Committee of the Whole Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the September 8 Meeting?

For the first time since March, council will gather as Committee of the Whole, although they will continue to meet in the virtual format we’ve all gotten used to because of the pandemic. For this month, we will get items from Public Services and Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise with three interesting reports about three different areas of City business.

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 September 4. 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.

Emma Street to Earl Street Pedestrian Bridge Schedule B Class EA – On one side of the Speed River there’s Earl Street, and on the other there’s Emma Street. Long has it been said that it would nice if there was a pedestrian bridge to connect them as opposed to using the sidewalks along the very busy Speedvale Ave, but it’s been complicated. Public consultation on this project goes back to 2016, but now staff are presenting the preferred plan, which involves a two-span truss bridge with a support pier on the north overbank that’s 60 metres in length and would incorporate hydro needs in the structure. It’s been determined that this is the most cost efficient of the proposed designs at a cost of $1.68 million excluding taxes, and could be built some time in 2024 or 2025.

City Operations Campus Part One: Transit Electrification – Staff will provide an update on the plan to build the first part of the new operations campus, which is the new transit facility for Guelph Transit buses. There is over $100 million from upper levels of government that have been earmarked to electrify transit, and part of that money is going into making the new bus bay that’s part of the campus. That project is still about three years away, and the development of the business plan is already in progress, but now it looks like that that electric buses could be on the streets of Guelph by next year. Although previously it was reported that the current bus barn can not handle the power requirements to charge more than one bus, the City now has a plan to install four temporary bus chargers by the end of the second quarter next year. Obviously, the plan includes some “moderate electrical upgrades” to the facility.

Urban Forest Management Plan Implementation Update and Second Phase Plan Report – The original plan was approved in 2013, and the work done so far constitutes phase one of a 20-year lifespan for the total plan. The second phase, which will cover the work being done for the next three years or so, will move on from the some of the planning and organizational things to get the plan off the ground in phase one to more implementation. In phase two, the goals of the UFMP will be aligned with the Strategic Plan, while staff will explore ways to increase the tree canopy, develop proactive management strategies, explore the need for a public tree bylaw, review the private tree bylaw, and staff up to support the increased workload of parks operations and forestry. Committee will be asked to endorse the prioritizing the UFMP’s future operating and capital finance needs as well.

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