LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for May 30, 2016

It’s a special meeting of city council tonight as the horseshoe gathers to hear about what local projects might get federal infrastructure money, and about the possibility of high speed rail coming to town. You can click here for the amended agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico’s preview of tonight’s meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of tonight’s council meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

Guelph City Council Meeting – May 30, 2016

Live blog from the meeting starting at 6 pm

  1. Council goes back into closed meeting. That’s a wrap for the open section.
  2. Guthrie says Guelph’s “got to put our foot in the door.”
  3. Guthrie says he’s pleased w/discussions. Allt’s comments not accurate and their are opportunities for city.
  4. Better chance of Star Trek transporter coming to Guelph than HSR, says Allt.
  5. Physics-wise, the acceleration/deceleration btw Guelph and Kitchener doesn’t work.
  6. Cllr All has scepticism about HSR, like turning Highway 6 into a 400 series road.
  7. Bell: We should move forward knowing that there are implications that may not be agreeable to some constituents.
  8. Cllr Bell believes there are specifics that “fall out” of the HSR report. Have to decide if we want econ dev. or level crossings.
  9. Gordon says everyone around the horseshoe wishes “their pet project” was in Phase 1, but this is about shovel ready.
  10. Stewart: Staff wanted council to know that they haven’t forgotten things in phase two. It’s just not their time.
  11. Cllr Gordon asks about wish list, we don’t when and how right now.
  12. Cllr MacKinnon puts forward an amendment to the motion, specific Phase 1 since still working gone Phase 2.
  13. Stewart: Could be done this evening. Could be done when Feds establish the guidelines for next phase.
  14. Bell asks if Active Transpo Network can be started in Phase 2, how can council direct staff to include that in B list?
  15. The chances of us being 100% successful are “likely not there”, says Stewart.
  16. Active Transportation is new infrastructure. But Bell point out that Silvercreek underpass is new infrastructure.
  17. Bell questions about some of the things dropped from the initial list. The first phase is about upgrades and repair, says staff.
  18. Bell asks why it wasn’t in the forecast? Wasn’t listed on the 10 year plan
  19. Staff: Metcalfe plan is ready “on the shelf” to take advantage of circumstances like this. Was slated for 2017/18.
  20. Cllr Bell asks how Metcalfe St is “shovel ready” when it was no previously in capital budget.
  21. Stewart: City thinks that Prov should come to #guelph with “buckets of money” to address those grades. IOW: not shovel ready.
  22. Cllr Piper as about other at-grade crossings. Ties with later discussion about HSR. Are they not shovel ready?
  23. Staff: permitting is expected to come through later this year. Ground could be broken late this year.
  24. Hofland says that CN isn’t yet cool with the underpass. Has that been considered?
  25. Mayor Guthrie says council doesn’t have to move forward to it with Hofland has other/better ideas than Silvercreek gradient.
  26. Cllr Hofland wonders about the urgency of opening Silvercreek since there won’t be development there another 6 years.
  27. A foreman for OWS Railroad told me in 2013 that his company would be working on the gradient that summer :-/
  28. Silvercreek gradient is Phase One, the plans are set and project is shovel ready.
  29. Cllr Hofland asks about what Silvercreek gradient has to do with GO Transit. But it’s local development, and city has transpo issues.
  30. DCAO Stewart: What this does is allow federal funding to move things along, and allow time to collect local development charges.
  31. Cllr Hofland asks about SIlvercreek gradient, but development of Lafarge lands pushed off to 2022…
  32. Cllr Gibson raises distinction between social and affordable. Asks to hear about other partners.
  33. W.C. also doesn’t know what affordable housing project will look like, waiting for that info
  34. Staff have begun initial convos with W.C. They’re moving forward with expression of interest. Aware of IMACO project.
  35. Cllr Billings kicks off Qs. Asking about brownfield remediation and working with Wellington C. Do we need approval?
  36. Haven’t yet heard from the province on cost sharing agreements. Typically they pay for 1/3 or such projects.
  37. Fall 2016, the announcement of Phase 2, parameters to be revealed in 2017 budget.
  38. Improvements to main library branch would be about meeting AODA Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requirem’ts, new roof, etc
  39. Silvercreek grade separation means connecting the north and south end of the street under the tracks.
  40. New Building Canada Fund was started under Harper, but “accelerated” under Trudeau.
  41. Multiroute locations (bus stops) will be made accessible and be give shelters.
  42. The @cityofguelph is expecting $4M per year over the next few years. 25 buses could be retired and replaced.
  43. Under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) new buses, new fair boxes, completion of Transit Master Plan, and upgrade shelters.
  44. …must have compounded community benefits, and must have generation of revenue and/or operational cost savings paid back over time. 2/2
  45. Selection criteria: Any project looking for federal money will have to be “shovel ready”, have an approved budget amount… 1/2
  46. Here's the chart to let you know how that money will be divided.

    Here’s the chart to let you know how that money will be divided.
  47. Starting with background, the fed gov’t has promised $11.9B in infrastructure spending over the next 2 years.
  48. Cllr moves to pull high speed rail for discussion. We’re starting with project list for infrastructure spending.
  49. Council meeting is beginning, but council will be going in camera again after the open meeting.
  50. Council is slowly trickling in. Mayor Guthrie says about 5-6 minutes till be begin.
  51. Looks like closed meeting is running long. The topic: CAO Contract. Hmmmm


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