.1M, the General Ledger is at $37.1M (97%) spent as of December 20. No updates were sent for snow event #7 and snow was primarily in the southern region of Calgary.

Material usage during this snow period:

  • 393 tonnes of salt
  • 25 tonnes of pickle mix
  • 6,555 litres of liquid products (salt brine, calcium chloride brine and a carbohydrate based brine).

What’s next?

The 7-day forecast shows periods of snow falling until Thursday. Looks like we are going to have a white Christmas, after all. 

7 day forcast.jpg

P.S. If you saw a wet brown solution on the roads before the storm yesterday, don’t be alarmed – the Roads Department is trialing beet juice mixed with salt brine as an anti-icing agent. The mixture has been used in provinces across Canada highway maintenance and has been proven to be a very effective material for snow and ice control.

P.P.S. Roads is also trialing the use of snow gates this winter season. These prevent snow from being transferred off the end of the plow thus reducing windrows for short stretches on roadways which will improve accessibility for Calgarians.

P.P.P.S Thank you to my friends in Roads for this fantastic information!

Above Seasonal Weather is Over – Get Ready for Some Snow!

December 18, 2017

10 to 30 cm of snow is expected to start tomorrow for the Calgary area with light flurries continuing into Wednesday.

The City of Calgary’s road crews are monitoring the situation closely and are ready to deploy to all Priority 1 routes as soon as possible.

Priority 1 routes include any major roadway with traffic volumes exceeding 20,000 vehicles per day (like MacLeod Trail). Once all Priority 1 routes are complete, road crews will move on to Priority 2 (5,000 to 19,999 vehicles per day) and Priority 3 & 4 routes.

If you are concerned about snow and ice control in your neighbourhood please remember to file a Service Request by either calling 311, visiting 311 Online or downloading the app to your smartphone.

You can also review the Road Condition Map to see what routes have been cleared.

Currently there are no snow route parking bans in effect.

 

Want to know more?

Learn more about the City of Calgary’s 7 Day Snow Event Plan

Need Help Clearing Your Sidewalks?

Check out some of the Community Based Snow Removal Programs

Or nominate a Snow Angel if someone has already been giving you a hand.

 

Penny Pinching Or Unfettered Spending? Council's 2018 Budget Adjustments

At the end of November, City Council and I reviewed and adjusted the 2018 municipal budget.  2018 marks the final year of Action Plan 2015-2018, Calgary’s first ever four-year budget plan. Over four long (and sometimes grueling) days we examined the successes of previous budgets and set ambitious goals for our future. I am pleased with where we are and look forward to the coming year as we develop One Calgary, the City's next four-year budget plan.

This budget purposefully focused on investing in safety, social services and public transit and easing the tax burden on Calgarians. I am excited for the Great Neighbourhoods work we will be executing on throughout 2018.

Key Elements of the approved 2018 Municipal Budget Adjustments include:

  • Reduction to the previously approved 2018 municipal property tax rate increase from 4.7 per cent to 0.9 per cent for property owners.
  • $20.8 million for Calgary Police Service (CPS) for the addition of 55 new members to address growing demands, additional human resources, and to fund body-worn cameras.
  • $4 million from the Fiscal Stability Reserve to fund the low income transit pass for Calgarians.
  • $4 million to restore the recommended reductions to Calgary Transit service hours and to invest additional services to optimize the system.
  • $3 million approved from the Fiscal Stability Reserve to Community Services for safe communities, youth and low-income programs and crime prevention.
  • $23.7 million in 2017 tax room dedicated to fund Green Line financing costs for 27 years ending in 2044.
  • Reducing the 2018 basic sanitary tipping fees from $119 to $113 per tonne and Planning & Development fees, to reduce the burden on Calgary businesses.
  • Approving $1.7 billion for capital investment in Calgary infrastructure.

Council also directed Administration to determine the cost of extending the Municipal Non-residential Phased Tax Program (PTP) to help Calgary non-residential property owners, and report back to Council in the first quarter of 2018 with a recommendation on either extending the PTP or finding a more efficient way to provide tax relief to businesses.

This City Council continues to display sound fiscal management and a solid track record, evidenced in the latest credit ratings, which are among the best of Canadian municipalities.

I will continue to encourage balance and both social and fiscal responsibility for the City of Calgary and ensure that we maintain consistent fiscal performance, maintain a low tax burden and sizable financial reserves, as well as continue to be innovative and lead economic and population growth.

Gian-Carlo Carra


Want to know more? 

Read the full 2018 Adjustments to Action Plan report


Undertanding City Finances 

Action-Plan-Infographic-1.jpg

I Can’t Believe This Garbage at the City

(1 minute read)

I’m happy to announce that the hours at the East Calgary Waste Facility will have new hours of operation!

Starting February 6, 2018, the East Calgary facility will switch to a 6-day-per-week (Monday to Saturday) operation, with seven-day operation taking place from April to October.

In late 2016 Waste & Recycling Services had a significant revenue shortfall due to a decline in waste being sent to their facilities. Facing this difficult situation, they made the decision to lay off landfill workers and reduce their hours of operation and switched to a staggered schedule where each of their sites would be open four days a week.

These changes helped reduce operating costs. However, through conversations with many customers, constituents and by observing what is working and what isn’t, it became clear that they needed to offer more predictable service to residents and convenience to the commercial customers who are responsible for most of their revenue.

With this change, they have increased the total number of weekdays they are open and increased the number of operating days to 13 per week in the summer instead of the current 12. This has all been accomplished without increasing our operating budget.

If you would like more information, please feel free to follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gccarra, Facebook at www.facebook.com/gccarra, or contact me at 403-268-5330.

Thanks!

Zoo Road and 12 Street S.E. Bridge Opening

It is with genuine excitement and enthusiasm that I send out this invitation on behalf of the 12 Street S.E. Bridge Replacement and the Zoo Flood Mitigation project teams, as well as your Team Ward 9, to join us for the official opening of Zoo Road and the 12 Street S.E. (Zoo) Bridge. 

Please Join Us!

When: Saturday December 9, 2017

Time: 1pm to 3pm 

Where: 12th Street Bridge S.E. (south side)

There will be food and warm drinks along with games, caroling, horse and wagon rides and a visit from Santa. Don't miss out on this family-friendly celebration to thank our Ward 9 neighbours for their patience and understanding.

On that note, I would like to personally thank all of you who endured the many months of construction (and earsplitting noise from the pile driving!).  I know this was not always easy, and there were a lot of lessons-learned as we worked to coordinate the different projects happening throughout Inglewood and Ramsay.  

The 12 Street S.E. Bridge is just the beginning. Through the Main Streets program we will also address the entire length of 12 Street S.E. from the bridge deck to the Green Line LRT Station, four blocks south. With more major infrastructure work to come, I am confident that we will be able to mitigate the impacts on our communities while meeting the project timelines. And you can be sure that I will be fighting tooth-and-nail to ensure the needs and wants of our neighbours are heard by City Administration. 

This historic re-investment into the original neighbourhoods of Calgary is an incredible first step in building a better city for us all. I am proud to say that we are working towards a city that focuses on putting tax-dollars back into the inner-city rather than subsidizing unsustainable growth out on the edges. Over this term you can be sure that I will be holding the City's feet to the fire to make sure that we extend this re-investment to all our great neighbourhoods in Ward 9 (I'm looking at you, East Calgary). 


Want to know more? 

Have a look at all the Inglewood and Ramsay area projects.

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Building Local Communities - A National Housing Strategy That Lasts?

(1 minute read)

Providing affordable housing to Calgarians is a major point of my Great Neighbourhoods platform. I know a lot of you are interested in seeing this land well and have the best return on investment possible - financially, socially and environmentally - for our city and citizens.

On Wednesday, November 22, 2017, the federal government released a $40-billion national housing program. I welcome the federal government’s increased direct involvement in the delivery of affordable housing.

On my initial reading, it seems that the strategy does reflect a resident-centric approach. My desire is that a large part of this strategy has meaningful consultation with Calgarians and complements the work that The City of Calgary has been doing.

I’m optimistic that the federal government’s commitment on capital funding to deliver new affordable housing will positively impact thousands of families in Calgary, in general, and East Calgary, specifically.

While my colleagues on City Council and I look forward to working with all orders of government to ensure the most efficient and impactful use of these funds, I will remain laser-focused on ensuring the details on how this funding will flow to Calgary, what projects City Council sees as priorities, and how this funding can positively uplift and impact our friends and neighbours in our neighbourhoods.

I was also encouraged to read that the federal government will be creating a $2,500 per year housing benefit to support both tenants and non-profit housing providers alike, making many more units affordable.

As with all policies and programs that affect Calgarians, I support the direction or prioritizing research and evidence-based approaches to make sure we have the best possible policies for those who need them the most.

I will continue to keep focused on delivering the best outcomes for our citizens building Great Neighbourhoods.

To Bid or Not To Bid? Update on the 2026 Winter Olympics

Many of our Ward 9 neighbours have been asking our office about Calgary's potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics, particularity with Council's decision on Monday, November 20th to increase the bid exploration budget by $1 million. 

As it stands, I am undecided on where I land with the 2026 Olympic Bid for Calgary. Ultimately, I believe that the Olympics need Calgary more than Calgary needs the Olympics.

Calgarians have been divided around the idea of hosting another Olympic Games. On the one hand, those who oppose Calgary putting forward a bid for 2026 believe that the Olympics have become a deeply corrupt organization that costs a tremendous amount of money with little return for the host city. On the other hand, many reflect on the success of the 1988 Winter Games and the spirit of volunteerism and pride that showcased our incredible city in this stunning part of the world. 

The fate of the Olympics as an organization is unknown. If it continues on its current path it may cease to exist entirely. However, if the IOC goes down a path of reform, Calgary may have a real opportunity to show the world (once again) our amazing city, which is built on the principles of good governance, and the incredible people that live here all while renewing our Olympic legacy. It may also bring significant economic development and infrastructure opportunities to this entire region and continue to develop Calgary as a centre of sports excellence.

Can we get there?

That is what City Council and the Olympic Bid Committee are working to figure out right now.

The original budget for the Olympic Bid Committee was $5 million. After the report was complete there was $1.5 million left over. Council agreed on Monday, November 20th to allow for another $2 million for further research into a potential bid for 2026. Only $1 million will be given at this time.


Want to know more?

Watch Gian-Carlo's video -  posted January 2017 - when Council first received an update from Administration on this issue. 

Check out the City of Calgary's Olympic Bid page and the Calgary Bid Exploration committee's work. 

3 Things We Can Do To Make Our Neighbourhoods Even Better

(2 minute read)

Building communities can seem like it’s a big job for one person. When I speak with residents they ask me how they can make a difference in their neighbourhood. After thinking about it, here are three things that aren’t hard, expensive, or time-consuming to do.

1.       If you see something, say something

The squeaky wheel always gets the grease.

Apathy kills neighbourhood pride. Too often, we let things slide and get out of hand. The best way to make sure your neighbourhood thrives is to use the resources that The City of Calgary has. For example, if you see a pothole, a neighbours yard or park space that isn’t kept up you can call Calgary 311 or use their website or mobile app and report it. If there’s been a crime, call the Calgary Police Services non-emergency line at 403-266-1234. If you see a crime in progress, call 911. Also, don’t forget to call me, your City Councillor, to talk about what we can do together to make things even better in your neighbourhood.  Remember, these services and people are here to help. You’re NEVER bothering us.

 

2.       Join your community association

Your time volunteering for your community association can be as much or as little as you can afford to give. The most important thing is getting involved!

Joining is the next best thing you can do to make a neighbourhood better. There is a link between activity in the community association and the level of service that those communities get from The City of Calgary. Community associations in Calgary have a lot of influence with the City of Calgary and with the City Councillor. You may know community associations put on events, rent hall space, and provide space for sports activities. What you may not know is that community associations have the support of a dedicated City of Calgary Neighbourhood Partnership Coordinator, has a Community Resource Officer from the Calgary Police Service who attends meetings, along with your City Councillor, and makes comments on land use, traffic, and parking changes.

Unsightly yards and park space? A Beautification Committee can be started to address them.

Traffic problems? A Traffic & Parking committee can look into how to fix those problems.

No community garden? A Community Garden committee can work towards starting one.

The strength of community associations and their activity in a neighbourhood depends on the ideas that residents have.

 

3.       Get to know your neighbours

The easiest thing that you can do to make your communities more vibrant, safer, and full of community pride is getting to know your neighbours.

It’s a simple thing, but something that has gotten lost in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. Knowing your neighbours goes a long way in making sure that your community is safe. Being able to know when something or somebody is suspicious in your neighbourhood is directly linked to whether or not you know your neighbours and their friends.

By saying hello, going to community, Stampede and Neighbour Day events goes a long way in fostering that small-town and village feel that we love in our communities.

These are a few of my thoughts. If you have other ideas on how we can make neighbourhoods better, I encourage you to send me an email to ward09@calgary.ca or follow me on Twitter or Facebook (www.twitter.com/gccarra and www.facebook.com/gccarra) or call my office at 403-268-5330.

Let’s continue the tradition of making sure that the best neighbourhoods in Calgary are found in East Calgary.

Gian-Carlo Carra

Welcome to the New Ward 9

Dear Ward 9 Neighbours, 

This is the first opportunity I’ve had to write to you since Calgary’s municipal election on October 16th. Firstly, I am deeply honoured to be representing the amazing neighbourhoods of Ward 9 for a third term and am so grateful for the support and encouragement I received to continue our mission of building Great Neighbourhoods.

Though this election was, at times, divisive and discouraging, it is my belief that our Ward 9 neighbours were clear in their commitment to building a city that is affordable, vibrant, inclusive, economically diverse and pays for itself in the long-term.

Over the last few weeks, your Team Ward 9 has been busy getting the office ready for this exciting third term and (re)connecting with many of our neighbours. Together, there is a lot we want to accomplish over the next four years in our new Ward 9.

As many of you are aware, city-wide changes to each ward came into effect immediately after the election.  Ward 9 maintained 8 of our original communities and gained 8 new ones.

Together, we represent a strong, unified East Calgary. 

Your Ward 9 is made up of the following communities: 

  • Renfrew
  • Bridgeland-Riverside
  • Inglewood
  • Ramsay
  • Manchester
  • Millican-Ogden-Lynwood
  • Fairview 
  • Dover
  • Southview
  • Albert Park-Radisson Heights
  • Erin Woods
  • Forest Lawn
  • Forest Heights
  • Penbrooke Meadows
  • Applewood Park
  • Red Carpet 
Each icon represents all the unique neighbourhoods that make up Ward 9!

Each icon represents all the unique neighbourhoods that make up Ward 9!

Find more information about our Ward 9 neighbourhoods and some of the work I have done over the last seven years through our Community Objectives Workshops.  You can also check out the latest episode of Ward 9 TV Lite, my video-blog to stay up-to-date and informed about what is happening at City Hall and in our communities. 

Please know that I am here to serve you as your City Councillor. Do not hesitate to reach out to your Team Ward 9 if you have any neighbourhood issues, concerns, ideas or insights. 

Looking forward to working with all the Ward 9 great neighbourhoods this term!

Yours truly,

Gian-Carlo

Gian-Carlo