This Week in Press Releases – January 18-22, 2016

Every week, the City of Guelph and other groups send out notices to announce new events, imperatives, and information that you need to know. Here is this week in press releases.

Let There Be Energy Efficient Light
Say so long to the high pressure sodium (HPS) street lights, Guelph is looking for a more energy efficient option, and the City is currently running a test period from now through to March to determine the viability of new bulbs on the basis of cost, energy efficiency, maintenance requirements, long-term technology compatibility and community preferences. “The City is in a position to save about 50 per cent of its 13,000 street lights’ energy use, about $750 thousand dollars in annual cost savings, by switching out Guelph’s HPS street lights with LEDs,” said Alex Chapman, the City’s program manager of Corporate Energy. “LED lights last longer, use much less electricity, require less maintenance and provide better illumination than the HPS lights we’re currently using.” The results of the test will be given to the Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise (IDE) Committee sometime in the spring as part of the Corporate Energy Strategic Business Plan.

Neighbourhood Officially Heritage Worthy
Guelph has its first heritage conservation district under the Ontario Heritage Act, the Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District. A contentious move that was appealed at the Ontario Municipal Board, the Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District Plan and Guidelines are now in effect for 160 properties covering the area north of College Avenue to the northern edge of Royal City Park along Gordon Street, and residential properties west of Gordon Street bound by Mary Street and Forbes Avenue. Under the news guidelines, property owners in the affected boundaries, cannot change, erect or demolish any building or structure on the property, and cannot remove trees greater than 20 centimetres in diameter that contribute to the heritage value or visual character of the district. “The Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District is the first area in our city to have its properties’ cultural heritage features recognized and protected,” says Stephen Robinson, Senior Heritage Planner. “The HCD designation also allows for new construction, alterations or demolitions on properties in the district provided the neighbourhood’s cultural heritage is conserved.” City Council approved the HCD on September 8, 2014

City and Firefighters to Mediate
On Tuesday, the City of Guelph and the Guelph Professional Firefighters’ Association (GPFFA) are moving into provincial mediation. Negotiations between the City and the GPFFA began last February, and the Royal City’s firefighters have been operating without a contract since last January. “Although our participation in the arbitration process is imminent, we remain optimistic that a contract that’s fair to our firefighters and affordable for our community can be reached outside of arbitration,” said David Godwaldt, the City’s general manager of Human Resources. “One day of mediated discussion could make the difference.” The interest arbitration date will be set for sometime later this year, perhaps in March.

Looking for a Few Bad Trees
It may be the middle of winter, but the City of Guelph’s keepers of the urban forest are looking for trees that are dead or dying and might become a hazard to the general public. Trees that might fall along the trails, private property, sidewalks, or roads of Guelph will be marked with an orange ‘X’ and they will be scheduled for removal sometime later this year. Don’t worry, it’s all according to the Emerald Ash Borer plan, but property owners are reminded that they are responsible for removing and disposing of hazardous trees and limbs from their properties.

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