LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for June 26, 2017

This month’s regular city council meeting will deal with some committee appointments and downtown expansion. 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 – June 26, 2017

Guelph City Council Meeting – June 26, 2017

Live blog from the meeting starting at 6:30 pm

  1. So council is running long for their closed meeting. Mayor Guthrie says we’re not likely to start for 15 minutes.
  2. Closed meeting items.
    Public app’ts to committee: Motions coming forward.
    Dolime: Direction given to staff.
  3. Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest and General Nature Thereof? No.
  4. Trevor Lee, new DCAO of Corporate Services is introduced, this is his first day on the job.
  5. Only item pulled is Exploring Pathways for Aligning Guelph’s Corporate Assets with the Low Carbon Economy. Amendments from committee missing
  6. New appointments to Environmental Advisory, Water Conservation and Efficiency Public Advisory, and Wellbeing Grant Allocation Panel approved
  7. Clerk is reading out the correct wording for the low carbon economy motion. It was previously passed at Committee with this wording
  8. Point #1 passes unanimously.
    Point #2 and #3 passes with 1 against (Wettstein)
  9. First item up for discussion: Outdoor Aquatic Facilities in Parks delegate Dr Hugh Whiteley.
  10. Whiteley: “Master plans are a very good idea.”
  11. Whiteley making the case for amending third recommendation to include update of the master plan in funding improvements to wading pools
  12. Whiteley wants the motion to reference back to the strategic mater plan update, which is due next year anyway.
  13. Salisbury asks staff about potential misalignment between the update and taking this action.
  14. DCAO Clack says there is no misalignment. This is strictly a technical measure and still using original doc regardless of update.
  15. This is the map Bell is referencing, it shows the area of service for aquatic facilities and use levels.

    This is the map Bell is referencing, it shows the area of service for aquatic facilities and use levels.
  16. Bell says the report doesn’t support the equitable distribution of access.
  17. Parks & Rec GM Flaherty says the only consideration is what wading pools are at the end of their lives.
  18. Bell says doing this is at the expense of equitably distribution of aquatic facilities. Wants to send report back to staff.
  19. Cllr Gordon asks for clarity. What stage is the public engagement process, he asks staff.
  20. Consultations on Mico Valeriote starts this fall, then Sunny Acres and Exhibition.
  21. DCAO Clack: Equitable distribution will come back as part of 10 year capital plan. These pools are the end of their life cycle *now*
  22. Cllr Gibson notes that past Starwood, there’s no service within 2.5 km for aquatic facilities. When do we influence the 10 year plan?
  23. Staff: The struggle is in identifying parks where facilities can set up. That’s happening now.
  24. Clack says that staff can take feedback and start to incorporate that into the plan.
  25. Gibson asks about planned park near Starwood Library. Was that considered?
  26. Hofland asks Bell, since council is agreeing in principal, if he would like to withdraw motion having heard from staff.
  27. Bell The replacements of those wading pools is still the priority, so no.
  28. Bell says he’s not in agreement with city staff. Water savings are not a good enough reason to override equitable argument.
  29. Hofland points out that the earliest this report can come back is September. But consultations are already starting then…
  30. DCAO Clack says that’s correct. If this goes back to staff, it won’t come back till budget process.
  31. Also the wading pool at Exhibition Park failed this weekend. So end of life for these is closer than we think
  32. Cllr Allt says we need to move forward with looking to the future instead of revisiting decisions again and again.
  33. DCAO Clack says the map was provided for context. Part of the considerations going forward.
  34. City Clerk O’Brien just had a quiet word with Bell while Salisbury asks a question. What did they talk about?
  35. We’re getting pretty wonkish. Clause #1 and 2 will allow Mico Valeriote splash pad to go forward, capital already there.
  36. Mayor Guthrie says he feels like we’re swimming laps. Believes there’s validity though to what Bell is suggesting.
  37. Guthrie suggests adding line about “Equitable distribution” to clause #3.
  38. Bell says he doesn’t want to slow down the process. He will withdraw referral
  39. Cllrs Downer and Billings move Guthrie’s proposed addition of the line about equitable distribution to clause #3.
  40. Wettstein makes adds that south end wants a rec centre, but understand that Vic Rd needed upgrades first. Same thing here.
  41. Gibson says council has to be careful IDing amenities in their wards. Wants it clearer that next new splash pad will go somewhere needed
  42. Billings wants to know that staff are taking into account where the children are and not just where there’s no pad. Staff: Yes
  43. Revote on the amendment passes 12-0. Apparently Wettstein forgot to vote.
  44. Clause #1: passes 12-0
    Clause #2: passes 12-0
    Clause #3: passes 11-1 (Salisbury against)
  45. Last item up: The expansion of boarders of @DowntownGuelph. Not making a case tonight, just looking to begin the process.
  46. Billings asks if the new businesses in the new zone will get the same benefits/responsibilities.
  47. Marty Williams says he’d be happy to, but this isn’t about explaining why tonight, but seeing if council will begin the process.
  48. Billings says she wants to know why this will be a benefit in order to decide if this process should begin.
  49. BIA (business improvement areas) are about 1) street scaping 2) getting ppl into the zone 3) and advocate for better conditions.
  50. More resources, be more efficient, better able to partner with city on projects, more collectivity (the reasons why for expansion).
  51. There’s also the need to start including condo development downtown and better deal with influx of people living DT.
  52. $20 million has been reinvesting in community says Marty Williams. Currently, in places, one side of the street contributes, one doesn’t
  53. Billings asks about increased level of service including garbage pick-up, will that not be expected?
  54. Williams says that goes beyond the current boundaries already, but Billings is getting more to the point of expectations.
  55. That’s a long term conversation with city staff, says Williams
  56. Williams says more resources to do things better is what is needed. $100K will be added to the budget. Significant/not huge says Williams
  57. Salisbury clarifies: Not endorsing BIA expansion, just offering BIA an opportunity to make its case.
  58. Cllr Van Hellemond wonders how many businesses in the new boundary.
    Williams: Tough to say b/c there’s business *and* property owners
  59. Only commercial property is considered part of the BIA not residential.
  60. Wettstein asks if there’s a process where someone can get out of the BIA?
    Williams: Yes, it’s the same process.
  61. Guthrie asks if council can add to criteria, goals for the BIA to accomplish along the way like getting 100% saying yes b4 expansion?
  62. Clerk O’Brien: Not sure council can do that, but could pass motion for certain info for DGBA to attach to report.
  63. Notices will go out Jul 7 to owners, they have 30 days to send notice to tenants. All comments due back in September after 60 day period
  64. Gibson concerned that its summer and maybe they’ll miss some people with vacations and all. Williams thinks 60 days enough.
  65. Williams doesn’t disagree, but he’s tried to be very up-to-date about this entire process thus far.
  66. Williams thinks they will have failed if there are people out there caught unawares about this process taking place.
  67. Allt says that in 40 years downtown has expanded considerably, like the town, but that’s not been addressed.
  68. Clerk O’Brien clarifies: it can be 1/3 of current area and/or 1/3 of expanded area that objects and kills it. Clerk will break down fully.
  69. Bell asks if a building is zoned commercial but used as residential, will they still be tasked? No, it’s based on current use.
  70. Bell asks why summer? The timeline is set when the city received the letter from the DGBA.
  71. They might be annoyed because there’s an expectation that there aren’t demands in August., Bell points out.
  72. Guthrie says this is a DGBA endeavour. Might they have to be ready to receive angry ppl in September? Maybe…
  73. Clerk says that it can be referred back to staff, or approved as is. It’s up to council.
  74. Guthrie says he believes that DGBA has taken into account the timing of this process. Gets nods from DGBA staff.
  75. DCAO Clack: the small window is key because there will be budget implications at budget time. Staff also has work to do too.
  76. Does BIA inclusion come with status that changes services and fees? asks Salisbury.
  77. That’s a question staff will have to look at.
  78. Salisbury says he’s hearing that this process is triggering a number of service reviews on the city’s part.
  79. Guthrie says those impacts would comeback with the report on the DGBA’s exploration of expansion, right staff?
  80. DCAO Stewart: there will be some information that comes back on potential impacts in future years. Hints about the future…
  81. Salisbury says he’s concerned about supporting the motion w/o knowing the implications to council and the city.
  82. Cllr Piper says this is a bigger conversation, there’s not going to be solid waste pick-up on Sat for streets that don’t need it…
  83. Guthrie says he would like to hear back about all the businesses that say yes. Doesn’t want to vote about expansion until hearing from them.
  84. Guthrie wishes the DGBA the best in their endeavour.
  85. 1 announcement: #3ThingsforCanada event this Friday in front of City Hall. Mayor promises good time.
  86. Meeting adjourned. We’ll be back here on Wednesday for GMHI and Guelph Junction Railway.

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