Committee of the Whole Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the March 4 Meeting?

Water matters, and a new proposal for acquiring the Guelph Innovation District lands are the subject for this Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise meeting of the Committee of the Whole.

CLOSED MEETING: IDE-2019-29 Dolime Quarry – Mediation Process Update

PRESENTATIONS: Business Development and Enterprise Services – IEDC Awards; Silver Level of Recognition on the Alliance for Water Efficiency’s G480 Leaderboard; Stormwater Management Pond Sediment Project – 2018 OPWA Project of the Year Award in the Environmental Category <$2 million; Asset Management Levels of Service Project – 2018 OPWA Technical Innovation Award.

IDE-2019-20 Sign By-law Variances: 649 Scottsdale Drive – The IG Investment Group sign at the top of the five-storey building on Scottsdale is getting an upgrade as per their corporate rebranding. The new sign is slightly bigger than the original one, but staff approves it anyway.

IDE-2019-22 Sign By-law Variances: 18 Douglas Street – One non-illuminated sign is going to be replaced with another.

IDE-2019-23 Sign By-law Variances: 1460-1474 Gordon Street – Wally Pan Sausage is opening up in this plaza, and they need to tell people they’re there. The sign is more than twice as big as what’s typically allowed, but it’s a new business, and in a commercial location, so staff is giving it their okay.

IDE-2019-24 Guelph Innovation District (GID): Q1 2019 Update – As you may have heard, the City is trying to acquire the some 326 acres of land more commonly known as the Guelph Innovation District. This property is made up of the old Wellington Detention Centre, the Turf Grass Lands of the U of G, and former Guelph Correctional Centre residual lands. Owned by the Province, these lands have been long identified as “surplus”, and the City has been trying to negotiate the process to claim them, including the submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI). But what if there’s a different way?

At the end of 2018, the Province proposed instead of a land acquisition, they would be the “the sole vendor in the disposition of the lands on the open market.” This means that the City will not have to buy the GID lands first, and then market them to potential developers, thus reducing the City’s liability, both financial and legal. City of Guelph staff would come up with the marketing strategy and materials, but the Province would lead the actual real estate transaction. In order to proceed, the City will have to withdraw its EOI, while the next phase of the new plan will begin in March with preparation of the marketing materials and selection criteria. It’s expected that a deal will be closed by March 2020. The City will also discuss recovering the costs of the $185,000 they spent in operation expenses so far.

IDE-2019-26 Delegation of Authority: Authority to Reduce Speed Limits within Construction Zones – The Highway Traffic Act allows municipalities to reduce posted speed limits in construction zones, and double the fines allowed under the Act to enforce those speed limits. To do this, the municipality has to designate a person “for the purpose of designating a road or a portion of a road under the municipality’s jurisdiction in a construction zone and requiring that it be marked with signs in accordance with the regulation.” For these purposes, Kealy Dedman, General Manager for City Engineer, Engineering and Transportation Services, will be appointed to this function.

IDE-2019-31 Approval of Renewal of the Gazer-Mooney Subdivision Water Services Operating Agreement – This service covers 72 residences just north of the City of Guelph between Speedvale Avenue East and Wellington County Road #124 in the Township of Guelph/Eramosa. The City of Guelph’s Water Services has been operating drinking water distribution there since 1980, but the time has come to update the agreement even though the changes agreed upon by the City and the Township are relatively minor. The financial implications of the new agreement have already been accounted for in the 2019 budget.

IDE-2019-28 Approval of the 2018 Water Services Annual and Summary Report – Every year, Water Services has to publish a report to demonstrate that they are indeed delivering our drinking water in a safe and adequate way, and how well the 17.3 billion litres of water that passed through the City’s system is being treated. The full report is 188 pages long, but you’ll note early on that the Guelph Drinking Water System in 2018 scored 100 per cent in achieving the standards of the 2017-2018 Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Annual Inspection Report. There were precisely two adverse water quality incidents last summer, but further testing came back negative. An internal audit and a third-party audit noted a couple of minor improvements that can be made, mostly in the areas of documents and records, and in management, but otherwise, this is a very positive report for Water Services.

IDE-2019-32 Approval of Water and Wastewater Long-Range Financial Plan as required under Ontario Regulation 453/07 – As part of the Municipal Drinking Water Licence (MDWL) renewal, the City needs to lay out some long-term plans for its finances. The plan must contain information from the last six years including total revenues, total expenses, annual and accumulated surpluses and deficits, projected cash flow, projected financial positions, and financial info on replacing lead service pipes. Since the Water and Wastewater Long-Range Financial Plan goes out to 2028, a lot of this work has already been done, but there will be changes year-over-year as staff tinkers with rates during subsequent budget years.

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