CITY PAGES: Awards, New Hires, and Lots of Construction Going On

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…?

Award for the Community Plan

The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) has named the public engagement done on Guelph’s Community Plan, which was called “A United Vision”, the Project of the Year. It also won an additional award for “Extending the Practice through Creativity, Contribution and Innovation in the Field.” The judges said the Community Plan indicated the City of Guelph’s real commitment to public engagement over the long-term by giving community members the time, space and support they needed to help the City get wide-ranging feedback on the plan. “We want to thank everyone in our community who participated in creating this plan. We unlock the community’s power when we acknowledge that our work improves with a greater diversity of voices—this is at the heart of how and why we engage,” said Chief Administrative Officer Scott Stewart.

New Hires at City Hall

Mark Ellis, who recently served as the Director of Human Resources with the Region of Halton, has been hired as the new general manager of human resources at the City of Guelph. “Mark brings a wealth of experience from both the public and private sectors,” said DCAO  of Corporate Services Trevor Lee in a statement. “He’s a proven business leader with the right combination of experience and expertise to ensure the City of Guelph is future-ready in our people practices. We’re extremely pleased that Mark is joining our team.” Ellis’ first day of work is Tuesday October 13.

In the Fire Department, Monty Armstrong has been hired as the Deputy Fire Chief of Administration, which will make him responsible for the administration, accreditation, communications and fire prevention at the Guelph department. Armstrong arrives in Guelph with some 30 years of experience as the deputy chief at the Township of Langley Fire Department in British Columbia. “Monty is an accomplished senior leader who brings extensive, first-hand knowledge of fire service,” said Guelph Fire Chief Dave Elloway in a statement. “His demonstrated leadership, collaborative approach, and willingness to innovate service delivery will benefit both the fire department and community we serve.”

New Needle Boxes for Seven Locations in Guelph

The City of Guelph is teaming up with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and HIV/AIDS Resources and Community Health (ARCH) to install seven new needle disposal boxes around Guelph. ARCH says that they get about 60 reports of needles found in public spaces every year, and the City says the improper disposal of needles in the regular garbage streams costs solid waste about $10,000 per year in emergency shutdowns of the sorting lines. The boxes will be placed at Royal City Mission, Guelph Central Station, Goldie Mill, Wellington Plaza, Royal City Park, Marianne’s Park, and Royal Recreation Trail at Eramosa Road and Woolwich Street. “Making sure people know how to get rid of needles safely and providing more places to do so, are one way we can help address this issue and improve safety for everyone in our community,” said Heather Connell, a manager with the City’s Solid Waste Resources department in a statement.

Time Running Out for Paper Transit Tickets

October 31 is the last day to use the old-fashioned paper Transit tickets. Originally, the end date for paper tickets was May 31, but the deadline was pushed back because of COVID-19. If you should still happen to have the old paper Transit tickets, you can either use them, or you can take them to the Guelph Transit office on Watson Road, or ServiceGuelph at City Hall to convert your old paper tickets into electronic tickets on your brand new OnYourWay card. (Find out about the card here.)

Library Helping People Go to Court

Legal Aid Ontario and the John Howard Society of Waterloo-Wellington have teamed up with the Guelph Public Library to offer people tablets so that they can attend virtual court appearances. The service is meant to assist those that don’t have the technological resources to go to court while there are still COVID-19 restrictions in place for in-person court proceedings. People wanting to borrow a tablet to take part in court hearings do not have to have a library card, but they will have to provide some form of collateral like their I.D. “This is an example of how the library supports those in the community with little or no access to technology and the internet,” said Library CEO Steven Kraft in a statement.

Upcoming Construction

*The tennis courts at Exhibition Park and Dovercliffe Park will be closed for the rest of the season starting on October 12 as construction work begins on new surfacing, new net posts, and fencing. Work should be done by December, but for alternative tennis spots click here.

*Wyndham Street South will be closed for two weeks starting on October 19 for the installation of new sewer and water pipes, and to repave the road surface.

*Lanes will be reduced on Arkell Road between Amos and Zecca Drive so that the City can install a new pedestrian crosswalk starting Monday October 5. The work should take five days to complete.

*Lanes will also be reduced on Colonial Drive between Baxter Drive and Lambeth Way starting Monday October 5 to install a new crosswalk, and that work should also take five days.

*Two months of work will begin on Thursday October 8 as the old pumping station on Gordon Street is disconnected from the City’s wastewater system, and is demolished. The work will require occasional lane reductions on Gordon between Harts Lane and Kortright Road, and the disruption of water services for area residents and businesses who will occasionally be affected by shut-offs, discoloured water, and reduced water pressure. (The City will give advanced notice to affected areas.)

*If you see smoke rising from manhole covers on the week of October 13, don’t worry, it’s part of the regular maintenance for Guelph’s wastewater system.

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