Committee of the Whole Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the April 4 Meeting?

It’s going to be a jam-packed Committee of the Whole meeting to kick off April, the cruellest month. From new solid waste master plan directions, to a new plan for parks, and a response to growing inflationary pressures on capital projects, there will be a lot of new policy discussions for everyone no matter what your municipal interest is.

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 Friday April 1. You can also submit written delegations and correspondences for agenda items.

NOTE #2: The meeting will be the open to the public, but if you would like to follow it from home, you will still be live-stream the meeting on the City of Guelph’s website here.

STAFF RECOGNITIONS:

1) The Water Services team will be recognized for receiving the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation for The Adaptive Reuse of the F.M. Woods Waterworks Building.

2) Olubanke Olujide, Project Specialist from Engineering and Transportation Services, will be lauded for getting the Professional Scrum Master I Certification.

3) Members of the City of Guelph staff, the Guelph Police Service, Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, Guelph General Hospital, the Guelph Public Library, and the Guelph Family Health Team will be cited for their work on Emergency Operations Control Group.

Waste Resources Innovation Centre Public Liaison Committee Terms of Reference – The terms of reference for this committee have been updated for the first time in 10 years, and some of the changes include annual work plans that aligns to the Strategic Plan, a report to council at least once per year, clarification of the roles of PLC members and updates to the scope of the committee that will include things like climate change and the circular economy.

2021 Water Services’ Annual Report and Summary Report – Fun fact: Water Services at the City of Guelph treated and pumped around 16.8 billion litres in 2021, which is about 1.5 per cent more than in 2020. In that time, the City maintained its Accreditation of Drinking Water quality Management Standard, and no health-related exceedances of provincial water quality were exceeded.

The were four “adverse water quality incidents” in 2021, three of those  AWQIs are due to low chlorine residual instances, which was discovered through something called dead end watermain flushing, the process of removing built-up sediment in places were the pipes dead end. The fourth AWQI could not be confirmed in follow-up samples, but all matters were dealt with to the satisfaction of both public health and the Ministry of the Environment.

Solid Waste Management Master Plan Recommendations – The review and update of the Solid Waste Management Master Plan has been completed, and the results are the end of single -use items in Guelph by March 1, 2023. That recommendation was made by about 80 per cent of participants in the engagement process, and if approved by committee plastic shopping backs, polystyrene cups and takeout containers, and plastic straws would all be included in the ban.

Another big proposed change is in the collection of waste from industrial, commercial and industrial locations, including the collection of organics from schools, and using residential collection to pick up waste from places of worship, daycares and community centres along residential routes. Further measures include a review of downtown waste collection, the creation of a zero waste economy transformation centre, and more work on creating that circular economy.

Guelph. Future Ready 2021 Progress Report – It’s time for the second annual progress report on the Strategic Plan, which is separated into strategic initiatives and key performance indicators, or KPIs. Those KPIs show a mixed result, the City’s met targets on six out of 21 named KPIs, while the results for another six were not available at the time of the report’s publishing. There were five categories where the KPIs that were not met, and another four where the metrics for the category are currently under review.

In terms of the initiatives, the City is showing some pretty good progress on implementing the innovation work plan, implementing the climate adaption plan and making sure its funded, funding the digital services teal, and implementing a service simplified strategy. Most areas are green, or have improved to green, but there has also been some lost momentum in several areas, in many cases because council did not approve funding for necessary staff positions in the 2022-2023 budget.

Inflationary Financial Impact Strategy – You may have heard about how the tenders for the South End Community Centre came in 50 per cent over budget. That’s one of a several inflationary pressures facing City of Guelph capital projects in the short-term. In a special report to committee, finance staff will explain the extent of the inflationary challenges, how they’ve had to deal with inflation pressures so far, and then ask for delegated authority to prioritize capital projects within the current approved budget until the passage of the 2024 capital budget next year.

Park Plan -This should generate some interest. The Park Plan is a master plan especially for the present and future development of Guelph’s parks under the broader Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Part one was the park service level assessment and it turns out that 92 per cent of people in Guelph live within a 10-minute walk of a park, which is higher than the Canadian average of 87 per cent. The City has also acquired 45 hectares of parkland since 2009, but the City is going to need about 174 more hectares to keep up those parkland targets for a growing Guelph population.

To keep up with our need for park space, the plan will see the development of parkland acquisition policies, new parkland targets, the creation of partnerships with landowners, the conversion of surplus land for parks, and balancing parkland with other infrastructure needs. In terms of improving the parks themselves, the plan looks to creating accessible paths, developing a sports and facility strategy, increasing the urban forest canopy and looking at opportunities for more Indigenous representation.

This is the first part of the parks work in April. A special meeting of council for changes to the Parkland Dedication Bylaw will take place on April 13, and that report comes out on March 31 with that meeting’s agenda.

See the complete agenda on the City of Guelph website here

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