About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

City Council Preview - What's on the Agenda for the July 18 Meeting?

It's all been leading to this... The epic midseason finale of Guelph City Council! After Monday night's meeting, council goes on its traditional midsummer break, so that means there's lots and lots of business to take care of before school let's out for (the rest of) summer - so to speak. 
Closed Meeting - Community Energy Initiative – District Energy Business Case; and Bargaining Update for Fire and OPSEU.
PRESENTATION - 2016 Ontario Senior of the Year Certificate to Ross Knechtel.
Corporate Services Committee: Customer Service Framework - Improving customer service has repeatedly been cited as a primary concern for city council. "Guelph’s corporate strategic plan has at its core a commitment to delivering public services better. Citizen-centred service that is consistent, reliable and of high quality is inherent in that commitment," says the report. Among the findings is the importance of Open Guelph in assuring continued success in meeting the city's customer service goals, combining consistent service with the latest technology, creating a single location through which people can access most city services, creating a single online porthole and single phone number through which people can access all non-emergency services, and the creation of a team with a central knowledge base to make it easier for people to get the information they need. Funding these initiatives will be referred to the 2017 budget deliberations for council's consideration.
Corporate Services Committee: Restating the 2016 Budget Reflecting Stormwater Service as Rate Supported for the 2017 Budget - The shift from stormwater being rate-supported instead of tax-supported will not be without cost, $1,931,600 to be precise. With nearly $2 million about be taken out of the tax-supported budget, an accounting has to be made. So the city is suggesting $715,000 from the tax supported stormwater funding business unit, $201,600 in departmental charge backs allocated to stormwater funding, $1.2 million in capital allocations, and less than $185,000 stormwater charges for City properties. These changes, if accepted, will be made in the 2017 budget process.
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Committee: Waste Resource Innovation Centre (WRIC) Site Logistics, Yard Waste and Rate Structure - So it seems that the fee structure for yard waste as introduced in the 2016 User Fee By-law and 2016 Solid Waste Resource Budget "is not practicable due to the volume of yard waste received and limited scale capacity" at the Waste Innovation Resource Centre. Apparently, the revenue projections for yard waste in 2016 were over-stated leaving a $180,000 negative year-end variance behind. Along with that, the City of Guelph has the lowest minimum drop-off fee of comparative municipalities at $3 per bag. So what to do?
Staff is recommending that the minimum fee for mixed solid waste and minimum residential yard waste fee be increased to $5. Further feedback from the the community through an online survey suggested strong support for curbside pick-up, and reduced wait times at the WIRC, which the staff supports. Curbside pick-up will also be expanded by two weeks in April and November, and staff is suggesting an increase to the commercial rate of $60 per tonne, starting August 1. Council is also being asked to approve a $200,000 transfer from Reserve 352 – Greenhouse Gas Reserve to capital for enhanced site access and safety, and a $25,000 transfer from Reserve 352 – Greenhouse Gas Reserve to capital for conceptual design of new scale infrastructure and site works.
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Committee: Corporate Asset Management Overview and Work Plan - New funding for infrastructure, specifically Ontario's Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative in 2012 and the new gas tax funding agreement, requires all municipalities to have an asset management plan in place. The City of Guelph has over $3 billion in physical assets, primarily buildings, the upkeep and operation of goes on for decades, so it's being asked by higher levels of government that asset plans that balance levels of service, risk, and cost effectiveness throughout the entire asset lifecycle be in place by the end of this calendar year. It will still take a couple of years for the plan to be fully implemented though.
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Committee: Stormwater Funding Study – Implementation Strategy - As you may (or may not) know, the City of Guelph is moving to a non-tax based funding model for stormwater, or as you might call it, a user fee. So what's the Implementation Strategy? It's a detailed plan that addresses the timelines and resource requirements for establishing and administering the stormwater funding mechanism, including the development of a credit policy, database management, adaptation or creation of a billing system, and related policy, bylaw, and business process considerations." The full shift to user fees will unfurl over 10 to 14 months.
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Committee: Guidelines for the Development of Contaminated or Potentially Contaminated Sites - Would you be surprised to learn that the City of Guelph has no formal guideline for the evaluation of contaminated or potentially contaminated lands during planning and development processes? Currently, the City uses Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) regulations to oversee the development of potentially contaminated sites, but in that there are caveats that sometimes slowdown the development process, like when companies have to file a Record of Site Condition (RSC) when the new development is not moving to a "more sensitive land use" condition. The City's been developing these guidelines with consultation from all the various stakeholders to ensure the protection of drinking water, to not increase the risk to human health and the environment, provide accurate information on the history of sites in need of remediation, and provide guidance and framework for stakeholders submitting Environmental Site Assessments (ESA).
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Committee: Process Recommendation for Identifying Potential Downtown City-owned Real Estate Partnerships - The City owns a number of properties downtown, up to and including the Barker Street parking lot. This area has been eyed for a long time for redevelopment, and the City wants to get this, and other properties, ‘development ready’ meaning money is needed upfront to "stager current uses to facilitate redevelopment." Business Development and Enterprise (BDE), working with the asset procurement specialist firm CollinsBarrow, is recommending a four-stage process to find private sector partners and establish guidelines in implementing the Downtown Secondary Plan. While doing that though, the City will also be maintaining their relationships with the YMCA, the Guelph Public Library, the U of G, and Conestoga College as its decided what will become of the Baker Street lot. Money for this report will come from the Capital Project SS-0019 “Baker Street Redevelopment – Phase 3.”

Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Committee: Sign By-law Variances – 37 Quebec Street - eBar is requesting to be allowed to have a new illuminated sign for itself to replace the old martini glass one.
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Committee: Sign By-law Variances – 111- 193 Silvercreek Parkway North - Strathallen Property Management Inc. is looking for permission to install two new free standing signs at Willow West Mall along Willow Road and Silvercreek Pkwy N.
Ward Boundary Adjustment - Back in the day, the eastern border between Ward 5 and Ward 6 stretched across a wide swath of undeveloped land, but a lot has changed. The current boundary between Ward 5 and Ward 6 runs along Kortright Rd E and continuing east separating Zaduk Pl with the north half in Ward 5 and the south half in Ward 6. The new boundary will follow along Zaduk Pl then east along McAlister Blvd to Victoria St S.

Community Energy Initiative - District Energy Business Case Findings and Recommendations - Following up on the May 16 council meeting and a request for more information, we return to the issue of the CEI and District Energy. That information includes the financial history of the Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc group of companies, and the closed minutes and accompanying material from the November 23, 2015 and February 29, 2016 meetings. Staff also has recommendations for a business case going forward in regards to CEI: exit the current investments; operate the current nodes “as-is”; and preserve opportunity for growth.
Proposed Demolition of 129 Surrey Street East - The owner is looking to demolish the single-detached dwelling presently on the property and replace it with a new single-detached dwelling.
Heritage Permit Application (HP16-0005) for Partial Demolition, Alterations and New Construction at 72-74 Arthur Street North under Part IV, Sections 33 and 34 of the Ontario Heritage Act - The property known as "Mavis Bank" was built in 1866 and was the childhood home of Canadian author and composer Laura Lemon, and as such it is protected by the Ontario Heritage Act. The Senior Heritage Planner has examined the plans and decided that "the partial demolition, alterations and new construction proposed by heritage permit HP16-0005 is in keeping with proper heritage conservation practice and does not pose a negative impact to the heritage attributes protected by the designation by-law." Those changes include demolition of the existing attached accessory building and detached shed, construction of a two-storey attached garage with breezeway connection to the dwelling, a new Arthur Street entry and mudroom in the stone dwelling, expansion of the east verandah and partial infill of under existing verandah, a reinstatement of the stair landing window on street elevation, the creation of new window openings on street elevation and new, low stone walls at north property line. Heritage Guelph endorsed the alterations at its May 9 meeting.
Council Appointments to the Committee of Management for the Elliott - The City is proposing to keep the current committee make-up to "minimize any disruptions in the business and decision-making operations for the Elliott Long-Term Care Residence" as council moves from a committee-based structure to a committee-of-the-whole one.
Councillors Request for Access to Additional Training Funding, 2016 Budget Year - Councillor Mark MacKinnon is requesting $2,000 to attend the AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) conference, August 14-17 2016 in Windsor, Ontario. Meanwhile, Councillors James Gordon and June Hofland are asking for $1,800 each to attend the Creative Cities Summit conference from October 17-19 2016 in Surrey, British Columbia. Council put aside $39,000 in the budget for additional training, and so far, only $9,000 of that has been spent this year.
Spring 2016 to Winter 2021 U-Pass Contract Renewal - Remember this? Well, since the undergrad students at the U of G approved it in April, it is now council's turn. The new UPass agreement will see a $50 increase to the UPass over the next five years starting this summer; the full phase-in will see a $15 increase for 2016/17, a $10 increase each school year between 2017 and 2020, and a final $5 increase in the 2020/21 school year. The revenue from the UPass will generate $34 million over five years.
29 Victoria Road South Proposed Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment (File: OP1501 /ZC1507) as referred from July 11, 2016 - A matter referred from last Monday's meeting concerning the rezoning of a proposed development from “General Residential” to “Neighbourhood Commercial Centre.”

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