Ward 4 News

Councillor - Christine Billings

Saturday Oct 13th - 2012

City’s internal auditor proposes new audit rating system, risk management framework


GUELPH, ON, October 9, 2012 – The City’s first ever internal auditor will propose a new audit-review rating system and enterprise risk management framework during Council’s Governance Committee today.
As part of the City’s new internal audit function, approved in 2011 as part of the 2012 operating budget process, the rating system and methodology would allow for internal audits to be done using best practices and standards already established by the Institute of Internal Auditors, the governing body for the audit profession.
“A new audit-review approach would build on lessons learned in phase one of the service and operational reviews and would give us a strong foundation for future reviews,” says Loretta Alonzo, the City’s internal auditor, adding, “We are now in a position to deliver robust and effective reviews that will provide meaningful findings and recommendations to guide our business decisions.”
She further explains that by prioritizing which City services will form the audit annual work plan, residents can be assured that due diligence and oversight of the public purse is focused on areas of greatest risk and potential savings, efficiencies and service improvements.
“The new audit process would ensure accountability, transparency and engagement, as well as strengthen how the City works, enabling Guelph to prosper in the years ahead.”
The types of audits that may be performed by an internal auditor include: operational, financial, compliance, information systems, special investigations, follow-up audits, and consulting.
Alonzo also explains the process by which City services, programs, or activities are chosen for review is most effective when viewed through a risk-based audit methodology.
The new rating system would prioritize audits using a scoring system based on known risks, budget, date of last review and potential savings opportunities. Internal audit projects would be determined annually through collaboration with the Executive Team and Audit Committee.
A complete a list of ranked and rated services with recommendation for selected audits for 2013 will be considered by the Governance Committee later this fall.
As part of the internal audit function, an enterprise risk management strategy would also be implemented in two phases over a two-year period. Phase one would be corporate-level risk management and phase two would expand to include project risk management. In addition, an enterprise risk management program would assist in decision-making processes that will allocate resources to areas of highest risk.
“By identifying and proactively addressing risks and opportunities, the City improves how it protects the interests of the public. Identifying and managing risk is everyone’s responsibility and is one component of good corporate governance,” says Alonzo.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Loretta Alonzo
Internal Auditor
Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
T 519-822-1260 x 2243
E loretta.alonzo@guelph.ca

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Saturday Oct 13th - 2012

I am pleased to announce the public release of the Draft GID Secondary Plan at the end of this Thursday October 11, 2012, as part of the next PBEE Committee agenda. The report will be formally presented at PBEE Committee on Monday October 15, 2012. The report builds on the vision, principles, objectives and preferred design supported by Council on January 30, 2012 for the District.

Given the interest and size of the draft Secondary Plan, I wanted to inform you that the report and attachments can currently be found on the City’s M drive at \\city.guelph.ca\common$\M_common\PBEECouncil\Reports\2012. The report and attachments will be posted on the City’s website under City Hall/Agendas and Minutes/PBEE tab and on the website for the GID (guelph.ca\innovationdistrict)at the end of this Thursday, October 11, 2012.

This important milestone would not have been reached without your direction and decisions along the way, and the assistance and collaboration of various City Departments, the Province, and numerous public stakeholders and groups.

Feel free to contact me should you have any questions,

Joan Jylanne | Senior Policy Planner
Policy Planning and Urban Design | Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment
City of Guelph

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Saturday Oct 13th - 2012

Oct 9th, 2012:

Mayor & Council:

As most know, the fully self-supported City of Guelph’s Enterprise funded budget consists of the Ontario Building Code (OBC), Water Services, Wastewater Services and Court Services. The 2013 Enterprise Budget includes capital and operating expenditure and revenue estimates for the upcoming year 2013 and capital expenditure estimates for the next nine years 2014-2022 for each of the four departments. The 2013 Enterprise Budget marks the second year in a corporate transition to Service based budgeting in an effort to assist Council and Management in decision-making. It also marks the first year in which multi-year budgets are being provided for all four departments.

The current corporate calendar targets both presentation and approval of the 2013 Enterprise Budget at the City of Guelph Council meeting dated October 24, 2012. However, some interest has been expressed by selected members of Council during previous budget workshops whether these directions could be split – i.e. presentation one night followed by approval another night. There are implications for this which is why Council approval had been recommended on the same night as the presentation and prior to approval of the final tax supported budgets, particularly the latter. The main obstacle being that approval had to occur prior to November 9, 2012 to insure sufficient notification to users respecting Water and Wastewater rate changes effective January 1, 2013. However, subsequent to the Council approved 2012 Corporate Schedule being set there now has been an additional budget workshop date added for November 6, 2012. As such, if Council so desired it could receive the 2013 Enterprise Budget at its meeting of October 24, 2012 and defer approval to November 6, 2012 to consider major issues. This could be effected without adversely impacting the January 1, 2013 rate implementation date or capital early works. Beyond that date would be problematic as staff could speak to if it’s requested.

For the meeting itself, myself, Janet Laird and Mark Amorosi will be providing brief overview presentations on respective components of the recommended 2013 Enterprise Budget and staff will be available to respond to questions or gain further clarification. The presentation slides will be provided by October 17 so will not be part of the comprehensive packages being distributed today.

We look forward to the discussion next October 24, 2012.
Regards,

Albert Horsman, Executive Director and CFO
Finance and Enterprise
City of Guelph

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Saturday Oct 13th - 2012

Hi Cam,

I understand you had a question about the Market Square programming budget.  I’ll get this posted to the budget message board so that all of Council has the answer as well, but thought that I’d also forward you the answer directly.  This is what we’ll post to the message board:
Question:
What are the costs associated with providing civic hosted events on Market Square?
Answer:
In 2012, the approved budgeted expenses for providing civic hosted events on Market Square are $80,800, with offsetting sponsorship revenues of $11,000 and so the net cost for 2012 is $69,800.

STAFF

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Saturday Oct 13th - 2012

NEWS RELEASE

Council to vote on enterprise-funded budgets October 24
Infrastructure renewal and technology upgrades to strengthen City services

GUELPH, ON, October 11, 2012 – On Wednesday, October 24 City Council will discuss proposed investments in infrastructure renewal and technology upgrades to strengthen Guelph’s Water and Wastewater Services, Provincial Court Services and Ontario Building Code Administration.
 
The proposed 2013 Enterprise-Funded Budget continues to align investments with City’s strategic plan “Our City, Our Future” allowing the City to deliver public services better and build a vibrant future for Guelph.
 
“Key investments in infrastructure are essential to ensuring a safe and sustainable supply that meets Guelph’s current and future water and wastewater needs,” says Janet Laird, Executive Director of Planning, Building Engineering and Environment.


Guelph Water and Wastewater Services
Guelph’s successful water conservation efforts continue to help the City manage its investments in infrastructure. Smart water use reduces operating costs and helps defer million of dollars in future capital investments to accommodate growth.

Water Services’ proposed $24.6 million operating budget reflects increasing energy costs and contributions to reserve funds to prepare for future infrastructure upgrades as the city continues to grow. The proposed $12.3 million capital budget covers the cost of immediate infrastructure maintenance and new systems to service growth. To meet Provincial wastewater treatment regulations, Guelph is proposing a Wastewater Services operating budget of $26.9 million and a capital budget of $12.4 million next year.

If approved, the following water and wastewater rate changes would take effect on January 1, 2013 to align Guelph’s water billing cycle with Guelph Hydro’s billing program.
Proposed water/wastewater charges
     2012    2013    Change
water volume - $/cubic metre (m3)
     $1.30    $1.38    $0.08
water basic - $/day
     $0.22    $0.24    $0.02
wastewater volume - $/cubic metre (m3)
     $1.41    $1.52    $0.11
wastewater basic - $/day
     $0.30    $0.31    $0.01
average residential annual bill
(200 m3* consumption)    $723    $781    $58 or 8.0%
*estimated average annual volume consumed by a family of three

Guelph’s Provincial Court Services
Improved fine collection systems preserve the integrity of court decisions, and these sentences have positive impacts in our community. Increased fine revenues are reflected in the $3.6 million operating budget. Ongoing building maintenance and upgrades to information technology systems are included in next year’s $77,900 capital budget.

Ontario Building Code Administration
To increase service to residents and businesses, the proposed $2.8 million Ontario Building Code Administration operating budget includes resources to improve how quickly the City processes building permits and inspections. If approved, a proposed capital investment of $71,400 would further enhance service to taxpayers by upgrading Guelph’s integrated electronic building permit, inspection and licensing system over the next three years.
 
Community members are invited to attend the meeting on October 24, and registered delegations are welcome to address members of City Council. To register as a delegation or to learn more about enterprise-funded operating and capital budgets visit guelph.ca/budget.
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Al Horsman
Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer
Finance and Enterprise Services
T 519-822-1260 x 5606
E al.horsman@guelph.ca

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Saturday Oct 13th - 2012

How does GPL compare re: sq footage to other libraries in the area?

Ontario Public Library sq ft standards can be found from:


►The Southern Ontario Library Services  (SOLS) in their publication Making the case for your Library Building Project – c2010  recommends for a building serving 75,001 or more people should have from .8 square feet to 1.25 square feet per capita.

►Guidelines for Rural/Urban Public Library Systems published by  Administrators of Rural and Urban Public Libraries of Ontario (ARUPLO), published January 2012 recommends 1 sq. ft. per capita.

With a projected 119,400 sq ft of public library space in 2031, GPL will still be under the recommended sq footage for a community of 175,000 residents. FOR 2031:

    GPL total sq ft    SOLS standard    ARUPLO standard
     119,400 Sq ft           140,000sq ft          175,000sq ft

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Saturday Oct 13th - 2012

INFORMATION BULLETIN
 
Residents invited to comment on compostable bags in green carts
                                                                                                                   
GUELPH, ON, October 12 – The City of Guelph is applying to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) to allow the Organic Waste Processing Facility (OWPF) to accept organic waste collected in certified compostable plastic bags.  

The City is phasing out the use of regular plastic bags for organic waste collection, in accordance with the OWPF Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) issued by the MOE.  The ECA does not permit the City to process organic waste in plastic or certified compostable plastic bags due to concerns these bags may create anaerobic pockets in the composting process and create odours.

“To comply with the ECA, Guelph is introducing automated waste collection carts for curbside collection over the next three years,” says Dean Wyman, the General Manager of Solid Waste Resources. “Even as we phase out plastic bags, the facility’s odour control systems are performing well and we have not experienced odour issues since re-commissioning in February.”

In Ontario, 62 per cent of municipalities offering cart-based organic waste collection use compostable bags as liners. The City hopes to offer Guelph residents this same option as it transitions to waste collection carts.

If the MOE agrees to amend the ECA, the City will have more opportunities to generate additional revenue by processing organic waste from other Ontario sources currently using certified compostable plastic bags to line their green carts.

Residents can provide written comment, by October 19, 2012, on the proposed amendment by mail to:

Tesfaye Gebrezghi, P. Engineer
Supervisor, Waste Unit
Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch
Ministry of Environment
2 St. Clair Avenue West, Floor 12A
Toronto, ON M4V 1L5
Subject: City of Guelph Environmental Compliance Approval (“ECA”) No. A170128

If residents have any questions about the OWPF, please visit guelph.ca/organics or contact Solid Waste Resources at 519-767-0598 or waste@guelph.ca.


--

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Saturday Oct 13th - 2012

INFORMATION REPORT
TO: Operations, Transit & Emergency Services Committee
SERVICE AREA Operations, Transit & Emergency Services
DATE October 15, 2012
SUBJECT Downtown Guelph - Transit
REPORT NUMBER OT101245
BACKGROUND
With the introduction of the Guelph Transit Growth Strategy’s new routes and the Guelph Central Station (GCS), the transit service provided to the downtown community has significantly changed. The new routes were developed after significant public consultation and implemented in January 2012. GCS opened in May 2012 and at that time, Guelph Transit relocated from St. George’s Square after
decades of use.


Shortly after the relocation of Transit from St. George’s Square, staff began to hear from merchants, particularly in the Upper Wyndham Street area, that they were seeing significantly less customer traffic. Their customers allegedly cited the walking distance from GCS as the reason. As part of the new transit route structure, Guelph Transit does not have any routes using Wyndham Street from St.
George’s Square to Trafalgar Square.

 

REPORT
Staff, in conjunction with Councillors Findlay, Furfaro and Bell have been collaborating with a number of merchants and the Downtown Guelph Board of management to clearly understand the challenges the merchants are facing and to explore possible changes to the transit system that may provide some relief. Background information is contained in Appendix A.


SUMMARY

Purpose of Report:
To advise Committee of recent dialogue between Guelph Transit and the Downtown Guelph Business Association.
Committee Action:
No action required.
While we have been able to take some steps, the impact will from our assessment additional resources will be necessary if Council agrees the transit routes should be changed to place a number of them on upper Wyndham Street.
It is important to acknowledge there is no funding available operating or capital budget to undertake any of these initiatives. In staff’s opinion, even if the funding was made available, the suggested route realignments will not significantly increase customer service nor result in incremental ridership. If any action is to be considered, staff believe establishing a stop for Routes 12 & 13 on Woolwich Street, just south of Trafalgar Square would have the greatest impact from a cost/benefit will cost approximately $25,000 and the loss of approximately 3 parking spaces. Establishing this stop would bring riders to the top of Wyndham Street, eliminating
the need for riders to walk across the Eramosa Road bridge and up the grade to Wyndham Street. This, in conjunction with the stop relocation for routes 2a and 2b would at least position all customers at the top of Wyndham Street significantly reducing walking distances. Staff will submit an expansion package for Council’s consideration during the 2013 Budget deliberations.


FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

DEPARTMENTAL CONSULTATION
Downtown Renewal Officer was involved in discussions with the Business Association.
COMMUNICATIONS
N/A
ATTACHMENTS
Appendix A – Key Transit Principles and Operational Requirements at Guelph Central Station (GCS)
Prepared By:
Michael Anders, General Manager, Community Connectivity and Transit. Derek McCaughan, Executive Director, Operations, Transit & Emergency Services, Recommended By: Derek McCaughan, Executive Director


Key Transit Principles and Operational Requirements at Guelph Central Station (GCS)
The following information provides some context to the assessment of additional bus service through St.George’s Square:
· GCS opened in May 2012 with the associated movement of Guelph transit hub operations from
St. Georges Square to the new facility. GCS is physically located approximately 250 metres from
Quebec Street.
· GCS bus operations are comprised of a central island platform with a one-way circulation road
on the north and south side leading into and out of the facility. Depending on whether a vehicle
(route) uses the north or south side of the island, the efficient and safe flow of vehicles into/out
of the facility is dictated to either the east or west.
· Guelph Transit utilizes a strategy of interlining which affords passengers travelling through GCS
to other destinations within the community the opportunity not to have to transfer between
routes at the hub. The interlining strategy adds a layer of complexity to the entrance/exit of
vehicles at GCS as buses need to be stationed in the correct position to promote efficient flow.
This is critical in terms of maintaining schedule adherence and minimizing run cycle dwell.
· The location of specific routes at specific platforms at GCS are designed to minimize walking
distances for passengers transferring from one vehicle to continue their journey Safety issues
such as sight lines and pedestrian protection are critical in terms of the routing used by buses to
enter/exit GCS.
· Moving to a 30 minute service frequency as we implemented the Transit Growth Strategy
required Guelph Transit operate on traffic corridors that support the minimization of road and
traffic dwell time. There are 6 traffic signals (2 pedestrian crossings) using Wyndam St. N to
access GCS while there are only 4 traffic signals (2 pedestrian crossings) using Woolwich St. to
access GCS. There is the potential to add 2 minutes to vehicle travel time during peak traffic and
pedestrian periods by using Wyndam St. N. rather than Woolwich St. for routing.
· All curb space not required for the current Guelph Transit operations in St. George’s Square has
been converted into parking spaces to support commercial enterprises in the vicinity of the
Square. Any additional transit traffic and bus stops in St. George’s Square would have an impact
on these new spaces.
Current Guelph Transit Service to St. George’s Square (September 2012)
As of September 2012, the following routes stop in St George’s Square. The selection of routes using St.
George’s Square reflect the transit principles and operating requirements listed above:
· Route 10 – outbound (Quebec Street)
· Community Bus North – outbound (Quebec Street)
· Route 10 – inbound (Wyndham Street)
· Route 11 – inbound (Wyndham Street)
· Route 20 – inbound Wyndham Street)
In addition to the routes going through St. George’s Square, there are a number of bus stops close to the
Square that provide further travel options on additional routes:
· Sleeman Centre stop (inbound) – served by Routes 2A, 3B 12 and 13 (230m to Wyndam N)
· River Run stop (outbound) – served by Routes 2B, 3A, 12, 13 and 20 (300m to Wyndam N)
· Cenotaph stop (outbound) – served by Routes 2B and 3A (105m to Wyndam N)
It should also be noted that the old Perimeter Route was split into bi-directional East and West Loops
with the implementation of the Transit Growth Strategy providing 4 routes that service downtown that
did not previously exist prior to January 2012.
Alternatives to Increase Service Levels for St. George’s Square
Guelph Transit staff have assessed a number of options and alternatives to provide additional service
and/or increase service levels to St. George’s Square and Wyndam St. N. The assessment is summarized
below.
i) Bus Stop Relocation
Staff assessed the feasibility of relocating existing bus stops in the vicinity of the Woolwich/Wyndam/Eramosa intersection to reduce walking distances to the north end of Wyndam St. - the feasibility of two specific locations was undertaken. There was a stop in service at 228 Woolwich St. (Speedy Muffler) which only serviced Route 2A. Staff determined that it was possible to move the stop closer to downtown and relocated it to 160 Woolwich St. during the first week of October 2012. The new location also has the advantage of being able to service Route 3B on the inbound leg and allows a redundant stop to be closed at the corner of Suffolk and Norfolk. This change has significantly reduced walking distances to the north end of Wyndam St. for both these routes and Guelph Transit has already received positive feedback on this change from riders. Staff also assessed the feasibility of locating a bus stop on Woolwich St. just south of the intersection of Woolwich/Wyndam/Eramosa to service Routes 2A, 3B, 12 and 13. Presently, the closest stop for inbound routes 12 and 13 is north of the bridge crossing Eramosa River. There is a significant change ingrade between the roadway and sidewalk along this section of Woolwich. In order to make this stop location accessible, there would have to be major infrastructure installed to allow those using mobility aids to get from the street to the sidewalk. The cost of the required infrastructure is estimated at $25,000. A stop in this location would also require the removal of at least 3 parking spots because the turning radius required for a bus to turn left from Eramosa and get to the curb on Woolwich.
ii) Route Realignment
Staff reviewed the feasibility of rerouting routes 2A, 3B, 12 and 13 so they would use Wyndham St. instead of Woolwich St. This would allow these routes to stop in St. George’s Square on the inbound leg to GCS. The assessment identified 3 main obstacles with this alternative:
a) Unless Transit was provided travel priority through all signals and crossings on Wyndam, run
time would be negatively affected as detailed above and the ability of these routes to get to GCS
on time for transfers would be jeopardized.
b) An additional stop would have to be established at the Post Office which will result in a
significant loss of the new parking spots that were established when Guelph Transit moved to
GCS. An additional stop is required as it is not operationally feasible to have seven routes use
one stop in front of the IF Shoe store.
c) Rerouting Wyndham St. will require the vehicles on these routes to enter GCS by making a
“button hook” turn off MacDonnell to get the vehicles on the required platforms for the
outbound trip. There is an increased risk of an incident between pedestrians and a Guelph
Transit vehicle as this would be a blind turn for the operator. The pedestrian crossing is
currently not signalized at the east end of the terminal.
The cost of the infrastructure to eliminate the issues identified above is in the range of $150,000 to
$200,000. In addition, collateral communication material (routes brochures, info post inserts,
system map etc.) would have to be updates at an estimated cost of $20,000.
Another alternative to providing additional run time to use Wyndam St inbound is to reduce the length
of these routes and eliminate service to the outlying portions of the route. This is not likely an
acceptable solution to any areas of the community that lose direct service, and there would be
significant pushback to establish feeder routes to provide at least some level of service. Each feeder
route would require an additional 3 operators, 1 vehicle and associated operating and maintenance
costs.
iii) Communications
Guelph Transit staff have heard feedback that seniors are saying they cannot get downtown as a result of the implementation the new routes in January. Staff understand that the extensive route revisions have likely been hard for seniors to assimilate and part of the current concern may be a communications issue. Guelph Transit is willing to work with the DGBA, downtown merchants and senior residences to
prepare a program to ensure that these individual have the appropriate information to be able feel comfortable to travel on the new routes. Staff are willing to visit various sites around the City to deliver the program. Staff have begun the initial tasks associated with the preparation of the plan. In addition, staff are examining what improvements to signage at both GCS and St. George’s Square can
be made to assist the travelling public in understanding and accessing travel options between the two locations. Preliminary work indicates that the physical signage can be revised at minimal cost.
iv) Other Options
As an alternative to rerouting service, staff examined the concept of implementing “spider routes” that would interconnect between base routes and have St. George’s Square as the destination. Due to structure of the base system, a “spider route” would be required on both the east and west sides of the Woolwich/Norfolk spine. The implementation of “spider routes” cannot be accommodated within the
existing Guelph Transit resource base and would require an additional vehicle and 3 operators for each route along with the associated operating and maintenance costs. The effectiveness of this option is limited as the additional vehicle could not intersect with many inbound routes. Staff have also assessed the possibility of operating a shuttle using a mobility/conventional bus that would transfer riders between GCS and various points around St. George’s Square and Wyndam St. N. The shuttle could be made available to anyone wanting a ride within a specified area in the downtown core. The shuttle would provide continuous service on a fixed route and hours of service would be
aligned with the operating hours for businesses in the area. Although details on the specific routing need to be defined, it is envisioned that the shuttle would stop at a specific number of locations in throughout the downtown. Additional resources required to implement this type of service are estimated at 2 operators and associated operating, maintenance and possible capital costs for the vehicle.

STAFF

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Saturday Oct 13th - 2012

LANEWAY WATERMAIN: (between Clarke Street East to Powell Street East)

This fall, the City of Guelph is proposing to replace the existing watermain in the laneway between Clarke Street East to Powell Street East.

About the project
The City has contracted LVM (a geotechnical firm) to complete a geotechnical study that will assist the City with the watermain design. LVM will be using a drill rig to create boreholes located in the middle of the City owned laneway (not on private property) during the week of October 15, 2012. The City requests your permission to access your property during the drilling process as the drill rig may need to be parked on a portion of your property for an expected period of 2.5 hours.

To allow the City to proceed forward with this work, confirmation of your permission to access your property to undertake the required work is requested by Tuesday, October 16, 2012.

We appreciate your cooperation in assisting the City with the replacement of the existing watermain.

If you have any questions regarding this permission, please contact Majde Qaqish, P.Eng., at 519-837-5604, Ext. 2225.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Majde Qaqish, P.Eng., Project Engineer
Engineering Services, Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment
T 519-822-1260 x 2225
F 519-822-6194
E majde.qaqish@guelph.ca

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Saturday Oct 13th - 2012

Email from STAFF:

Regarding the proposed 2013 Enterprise budgets:

1.  Why was there a surplus at year end in 2012 in both the Water and Wastewater budgets? 
Both budgets experienced a surplus mainly driven by receiving more rate revenue (higher water consumption) than forecast.  This surplus was directed to dedicated reserves that can be used in future years to offset expenditure increase and help lower rates.

2.  Your past forecasts for rate increases mentioned an approximate 10% increase in future years.  Why in 2013 and future years are you now forecasting increases of less than 10%?

In 2013 we have found expenditure reductions and project delays in both the operating and capital budgets, as well as managed reserve contributions, to support the request for an approximate 8% increase.  The previous year’s forecast for 2013 was 8.5%.  In near future years we have forecast rates based on conservative drivers that take into account stable economic costs and revenue, inflation, and similar levels of legislation.  We will be conducting additional studies prior to the 2014 budget to confirm adequate levels of growth and infrastructure replacement funding.  These studies may lead to revised future rate forecasts.

 

Thank you,

STAFF

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Tuesday Oct 9th - 2012

Learn how residents rank Guelph’s quality of life
Survey results to be revealed and discussed at wellbeing forum October 11

GUELPH, ON, Tuesday, October 9
– The City is hosting a wellbeing forum where residents are invited to discuss feedback from Guelph’s wellbeing survey, online and printed comment cards, neighbourhood meetings, local events, Guelph’s first telephone town hall meeting, emails, Facebook comments and Twitter posts.

Attendees are also invited to help the City, and its partners, set priorities and develop action plans to improve programs and policies, as well as increase the wellbeing of people, neighbourhoods and the community as a whole.

“The response has been amazing. We heard from thousands of people across our community, and now we’ll use this input to develop a shared vision for Guelph’s future,” says Barb Powell, General Manger of Community Engagement.

WHAT
Guelph Wellbeing Forum - interactive displays showing how residents rank the quality of life in Guelph in terms of community vitality, democratic engagement, environment, education, time use, health, leisure and culture and living standards.
 
WHO
Mayor Karen Farbridge
Members of City Council
Bryan Larkin, Guelph Police Chief
Rita Sethi, Director, Community Health, Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph, Public Health Ross Kirkconnell, Executive Director of Guelph Family Health Team
 
WHERE
River Run Centre
35 Woolwich Street
 
WHEN
Thursday, October 11
 
3-5 p.m. The City and its community partners will review community input and develop vision and goals for Guelph’s 10-year Wellbeing Plan.
 
6-7 p.m. Residents are invited to view interactive displays showing community feedback about the quality of life in Guelph.
   
7-9 p.m. Residents are welcome to view the presentation and participate in community discussion to set out action plans.
 
Space is limited, and residents are asked to register for forum sessions by calling 519-822-1260 x 6521 or visiting guelphwellbeing.ca.

About the Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative
Using the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, the City and its partners are measuring Guelph’s quality of life and developing a shared understanding and vision for Guelph’s future. Learn more about the Canadian Index of Wellbeing here. Through this initiative, the City and its partners also aim to inspire more people to take action and contribute to Guelph’s community wellbeing – creating a healthy and safe community where people can live life to the fullest.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Louise Daw
Project Manager, Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative
Community Engagement
T 519-822-1260 x 6521
E louise.daw@guelph.ca

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Monday Oct 8th - 2012

Guelph Mercury Article:

http://www.guelphmercury.com/news/local/article/813951--wednesday-farmers-market-deemed-a-success

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Monday Oct 8th - 2012

Regarding the healthy landscape program: 

•    The landscape visits program ends on August 30th. Residents can still sign up to receive a visit and receive tips on how to bring back their lawns after this summer’s drought. Also how to overwinter your lawn and garden and what to do now to help your yard survive drought conditions next year.

•    Public compliance with Outside Water Use Bylaw has been very good and residents seem to be complying with the bylaw as many lawns were brown this season. But trees and gardens seem to suffer. We offer great tips on how to help your trees and gardens survive a drought and what you should be doing now to save your trees. In level 2 red you can still water trees and gardens every other day.
 
STAFF

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Monday Oct 8th - 2012

Regarding Service Club Signing at entrance ways to the City:

  • The on-going maintenance of these signs is a low priority in comparison to other signing activities within the city e.g. replacement/maintenance of regulatory signing; therefore the maintenance may not take place for 2 or more years depending on observed need.
  • Service clubs pay an annual fee to be on the entrance sign.
  • Are there new ways that could be considered to provide the same information? Yes, Guelph .ca is a tool that could be considered but we would discuss any change with all of the invested Service Clubs and other users to determine what they believe to be the pros and cons of moving this information to the internet; in addition not all of the public are internet savvy.
  • Is the “gateway” important as a first impression? Certainly as is all components of what the public sees the first time they enter Guelph, but it  is one of many components e.g. the road, signage, landscaping, what the City has to offer in parks, recreation special events etc.   
  • Will we be looking at the Brock Road signage? Yes we will have our staff look at it and determine what is still applicable from a Service Cub signage perspective and if the overall sign is in need of repair etc.

Regards,

STAFF

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Monday Oct 8th - 2012

Provided below is a summary of the issue and the assessment that my staff has recently completed related to the provision of additional transit service in St. George’s Square (the Square).

Guelph Central Station (GCS) opened in May 2012 with the associated movement of Guelph Transit hub operations from the Square to the new facility. The new facility is located approximately 250m from Quebec Street. The direction the vehicles enter the facility and the respective bay allocations reflect the routing and service model developed as part of the Transit Growth Strategy which was implemented in January 2012. At the present time there are 2 outbound and 3 inbound routes that serve the Square.

Businesses on Wyndam N have provided feedback that sales and customer visits have declined since the move of Guelph Transit to GCS and have inquired as to the possibility/feasibility of having additional routes serve the Square in order to assist passengers, primarily seniors, by providing additional travel options and reducing walking distances.

As a starting point in assessing the feasibility of this request, a number of general transit principles and operational requirements of GCS must be outlined to provide some context for the assessment:

•    GCS bus operations are comprised of a central island platform with a one-way circulation road on the north and south side leading into and out of the facility. Depending on whether a vehicle (route) uses the north or south side of the island, the efficient and safe flow of vehicles into/out of the facility is dictated to either the east or west.
•    Guelph Transit utilizes a strategy of interlining which affords passengers the opportunity not to have to transfer between routes at the hub. The interlining strategy complicates the entrance/exit of vehicles at GCS as buses need to be stationed in the correct position to promote efficient flow. This is critical in terms of maintaining schedule adherence and minimizing run cycle dwell.
•    All curb space not required for the current Guelph Transit operations in the Square has been converted into parking spaces to support commercial enterprises in the vicinity of the Square. Any additional transit traffic through the Square could have a negative impact on these new spaces.
•    The location of specific routes at specific platforms at GCS are designed to minimize walking distances and promote efficient transfers at GCS where required.
•    Safety issues such as sight lines and pedestrian protection are critical in terms of the routing used by buses to enter/exit GCS.
•    Moving to a 30 minute service model requires that Guelph Transit operate on traffic corridors that support the minimization of road and traffic dwell time. There are 6 traffic signals (2 pedestrian crossings) using Wyndam N to access GCS while there are only 4 traffic signals (2 pedestrian crossings) using Woolwich to access GCS. There is the potential to add 1 minute or more to travel time during peak traffic and pedestrian periods by using the Wyndam N routing.

Guelph Transit Planning staff undertook a detailed analysis of the existing route structure to determine which routes had any potential for rerouting through the Square. Routes that did not use GCS (i.e. those that served the University Centre only) or exited GCS to the east, west or south were eliminated from further analysis. Routes that could be considered for rerouting through the Square are summarized below:

•    Route 2B - outbound
•    Route 2A - inbound
•    Route 10 - inbound and outbound
•    Route 11 - inbound and outbound
•    Route 13 - inbound
•    Route 3B - inbound
•    Route 20 - inbound and outbound
•    Community Bus North - outbound

The suitability of each of the 11 routes listed above for travelling through the Square were assessed using the transit principles and operating requirements listed previously. Based on the analysis, the following routes can provide service to the Square efficiently and are recommended by staff to form the stop network in the Square:

•    Route 10 - outbound
•    Community Bus North - outbound
•    Route 10 - inbound
•    Route 11 - inbound
•    Route 20 - inbound

In addition, to the routes going through the Square, there are a number of bus stops close to the Square that provide further travel options on additional routes:

•    Sleeman Centre stop - services Routes 2A, 3B 12 and 13 (230m to Wyndam N)
•    River Run stop - serves Routes 2B, 3A, 12, 13 and 20 (300m to Wyndam N)
•    Cenotaph stop - serves Routes 2B and 3A (105m to Wyndam N)

There are other options to reduce walking distance other than routing additional 40 foot conventional transit passes through the Square. One alternative would be to operate a shuttle bus that runs a continuous loop between GCS, the Square and Wyndam N. However, any of these alternatives would require incremental financial resources and would require further discussion with the DGBA and/or be subject to City budget deliberations.

Guelph Transit staff have heard feedback that seniors are saying they cannot get downtown as a result of the implementation the new routes in January. Staff understand that the extensive route revisions have likely been hard for seniors to assimilate and part of the current concern may be a communications issue. Guelph Transit would be pleased to work with the DGBA, downtown merchants and senior residences to prepare a program to ensure that these individual have the appropriate information to be able feel comfortable to travel on the new routes. Staff are willing to visit various sites around the City to deliver the program.

There has also been feedback that the new routing favours shopping at SmartCentre (Wal-Mart) over downtown. The new route system was designed so that SmartCentre is a transit transfer point for Routes 2 and 3, and not an origin/destination stop for the shopping complex. By having split the old Perimeter Route into bi-directional East and West Loops, there are now 4 additional routes that provide service to downtown that did not exist under the old route model.

Best wishes.
STAFF

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Monday Oct 8th - 2012

Students Picture Nature
A photo contest presented by Guelph Urban Forest Friends
and Nature in the Neighbourhood
This exciting joint project between the Guelph Urban Forest Friends (GUFF) and Nature in the Neighbourhood (NitN) aims to encourage young people to get outside, and look at the natural world with a fresh perspective.
See the details at www.guffguelph.ca and let your young people in high school know about this wonderful opportunity.                  
________________________________________

Save Your Ash Tree
"The cost of not saving Ontario's ash trees"
 
By Mark Cullen, Ottawa Citizen September 6, 2012
 
If you could have saved the mature elm trees of Ottawa from the ravages of the Dutch elm disease, would you have done it?
If I offered you the chance to in-vest, say, $1,000 spread over six to eight years (approximately $150/year) in return for $2,000 to $3,000, would you be interested?
If I told you that the oxygen that we breathe every day and the shade that we seek on a hot summer day is at risk of being depleted by up to 10 per cent within the next three to five years and that much of this depletion is completely avoidable, would you be concerned? Would you want to know more?
Only one of these questions is hypothetical and that is the first one.
We lost virtually all of our American elm trees in Eastern Canada in the 1960s and 1970s. There was no risk-free preventive measure that could have been taken at the time that Dutch elm disease moved through our country.
This is not the case for the white, green and black ash trees that pep-per the urban forest, line many of our streets and grace much of the private property. The tree canopy in the National Capital Region is made up of more than 20 per cent ash. There may a nice ash specimen in your yard.
The emerald ash borer is devastating the entire population of ash trees in Ontario. Within three to five years, it is predicted by people who know about these things, that all of our ash trees will be gone. Dead. Ready to be cut down and disposed of.
Ash trees have served us well as a hardwood tree that provides shelter for birds and other wildlife. They convert CO2 into oxygen in the growing season, and due to the fact that they leaf out later than most deciduous trees and drop earlier come autumn, they provide cooling shade in the heat of summer and gently filter warming sunshine into our lives in winter. They are clean, well-shaped landscape plants that are native to our area. No one could dislike an ash.
Unlike the American elm, the ash can be saved.
The popular garden/environ-mental writer and broadcaster Lorraine Johnson has a large 12-inch-caliper ash standing on the street at the front of her home. This past year she paid from her own pocket to have the tree treated with a biologic-al (read: safe) insect control called TreeAzin. It must be administered by a certified professional, not be-cause it is toxic to humans or pets, but it does require some training to administer the liquid by drilling in-to the tree trunk and injecting it with a rather sophisticated syringe.
The good news is that, if you choose to be proactive, you can likely save your ash tree from the emerald ash borer.
Based on Lorraine's experience, you can expect to pay about $225 to $275 for one treatment for a mature ash with a caliper of 35 centimetres measured at 120 centimetres high (approximately chest height). The tree will need to be treated three to four times with TreeAzin: once every couple of years until the bug has moved on. It is predicted that it will move on after it devastates our ash tree population and runs out of food.
The upside of treatment is that you get to keep your ash tree. In return for your investment and trouble, you will not have to pay to remove the existing tree when it is dead (a savings of up to $3,000) and you will not have to replace it (saving up to $500). Not to mention that you will not have to wait 30 to 40 years for the new tree to mature.'
TreeAzin was developed in partnership with the Canadian Forest Service and the private company BioForest Technologies Inc. In the words of Paul Bolan, of Bio Forest: "TreeAzin has no adverse impact to the environment. The active ingredient is azadirachtin, a derivative of the neem tree in Asia."
Bolan adds that the cost of Tree-Azin has been reduced by 30 per cent since it was introduced in 2008, and that with growing demand for the product, lower costs are anticipated in future.
It is refreshing to hear of a new product that goes down in price while demand increases, rather than the other way around.
The City of Ottawa has developed and implemented an aggressive ash-borer management strategy that promotes ash canopy preservation. While city council has no plans to preserve all ash trees on public land, it has recognized the financial and environmental benefits of preserving high-value, healthy ash trees.
We are fortunate in Ontario to have a choice: we can act to minimize the problem of the borer or we can ignore it and let it take its course.
While I admire Ottawa's council for taking bold action to preserve mature ash trees on public land, I urge you to ask your councillor what, exactly, is being done to pre-serve our tree canopy. How many trees are being planted to replace the trees that will inevitably die? What with? What is the role of native trees in replacement?
As private landowners, we need to be looking in our backyards (and front yards) where ash trees may be established and worth saving. Per-haps you own an ash tree that would be cheaper to save than cut down. According to Dr. Sandy Smith, dean of forestry for the University of Toronto, this often is the case.
Consider the costs of replacing the tree and the time that it will take to make a measurably positive impact on your quality of life and your community.
It is my opinion that, when we no longer care about the health and wellness of our mature trees, our cities are on the slippery slope of decline. Our inaction has the making of urban decay, in earnest.
The cities of Cleveland and Detroit no longer have this choice - their ash trees are beyond saving. Take a drive and have a look.
Lorraine Johnson reminds you "buyer beware" when shopping for a professional applicator. There are some contractors who may take ad-vantage of this situation.
When asked what he would recommend, Bolan says: "In short, develop, implement and maintain an EAB management plan based on the most current science available. The study entitled Coalition for Urban Ash Tree Conservation is a good place to start."
Here's a few websites with more information on this issue:
        For more details on TreeAzin and a list of certified applicators, visit www.bioforest.ca.
        Ottawa's injection program: http: // ottawa.ca/en/env_water/tlg/trees/ preservation/eab/injection/index. htm
        A look at where Ash trees are and the city's management plan: http: // ottawa.ca/cs/groups/content/@ webottawa/documents/pdf/mdaw/ mta1/~edisp/cap106603.pdf
        How to identify an Ash tree and the borer: http: //ottawa.ca/en/ env_water/tlg/trees/preservation/ eab/ash/index.html
Mark Cullen appears on Canada AM every Wednesday morning at 8: 40. He is spokesman for Home Hardware Lawn and Garden. Sign up for his free monthly newsletter at www.markcul-len.com.
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

www.guffguelph.ca

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is NOW."  Better still, let's care for and preserve the ones we have.

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Monday Oct 8th - 2012

Staff issued this email to councillors after people alledged that it failed:

Your Worship & Members of Council –
The final source testing report conducted by Dillon Consulting (overseen by MOE staff) was submitted to the MOE by end of day Friday August 31.  This was an ECA (Environmental Compliance Approval) requirement.  The results of this source testing clearly showed that the OWPF, operating at full design capacity, was not emitting odours greater than the 1.0 odour unit maximum as set out in the ECA.

STAFF

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Monday Oct 8th - 2012

Aren't Increases wonderful?

 

Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) – Information kit regarding the 2012 assessment update available at www.aboutymyproperty.ca.

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Monday Oct 8th - 2012

Monthly meetings between Guelph Police and Bylaw staff to discuss zero tolerance residences:

  • Staff from Police, Bylaw, Building, EMS, Fire, University of Guelph Off-campus Living and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission meet monthly to review concerns and to address issues that may span across the different agencies.
  • These meetings have expanded beyond a Police, Bylaw and University meeting to include other agencies and most recently the AGCO.  The purpose of these meetings are to address issues in a collaborative approach and that this working relationship have been quite successful.
  • In regards to the "zero tolerance list", staff review a variety of incidents and set up proactive patrols and while there may be specific addresses that staff are monitoring, staff also monitor non-residential locations where issues have or are anticipated to arise including businesses, park land or other areas. These matters are reviewed by the interagency group and are City wide and not all related to students.
  • The areas Bylaw staff are proactively monitoring fluctuates from month to month.
  • In regards to concerns from residences, from a bylaw perspective, noise and parking calls are common, however the type of call may change depending on the time year, for example around Canada Day were see an increase in fireworks calls.
  • Generally we have 3 to 5 staff members working.

Yours truly,

STAFF

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Monday Oct 8th - 2012

Long-term Care Project:


Background
Q1.    What is a long-term care home?
A1.    A long-term care home (LTCH) is also known as a nursing home or home for the aged.  An LTCH is a home for people who require 24-hour nursing services.  Eligibility for placement in a LTCH is based on care needs, as determined and arranged by Community Care Access Centres (CCACs). Placements are determined on the level of need for care in a home (being in a hospital bed and not needing acute care is deemed to be the highest priority level). The actual placement (e.g., timing and location) is also dependent on the availability of a bed.  Additionally, the immediacy of care needs will influence placement.

Q2.    Who pays for a person to live in a LTCH?
A2.    Residents pay only for accommodation, including preferred accommodation.  The costs related to nursing and personal care, recreation and rehabilitation programs as well as the cost of food and the other activities that are required to operate a facility are paid for by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC).  LTCHs are licensed, approved and regularly inspected by MOHLTC.

Q3.    What role does the Community Care Access Centre perform in long-term care placements?
A3.    CCACs provide a coordinated and managed process for a full range of in-home services, including nursing, occupational therapy (OT), physiotherapy (all of which are insured through MOHLTC) and the necessary support services, such as homemaking, to those who qualify. CCACs assess the needs of individuals and when these needs cannot be met in the community, placement in a LTCH is confirmed.  CCACs have an inventory of all available beds in LTCHs located within their catchment area and make placement referrals.  

The Long-term Care Project
Q4.    What is the long-term care project?
A4.    The goal of this project is to develop a business case which details the City’s best option(s) for the designation of a municipal long-term care home

Q5.    Why is the City doing this project?
A5.    According to the Long-term Care Homes Act, every southern municipality must “establish and maintain a municipal home”.  Currently, the City’s municipal LTCH is Wellington Terrace which is located between Elora and Fergus.  The City is exploring all options to meet our legislative requirements.  Our options will take into consideration:
    Sustainability
    Financial responsibility and prudence
    Governance provisions and requirements
    Legislation, MOHLTC and Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) requirements
    Other legal and operational considerations
    Community need

Q6.    How will this project be completed?

A6.    The project will occur in two (2) phases.  Phase 1 of the project involves identifying the criteria which must be met in order for a LTCH to be eligible for consideration as a designated municipal home.   An inventory of all eligible homes within a defined radius and other business options will be compiled.   In Phase 2, eligible options will be evaluated and an implementation strategy for the best option(s) will be developed for Council’s consideration.  These Phase 2 recommendations will be aligned with other City initiatives, including the Older Adult Strategy and Community Wellbeing Initiative.  Implementation of the recommended option will occur in a third phase of the project which is currently out of scope and subject to Council approval and direction.  

Q7.    Why is the project looking at options within the Waterloo Wellington LHIN area and not just within the city limits?
A7.    Using an expanded research area will provide additional information and options which will inform Council decision making.  Considerations listed in Answer #5 above necessitate a broader base for comparative purposes.

Q8.    Will a home outside the city be recommended?   
A8.    All eligible options, both within the city and the expanded research area, will be evaluated against a number of criteria (to be established), including local needs.  
A designated municipal home located in Guelph does not guarantee priority access by city residents.  When selecting a LTCH, people are able to request a home and/or location which best suits their personal needs.  For example, an Ottawa resident may request placement in a LTCH in Guelph in order to be close to family.  Similarly, Guelph residents may request placement in a LTCH outside of the city.  Access to a LTCH bed is affected by choices indicated by an applicant for placement and availability of a bed.

Q9.    How does community perception fit into the project?
A9.    The project team is working with Corporate Communications to develop a communications plan.  Various tools and media will be used to communicate information about the status and findings of the project.  Also, the community will be consulted on the evaluation of options and recommendation.   
A public forum will be held to seek the community’s input into the priority setting phase of this project.  This input will help inform those interested about the key elements of Phase 1 and help to frame the direction of Phase 2.

Q10.    When will the project be done?
A10.    Phase 1 is scheduled to occur from July to October 2012.  Phase 2 is scheduled for November 2012 to February 2013.

Project Approval
Q11.    Who approves the final recommendation?
A11.    Once the business case is completed, staff will present the information to Council for approval.  If Council supports the recommended option, and directs staff to proceed, a third phase to the project will be scoped.  Included in the third phase of the project would be for staff to seek approval of Council’s recommended option by MOHLTC.  Only the Minister of Health and Long Term Care has the authority to designate a municipal home.  

The Project Team
Q12.    Who is working on this project?
A12.    Project oversight is being provided by a cross-departmental team of staff from Community and Social Services, Legal Services and Finance.  The City has also retained, through a Request for Proposal, consultants to provide subject matter expertise.  

Q13.    Who are the consultants?
A13.    The City has retained the services of Klejman & Associates Consulting Inc.  The team members of Klejman & Associates collectively represent over 100 years of experience, mostly in senior level positions within the long-term care sector.  The consultants bring comprehensive operational and strategic knowledge of long-term care and extensive experience with government protocols and decision-making processes, especially at the provincial level.  A profile of the consulting firm can be found at:  klejman.ca

Project Cost
Q14.    How much is this project costing?
A14.    The total budget for Phases 1 and 2 of this project is $79,687. This cost will be covered through Community and Social Services’ general consulting budget and Corporate and Human Resources’ legal consulting budget

Other Considerations
Q15.    How will this project affect the City’s new agreement with Wellington Terrace?
A15.    This project will not impact our current agreement with Wellington Terrace.  Any recommended option(s) will only be implemented at the direction of Council and if required, the agreement contains provisions for unconditional support from the County of Wellington.  
The agreement requires the City to pay 20% of the net operating costs of Wellington Terrace.  In 2012, this amount is approximately $1 million.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Barbara Powell
General Manager
Community Engagement and Social Services
Community Services
T 519-822-1260  x 2675
E barbara.powell@guelph.ca

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Monday Oct 8th - 2012

Community Investment Strategy

End of Phase 2 Update September 2012

Q1.    What is the Community Investment Strategy and why does the City need one?
A1.    The City works with and supports many local organizations in the community to improve the wellbeing of Guelph residents.

This means that the City provides funding, in-kind support and enters into partnerships with a number of local non-profit organizations to achieve a variety of community and social goals.   

The Community Investment Strategy provides the City with a clear strategy for investing in local organizations and the work that they do.  The strategy will also:
    align investment to clearly defined City priorities which are built upon community need and aspiration.  
    enable the city to be more responsive to changing community needs.  
    provide community organizations with clearer and more consistent investment opportunities.  
    enable the City to work with the community benefit sector in a different way – one that reflects the complexity of service and program delivery in fiscally challenging times.
    help decision makers and the local community understand the impact of city investment on the community.
    ensure that decisions about city investment are being made in a transparent and accountable way.
 
Q2.    How will the allocation of funding across the new mechanisms happen?

A2.    In the early years it is anticipated that current funding levels will remain fairly consistent across the five mechanisms (Wellbeing Grant Program, Rental Discount Rates, Innovation Fund, Small Dollar Waiver and Community Benefit Agreements).  Over time the CIS will allow funding levels to be brought into alignment with strategic priorities and community needs according to a defensible process, not just historical practice.

Council, through the Community and Social Services Committee, would be responsible for approving the overall CIS strategy and budget allocation, including the amount of money available to be disbursed in the coming budget year.

At an operational level, the Director of Community and Social Services (in consultation with others) would be responsible for the management of the mechanisms, including the level of funding attributed to each over the coming year.  


Q3.    What is council’s new role in the CIS?

A3.    Council would be responsible for approving the overall CIS strategy and budget allocation, including the amount of money available to be disbursed in the coming budget year. Subsequently, Council would receive an annual report outlining the value and impact of the City’s direct contributions to the community benefit sector. In keeping with the consultation feedback from Phase 1, it is suggested that Council no longer be involved in individual granting decisions. Instead, allocations should rest with a new Grants Allocation Committee of Council.

Q4.    What are the benefits of having a Grants Allocation Committee to make funding decisions for the new Wellbeing Grants Program?

A4.    This aims to engage local community members in the process of allocating investment which will support the City’s goal of engaging local people in municipal decision making.  It also brings local expertise and community knowledge to the process making it more effective and focused on meeting community need. The new Committee will also be multisectoral, resulting in community wide integrated allocation – so a more holistic approach.

Q5.    Who will be appointed to the Grants Allocation Committee?
A5.    Community members who have the required skills, knowledge and experience. A recruitment and selection process will be implemented that reflects current City policy.

Q6.    What changes are envisioned for grants this year?
A6.    Only categories one and two will be granted in 2013 as part of the transition program. No multi-year funding will be allocated.

Two new interim review panels will be created to review eligible grant applications – reducing the number of panels from three.  Membership of these interim panels will in part be drawn from existing panel membership from both staff and community.
The two interim panels will cover:
o    Social and Health
o    Arts, Culture and Special Events

Community and Social Services will oversee the process.  The Executive Director for Community and Social Services would have delegated authority from Council to make the final decision for the 2013 grants and then will be required to report to Council.


Q7.    Why should discount rental rates be harmonized across sectors, demographics and facilities?
.
A7.    This is based on the outcomes of the CIS consultations and the review of current City plans – there was no clear direction to supporting only one particular group.  It also reflects that the Strategy aims to support “a complete community.” In the absence of clear directives to give priority to one type of activity over another, fairness/equity would require this harmonization.

Q8.    What happens to existing agreements under the new CIS?
A8.    There is still some work to complete around the assessment of potential Community Benefit Agreements however these reviews will be undertaken as quickly as possible.   A timetable for reviewing all agreements will be developed in the coming months.  The immediate focus will be to review those agreements due to expire before the end of 2013. Existing agreements and their term will be respected.  

These reviews will enable City staff and organizations to identify which investment mechanism is most applicable moving forward, either through applying for a Community Wellbeing Grant or via the development of a Community Benefit Agreement.  


Q9.    Will the CIS be rolled out across the corporation to shape how other departments invest in local organizations too?  
A9.    The Phase 2 report reflects the scope of the project as originally defined, which in turn largely reflects the current scope of responsibility within CSS. It has been anticipated from the outset that principles, lessons and practices from the CIS might inform other parts of the Corporation, and it is recommended that an expansion of the CIS scope be considered as implementation progresses so as to eliminate various parts of the Corporation potentially working at cross purposes with one other.

Q10.    How will the impact of the CIS be communicated?

A10.    A comprehensive communications plan is currently in development.  To ensure that the City and residents can understand the impact of the CIS, each new mechanism will have an evaluation component.  For example, the successful Wellbeing Grant recipients will be required to produce and submit a report to the City outlining how City funding had supported the wellbeing of the community based on the original objectives of the funding proposal.  This type of information will be used to produce an annual report to Council and for various communication materials to the community.   This is just one example, there are lots of opportunities to communicate, learn from and celebrate the work the CIS supports.  

FOR MORE INFORMATION                
 
Barbara Powell                
General Manager
Community Engagement and Social Services Liaison, Community Services
T 519-822-1260  x 2675
E barbara.powell@guelph.ca

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Sunday Oct 7th - 2012

Liabilities for Future Benefits

Sick Leave, Vacation and Other Benefits Payable upon Termination of Employment

(Retirements, Voluntary and Involuntary Terminations)

 

Sick Benefits

Question 1:  How many employees received this benefit last year?

Three separate union groups, the Fire Association, CUPE 241 (outside workers) and CUPE 1946 (Library) had negotiated accumulated sick leave benefits as part of their collective agreements.  Under this type of Sick Leave plan, employees accumulate 1.5 sick days/month (i.e. 18 days/year), and any unused sick time is accumulated.

When these employees leave the City of Guelph (Retirement, Voluntary and Involuntary Terminations), they are entitled to accumulated sick leave pay of up to six months (i.e. payment of half of their accumulated sick bank to a maximum of six months pay).

In early 2012, sick leave benefits of this form were eliminated as part of the collective bargaining process for CUPE 241 and CUPE 1946. They now receive Short Term Disability payments when off sick, as do other employee groups in the City. When employees in these two groups leave the City, there are no longer payments made for sick leave pay.

The Fire Association has 165 employees entitled to this benefit and 3 received a payout in 2011.

CUPE 241 had 297 employees entitled to this benefit and 9 received a payout in 2011.

Library CUPE 1946 had 83 employees entitled to this benefit and 2 received a payout in 2011.

OPSEU has 74 full time employees. Employees accumulate 9 sick days or 72 hours each year any unused sick credits are paid out in December of each year. OPSEU has Six (6) employees received a payout in 2011

Question 2:  What was the total value of payouts for this benefit to terminating employees last year?


The 3 payouts for Fire Association members totalled $114,918.22.
The 9 payouts for CUPE 241 members totalled $132,685.51.
The 2 payouts for CUPE 1946 Library members totalled $30,112.54.
The 6 payouts for OPSEU members totalled $44,727.01

Questions 3:  What were the five top payouts by amount for this benefit?

A response to this question could identify individual employees and therefore deemed confidential information as per Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation.

Question 4:  What was the average payout per employee or retiree of this benefit?

The average payout for the Fire Association was $38,306.07.
The average payout for CUPE 241 was $14,742.83.
The average payout for CUPE 1946 Library was $15,056.27.
The average payout for OPSEU was $7,454.50. 

 

Vacation Benefits

Question 1:  How many employees received this benefit last year?

Vacation pay is legislated under the Employment Standards Act.  

In 2011, there were 1191 full-time employees in the City. There are 820 part-time employees all of who are entitled to earn a minimum of 4% vacation pay, and they receive this pay as part of their regular paycheque as is common in private and public sectors.  

Full-time staff are encouraged to take the earned time off.  Any earned vacation pay not taken at termination is paid out after their last pay with the City.

Question 2:  What was the total value of payouts for this benefit to terminating employees last year?

A total of 36 full-time employees were paid out unused vacation upon termination in 2011.  The total value of these payouts was $239,913.85.

Question 3:  What were the top five payout amounts for this benefit?

A response to this question could identify individual employees and therefore deemed confidential information as per Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation.

Question 4:  What was the average payout per employee or retiree for this benefit?

The average payout of vacation pay upon termination was $6,664.27 for 2011.

Retirement Health, Dental and Life Insurance Benefits

Question 1:  What was the total cost of retirement benefits paid last year?

The total cost of providing Extended Health, Dental and Life Insurance Benefits in 2011 for retirees was $458,292.83.  Many of the collective agreements require continued retiree benefits after retirement provided the employee has 10 years of service with the City of Guelph.  These benefits continue until age 65.  

Question 2:  How many retirees are currently enrolled in this benefit?

As of September 2012, there are a total of 96 retirees receiving benefits as described above.

Question 3:  What is the premium paid by retirees in this plan?

Retirees are not required to contribute to the retiree benefits plan as per the employment contract or the respective collective agreement.

Question 4:  What was the average annual cost per employee or retiree for this benefit?


The average annual cost per retiree is $4773.88.

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Sunday Oct 7th - 2012

City’s Battery Recycling Program:

  • Batteries contain materials that are harmful to our environment if disposed of incorrectly. Recycling batteries prevent toxic substances from entering the environment.
  • Residents can drop off single use and rechargeable batteries (i.e. sizes AAA to D, 9V, lithium and button cell) for recycling at City Hall, all City libraries, all City Fire Halls and at the Waste Resource Innovation Centre.
  • Last year Guelph residents recycled 8130 kg of single use and rechargeable batteries.
  • Residents can also visit the City’s Take-It-Back Directory for information on businesses in the community that accept batteries amongst other unwanted materials at guelph.ca/takeitback.
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Saturday Oct 6th - 2012

Dear Council Member:
I am the Chairperson of the Fair taxes Campaign – Guelph. This organization is Guelph’s chapter of a larger organization, “Condominium Fair Taxes Campaign”, which has chapters in large and small cities right across the province. Last Friday I left a package of materials for you at Guelph City Hall with information about a Meeting on Thursday October 25. In that package there was a letter in which I promised to send you the information poster electronically and an e-mail address you can reply to.
 
We hope to see you at Westminster St. Paul’s Church at 7:00 pm on Thursday October 25th.
 
Ted Pritchard

Make Taxation Fair for Guelph Condos
Information Meeting
October 25, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Westminster St. Paul’s Church
206 Victoria Road North
(Victoria at Eramosa)
Are you paying twice (property taxes and condo fees) for the same services?
How does the City benefit from condos vs. traditional single family homes?
Why are 1 in 3 new housing starts condominium developments?
The Mayor and council members have been invited to this meeting. We hope to see you there as well!
guelphfairtaxes@gmail.com

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Saturday Oct 6th - 2012

Guelph Fire Department urges residents to “have 2 ways out”
Fire Prevention Week is October 7 to 13

GUELPH, ON, October 2, 2012 – If a fire breaks out in your home, you may only have minutes to get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds.
That’s why Guelph’s fire department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during Fire Prevention Week, October 7 to 13, to urge residents to plan ahead by creating a home fire escape plan. This year’s theme is “Have 2 Ways Out” and focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
“Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. Having a tried and true escape plan, with two ways out of every room, is essential to ensuring your family’s safety should a fire break out in your home,” says Matt Valeriote, fire prevention officer with the Guelph Fire Department.
The Guelph Fire Department recommends the following tips for planning your family’s escape:
•    Draw a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.
•    Choose a designated meeting place that is a safe distance from your home. This is where everyone can meet once they have escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.
•    Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.
•    Have an adult sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
•    Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and have your family practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
To mark Fire Prevention Week, the Guelph Fire Department will be hosting a Fire Prevention Day on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Guelph Home Depot parking lot, located at 63 Woodlawn Rd., West.
Through educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the importance of fire escape planning and practice, as well as prevention. Fire Safety seminars will take place inside the Home Depot at 11 a.m., 11:45 a.m. 1 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. Outside, have your picture taken on an antique fire truck, meet and speak to firefighters, as well as Sparky the fire dog, tour the fire safety trailer to learn how to safely escape from a smoke-filled home, and learn how to safely put out a fire using a fire extinguisher.  
Visit guelph.ca/fire for more fire safety information or to learn more about “Have 2 Ways Out” visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website at firepreventionweek.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Matt Valeriote
Fire Prevention Officer
Guelph Fire Department
T 519—822-1260 x 2136
E matt.valeriote@guelph.ca

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Saturday Oct 6th - 2012

Check this out:

 

http://guelph.ca/uploads/Council_and_Committees/Information/info_items_100412.pdf#page=2

 

Thanks,

Cam

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Saturday Oct 6th - 2012

716 Gordon OMB hearing: 

Hearing  ended Wednesday just after 8 pm and that the Board Member did not give any definitive time frame for his decision but said he would work hard to have it for us soon.

Thank you,

Cam

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Saturday Oct 6th - 2012

Email from STAFF to Councillors:

Good Afternoon,

A quick note to highlight reports coming forward to you over the next two weeks on the topic of service reviews and our proposed methodology for selecting reviews,  going forward.

At Governance Committee (Tuesday October 9 @ 3pm):

Gov – 19 “Status Report – Service and Operational Reviews” provides Council with the results of our evaluation of work undertaken in 2012. There will be a formal presentation on the results of this review by our Internal Auditor Loretta Alonzo.

Gov – 20 “Audit – Review – New Rating System and Methodology” provides Council with proposed changes to the selection process for future audits and reviews. The approach we are presenting is the best practice audit methodology and standards established by the Institute of Internal Auditors (I.I.A) the governing body for the audit profession.  Loretta Alonzo will be speaking to this report. This report will be the subject of the special workshop October 16th @ 6:30pm.

At Audit Committee (Tuesday October 16th @ 5:00pm):
Council will receive our first completed review on the topic of Legal Services.

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Saturday Oct 6th - 2012

Good afternoon Madam Mayor and City Councillors,

The Public Works Department is currently engaged with the Engineering Department on a joint project to rehabilitate the existing Allan’s Dam gate structure near the intersection of Macdonnell and Wellington Streets.

The aim of this e-mail is to inform you that the water levels up-stream of Allan’s Dam will be affected for a short period of time to affect the safety work required to start this project.

As a first step to initiating the site work, there is an important safety related task of isolating the channel that carries water through the gate from the remainder of the dam/gate structure.  In order to do this, the contractor will need to temporarily lower the water level of the area of the Speed River known as “Allan’s Pond” (behind the River Run Centre).

Beginning Tuesday morning October 9th, 2012, Public Works Staff will work with our contractor, Drexler Construction to begin to lower the water level.  The entire lowering and re-raising task will take approximately one week to complete.  Staff are working in close coordination with the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) and other departments, in order to mitigate any effects to wildlife and river flows downstream.  The October-November timeframe is the best period to conduct this work from a fish and wildlife perspective.  The neighbourhood closest to Allan’s Dam has been notified by letters delivered to households and there will be further community notice in the Guelph Tribune on Tuesday.

If you have any questions please contact  the Project Manager, Mr. Majde Quaquish, loc 2225

Sincerely,

Rod Keller | General Manager
Public Works Department
Operations, Transit & Emergency Services

City of Guelph
T 519-822-1260 x 2949 | F 519-821-0839
E rodney.keller@guelph.ca

 

ALSO:

Good Afternoon,
Please find the attached Construction Notice for the Allan’s Dam Rehabilitation Project:
•    Scheduled to begin mid-October and continue through until the end of November (weather permitting), replacing the gate in the dam by-pass, repairing tunnel walls under the railway trestle and part of the Macdonell Street bridge
•    Project Manager – Mr. Majde Qaqish, ext. 2225 or cell 519-362-5147
This notice has been hand-delivered to residents and businesses who are directly affected. It has or will be advertised on the City Page in the Guelph Tribune and posted on guelph.ca/construction. Emergency Services and other City staff whose operations may be affected by this construction have also been notified.

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Saturday Oct 6th - 2012

Dear Mayor and Council:

Following up on my email from the last week, the purpose of this correspondence is to provide you with an update of the proposed community engagement process being considered for the creation of a Nuisance Bylaw.

•    An internal staff team consisting of staff from Bylaw, Communications and Community Engagement has been organized to implement a community engagement process.  This process will ensure that the City of Guelph will “consult and gather information” from the public.  Our commitment is to listen and acknowledge concerns and comments and provide feedback through our report to Committee and Council.  These comments will also help design the draft Nuisance Bylaw for Council’s consideration.  This commitment is consistent with the broader Draft Community Engagement Framework currently being developed for Council’s consideration at a later date.

•    The types of engagement activities will include: continuing to receive comments via voice, fax, electronic mail and mail, along with a telephone town hall meeting and a public meeting.  We are also reviewing the option of on-line poll.  Each of these engagement mechanisms require planning and careful preparation to ensure the best possible engagement opportunities for the public and staff.

•    Parallel to planning for the engagement mechanisms is a communications strategy.   This strategy will be developed over the next two to three weeks.  Details of the engagement opportunities will be contained within this plan.

•    Until the communications plan can be released, we respectfully request that the contents of this correspondence are not placed on blogs or other social media.  For constituents wishing to make comments, you may continue to provide the attached Committee Report and Draft Public Nuisance Bylaw and direct them to provide their comments by the contact methods listed.

Email:  Public-input@guelph.ca
Telephone: 519-822-1260 x 2422
Fax: 519-822-1751
Mail: Nuisance By-Law comments, 1 Carden Street, City Hall, Guelph, ON N1H 3A1

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christine.billings@guelph.ca | 519-826-0567

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