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June 28th - Committee backs Community Improvement Plan for the Ottawa International Airport

The Finance and Economic Development Committee today approved establishing a Community Improvement Plan for the Ottawa International Airport (YOW CIP) to support the Airport’s rebound and future resiliency post-pandemic, as well as broader economic growth, job creation and prosperity.

Incentives would be available to airport tenants who develop or redevelop sites with projects that result in a minimum increase of $250,000 in property assessment value. The incentive would be in the form of a Tax Increment Equivalent Grant and funded by the uplift in property assessment and resulting increase in municipal property taxes following project completion. With approximately 100 hectares of land available for development or redevelopment within the proposed YOW CIP area, the Airport could realize more than $10 million in rent, should all available sites be developed or improved over time. Those funds would be reinvested in airport operations to grow passenger volumes and increase direct air routes. The YOW CIP program would be in effect for 10 years with a five-year option to extend.

The Committee approved additional funding for LRT Stage 2 in 2022. $35 million would go toward the construction utility budget, to be funded from development charge debt, rate reserves, and transit debt. Another $25 million would be budgeted for contingencies, to be funded from development charge debt and transit debt.

For the construction utility budget, the additional funding would address new budget pressures, including costs to relocate hydro and gas mains and escalating construction costs. The additional contingency funds would ensure that there is enough in the budget to cover forecasted unavoidable costs in 2022.

The Committee approved establishing a Parkland Funding and Retention Policy to help achieve the per capita parkland and facility provision levels recommended in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. As part of the policy, City-owned land sales would allocate 25 per cent of the sold property parcel for the development of municipal parks and recreation facilities, or 25 per cent of the net proceeds from those land sales would be transferred to the new Parks and Recreation Facilities Reserve.

The Committee also approved developing a municipal recreation centre at the Deschâtelets Building at 205 Scholastic Drive. The City would provide $10.5 million towards renovating a portion of the existing building, and building a gym in a new adjacent building, in partnership with the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE). These funds would serve as prepayment of the City’s rent on a 35-year lease for the community space, where it would provide recreation services. Staff would request an annual budget as part of the City’s 2023 budget process.

Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, July 6.

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