CITY PAGES: New Fire Chief, DC Changes, and Beware of Virus

The City of Guelph puts out a lot of information on a weekly basis, and while it all ends up on the City’s website somewhere, wouldn’t it be easier to just scroll through it all on one easy-to-read article on Guelph Politico here…?

Fire Chief Retires

After 30 years with the Guelph Fire Department, Chief John Osborne will be making the *leap* to retirement on February 29. (Please clap.) Osborne has led the Royal City’s fire brigade since 2016 after working his way up the ranks from dispatch firefighter. “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank John for his service to the City and the community, and wish him all the best in his retirement,” said Colleen Clack, Deputy CAO Public Services in a media statement. David Elloway, the current deputy chief of Administration and Emergency Preparedness and the City’s emergency management coordinator, will be succeeding Chief Osborne.

Changes to Development Charges Finally Announced

As you may know, the Ontario government passed the More Homes, More Choices Act (AKA: Bill 108) last year, which meant that the way the City of Guelph and other municipalities was going to collect Development Charges was changing on January 1, and now we finally know how. For instance, the amount of DCs are now charged when the planning application or bylaw amendment is filed, or when the building permit issued, where as before it was when the building permit was issued. Additionally, DCs are now due when the building is occupied, or when the occupancy permit is issued, and there are also changes to the DC payment options for rental and institutional developments and non-profit housing. New development charges go into effect on March 2, and you can see the list of the charges here.

Prepping for the Coronavirus

Although there’s been no reported cases of the Coronavirus that’s currently quarantined Wuhan, China in Canada, that doesn’t mean that health units like Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health aren’t thinking about it. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer said in a statement the she’s working with the Ministry of Health, local hospitals and other health providers to keep an eye on things. “Our mandate is to protect the health and safety of our communities and we will continue to be vigilant about this situation while keeping your local health care provider and hospital informed with the latest information,” she said. People are being asked to report any symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath or other breathing difficulties if they, or someone they know, have recently taken a trip to Wuhan.

Day Camp for Strike Affected Kids Tuesday

The City of Guelph is setting up a day camp for kids between the ages of 4 and 12 on Tuesday January 28, which is not coincidentally the same day as a one-day strike by Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) workers in the Upper Grand District School Board. The camp will be held at the Guelph Sports Dome at 375 College Avenue West, and it costs $41.41 per child. You have to register in advanced, and since space is limited, you should call now at 519-837-5699, and use the camp code: 235177. If the strike is called off, all parents will get a refund, and don’t forget to pack a lunch (but no peanut products).

More Ash Tree and Buckthorn Removal

Moving on from Preservation Park, the eradication of ash, hazard trees and buckthorn continues on February 10 in the Westwood sugartree woodlot. On the week of February 10, City of Guelph crews will start removing the bucktorn in preparation for the removal of about 100 trees starting the week of February 17. The public is advised that the sidewalk at the intersection of Imperial Road North at Bond Court will occasionally be inaccessible during the period that crews are working, and people are also being asked to keep off the trails until the work is done, which is expected to be around February 21. Also, don’t mind the sight of wood chips, logs and branches once the work is done, they will be left their purposefully to replenish the soil.

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