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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, September 21, 2017

Committee of the Whole Preview - What's on the Agenda for the October 2 Meeting?

October's committee brings new items from Governance, Public Services, and Infrastructure, Development & Enterprise. 

PRESENTATIONS: Recognition of the International Economic Development Council Award Peter Cartwright, General Manager, Business Development and Enterprise and staff; Recognition of Michael Witmer, Development Planner, for obtaining his Master of Public Administration degree; Children’s Groundwater Festival with Sue Reid, Program Coordinator; Metrolinx Capital Projects Update from Nick Faieta, Senior Advisor, Communications and Stakeholder Relations.
COW-IDE-2017.36 Service Delivery Methods in the Context of Business Service Reviews - In this informational report, staff outlines how services delivered by the City might be reorganized; council approved the study and framework back in October 2016. The methodology staff propose will look at relevance, effectiveness and efficiency through the lenses of service basics (what do we provide and why?), service levels (should we offer more or less?), improving services (can they be improved?), and alternate delivery (are there other ways to give citizens certain services?). Those other ways mentioned in the last point might include outsourcing, privatization, new partnerships, or municipal corporations. The only vote for this item will be whether or not council will receive the report. No other decisions will be made.
COW-IDE-2017.37 Water and Wastewater Rate Review- Billing Exemptions Study - Two recommendations coming from the exemption studies of the multi-phase Water and Wastewater Rate Review are being brought forward at this meeting. The first is the Sewer Abatement, which means any water that is taken into a building and is not processed into the normal sewer system, particularly in reference to IC&I businesses (meaning Industrial, Commercial & Institutional). Think of in-ground irrigation systems, water-cooled air conditioning system, or even your backyard in-ground pool. The other exemption is the Water Leak Billing Forgiveness Program, which will offer [some] forgiveness for customers for whom leaks on their property result in an unexpectedly high water bill. The program will offer a maximum of 50 per cent adjustment if water consumption increases by two-times the average. The sewer abatement program will result in a loss of revenue of $720,000 per year starting in 2019, as the program is not going to be part of the 2018 budget being brought forward to council. As for the water leaks exemption, it's unknown exactly how much the City might lose, but it could be approximately $60,000 per year.
COW-IDE-2017.38 Pedestrian Crossover Implementation - Earlier this year, city council approved the installation of new Level 2 Pedestrian crossovers across the City of Guelph, and they asked staff to find appropriate places to install them. In all, staff looked at 15 locations based on previous public requests, and collected data on all 15 to eventually determine that five new pedestrian crosswalks will be installed in 2018. The locations are: Grange Rd at Kearney St, Grange Rd at Auden Rd/Schroder Cres, Waterloo Ave between Woodycrest and Beechwood, Ironwood Rd near Reid Crt, and Woodlawn Rd E at Atto Dr. Each location met a threshold of 65 pedestrians in four hours or 100 pedestrians in eight hours. One of three different types of pedestrian crossing as outlined by the Province of Ontario (see the video below) will be installed sometime next year.

COW-IDE-2017.39 Corporate Project Management Office Progress Update - It's the second annual edition of this report following the establishment of the CPMO after the Deloitte report on the City Hall debacle was delivered in 2015. The CPMO is now made up of two divisions: Project & Program Management and Business Process Management. Presently, the office is overseeing the service reviews, of course, and also a couple of big construction projects including the Guelph Police Headquarters, and the Wilson Street Parkade. 
COW-GOV-2017.2 2018 Council and Committee Meeting Calendar - For those familiar with the scheduling of city council, not much will change for most of 2018. From February through July, the month will begin with Committee-of-the-Whole on the first Monday, the planning meeting on the second Monday, and the regular council meeting on the fourth Friday. If Monday is a holiday, that meeting date will move to Tuesday, or in some cases Wednesday. The first meeting of the year will be committee on January 15, with the first planning meeting on January 29; after the August break, the last meeting before the October 22 election is September 10. Council will begin again on November 19 with a planning meeting, which will be the final gathering of the present council. The new council will then be inaugurated in a special meeting on December 3. A striking committee will be held on December 10, followed by the first planning meeting that same night. The final city council meeting of 2018 will be held on December 17.
COW-GOV-2017.3 Election Policies - So it looks like the City Clerk has been thinking about next year's election too, and he's bringing forward new policies in terms of use of corporate resources during an election, and how to fill a council vacancy between elections. In terms of the former, changes to the Municipal Elections Act require the establishment of a separate policy that bars members, candidates, and City of Guelph employees from using City resources for election purposes. That includes the use of technology like phones and computers, or the use of official communications like the City of Guelph logo and flag. As for the latter, the City has not traditionally had a policy on how to fill a vacant council seat between elections, but the new rules will offer council the option of either appointing someone qualified, or holding a municipal by-election. In the case of a mayor leaving halfway through his or her term, there are four options: public appointment, promotion of a current member of city council, the appointment of the person that got the second most votes, or a by-election.
COW-PS-2017.12 Speedvale Avenue Bridge Underpass - Way back in 2015, council approved staff to proceed with a study on whether or not to expand the Trans Canada Trail on the west side of the Speed River by creating an underpass and new trail under Speedvale Rd. Staff was commissioned to proceed with a preliminary design and Environmental Impact Study, and more than two years later they return to council with a determination. Bad news though, trail heads: the City is opting to proceed no further with the proposal. After researching the idea with various stakeholders, it's been determined that there's a significant safety risk in building an underpass and trail. The area in question is a floodplain, and the type of building required given the environmentally sensitive area is not permitted in a One Zone Floodplain, as this area is classified. As a result, staff will look alternatives to the underpass for the Trails Master Plan, and the $50,000 in the 2017 Capital budget will be reallocated.

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