Ward 4 News

Councillor - Christine Billings

Tuesday Jun 28th - 2011



Check this out!

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Tuesday Jun 28th - 2011

Please be advised that effective approximately 6 pm last Friday June 24, the Water Advisory on Westra Drive was lifted.

Water Services staff have fully completed the actions to restore the water system to ‘normal’ on this street.

Since that time, all of the 18 affected homes on Westra Drive continue to have a safe and reliable municipal water supply.  We believe our communications during this incident were effective as we received limited inquiries and complaints from affected customers.

Please contact Peter if you require additional information.
Peter L. Busatto | General Manager, Guelph Water Services
T 519-837 -5627 x 2165 |
E peter.busatto@sympatico.ca

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Tuesday Jun 28th - 2011

I was sent the following email late last night about a Facebook group that has started in Guelph to promote a facility, or to bring back the old one for skateboarding. Here's the email:


Hello Honorable Mayor and Councilors,

I wish to extend an invitation to you to follow the social media group “Voice of Skateboarding – Guelph” on Facebook. After 7 days of local marketing and word of mouth, the group has now exceeded 100 members, presumably both skaters (skateboarders), and supporters.

The purpose of this site is 2 fold: educate young skaters that it takes participation in the democratic process to generate awareness and change, and to open up some discussion within its participants regarding what has and has not been accomplished regarding the subject of a skate park in our beautiful city.
Over the past week, I’ve learned that people who were involved in the process up to 20+ years ago still have a great love for the sport and strong opinions. They are happy to see that the fire is still there in the hearts of the younger generation of skaters, and compelled to point out the mistakes that were made in the past as a movement and as individuals in hopes they are not made again. The modern generation of skaters are happy to voice their perspectives and show how committed they are to the sport.  

Hopefully by now, some of you will have begun to receive emails, phone messages, or had discussions with some of these people who want so badly to have a free to access, community skatepark at their disposal that is worthy of this beautiful city, and the modern image and values it reveres.  I hope that, with enough communication from the end users over the near future, the truth will be realized, and support by council will result in the initiation of skatepark construction planning becoming a priority.

Direct link to Facebook Group ‘Voice of Skateboarding – Guelph’

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Tuesday Jun 28th - 2011

Heads Up Folks!


From Willow to Imperial starting June 29th they are taking at least 3 weeks to resurface the street with new asphalt.

If you have any further questions, please contact the project manager, Mr. Grant Ferguson at Ext. 2251 or by cell at 519-220-8232.



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Thursday Jun 23rd - 2011

At our last Planning & Building, Engineering and Environment Committee I tabled a motion that passed unanimously stating the following:


Whereas the executive Team has been directed to advise council, based on Council's ranking of the initial 75 services, regarding which services are recommended for a service review and which are recommended for an operational review;

AND WHEREAS the residential waste collection service was ranked by Council fairly low on "total score rank" with a fairly high standard deviation;

AND WHEREAS through the services review process Council will consider what our relationship to the provison of services should be, including any potential impacts on both capital and operational costs;

THERFORE BE IT RESPOLVED that staff be directed to identify residential waste collection for a service review and report back through the Service Review process on the best timing and cost to conduct this service review;

AND THAT the service review be restricted to whether or not the curbside residential waste collection service be provided internally be city staff.


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Wednesday Jun 22nd - 2011

Emergency Medical Services, Fire and Police now operating at the new facility in Guelph, Ontario.

GUELPH, ON, June 20, 2011 – The Clair Road Emergency Services Centre (CRESC) officially opened today.  Dave Levac, Member of Provincial Parliament for Brant and Parliamentary Assistant for Community Safety and Correctional Services and Warden Chris White, County of Wellington joined Mayor Karen Farbridge, City Councillors and City staff at the opening ceremony this morning.
“This is the first facility in Ontario to house EMS, Fire and Police under one roof.  It is a model of how collaborative approaches and innovative partnerships can improve service to the people of our community, while ensuring maximum value for tax dollars,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge.
The new 36,000 square foot facility, located at 160 Clair Road West, houses a collision reporting centre and a community room.
The CRESC employs 18 Guelph Wellington Emergency Medical Services staff, 20 Guelph firefighters operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 45 Guelph Police Services staff.
The station was designed by Thomas Brown Architects and built to achieve Canada’s Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. Compared to a typical building of this size, the CRESC will use about 50 per cent less energy and 30 per cent water. Construction on the CRESC started in June 2009 and the project was completed earlier this year.
Following this morning’s official opening ceremony, residents and visitors were invited to tour the station, experience the interactive displays of emergency services equipment and attend a car seat clinic provided by The Co-operators.
For more information about the new Clair Road Emergency Services Centre visit guelph.ca > living > emergency services.

Shawn Armstrong
General Manager,  Emergency Services/Fire Chief
Emergency Services
T 519-822-1260 x 2125
E shawn.armstrong@guelph.ca

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Wednesday Jun 22nd - 2011

New food tourism brand, “taste•real Guelph Wellington” will be launched at this year’s Local Food Fest

GUELPH, ON, June 20, 2011 – Guelph and Wellington County’s new food tourism brand “taste·real Guelph Wellington” will be launched to the public during the 6th annual Local Food Fest on Sunday, June 26 at Ignatius Jesuit Centre. The Local Food Fest is a great family-friendly event which showcases local food and beverage producers, entertainment and culinary experts.
The taste·real brand will be used by local producers to signify to residents and visitors of the authenticity of their products. Customers can be assured that taste·real vendors grow and serve local products and are passionate about creating authentic, memorable farm, food and drink experiences.
Taste·real partners include  6 regional farmers’ markets, local restaurants and food retailers, farm gate stalls, hotels and attractions.   Some area restaurants have individually featured local fare for years; the taste real brand offers all partners new visibility through brand association backed by a comprehensive marketing and promotion plan.
“It’s about more than the health benefits of eating locally, it’s about the economic impact that choosing Guelph and Wellington County products has on our family farms and local business,” says Sue Trerise, Senior Business Development Specialist – Tourism Sector, Guelph Economic Development and Tourism Services. “Marketing our regional food tourism assets to residents and visitors creates new interest in our destination. The launch of the taste·real brand will put Guelph Wellington on Ontario’s list of “must-see culinary destinations”
Developing programs and projects in sectors that Guelph has a competitive advantage in is part of the Economic Development strategic directions document Prosperity 2020.
About taste·real Guelph Wellington :
Taste·real is an organization born from the collaboration of the City of Guelph Tourism Services, Guelph Wellington Local Food, County of Wellington and its member municipalities. The organization is committed to putting local food first, working to market and develop local food products and experiences for residents and visitors. In addition, taste·real supports local food access and promoting the health and wellness of local food to the community. The branding process has taken two years and has involved over 44 local stakeholders’ input and consultation and has been supported by Ontario Market Investment Funding through Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Foood and Rural Affairs.

Sue Trerise
Senior Business Development Specialist-Tourism Sector
Economic Development and Tourism Services
T (519) 822-1260 ex 2534
E sue.trerise@guelph.ca

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Wednesday Jun 22nd - 2011

Good Evening:

Responses to media questions are below.

•    Will the City be renting time at the Ward Indoor Skateboard park this summer?  
o    The short answer is no.  Currently we have no money identified in the 2011 budget to fund that program.

•    Can you also give me a rough timeline for when the Skateboard park will be relocated?  I’m looking for a rough deadline for possible sites to be shared with council, and when it is hoped that work to move the Skateboard park could be completed
o    Our timeline for a report back to Council with recommendations on a location, design and budget is this fall.  The actual placement of any equipment would depend on a wide range of factors and I can’t give you a date before the process is complete.

•    What is the annual cost to the city to store the ramps?
o    None.  The ramps are being kept on a City site and there is no on-going cost to keep them there.

•    What is the estimated cost of the relocation and when will that be in the city’s budget?
o    There is no easy answer for that since we don’t know where it is going.  If we re-install the existing equipment the majority of the costs will be in preparing the site, developing parking and other amenities which may, or may not, be present.  The surface itself would have to be specially reinforced concrete to take the great weight of the skateboard ramps and obstacles.  A standard parking lot, for example, would not suffice.  It cost about $30,000 in transport costs to simply move the park components into storage.  Putting them back on any site will probably cost a great deal more – probably over $300,000 – but it will depend to a large extent on what has to be spent getting the site ready.  Part of the committee’s work is to come up with those kinds of estimates.

•    It seems like it has more or less be set aside for the time being, while other things take priority. I’m just trying to gauge how important the project is and why little seems to be happening with it a year on.
o    This project is a priority but with some senior Recreation staff leaving the City last year, and the resulting realignment of Park related functions, we haven’t made as much progress as we would like.   With the advisory committee having its second meeting within the last 30 days I think we are on track to do better.

If you require any more information on this matter please feel free to contact me at any time.


Bob Burchett
General Manager, Parks and Recreation Programming & Facilities
City of Guelph
City Hall, 1 Carden Street
Guelph, ON. Canada N1H 3A1

Telephone: (519) 822-1260 ext 2664

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Wednesday Jun 22nd - 2011


GUELPH, ON, June 22, 2011 – Guelph’s Greyhound station is being razed in order to build a new inter-modal transit terminal and, while construction continues on the Carden Street site, Greyhound and GO Transit service will operate from a temporary location in the Fountain Street parking lot at the corner of Wyndham Street and Fountain Street.

"Three trailers are scheduled to arrive today," says City of Guelph Project Manager Andrew Janes. “Crews will connect water and wastewater services for two public washrooms, Guelph Hydro, Bell Canada and Rogers Communications will connect all the necessary utilities and, once that work is finished, the temporary station will be up and running."

Greyhound and GO Transit plan to start picking up and dropping off passengers at the temporary station on Tuesday, July 5. The station will continue to serve Greyhound and GO Transit patrons until the new inter-modal transit terminal is completed in November.

Pedestrian routes are also affected by construction in the area. Greyhound and GO Transit patrons can use Wilson Street, Gordon Street or Woolwich/Wellington Street to walk between the temporary station and parking areas downtown.

Also, Guelph Transit has added temporary stops to a number of routes to help riders access the temporary Greyhound/GO bus station.

About the inter-modal transit terminal
Guelph’s new inter-modal transit terminal will be located on Carden Street between Wyndham Street and Macdonell Street. The terminal is designed to improve connections between Guelph’s local bus service and regional public transit systems including Greyhound, GO Transit and VIA Rail. The City began construction on the $8 million facility in June 2010. The project is scheduled to be complete by October 31, 2011 in order to take advantage of $5.3 million in Provincial and Federal Infrastructure Stimulus Funds. Renovations inside the Guelph’s VIA Rail station will continue through 2012.

Further information and project updates are available at guelph.ca/construction 

Andrew Janes, P.Eng. , Project Manager
Engineering Services, Planning & Building Engineering and Environment
T 519-822-1260 x 2338
E andrew.janes@guelph.ca

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Wednesday Jun 22nd - 2011


Early this afternoon a watermain break occurred near the intersection of Westra Drive and Tovell Drive in the City’s west end and may have resulted in dirty water entering the watermain servicing all of the 18 homes on Westra Drive. 
Residents on Westra Drive were notified of the break and the planned repair mid-afternoon and the water supply to their homes was isolated promptly.  We can confirm that no other residents, including those on nearby Tovell Drive, are at risk as a result of this occurrence.  Water Services distribution staff have put into action our standard, precautionary response to an incident of this nature by performing the following actions:
1)    We are visiting each resident and providing them with the attached initial ‘Don’t Drink The Water’ advisory to ensure that dirty water is not drawn into their water service or home plumbing and consumed;
2)    The City, thorough our contractor, is providing residents with bottled water for consumption until their tap water has been confirmed safe through confirmatory water quality testing to be performed over the next two days and concluded by Friday (provided there are no unforeseen delays or issues);
3)    The City’s contractor is continuing the repairs of the broken watermain on Westra Drive and should be finished later this evening.  At that time, Water Services will initiate flushing of all the residential water services to remove any potential dirty water from the watermain and residential services and home plumbing;
4)    After the flushing is complete, affected residents will be able to use their tap water for non-consumptive uses until we can confirm through sampling that water quality is normal.  In the interim they will continue to use City supplied bottled water for consumptive use;
5)    We will provide them with a 24/7 dedicated phone number to contact our on-call distribution staff for additional customer support as needed – 519-831-0337;
6)    We will schedule rush lab analysis with our contract laboratory and perform sampling over the course of the week to endeavour to have test results by Friday at the latest;
7)    Once the test results confirm that tap water quality is normal, we will lift the “Don’t Drink the Water Advisory’ and again visit the residents to convey this information.

As per our regulatory obligations, the information above has been communicated earlier today to staff from the Ministry of the Environment as well as Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.  Both agencies are supporting our standard response to this issue.

Water Services staff will continue to work to resolve this issue over the weekend with the goal of providing minimal inconvenience to our customers.

Please contact me directly (519-827-4751) if you require additional information.

Please direct any enquiries you receive on this matter to email (mailto:peter.busatto@guelph.ca) or to our 24/7 cell phone: 519-831-0337.

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Saturday Jun 18th - 2011

The City of Guelph has taken steps to ensure that residents have received time-sensitive information about City services and programs well in advance of the current postal service disruption.

Residents are invited to contact the City at 519-822-1260 for further information about which services and programs may be affected during the Canada Post service interruption as some notices sent by mail may continued to be delayed.

Property Tax Payments
Property tax payments are due by 4:30 p.m. on June 30. In advance of this deadline, residents can pay property tax bills by phone, online or in person by at most financial institutions or at ServiceGuelph, City Hall, 1 Carden Street. Payments can also be made after hours using the drop box at City Hall.

Parking Tickets
Parking ticket payments can be made by phone by calling 1-877-678-8465, online at guelph.ca/services online or in person at ServiceGuelph, City Hall, 1 Carden Street. Payments can also be made after hours using the drop box at City Hall.

Trial requests must be made in person at City Hall or in writing using the after hours drop box. Call 519-822-1260 x 2888 for more information.

Water Efficiency Programs

City of Guelph water efficiency rebates will be applied to the Guelph Hydro Bill as scheduled. Guelph Hydro Bills delivered by Canada Post may be delayed. Contact Guelph Hydro to learn how your bill may be affected by the Canada Post service interruption at 519-822-3010.

For more information about how residents may be affected by the postal service disruption visit the Canada Post Customer Information Hub at http://canadapost.ca.

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

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