City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the May 11 Meeting?

For the first time in nearly a month, Guelph’s city council will once again meet digitally, and it will likely come with the promise of more frequent meetings in the weeks to come. For this meeting though, we’ve got COVID updates, a deferred vote, and a motion to create more active transportation in town, at least on a temporary basis.

NOTE #1: Delegates will be able to appear at this meeting via telephone, but you do have to register with the clerks office before 1o am on Friday May 8. You can also submit written delegations and correspondences for agenda items.

NOTE #2: The meeting will be closed to the public, though it will be live-streamed on the City of Guelph’s website here.

CLOSED MEETING: Baker District Redevelopment Project Update – Council will discuss this in-camera per section 239 (2)(c) and (f) of the Municipal Act for “proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board; and advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose.”

2020 Property Tax Policy Report – At the April 16 meeting, Councillor Dan Gibson put forward a motion to defer the decision on this item until more information about the tax ratio on multi-residential units could be received. That tax rate has historically been increasing two times as fast for every dollar of assessed value compared to residential taxes and new multi-residential units. Council policy has been to shift some of those additional costs from the assessment to taxation calculation to other classes, which has had an average impact of about $5 on other properties. There’s also some good news in the form of council’s vote to eliminate commercial and industrial vacant and excess land subclass discount, which decreases the average residential taxes by 0.21 per cent for 2020.

Managing the Impacts of COVID-19: Update #2 – The details of this report will be brought forward with the revised agenda next Friday. For now, Mayor Guthrie, CAO Stewart, the three Deputy CAOs, and Director of Health Protection Christopher Beveridge from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health will be presenting the report.

Councillor Motions in Response to COVID-19 – As promised, Councillor James Gordon is bringing forward a motion close select lanes of traffic to make it easier to practice social distancing through expanding active transportation options. Gordon is proposing that the City spend as much as $50,000 on the idea, which would be reallocated from the capital budget for new sidewalk construction.

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