CITY PAGES: Speed Camera Placement, County Real Estate and Debit for PRESTO

The City of Guelph, and it’s various partners and agencies, put 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…?

It’s Emergency Preparedness Week!

Sunday is the beginning of Emergency Preparedness Week, an annual public education initiative that focuses on the importance of being prepared in an emergency. this year’s theme is “Be Prepared, Know Your Risks” meaning people should be able to identify potential risk factors in an emergency, have a plan in the event of that emergency, and to have an emergency kit handy.

As part of Emergency Preparedness Week, there will be a day-long event at the West End Community Centre on Friday May 12 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. On hand will be 18 agencies, including Guelph’s Emergency Services, the OPP, the Canadian Forces, Emergency Management Ontario, and the Canadian Red Cross, to help educate the community about the risks in their area and learn ways to protect themselves and their families.

City Announces First Positions of Speed Enforcement Cameras

Westwood Road Public School, Ignatius of Loyola Catholic School, King George Public School at Metcalfe Street, and Fred A. Hamilton Public School. These are the first four locations for the new speed enforcement cameras that will be installed in the city later this summer, while the cameras themselves will go live on August 1.

“Using these cameras, speeding can be detected and enforced on a more ongoing and consistent basis than when done by police alone,” said Liraz Fridman, the City’s road safety supervisor in a media statement. “The goal of these cameras is to encourage drivers to follow posted speed limits as a normal behaviour, ultimately resulting in long-term safety improvements.”

Automated speed enforcement is a system that uses a camera and speed measurement device to enforce speed limits. The measurement device detects vehicle speeds, and the cameras capture licence plate information. Vehicles exceeding posted speed limits will lead to a ticket being issued, with fines based on the vehicle’s speed. The ticket will be issued to the owner of the vehicle regardless of who was driving the vehicle at the time the violation was recorded. The four cameras will be rotated every three months between 16 different locations.

Wellington County Makes Real Estate Moves

Wellington County has closed a deal to purchase 59, 69 and 75 Woolwich Street from the Wellington Catholic District School Board for $5,560,000. Those properties currently make up the headquarters of the local Catholic school board, but they will be moving into a new Catholic Education Centre where the board will be able to consolidate their administration, which is also what the County has in mind. The properties are directly across the street from the Wellington County administration building and will be used for future office space and parking.

In other County real estate news, County Council closed a deal to buy 7.2 acres of land located adjacent to the existing Brucedale Garage site on Wellington Road 124 in order to rebuild and expand the Brucedale Garage facility. A County media release did not disclose the sale price for the land, but it did say that the purchase was part of $35.1 million being spent on facility upgrades in Erin, Brucedale, Harriston and Aberfoyle. So far, the County has replaced two of eight garage facilities (Central, Drayton), and Arthur is next scheduled to be rebuilt sometime later this year.

City Hands Out Community Grant Funds

The City of Guelph has granted $323,600 to 56 not-for-profit community organizations for this year’s Community Grant allocation, including over 20 organizations are receiving $83,500 through multi-year grants. While the City handed out an additional $28,170 in funding through the City Fee Reimbursement pilot program, there were also more than $715,000 in funding requests this year, more than twice the amount that was given out.

“Recipients of these grants are chosen based on criteria developed for the Community Grant program including positive community impact, support from the community, and the need for City funding,” said Alex Goss, manager of Community Investment in a media statement. “The end goal is to provide funding that can support Guelph residents through impactful and innovative ideas from our community.”

You can see the full list of grant recipients here.

PRESTO Devices Now Take Debit

If you’re travelling on GO Transit, and you don’t have either your PRESTO card or cash on you, you’re now able to use your debit card on all PRESTO devices. The Government of Ontario made the announcement on Tuesday that you can now tap your debit card, smartphone or smartwatch in order to pay for rides wherever you can tap your PRESTO card.

Yes, that can be any GO Transit service, but it can also mean UP Express, Brampton Transit, Burlington Transit, Durham Region Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, MiWay in Mississauga, Oakville Transit and York Region Transit. “The Ontario government is also working with the Toronto Transit Commission to introduce both credit and debit payment options for Toronto transit riders this summer,” the media release added.

Guelph Chamber CEO Honoured By Ontario Chamber

Guelph Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Shakiba Shayani was awarded the Burnie Gillespie Memorial Award at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting last weekend in Niagara Falls. The award is presented to a chamber of commerce or board of trade manager who brings exceptional leadership to their organization and lives and breathes community service. 

“Since joining as President & CEO of her local chamber in September 2019, Shakiba has made tremendous contributions to the community – ensuring a diverse set of businesses and business perspectives have a voice in the chamber network” said Daniel Safayeni, Vice President Policy with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in a statement. “Shakiba’s proactive and trusting relationships with all levels of government is helping raise Guelph’s profile and create impact for local businesses.

In terms of awards being handed out by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, it’s been announced that John Sleeman, founder and CEO of Sleeman Breweries and Spring Mill Distillery will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 Guelph Awards of Excellence on June 15.

“John’s leadership and business acumen has made a monumental difference in Guelph and he exemplifies what the Lifetime Achievement award represents,” said Shayani in a statement. “With Sleeman Breweries celebrating 35 years in business this year, it is the perfect time to recognize and celebrate his decades of hard work, dedication, and community impact.”

You can see the full list of finalists for the 2023 Chamber Business Awards here.

Additional Notes

To celebrate the coronation of King Charles III there will be a celebratory 21-gun salute at 11 am at York Road Park at 11 am. And there will also be a Coronation Tea starting at 2 pm at the Civic Museum.

The pool at the West End Rec Centre remains closed for the weekend due to an emergency mechanical failure earlier this week.

The sale of transit passes and tickets is presently unavailable at the Scottsdale branch of the Guelph Public Library. Service should be available again on Monday.

The Big Downtown Food Truck fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph is back for 2023. It’s Sunday May 28 at Exhibition Park from 11:30 am to 7:30 pm.

Wellington County is offering Home Energy Tool Kits that can be borrowed from select Wellington County Libraries.

The Spring Rural Romp will tour 14 different farms, bakeries, plant nurseries, a fibre mill, and a distillery in Mapleton, Minto, and Wellington North on Saturday May 27 from 10 am to 4 pm.

The timing of the Wellington County Police Services Board hearing has been changed to 9 am on May 10.

Current “Have Your Say” opportunities: Rainbow Crosswalk, Growing Civic Participation, Race to Zero, Downtown Parking Master Plan, Transit Stop Accessibility, Silvercreek Parkway North Reconstruction, and Guelph’s Bicentennial.

Bookmark for later, these are the holiday hours for the Victoria Day long weekend at the City of Guelph.

Transit Detours

Reminder: New route names and schedules go into effect on Monday.

New and Upcoming Construction

Work began on Monday to reconstruct the traffic signal at Woodlawn and Dawson. This work is expected to take about six weeks.

A portion of Corporate Court will be closed on Monday May 8 for about three weeks to install new water pipes.

Wyndham Street South will be closed south of the river for five days starting Monday May 8 so that a tower crane can be dismantled.

There will be lane reductions on Eramosa Road at Stevenson Street for one day on Tuesday May 9 to access the Bell manhole and splice the existing fibre.

There will be lane reductions on Edgehill Drive for five days starting on Monday May 15 to install new sewer and water pipes.

There will be lane reductions on Woolwich Street between Woodlawn and Marilyn Drive for two days starting on Monday May 15 to install underground gas service.

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