Committee of the Whole Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the February 7 Meeting?

February is the shortest month, but it may not mean the shortest committee agenda. After a typically slow January, this next Committee of the Whole meeting comes front loaded with big reports and big decisions in regard to several ongoing projects, from a new program to help get us to net-zero and the latest iteration of the City’s new operations facility. Plus, the administrative head of the City will look to the future…!

NOTE #1: Delegates will be able to appear at this meeting in-person or via tele-presense but you do have to register with the clerks office before 10 am on Friday February 3. You can also submit written delegations and correspondences for agenda items.

NOTE #2: In addition to meeting in-person, this meeting will also be live-streamed on the City of Guelph’s website here.

NOTE #3: This meeting will be preceded by a special meeting of city council that begins at 1:30 pm. (Details below.)

Special Council Meeting


2019 York Trunk By-Pass Project Sewage Spill Update – Since this is a legal matter, council will have to meet in-camera because of solicitor-client privilege. You may recall that 4.5 million litres of raw sewage spilled into the Eramosa River in an accident in 2019, and the City was charged with two counts under the Ontario Water Resource Act. You can see the agenda, such as it is, here.

Committee of the Whole


1) Andrea Garner, Supervisor of Taxation and Revenue, received their Diploma in Municipal Administration from the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO).

2) The team from Fire Services Chief Dave Elloway, General Manager, Deputy Chief Operation Steve Goode, Deputy Fire Administration Ryan Schubert, Manager of Fire Communication Peggy Robertson, Platoon Chief Colin Hunter, Captian Jay Smith, and Fire Fighters Amy Tereschuk and Dave Aubrey all achieved Reaccreditation status by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI).

3) Kelly Guthrie, Community Engagement Co-ordinator for Strategic Communication and Community Engagement received the Certified Public Participation Professional (CP3) designation from the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2).

4) Juan da Silva, Council and Committee Co-ordinator, got their Certificate in Public Policy and Administration.

CAO 2023 Performance Objective Setting – After submitting the report for council’s consideration in closed session during the regular meeting earlier this week, CAO Scott Stewart will discuss his six priority areas for 2023. If you’ve been paying attention, these are pretty familiar and includes receiving the Strategic Plan and the Multi-Year Budget for 2024-27, implementing financial strategies to weather economic pressures, and to continue the City’s goals to fight climate change. He’s also going to work on methods to attract top talent to the City’s workforce, and advocating Guelph’s interest to other levels of government.

Smart Cities Update: Our Food Future and Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad Committee will hear from Smart Cities executive director David Messer and Wellington County’s Smart Cities project manager Justice Dainard about where the the circular food economy project stands here at the end of it’s third year in business. Perhaps it can be best summed up in this one convenient infograph:

Region of Waterloo Organics Processing Contract – Guelph processes about 20,000 tonnes of organic waste from the Region of Waterloo every year, so it’s kind of a big deal to keep their business. Guelph currently has a 20-year agreement with the Region, which includes a 10-year term followed by two five-year renewable terms, which brings us to a proposed change in the agreement for the next term extension, which has an impact on the bottom line.

Processing fees are stagnant due to the number of processing facilities in operation now, so in order to hold on to the region, “the City plans to suspend the price escalation clause contained in the Organic Waste Processing Agreement,” according to the report. This means two per cent savings per year for the Region and a two per cent loss in revenue for the City, but despite that, the agreement will ensure that revenue will be maintained at 2022 levels for the next five years.

Operations Facilities Long-Term Plan Update – You’re going to hear the word “right-size” a lot in this portion of the meeting. For the last couple of years, the City has been exploring the concentration of all the corporations’ operations into a new facility, and the chosen site was Stone and Watson. It would bring all the City services under “Operations” from six facilities that are all at, or near, the end of their lifecycle, but as these things go there’s been a change in plans.

Now, the plan is to use the Stone/Watson site to house transit and fleet vehicles only. The focus on transit is obvious because the electrification of the transit fleet and the inadequacy of the current transit building on Watson Road for those needs, but the newly-revealed limitations of the project seem to stem from a detailed analysis of the topography, natural environment and cultural heritage of the site itself, which all create limitations in terms of how much can be built there.

So what about the other departments? Well, the City will now looking at ways to renew 45 Municipal Street, 50 Municipal Street, 170 Watson Road South, 69 Marilyn Drive and 186 Eastview Road for operating services Public Works, Solid Waste Collections, Parks, and Corporate Building Maintenance. The next phase includes site planning and building design, which will take up most of the rest of 2023 and 2024.

Guelph Greener Homes Program Update – This is the project formally known as the PACE program, and it will offer 0 per cent interest loans to residents to perform energy retrofits through loans that are repaid through property tax bills. The project is made possible with a $10 million loan from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, plus another $5 million in grants from FCM and a $3.75 million contribution from the City itself. User fees will be applied to cover administrative costs not covered by the FCM.

So what will these loans pay for? Well, you will be able to improve the “building envelope” meaning insulation, air-sealing, and window and door repair or replacement. You can also install a renewable energy system like solar panels, or a new smart or a programmable thermostat, and you can also install new mechanical systems like air source heat pumps or heat recovery systems. The loans will support residential projects between $5,000 and $50,000.

The Guelph Greener Homes Program is expected to launch sometime in the second quarter of this year.

See the complete agenda on the City of Guelph website here

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s