November’s Committee of the Whole meeting is going to bring some interesting reports for city council to explore including some audit work, the allocation of new buses, and some expansion work on the hospital that’s going to need some City funding.
Note: If you want to register as a delegate for any of these items on the Committee agenda, then you have to get in touch with the City Clerk’s office by 10 am on Friday November 1.
CLOSED MEETING: CS-2019-90 Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Amalgamation Planning
1) Ontario Municipal Law Enforcement Long Service Medal: 15 years and Ontario Municipal Management Institute – Certified Municipal Manager Level 1.
2) Governor General of Canada’s Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal for proving 20 years of exemplary paramedic services.
PRESENTATION: Integrating Youth Services Network, Guelph and Wellington County with Cyndy Moffat Forsyth, Volunteer, Rotary Club of Guelph.
CAO-2019-18 Internal Audit Work Plan, 2020-2022 – Staff will lay out their plan for tackling efficiencies within the corporation for the next couple of years. On the itinerary is the annual Cash Handling Process Audit and the Driver Certification Program Compliance Audit, but also an audit of Fleet Inventory, IT Security Controls, and the Capital Budget Process.
CA0-2019-17 Court Services Cash Handling Audit Report – This audit was meant to test “the adequacy of the internal controls and compliance to policies, procedures, by-laws and legislation” when if comes to cash handling at Court Services. Suggestions for improvement include updating procedures when it comes to cash handling, a review of the accuracy of the list of people with access cards, a review of security to see if the installation of CCTV cameras is necessary and feasible, a tighter separation of duties, and more third-party oversight. Some actions have already been completed, but all recommendations should be fulfilled by the end of the year.
CS-2019-30 2019 External Audit Plan – The gang from KPMG will come in to explain to Committee about how they’ll proctor the 2019 financial statements.
PS-2019-23 Allocation of New Buses – As you may recall, city council authorized the purchase of five new buses last year, and now they’re informing council about how those buses will be allocated. Two of the buses will be used as spare buses, ready to deploy just in case there’s a problem. Another bus will be used to “stabilize” the weekday runs on the #99 Mainline, which has been falling behind during the week while the University of Guelph is in session, and adding 10 extra minutes to the system-wide run.
The final two buses offer the real expansion. The first will be for a new route called the #19 Hanlon Creek Business Park, and the preferred course will see that it go up and down Laird Rd and Clair, and around Hanlon Creek Blvd to Teal Dr and back. The last bus will be reserved for a partial expansion of the Community Bus service, that will include Sunday hours as well as new stops at KidsAbility on Imperial, and the YMCA-YWCA on Woodland Glen Dr. The rejiggered routes for the Northern and Southern Community Bus do cut out stops on Chancellor’s Way, as well as the West End Rec Centre, and St. Joseph’s, but there will be on-demand service for people wanting to visit those second and third locales.
These changes were made as a result of community engagement done this past May. There will be a $1.72 million impact on the operating budget to hire 13 new operators for the new buses.
PS-2019-24 Harm Reduction Housing Update – This sub-project of the Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy has been looking at ways of getting more housing in town, including tiny homes and converted containers. This report updates council about the WGDS’ efforts to secure a location, a landlord and funding. There’s no exact location in mind yet, but the project team notes that it has to be near community amenities, services and transit, and there’s not yet any funding, but there are some potential avenues to explore through various funds and seed grants.
CS-2019-26 2019 Second Tri-annual Capital Variance Report – Of the $87.4 million approved in the 2019 Capital Budget, and the additional $19.4 million passed through special resolutions, the City has only spent about half, $55.4 million, as of the end of August. Progress is being made on a wide variety of projects, and although work is proceeding on a number of projects, the arrival of September does mean that the construction season is coming to a close. From 2018, there was $165.3 million in unspent capital that was carried over to 2019.
CS-2019-19 Transparency and Removal of Barriers Related to Non-Council appointed Working Groups – This sounds big, but it’s actually small, but still important changes. First, a change is being proposed to the Procedural Bylaw in terms of the definition of “Committee,” which presently is “Committee of the Whole, advisory committee or other committee, sub-committee or similar entity.” Staff is suggesting that the words “appointed by City Council” be added to the end of that definition, which would ensure that these groups have to follow the Procedural Bylaw, hold open meetings, and post minutes and agendas publicly.
The other big change is that the terms of reference, agendas, and minutes for all non-Council appointed working groups be shared on the webpage for the project in question. Also, the names of organizations being represented at the meeting of one of these groups will be listed on the agenda and in the minutes, while people taking part as private citizens will be given the option as to whether or not they want their name published on the agenda or in the minutes. The new policy was formed with the consultations of staff, and with feedback from comparitor municipalities Waterloo and Hamilton.
CS-2019-78 Guelph General Hospital Capital Funding Request – You may have heard that Guelph is growing, and there’s probably no better measurement of that then the fact that the Emergency Room at the Guelph General Hospital receives about 20,000 more visits per year than it’s designed to handle. Despite the challenges though, the GGH has the 7th best score for wait times in Emergency, has the second lowest per patient cost in Ontarion, and is the second safest hospital in Canada.
Still, the hospital is looking to create room to improve, and expand. The three priorities are new equipment and tech, expansion and renovation of the special care nursery, and expansion and renovation of the Emergency Room, and Emergency Mental Health and Addition Services.
The ER will add 60 per cent more space, which will create 14 new treatment areas with more privacy and improved infection control. The Emergency Mental Health portion will add 5,550 square feet for a 50 per cent improvement on treatment areas, which will also include out-patient services. The nursery expansion will allow for more newborns to stay in Guelph, and will have private rooms where parents can stay overnight with newborns.
So what does all this mean to the City of Guelph and the Committee of the Whole? Doesn’t the Province pay for all this? Well, they pay for most of it. The Ministry of Health covers 90 per cent of construction costs, with local governments making up the last 10, and the Ministry also doesn’t cover the cost of new equipment. The Hospital is looking for $900,000 per year over five years from the City for a total of $4.5 million in contributions to the project.
The request will be referred to this year’s Budget deliberation meeting on December 3.