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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Committee of the Whole Preview - What's on the Agenda for the May 1 Meeting?

May's Committee-of-the-Whole meeting will be a packed one, but not with anything too terrible controversial. A lot of budget touch-ups, some new speed limits, and the updates to new and ongoing programs are all on the docket.
CLOSED MEETING - Council Briefing on the Public Libraries Act
COW-IDE-2017.20 Elementary School Speed Zone – Update - After two years of study, the City has found that reduced speed limits in school zones have had a slightly positive impact on the safety of children going to and from school, but they've also found that the safety difference between 30 km/hour and 40 km/hour is negligible. So, staff is recommending that all 30 zones be upped to 40, while at the same time the speed zones will be extended to all roadways with a 3,000 annual average daily traffic. Additional speed zones will also be created based on a number of factors including fencing location, property line separation, sidewalks, school entrances, and other other mitigating factors.
COW-IDE-2017.21 Municipal Property and Building Commemorative Naming Annual Report - The Naming Committee has recommendations for three City-owned assets, and one non-City owned asset. Committee Room 112 at City Hall is suggested to be renamed the Marg Mackinnon Community Room for the second woman to ever serve on city council from 1973-1985. The trail north of Woodlawn to Victoria Rd might now be called Robbie's Path for Robbie Jeffery Montgomery, a young man who passed away two years after stopping a proposed condominium development that would have had a negative effect on the area in 1985. The non-City asset is in regards to a trial at the end of Dawn Ave. The trail is owned by the Grand River Conservation Authority, and the public suggestion is to call it Dodge Lane for the Dodge family who once owned a farm on that land when they purchased it in 1953. The Naming Committee also dealt with a recommendation for the outstanding council resolution regarding Jessica's Footprint, so an educational sign will be erected at York Rd Park near the covered bridge to pay tribute to the work of Jessica's Footprint.
COW-IDE-2017.22 2017 Development Priorities Plan Summary - The plan is an annual report that sets targets for the number of new dwelling units, and for the registration of subdivisions based on project-readiness, the means set aside in the capital budget, and the availability of services. For 2017, the DPP is recommending up to 885 units within nine planned subdivisions. It's worth nothing that the target is usually set much higher than what's achieved. In 2016, 934 units in six developments were targeted, but only two plans were registered, and 142 units completed.
COW-IDE-2017.23 Federation of Canadian Municipalities – Climate and Asset Management Network Application - The FCM has a plan for helping cities meet their sustainability goals. The Climate and Asset Management Network will provide grants, training, and peer-learning opportunities to help municipal governments make sure decisions about infrastructure assets and services match goals for sustainability and combating climate change. There will be an application process to see if Guelph is picked to be a participant, but if we are, the City could get upwards of $175,000 in grant money, with the City having to make a matching contribution to a maximum of $75,000 or 30 per cent of the grant. Phase 1 of the project will see Guelph having to develop an asset management strategy with a new policy and government structure to commit to the new goals and objectives.
COW-IDE-2017.24 Termite Control Program 2016 Annual Report - There were five management areas for termite control in 2016: the Windermere area, the Emma-Pine area, the Woolwich area, the King St area, and the John Galt area. The number of active properties though has continued to go down, from a high of 104 in 2011, to just 14 in 2016, which is almost half as many cases as there were in 2015. In fact, this is the lowest level of termite incidents since 1999, with six sectors going from red to blue, and seven sectors going from blue to white (white is best). Goals for 2017 include chemical spot treatments, the refurbishment and removal of traps, and the further removal of those attractive (to termites) tree stumps.
COW-IDE-2017.25 2016 Building Permit Revenue and Expenditures, Building Stabilization Reserve Fund, Annual Setting of Building Permit Fees and Building By-law Amendments - We'll get into matters of surplus later in the agenda, but this item is, partially, a matter of deficits. The operating budget for administration and enforcement of the Building Code Act was $215,239 in the hole for 2016, so that hole will be filled from Building Stabilization Reserve Fund, the balance for which as of December 31, 2016 is almost $2.8 million. Staff is also advising an increase of 2.56 per cent to building permit fees as of June 1 in order to better reflect the effort put into reviewing applications and inspecting projects, and an administration fee is also being recommended. Staff is also advising that amendments be made to automatically appoint building inspectors and require fencing for certain construction and demolition sites.
COW-GOV-2017.01 CAO Performance Development Plan (PDP) Process - The Chief Administrative Officer, now Derrick Thomson, used to have his or her performance evaluated by the Governance committee, but now Governance committee is part of Committee-of-the-Whole, which requires some adjustment to how the CAO is evaluated. Now the CAO will have to provide two reports per year on how they're fairing in the completion of their objectives, and what they've got next on their to do list. A Committee of Council will work with the CAO to approve the objectives and create a development plan, while reporting back to council, with the assistance of the General Manager of Human Resources, on any changes to salary based on contract provisions.
Review and Discussion Regarding Notices of Motion - Councillor Hofland will speak to this item.
COW-CS-2017.05 Six Month Committee of the Whole Recap - Can you believe this is the eighth Committee-of-the-Whole meeting? Well, staff promised to come back with a report on how it's all been going since September, and despite a few hiccups, it seems like it's been going okay. Staff is recommending that Committee-of-the-Whole continue but with a couple of little changes: that the chair position will be appointed on a rotating basis from the current service area chairs for the rest of the current session, and that remuneration for the chair positions will be eliminated.
COW-CS-2017.06 2016 Operating Variance Report and Surplus and Deficit Allocation - There were some savings last year, but staff is recommending that all that money be put back into the reserve fund. The surplus from the tax supported budget comes out to a little over $3 million, which will be re-invested to the Infrastructure Renewal reserve and the Tax Rate Stabilization reserve. A Water surplus of $180,467 will be put into the Water Stabilization reserve, while Wastewater has a surplus of $840,098 that will be but in the Wastewater Capital reserve. And finally, the Court Services surplus of $484,958 will be split evenly between the POA (Provincial Offences Act) Contingency and Capital funds. The City did run a negative variance of $1.9 million in City departments, last year, including the loss of half-a-million in the new Guelph Storm agreement, and lost revenue from the summer transit service cuts.
COW-CS-2017.07 2016 Year-End Capital Variance Report - So the good news is that no capital projects are presently expected to end up over budget... Except one. The Clair/Laird and Hanlon Interchange project went over budget by $691,000, but the blame there goes to the Ministry of Transportation Ontario. Staff is asking for a transfer to the Highway Development Charge Reserve to cover the costs. Other than that the City spent $84.9 million on capital construction projects, which is up $66 million in 2015.
COW-PS-2017.04 Business License Fees 2017 - Business licensing fees are going to see an average increase of 3.4 per cent or $6.68 for 2017 for new licenses, and an average increase of 3.68 per cent or $7.88 for renewals. The fess are based on a cost recovery model.
COW-PS-2017.05 Refugee Support Program Review - Last year, as a way of welcoming refugees to the Royal City, council and staff introduced the "Welcome to Guelph program", offering free passes for Guelph Transit, Guelph Museums, and open recreation programs for a one-year pilot project. Nearly 500 people picked up the "Welcome to Guelph" passes, and staff is recommending that the program now be made permanent at a cost of $3,100 for the first year, and $1,550 for each additional year for equipment purchases and upgrades.
Special Resolutions - CON-2017.10 City of Guelph and Guelph Public Library Governance – Mayor Guthrie’s Motion for Which Notice was Given on March 20, 2017; CON-2017.15 Exploring Pathways for Aligning Guelph’s Corporate Assets with the Low Carbon Economy – Councillor Gibson’s Motion for Which Notice was Given on April 10, 2017 (item pending decision of Council at the April 24, 2017 Council meeting); CON-2017.16 Notice of Motion Policy – Councillor Wettstein’s Motion for Which Notice was Given on April 10, 2017 (item pending decision of Council at the April 24, 2017 Council meeting)

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