Committee of the Whole Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the October 5 Meeting?

October’s Committee of the Whole delivers a very busy Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services agenda with two of the biggest infrastructure projects coming down in the not-too-distant future. There’s also some other City business about the sign bylaw and the external auditor, but really, we’re here to talk about the library and the rec centre.

NOTE #1: Delegates will be able to appear at this meeting via telephone, but you do have to register with the clerks office before 10 am on October 2. 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.

STAFF RECOGNITIONS:

a) Zoning Inspector III Bill Bond for AMCTO’s Academic Excellence Award for the Executive Diploma in Municipal Management.

b) Various staff members for “Award of Excellence” at the 26th Communicator Awards in the Film/Video-Government Relations Category for Stormwater Video.

Appointment of the External Auditor – After a review, staff have selected KPMG to be the external auditor for the City of Guelph for another five-year term through 2024.

Sign By-law Variance for 292 Speedvale Avenue West -Armel Corporation has asked for a sign variance for a new illuminated freestanding sign at a commercial property in the west end. Staff have given a greenlight to the variance because it’s still a reasonable size given the location, and there’s no real impact on the streetscape and surrounding area.

Ministry of Transportation Connecting Links Program, 2021-2022 Application for York Road Reconstruction: Stevenson Street to Victoria Road – Staff needs the approval of council to apply for the Ministry of Transportation’s Connecting Links Program, a granting program that helps municipalities fund road work on streets that double as provincial highways. The successful application will net the City nearly $2.1 million in funding, and the City itself has committed the rest of the $5.4 million budget for the project from the Infrastructure Renewal Reserve Fund, the Stormwater Capital Reserve Fund, the Water Capital Reserve Fund and the Wastewater Capital Reserve Fund.

Draft Recommendation for the New Sign By-law – It was over 20 years ago that the City of Guelph last updated the sign bylaw, and after nearly two years of work, staff are ready to unveil the new version of the rules that outline the placement and design for (most of) the signs in Guelph (election signs excepted). The main updates are meant to provide a more user friendly bylaw that removes references to outdated design principles, and set clear definitions on different types of allowed signage, and the brightness and intensity of illuminated signs. The new bylaw will also increase the size of menu boards, allow mobile signs in parks, and add regulations for signage on temporary construction fencing. The bylaw will also give the authority for granting variances to the bylaw to staff, a power that’s presently in the hands of council (see above).

The following two items will be discussed at Committee of the Whole and then ratified at the special council meeting on Wednesday October 6. For the full outline of the reports, click here.

South End Community Centre Project Update – Committee will get a look at the revised plans for the 165,000 square foot facility, which will now cost $80 million after a $12 million increase due to finalization costs, and adjusted for inflation. Along with the cost of building the facility, there will also be an additional $2.4 million impact on the operating budget that will be phased in over the next three years. Construction on the Community Centre could start sometime in 2022.

Baker District Project Update – Staff will present an alternative plan for the controversial development, including the new main library. That part of the project will now cost $62 million instead of $67.1 million thanks to the decision to move the library portion to a standalone building at the south end of the property. The planned 88,000-square foot library plan will remain intact, but legal agreements, lower construction costs, and more flexibility will allow better control on operating costs and expenditures on the project. Construction could begin on the project in 2022, but for 2021 staff is looking for $16.6 million for site servicing, and environmental and archeological remediation.

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