LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for November 16, 2016

Tonight’s #GuelphBudget meeting will deal with the budget items shared between the City and other levels of government, boards, and organizations. 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 – November 16, 2016

Live blog from the meeting starting at 6 pm

  1. Bradley Breedon here covering #GuelphBudget. We're about to get started, here's a preview of the agenda for tonight.

    Bradley Breedon here covering #GuelphBudget. We’re about to get started, here’s a preview of the agenda for tonight.
  2. No finding of pecuniary interest in the council; James Krauter takes the mic.
  3. Recommendation: that 2017 Local Boards and Shared Services Budgets be referred to the Dec 7th council meeting for final deliberation
  4. Steven Kraft on the Guelph Public Library: lifelong learning opportunities for the community ensuring equal access to safe a welcoming space
  5. In 2015, saw a 13.3% increase in attendance. Poll of 761 members said that GPL contributed to quality of life average of 8.7 on a 1-10 scale
  6. 44% of those people polled used the downtown central library; half of downtown users say they spend with local business on trip to library
  7. Guelph Public Library request an increase of 3.27% on budget. Total budget is 3.08% Additional revenues of 549k from fees, charges, grants.
  8. For every Guelph resident, it would average only 21 cents a day to fund the GPL. #GuelphBudget
  9. Kraft to Councillor Allt: the library elevators, pipes, and roofing are operational but in need of repairs. Mostly applies to the dt library
  10. Cam Guthrie: what percentage of the 3.27% is appropriated for a new IT employee? Did the libraries look to the city for IT help?
  11. Kraft: 70k for employee, city doesn’t offer the hours needed for the Guelph Public Library. #GuelphBudget
  12. Shanna O’Dwyer manager of Public Health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph up next.
  13. Public Health helps prevent disease through immunization, screening, research. Promote health through education and public policy.
  14. Funding comes from Public Health Agency of Canada, Community grants as well as the counties of Guelph, Wellington, Dufferin
  15. These counties provide 32% of funding for the WDGPH.
  16. This funding would go towards the cost-shared and mandatory budget of WDGPH: the budget allocation among counties based on StatsCan census
  17. That means Guelph would need to increase spending by 2%. 74% of budget would be on salaries/benefits.13% on building occupancy #GuelphBudget
  18. Total budget increase for Guelph in 2017 would be $73,653
  19. Marty Williams, Exec Director of Downtown Business Association takes the podium.
  20. Highlighting the DTBA strengths: good community involvement, social media presence, and contributions back to the community.
  21. Challenges: waste management, sidewalks, construction disruptions to business, and parking off the Wilson Parkade.#GuelphBudget
  22. Worked with the university to put up banners of Special Olympians, worked with shuttle bus service to get supporters/family to St. Georges
  23. Focus for new year: cataloguing new businesses, Ontario Business Improvement Association Average is on par with Guelph’s downtown
  24. Looking to recruit more members for the BIA outside of downtown and to work with city council to do this: get members more involved.
  25. Looking to collect data on wi-fi, pedestrian counters, transaction data all city-wide #GuelphBudget
  26. Wi-fi data collection: either active (login in to access) or passive (looking for a connection). Looking to use data to help new businesses
  27. Marty Williams on payroll: “payroll has stayed pretty consistent. It’s why I’m wearing the same suit as last year”. #GuelphBudget
  28. DTGBA net gain of 17k. Looking to work with the city in expanding membership/businesses
  29. Judy Sorbara, Chair of the Guelph Police Services is next to present at #GuelphBudget
  30. Jeff DeRuyter, Chief of Police will take over the budget presentation from here. Presenting the 2016-2018 Strategic Business Plan.
  31. Chief DeRuyter acknowledges that mental health and addiction is a serious concern for police, as well as utilizing information technology.
  32. Assessed their budget and want a 0.33% budget reduction, decreasing by 76k for 2017-2019 #GuelphBudget
  33. Admin review allowed for restructuring using tech, front-line procedure changes (going to 12hr shifts), and deployment review (dash footage)
  34. Continual improvements include utilizing cloud technology,electronic fingerprinting, and replacing cruisers every three years (up from two)
  35. Guelph now only 5th safest city in Canada but high satisfaction rate from citizens & 88% of police calls are non-violent crime #GuelphBudget
  36. Budget for 2017: 39mn, or 3.19% of city’s operating budget. That’s after the 0.33% saved by internal review.
  37. Looking towards expanding prisoner care, and hiring/training domestic violence investigator, fraud investigator among others #GuelphBudget
  38. The penultimate presenter for the night, Trevor Lee, CEO of the Elliot Community is next.
  39. The Elliot Community is celebrating its 110th anniversary next year: a registered non-profit, and one of the city’s top 30 employers.
  40. Budget Review: 60% of budgeting is on staffing. Asking for a 2% increase in budgeting.
  41. Finally, Shared and Social Services with Eddie Alton and Ken DeHart doing a two-part presentation to wrap up #GuelphBudget
  42. Soc. Services: 3 divisions: Ont Works, Children’s Early Years & Housing Services. 3 Ontario Works locations, 5 children locations, 1 Housing
  43. Plans: 20,000 homes campaign, portable housing allowance and guaranteed annual income. #GuelphBudget
  44. Ontario Works saw a 2.6% annual increase in caseload: 1.5% of local pop. supported by Ont Works, one of the lowest in the province.
  45. Housing Services: funding/admin of 3389 units through social, affordable and market rent housing #GuelphBudget
  46. Ken DeHart will take over for the money side of things and the 5 year plan.
  47. Five year plan:2.1mn for social housing next year, OW municipal benefits contribution drops from 5.8 to 2.8%, saving 496k.
  48. The city is on the hook for a $43 000 elevator and stone replacement for Ontario Works.That must be a nice elevator
  49. Children’s Early Years budget hasn’t been announced by the prov yet. Allocation based off 2016 allocation; will be updated once prov speaks
  50. Soc. services is asking for a 1.5% increase in spending, to 7.6mn. County taking over Ont.’s Family Centres not accounted for #GuelphBudget
  51. BUT, Housing Services is opening Webster Place (55 units of affordable housing for seniors) in Spring 2017.
  52. Motion: refer Local Boards and Shared Services Budgets to December 7th council meeting for final deliberation
  53. And the meeting’s adjourned! Thanks for tuning in tonight folks, next budget meeting will be November 30th!

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