Ward 4 News

Councillor - Christine Billings

Wednesday Sep 26th - 2012

Staff email Sept 26th, 2012:

The City of Guelph Sign By-law was approved in 1996 after an extensive review of the previous Sign By-law.  The general intent of the new by-law was to reduce the height and permitted location of most building and freestanding signage.

The Sign By-law does not require permits for a real estate sign, a poster, a sign for an occasional use as set out in the zoning by-law, a construction or subdivision site sign, a portable sign for a home maintenance contractor, or a portable open house or model home directional sign.  The reasoning for this is that these are temporary signs and it would be an undue fee for subdivision, home builder and real estate signage.  It was viewed as one method to be responsive to a more amicable development industry relationship.  The one temporary sign that does require a permit is for mobile signage.  This is because they are allowed 4 per business for the calendar year and the permit system provides staff a way to monitor these.

The enforcement of the Sign By-law has been complaint driven with respect to real estate, construction and these other types of signage.  Staff typically receive a complaint and respond in a timely manner.  If staff perceives a trend taking place, then staff will react to the larger issue.  Recently, staff responded to a number of subdivision and builder signage that were not on the property that was subject to the development.   Staff will proactively enforce the Sign By-law when a safety issue is noticed or there is a contentious sign in terms of being a nuisance.

Thanks,

STAFF

view comments (0)

Wednesday Sep 26th - 2012

Tuesday, September, 25, 2012 - 10:10:26 AM

Little feedback about nuisance bylaw

By Doug Hallett
Guelph Tribune

It appears city councillors aren’t being overwhelmed with protests against a proposed public nuisance bylaw that would tighten city hall’s control over protests in Guelph.
Five of the 12 ward councillors responded to a Tribune query Thursday asking them what they think of the draft bylaw and whether they’re hearing much about it from their constituents yet.
“The question for me is what does the public think of it? I feel a bit conflicted,” Ward 3 councillor June Hofland said in an email. She indicated she’s conflicted partly because the bylaw combines prohibitions on “very serious matters,” such as being in possession of a weapon, with prohibitions on things like obstructing a sidewalk or knocking over a waste collection container, which could be seen as “just mischievous behaviour.”
“I have only had one email regarding the bylaw, and the resident suggests that the right to gather in public places is in the Charter of Rights (and Freedoms). Other than this one comment I have not heard anything,” Hofland added.
“Feedback has been sporadic and mostly in support” of the bylaw, Coun. Karl Wettstein said by email. People who are “concerned about some of the more difficult student houses have been very supportive,” he said, referring to some houses rented out to University of Guelph students.
The other Ward 6 councillor, Todd Dennis, said he’s heard “very little” about the public nuisance bylaw from his constituents so far. By contrast, he has been hearing a lot from “motorcycle enthusiasts” who don’t want the city to clamp down on noisy motorcycles, he said. “From a Ward 6 perspective, there are several items in the draft that will allow (the city’s bylaw enforcement operation) to be more effective in dealing with certain situations we have in the south end – excessive and loud parties especially,” he said in an email. “The more tools we have to deal with situations, the better we will be able to respond to issues.”
Ward 2 councillor Ian Findlay said he’s been hearing a lot of response to the draft bylaw, both in person and through email. Responses have generally been supportive, he said by phone. People especially seem to support the provisions dealing with nuisance parties, he said.
Some people have expressed concerns to him that the city is trying to limit protests, he said.
“We are not trying to discourage protests,” Findlay said, but he thinks it’s reasonable to require protesters to get a city permit if their protest lasts over 24 consecutive hours. “If it is going to be longer than 24 hours, the city needs to get involved,” he said, recalling the “mess” created by Occupy Guelph protesters last fall.
Ward 1 councillor Coun. Bob Bell said he’d received “a couple of emails, both pro and con.”
In the past, Bell said, people have complained to him about protesters camping in parks and on city property. “We have Freedom of Movement (protest marches), Freedom of Assembly (listening) and Freedom of Speech,” Bell said.
“What is at issue here is the Freedom to Occupy, a group can own through possession, public property,” he said in an email.

view comments (0)

Wednesday Sep 26th - 2012

Guelph councillors want to know costs of downtown bar scene

GUELPH MERCURY ARTICLE SEPT 25th, 2012: — Coun. Bob Bell’s goal to have downtown bar owners pick up the tab for policing and cleanup costs took a tentative step forward Monday night.

A majority of councillors supported his desire to have city staff analyze these costs, though it will not be done until after a current five-week pilot project organized by Guelph Police and the Nightlife Task Force.

Bell noted in 2008 the costs of policing and cleanup related to the downtown bar scene was estimated at $174,000, or approximately $1,100 per night.

“We are doing considerably more now than we were four years ago,” Bell said, noting the “Safe Semester” pilot project now underway which is seeing an increased police presence, weekend late-night road closures and provision of portable washrooms.

Bell said while his ultimate goal is to recoup these costs from downtown bar owners, the goal of his motion this week was simply to refer the matter back to staff for a report on the costs.

Once those costs are identified, Bell said, “we could seek zero recovery or 100 per cent recovery of somewhere in between.”

He noted in 2008 a motion to seek cost-recovery failed on a tie vote “which might have been because the costs were perceived to be relatively small.”

Coun. Gloria Kovach said Bell’s motion was “very timely given the challenges we have been made aware of in the upcoming budget,” adding knowing the costs of the downtown bar scene will allow her to weigh whether the city should take steps to recover those costs during wider budget considerations.

Coun. Leanne Piper similarly supported the motion to seek an analysis of costs.

“It’s important to have the information to make that decision,” Piper said. “I will not presuppose whether I support cost recovery.”

Coun. Ian Findlay, who has sat on the Nightlife Task Force for five years, said the task force will present a final report on the success of the pilot project once it is complete, but said it is unlikely the task force will recommend making the enhanced safety measures permanent because of budget pressures.

Findlay urged his colleagues to be careful if considering “a differential tax rate that is geographically-based,” as it could force bar owners to vacate the downtown core for other parts of the city, which would create more problems.

Coun. Maggie Laidlaw noted the problem downtown became “critical” several years ago after the University of Guelph closed its on-campus bars, and asked Bell if he has considered approaching the university.

“Surely the onus is on them to provide some economic recompense for taking that out of their hands,” Laidlaw said.

Bell conceded he had not considered asking the university to pay the city “for providing alcohol to their students.”

Councillors voted 8-5 in favour of an amended motion seeking an analysis of the costs.

stracey@guelphmercury.com

view comments (0)

Wednesday Sep 26th - 2012

Council rejects giving surpluses back to Guelph taxpayers

GUELPH MERCURY ARTICLE SEPT 25th, 2012 — City councillors don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea to return budget surpluses to taxpayers, but rejected Monday a resolution which would have had staff consider that option before others.

Councillors voted 9-4 against a special resolution brought by Coun. Cam Guthrie that would have directed staff, when facing year-end tax-supported surpluses, to first consider returning those surpluses to taxpayers, as long as the tax rate stabilization reserve account is at a stable level.

Guthrie was prompted to craft the resolution after a council discussion in June about what should become of a $400,000 tax-supported surplus from the 2011 budget.

Councillors at the time shot down a motion by Coun. Gloria Kovach to return that money to taxpayers instead of putting it into the stabilization reserve, which is designed to help keep tax increases low.

“I think it’s incumbent upon us to explore that,” Kovach said of Guthrie’s resolution.

Mayor Karen Farbridge spoke against the resolution. She noted the previous term of council inherited a budget in which more money had been taken out of the stabilization reserve than was put in, because the council before it “was banking on a surplus” that was never realized because of the recession.

Farbridge said that was “a short-term, high-risk” political manoeuvre that backfired in an election year. The mayor argued this is not a good time, considering the city’s credit rating was recently upgraded, to abandon conservative financial policies in favour of risky tactics.

“The message we send right now is really important not only to our finance department but to the credit rating agencies,” Farbridge said.

Coun. Karl Wettstein said he was concerned if council approved Guthrie’s resolution, there would be an expectation among taxpayers that any surplus would automatically be returned to them.

Wettstein said placing surpluses in the stabilization reserve accomplishes the same thing as Guthrie’s motion, because it can always be taken back out to lessen the tax hit on residents.

In December, when councillors are considering next year’s budget, “we’re going to struggle with a (tax increase) between three (per cent) and whatever,” Wettstein said, adding at that time he would have no trouble withdrawing the $400,000 “or more” to reduce the tax increase.

Guthrie stressed his resolution would only come into effect when the tax rate stabilization reserve is at a healthy level, which is not currently the case, “so it’s not going to be a factor six months from now.”

Only Guthrie, Kovach and councillors Bob Bell and Jim Furfaro supported Guthrie’s resolution.

stracey@guelphmercury.com

view comments (0)

Wednesday Sep 26th - 2012

Sender has given me permission to post his info:

 

Cam,

I am a Ward 4 resident.

I read with interest the recent Mercury article on Graffiti on private property.    The trend and spread of graffiti is something I would like to help put a stop to. The company that I work for in Kitchener has recently started to sell the products outlined below.  These are available for the general public to purchase at reasonable prices and I am willing to deliver to homes in Guelph if there is some interest.    


Click here to download a product brochure

Website: www.offthewalls.ca

Regards,
John Thompson ◦ Sales Representative
Knell’s Industrial Supply  
Cell      226-218-5678
Fax       519-578-3262
Email   jthompson@knells.ca
Web    www.knells.ca

view comments (1)

Wednesday Sep 26th - 2012

Letter to Mayor Farbridge from Nestle Waters:

JCFARBRIDGELETTER070912.pdf

Response to Nestle from Mayor Farbridge:

Nestle_Waters_Canada_09.13.12.pdf

view comments (1)

Wednesday Sep 26th - 2012

http://www.ottawasun.com/videos/featured/featured-ott/1213592866001/city-tests-new-weapon-against-tree-killer/1859185034001

view comments (0)

Tuesday Sep 25th - 2012

Hello all, please be advised that, beginning on Monday, October 1 and ending on approximately Friday, November 16, Water Services will be conducting the Annual Fire Hydrant Testing Program.

In compliance with the Ontario Fire Code, over 2,500 fire hydrants will be tested to ensure residents receive optimum fire protection.  Testing will be performed on weekdays by Water Services operators between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Hydrant testing will begin in Guelph’s south end and will progress in a northerly direction.

Program progress will be posted on the City website at Guelph.ca/water.

Customer notification and service activities will include:
•    Local newspaper advertising (Tribune and Mercury) starting Thursday,
September 27th and continuing to program end;
•    Local radio advertising starting September 25th and continuing to end of program;
•    Posting of relevant information on the City’s web site, including program updates; and
•    24/7 customer telephone support (regular hours: 519-837-5627, after hours: 519-658-8003).

We anticipate a number of customer inquiries related to the program.  The operations and testing of the hydrants may cause short-term, localized discoloured water.  We are committed to limiting customer inconvenience while ensuring program success, and will provide support to customers who experience discoloured water.

Please contact Water Services if you require additional program information and please direct customer inquires our way.

Thanks for your support.

Peter L. Busatto | General Manager, Guelph Water Services
Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment | Water Services
City of Guelph

T 519-837 -5627 x 2165 | F 519-822 -8837
E peter.busatto@guelph.ca

view comments (0)

Tuesday Sep 25th - 2012

September 24th, 2012:

The carts, through residents' participation, support the City's efforts to divert 65 per cent of Guelph's waste from landfill by 2016.
The carts will be delivered starting today over a six-week period, ending November 2. Households may not receive all of their carts on the same day or the same day as their neighbour. If a household does not receive all three carts by November 2, they are asked to contact Solid Waste Resources.
An information package including a user guide and a collection schedule will be delivered inside the green cart.
Cart collection starts as early as Monday, November 5 depending on the collection schedule a household currently follows, either Week A or B:
•    Households on Week A collection will set out their green and grey carts starting the week of November 5, on their regular collection day. The following week, their green and blue carts will be set out at the curb.
•    Households on Week B collection will set out their green and grey carts starting the week of November 12, on their regular collection day. The following week, their green and blue carts will be set out at the curb.
Until then, households will continue to set out their waste in transparent bags.
The automated system is regarded as a municipal best practice and is faster, more efficient and requires four fewer trucks on Guelph's roads. This helps decrease Guelph's carbon footprint and generates financial savings of approximately $460,000 per year.
Solid Waste Resources has extended its customer service hours to accommodate residents' phone calls and e-mails throughout the transition to carts. The new hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Best Regards,

STAFF

view comments (0)

Friday Sep 21st - 2012

 

Residents brace for traffic problems as Costco advances through city’s application process

GUELPH — Residents who live near the site of a proposed Costco in Guelph’s west end, are worried that shoppers will take the back streets to get there, increasing traffic and danger to pedestrians on residential streets, and rendering useless the traffic studies that have been done as the application moves forward.

“In the first (traffic) study, Whitelaw Road wasn’t mentioned. In the second study, Whitelaw Road wasn’t mentioned. But for people coming from the south end, the most direct route will be Whitelaw Road. And we already have a problem with cars and transport trucks zipping along Whitelaw Road,” Dianne Mackie, who lives on Whitelaw Road, said at a public meeting Thursday evening.

Ward 4 councillors Gloria Kovach and Cam Guthrie hosted the public meeting for Ward 4 residents to talk about the city’s well-being initiative, the Costco development, and to raise any other concerns that the two could take to council.

Kovach said most of the concerns she’s heard about Costco are related to traffic, although she’s heard from a few people who are opposed to big box stores fundamentally.

“The majority of emails I’ve received are basically saying ‘just build it,’” she told about 40 people who came to the meeting.

Rajan Phillips, the city’s manager of transportation and development engineering, said Whitelaw Road will not be widened or rerouted for this commercial development, but Paisley Road will be flattened out near Elmira Road to eliminate a hill that reduces visibility at that intersection and at Whitelaw Road.

Phillips said traffic lights will be installed along Elmira Road as a traffic calming measure to allow pedestrians headed for the West End Recreation Centre to cross safely.

Phillips said Whitelaw Road was built to accommodate a maximum 5,000 vehicles a day and with the new store, he expects traffic on Whitelaw might grow to 3,000 vehicles a day, which is still well within the limits, he said.

But he was interested in residents’ concerns and said he’d take their request for more stop signs on Whitelaw to the traffic services department.

Chris Corosky, director of land development for the Armel Corporation, which is developing the site, said Costco is the first tenant on the lot that’s north of Paisley Road and east of Elmira Road, but eventually the plan is for several more stores to join Costco along with more parking.

“The thing is to get the tenants,” Corosky said, adding the plans also call for more retail space around the Zehrs store as well.

He was pleased to announce that a Dairy Queen restaurant and an LCBO store will be opening in the strip mall between Zehrs and the banks at the corner of Imperial Road and Paisley, filling that strip of stores.

He said Armel will open road access to the West End Rec Centre from Elmira Road as well.

Guthrie said the matter will be coming back to council and interested parties can speak as delegates, email their comments on the development, which become part of the public record, or can just attend and listen.

jshuttleworth@guelphmercury.com

view comments (0)

Tuesday Sep 18th - 2012

WARD 4 TOWNHALL MEETING!

September 20th, 2012 Ward 4 Townhall meeting!

 

The City, through it's Community Wellbeing Initative, needs your feedback! So come on out and join Gloria and myself for a meeting on this topic. We've also secured Armel Corporation to discuss the upcoming developments at the commercial node at the corner of Paisley & Elmira Roads. More specifically, the Costco development. We'll also have an open Q&A session on any issue you want to bring forward to us.

 

Here's the details:

As part of the Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative, each ward conversation will be an opportunity to discuss what matters in life, and how to work together to improve the wellbeing of individuals, neighbourhoods and the Guelph community.

“People have an important role to play in improving the quality of life in Guelph,” says Barbara Powell, General Manager of Community Engagement. “We’ve already heard from thousands of residents who completed our community survey in July. “Now, we’re still seeking additional input to make sure everyone has a chance to shape Guelph’s future.”

 

Thursday, September 20
6:30-8:30 p.m. Lion’s Lair
West End Recreation Centre
21 Imperial Road South Ward 4

Information about this and other upcoming events will be posted at guelphwellbeing.ca.

During September, the City and its community partners will continue to encourage residents to participate in the Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative by:
• Completing a comment card at their neighbourhood recreation centre, library branch or City facility
• Attending a ward conversation view dates here
• Talking to wellbeing volunteers at community events and gathering places view dates here
• Hosting a conversation with family, friends, neighbours or coworkers – a do it yourself guidebook is available on guelphwellbeing.ca
• Submitting comments at guelphwellbeing.ca
• Following and sharing comments using #guelphwellbeing on Twitter
• Posting comments on the City of Guelph Facebook page

 

About the Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative:


Using the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, the City and its partners are measuring Guelph’s quality of life in terms of community vitality, democratic engagement, environment, education, time use, health, leisure and culture and living standards.

Its purpose is to develop a shared understanding and vision for Guelph’s future so the City and community partners can make better decisions, improve programs and policies, and increase the wellbeing of people, neighbourhoods and the community as a whole.

In addition, the initiative aims to 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.

view comments (0)

Friday Sep 14th - 2012

Community input would be sought for new public nuisance bylaw
GUELPH, ON, September 13, 2012 – Residents would have an opportunity to provide input for a new public nuisance bylaw being considered at Council’s Operations, Transit and Emergency Services Committee meeting September 17.
“Should the committee approve creating a public nuisance bylaw, the community would have the opportunity to have their say on finalizing the draft bylaw before it is presented to Council,” says Doug Godrey, Manager of Bylaw Compliance, Security and Licensing.
While Guelph is recognized across Canada as being a safe community, a bylaw would provide the City’s bylaw officers and local police with additional tools to handle minor incidents and gatherings that occasionally occur on public and private property that contravene community standards.
“The bylaw, as drafted, would provide tools for bylaw officers to address minor, unwanted behaviour or activities occurring on City-owned property. When circumstances warrant, this bylaw would also allow police to address minor issues through a bylaw rather than through the Criminal Code,” says Godfrey.
The draft bylaw, developed by City staff and Guelph Police Service, would provide tools to address:
•    Nuisance parties occurring on private property that, if left unaddressed, may escalate and affect public safety. A bylaw would allow the City to require a host or property owner to pay a fee to recover costs associated with enforcement.
•    Minor disturbances such as protests and rallies extending beyond 24 consecutive hours unless a City permit has been obtained.
•    Camping, dwelling or construction of temporary structures on City property unless authorized through a City permit.
Godfrey adds, “Public education is our first course of action and the bylaw would be used to address unwanted behaviour in a timelier and more cost-efficient manner for all parties involved.”
To view the draft public nuisance bylaw, click here.


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Doug Godfrey
Manager
Bylaw Compliance, Security and Licensing
City of Guelph
T 519-822-1260 x 2520
E doug.godfrey@guelph.ca

Bryan Larkin
Chief of Police
Guelph Police Service
T 519-824-1212 x 210
E bryan.larkin@police.guelph.on.ca

view comments (0)

Friday Sep 14th - 2012

GUELPH & AREA RESIDENTS INVITED TO TOUR THEIR
COMMUNITY TV STATION AT ROGERS TV OPEN HOUSE


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 14, 2012 (GUELPH) – Rogers TV, Cable 20, will host an Open House Sunday, September 23 from noon until 4 pm at its Guelph studio, located at 130 Silvercreek Parkway North (in the Winner’s plaza).  The public is invited to take a tour of the studio, see what’s new this fall on Rogers TV, and find out how they can get involved in Guelph’s community channel.

“We’re inviting the community to come explore the world of community TV and discover the many access opportunities available to those wishing to get involved with their local TV station,” says Charles Wechsler, Station Manager Rogers TV.  “We also have a number of free family activities planned to help celebrate the new fall season of programming.”

Those who attend the Rogers TV Open House will have a chance to:

•    Meet Inside Guelph’s Trish Stevenson and Swap Shop’s Giovanni Petitti .
•    Tour the TV studio and edit suites – try your hand at working a studio camera.
•    Tour the Mobile production truck – see how we produce shows like Guelph Storm Hockey.
•    Visit the Community Moments Cam for a chance to be featured on Rogers TV.
•    See Rogers TV’s new fall line-up.
•    Discover how you can learn TV production through our volunteer program.
•    Find out how you can get involved in community TV and produce your own show.
•    Enjoy free kids activities – face painting, balloons and more!
•    Delight in free cake and punch for the first 200 visitors.
•    Win great prizes including a Family-Four Pack of Guelph Storm Tickets.
Rogers TV is a unique TV channel where community members take an active role in conceptualizing and producing programming for local audiences. Our staff and volunteers produce informative and entertaining local programming, reinforcing Rogers’ commitment to the communities we serve. Rogers Communications is Canada's largest provider of wireless voice and data communications services and one of Canada's leading providers of cable television, high-speed Internet and telephony services. Rogers TV is only available to Rogers’ customers, including the company's 2.3 million cable customers in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. For more information on Rogers Communications Inc., visit www.rogers.com. For more information on Rogers TV, visit www.rogerstv.com.

For more information contact:
Charles Wechsler                                                       Lisa Leachman
Station Manager                                                         Publicity & Promotions Officer
Rogers TV                                                                   Rogers TV
(519) 824-1900 ext. 8120                                           (519) 824-1900 ext. 3272
charles.wechsler@rci.rogers.com                              lisa.leachman@rci.rogers.com

view comments (0)

Thursday Sep 13th - 2012

Residents invited to shape Guelph’s future
GUELPH, ON, September 5, 2012 – Starting tomorrow the City will host several community conversations to learn what people like about living in Guelph and what would improve their quality of life.

As part of the Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative, each ward conversation will be an opportunity to discuss what matters in life, and how to work together to improve the wellbeing of individuals, neighbourhoods and the Guelph community.

“People have an important role to play in improving the quality of life in Guelph,” says Barbara Powell, General Manager of Community Engagement. “We’ve already heard from thousands of residents who completed our community survey in July. “Now, we’re still seeking additional input to make sure everyone has a chance to shape Guelph’s future.”

Ward conversations are scheduled to take place:
Thursday, September 6
7-9 p.m.    Clair Road Emergency
Services Centre
160 Clair Road West
     Ward 6
Councillors Todd Dennis and Karl Wettstein
Wednesday, September 12
7-9 p.m.    Room 3 Evergreen Seniors
Community Centre
683 Woolwich Street
     Ward 2
Councillors Andy Van Hellemond and Ian Findlay
Thursday, September 13
7-9 p.m.    New Life Christian Reform Church
400 Victoria Road North      Ward 2
Councillors Andy Van Hellemond and Ian Findlay
Wednesday, September 19
7-9 p.m.    Centennial CVI
289 College Avenue West    Ward 3 and 5
Councillors Leanne Piper and Lise Burcher
Thursday, September,  20
7-9 p.m.    Victoria Road Recreation Centre
151 Victoria Road North    Ward 1
Councillors Bob Bell and Jim Furfaro
Thursday, September 20
6:30-8:30 p.m.    Lion’s Lair
West End Recreation Centre
21 Imperial Road South     Ward 4
Councillors Cam Guthrie and Gloria Kovach

Councillor June Hofland will host a ward conversation at a future date to be determined. Information about this and other upcoming events will be posted at guelphwellbeing.ca.
 
During September, the City and its community partners will continue to encourage residents to participate in the Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative by:
•    Completing a comment card at their neighbourhood recreation centre, library branch or City facility
•    Attending a ward conversation view dates here
•    Talking to wellbeing volunteers at community events and gathering places view dates here
•    Hosting a conversation with family, friends, neighbours or coworkers – a do it yourself guidebook is available on guelphwellbeing.ca
•    Submitting comments at guelphwellbeing.ca
•    Following and sharing comments using #guelphwellbeing on Twitter
•    Posting comments on the City of Guelph Facebook page
About the Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative
Using the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, the City and its partners are measuring Guelph’s quality of life in terms of community vitality, democratic engagement, environment, education, time use, health, leisure and culture and living standards.
 
Learn more about the Canadian Index of Wellbeing and the eight dimensions of wellbeing here.
 
Its purpose is to develop a shared understanding and vision for Guelph’s future so the City and community partners can make better decisions, improve programs and policies, and increase the wellbeing of people, neighbourhoods and the community as a whole.
 
In addition, the initiative aims to 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
Barbara Powell, General Manager
Community Engagement
T 519-822-1260 x 2675
E barbara.powell@guelph.ca

view comments (0)

Thursday Sep 13th - 2012

We’ll figure out the switch to waste carts, a third of us at a time

By the end of this year, one-third of Guelph households will be either cursing the city’s new waste carts system, singing its praises or, more likely, some combination thereof.

The city has finally announced when the blue, green and grey carts will start finding their way into garages, kitchens, rec rooms or wherever else residents plan on storing them.

The rollout of the wheely bins is slated to begin the week of Sept. 24 for one-third of the city, which comprises approximately 15,000 households.

But it will take approximately six weeks for everyone in the first phase areas to get the carts, with actual collection not slated to begin until early November.

I took particular note of a line in the news release suggesting “(t)he three carts will arrive at homes separately, on different dates.

“If a household does not receive all three carts by November 2, they are asked to contact Solid Waste Resources.”

Say what?

It struck me as particularly inefficient to have staff delivering three different carts, on three different days, to 15,000 homes. I’m more of a word guy, but I’m pretty sure that means making 45,000 stops to deliver bins to each home.

Heather Connell, the manager of integrated services at the solid waste services division, explained that because the city allowed residents to custom-order the size of their blue and green carts, it would not be feasible to try to deliver all of them at the same time.

“It’s easier and faster for them to load the trailer with all the same size of carts and distribute those to the residents who asked for that size,” Connell said, adding if there were different sizes of carts in a load it would be more time-consuming for staff to ensure each household received the correct size.

That makes some sense, but it’s also one more reason I’m glad not to be within the various areas of the city switching to carts this year. My neighbourhood gets wheely in 2013, and hopefully by then the city will have encountered whatever problems it is going to encounter and figured out how to remedy them.

Ultimately, I believe the switch will be a positive thing, albeit not without some significant startup problems.

Using fewer plastic bags is obviously desirable for everyone except the plastics industry, and switching to automated trucks should mean four fewer waste trucks on the road which will result in an annual operational saving of close to $500,000.

Closer to home, the switch will also mean a saving of a couple hundred bucks a year on waste bags.

There will be issues, of course. Residents are already complaining about the size of the carts and where they will keep them, and about what has unofficially become known as “the yuck factor.”

We’ll figure it out, just as we did with the switch to Wet/Dry and then Wet/Dry Plus.

And thankfully, for two-thirds of us, someone else is going to have to figure it out first.

Scott Tracey is a Mercury staff writer. His Jury of One column appears Fridays. He can be reached at stracey@guelphmercury.com

view comments (0)

Thursday Sep 13th - 2012

Primary
•    The City of Guelph is rolling out a new way to collect organic waste, recyclables and garbage. Carts will be used instead of plastic bags.

•    Using carts will reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill, lower the City’s operating costs and decrease Guelph’s carbon footprint.

•    Sorting our organics, recyclables and garbage carefully, using carts instead of plastic bags and sending our organic material to Guelph’s own Organic Waste Processing Facility are all ways we can reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill and decrease Guelph’s carbon footprint.

•    The carts, through your participation, support the City’s efforts to divert more waste per capita than any comparable Canadian city, and divert 65 per cent of Guelph’s waste from landfill by 2016.

•    The cart program will be phased-in over three years to keep costs affordable. The total cost of the cart program is $8,812,743.  
Secondary
•    The first one-third of the city’s households, approximately 15,000, will start receiving their carts Monday, September 24.

•    The delivery process will take place over a six-week period, ending Friday, November 2. The three carts will arrive at homes separately, on different dates.
•    An information package including a user guide and a 2012 to 2014 waste collection schedule will be delivered to homes inside their green cart.
•    Solid Waste Resources will exchange residents’ blue or grey carts, if they prefer a different size.
•    Automated curbside collection of carts for some households will start as early as Monday, November 5. This is dependent on each household’s collection schedule and collection day.
•    As of Monday, September 17, the Solid Waste Resources customer service desk is extending its hours of operation to accommodate residents' phone calls and emails throughout the transition to carts.


Background
The City’s cart collection system will be phased in over three years, starting this fall. One-third, approximately 15,000, of Guelph homes will receive their carts, starting Monday, September 24, 2012. The second phase will take place in 2013 and the third and final phase in 2014.
Prior to cart distribution, residents were asked to choose the size of the blue and grey carts that best meets the needs of their household. When making cart selections, residents were encouraged to consider the amount of recyclables and garbage they accumulate within a two week time period. Currently, with the bag system recyclables are collected weekly, however with the roll out of the carts, this will change to biweekly (every other week).  Garbage will continue to be collected biweekly.
Guelph is one of the few municipalities to offer residents the option of customized cart size orders as a customer service offering.
This year, approximately 68 per cent of households provided their size preference orders to the City. To accommodate the delivery of these custom orders, households will receive their carts over a six-week period, ending Friday, November 2, 2012. The three carts will arrive at homes separately, on different dates.
The carts will be collected at the curb in November. Households currently following the Week A collection schedule will continue to do so, and are asked to place their green and grey carts at the curb for collection the week of November 5, on their regular collection day. The following week, they will place the green and blue carts at the curb.

Homes following the Week B collection schedule, will place their green and grey carts at the curb for collection starting the week of Monday, November 12 on their regular collection day. The following week, they will place the green and blue carts at the curb.
As of Monday, September 17, the Solid Waste Resources customer service desk is extending its hours of operation to accommodate residents' phone calls and emails throughout the transition to carts. The new hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

view comments (0)

Thursday Sep 13th - 2012

New questions and answers
(For a complete list, visit guelph.ca/waste > FAQs.)

When will I receive my carts?
The City’s cart program will be phased in over three years, starting this fall. To find out when your neighbourhood will receive carts, visit guelph.ca/waste and view the map or call Solid Waste Resources at 519-767-0598.

Households scheduled to receive carts this fall, will start receiving their carts on Monday, September 24. The cart delivery process will take place over six-weeks, ending November 2. Please note, you may not receive all three of your carts on the same day or within the same week, and you may not receive your carts the same day as your neighbours. If you have not received all three of your carts by November 2, please contact Solid Waste Resources.

When should I start using my carts?
Start using your carts this November.

If your household follows the Week A collection schedule, starting the week of Monday, November 5, on your regular collection day, place your green and grey carts at the curb for collection. The following week, place your green and blue carts at the curb.

If your household follows the Week B collection schedule, starting the week of Monday, November 12, on your regular collection day, place your green and grey carts at the curb for collection. The following week, place your green and blue carts at the curb.

Your collection schedule for 2012 to 2014 will be delivered within your green cart. Alternatively, you can visit guelph.ca/waste or call Solid Waste Resources at 519-767-0598.

Until then, continue to use green, blue and clear plastic bags.

Can I exchange my blue or grey cart for a different size?
If you prefer a different blue or grey cart size than what you receive, contact Solid Waste Resources for an exchange, free of charge.
Where will I place my carts for collection?
Place your carts at the curb or in the mouth of your driveway no later than 6:30 a.m. If your property is beside a...
•    curb: place them about 30 centimetres or one foot away from the curb.
•    gravel shoulder: place them along the outside edge of the shoulder.
•    public lane: place them as close as possible to the edge of the public lane.

The lid of your cart should open toward the street. Point the arrow on the lid of each cart to the street.

Open the latch on the green cart and keep the lids of the carts closed.

Allow one arm’s length clearance (one metre or 39 inches) on all sides of each cart. You may also place individual carts on opposite sides of your driveway.

Remove your carts from the curb by 7 p.m. on your collection day and return them to your storage area.

Some tips for collection:
•    Place items loosely in the cart. Do not force them in.
•    Only material inside the carts will be collected. Do not leave bags or items beside or on top of your carts.
•    Ensure the carts are not too full and the lid can close.
•    Keep lids closed.
•    Open the latch on the green cart for collection.

Where will I store my carts?

Your carts can be stored wherever you currently keep your waste bags — in the garage, backyard, outdoor storage unit, covered porch or balcony, the side of your home or in your front yard, against your home, garage or fence. The carts can’t be stored on a road, road allowance or boulevard.

Some houses, apartments and townhomes have extremely limited storage space. City employees are available to work with you or your property manager to find site-specific solutions for storing your carts. For more information, contact Solid Waste Resources.
Will the yard waste collection program continue?
You can top up your green cart with leaves and yard waste each week, throughout the entire year, for curbside collection. The City will continue to provide spring and fall yard waste collection to all Guelph homes until 2014—when everyone is using green carts. Alternatively, drop off yard waste free of charge at the Waste Resource Innovation Centre, 110 Dunlop Drive.

Keep it in your yard! Yard waste and leaves can provide vital nutrients to your lawn and gardens. For more information, visit guelph.ca/healthylandscapes.

Excess leaves can also be raked to the curb during Loose Leaf Collection each fall, for details visit guelph.ca > seasonal information.

What if I have more garbage, recycling or organic waste than space in the carts?

As of October 29, 2012, additional blue and grey carts can be purchased at cost from the Waste Resource Innovation Center at 110 Dunlop Drive.

Size of Cart    Cost
Small (80 litre)    $25
Medium (120 litre)    $28
Large (240 litre)    $41
Extra large (360 litre)    $45

Green carts are not for sale. Based on research of comparable municipalities, the 80-litre cart is larger than the volume of the organic carts provided in other municipalities and will accommodate the needs of large families and houses with an accessory apartment.

You can bring additional waste to the Waste Resource Innovation Center for a disposal fee.

For oversized items (e.g. furniture), you can continue to use the Bulky Item Collection program.

view comments (0)

Thursday Sep 13th - 2012

More info:

Good afternoon Mayor Farbridge and Councillors,

I’d like to provide you with an important update on the implementation of Guelph’s conversion to fully automated cart collection.

The 2012 waste cart roll out to one-third of Guelph households will take place over a six-week period, starting Monday, September 24.

At this time, residents will receive a comprehensive carts user guide and 2012 to 2014 collection schedule in their green cart. E-copies are attached and hard copies, once available, will be delivered to your City Hall office.

September 13 to 21, Solid Waste Resources staff will deliver a door hanger to these homes with key dates about the cart roll out. Please see attached.

Upcoming key dates
•    September 17
o    Solid Waste Resources customer service desk extends hours of operation
•    September 20
o    Advertising and promotion begins
•    September 24
o    Cart delivery begins
•    November 2
o    Cart delivery ends
•    November 5*
o    Automated cart collection begins
*Dependent upon the collection schedule a household follows.

view comments (0)

Thursday Sep 13th - 2012

First 15,000 households to receive waste carts starting September 24
Carts to be placed at the curb this November for new automated collection

GUELPH, ON, September 13, 2012 – The delivery of Guelph's first green, blue and grey waste carts to one-third of city neighbourhoods, approximately 15,000 households, starts Monday, September 24.
Homes will receive a food scraps container to keep in the kitchen and three carts: an 80-litre green cart for organics, a blue cart for recyclables and a grey cart for garbage. The carts will be used instead of plastic bags to place household waste at the curb for collection. An information package including a user guide and a 2012 to 2014 waste collection schedule will be delivered inside the green cart.
"The carts, through residents' participation, support the City's efforts to produce less waste per capita than any comparable Canadian city and divert 65 per cent of Guelph's waste from landfill by 2016," says Dean Wyman, General Manager of Solid Waste Resources.
Earlier this year, households had the option to select their blue and grey cart size preferences from four options, to suit their needs. To accommodate each customized order, the delivery will take place over a six-week period, ending Friday, November 2. The three carts will arrive at homes separately, on different dates. If a household does not receive all three carts by November 2, they are asked to contact Solid Waste Resources.
At the curb, via the new automated system, the green cart will be collected each week and the blue and grey carts will be collected biweekly, on alternate weeks.
Cart collection begins this November.  Depending on the collection schedule a household currently follows, either Week A or B, cart collection starts as early as Monday, November 5.
"The automated system is regarded as a municipal best practice and is faster, more efficient and requires four fewer trucks on Guelph's roads," says Dean Wyman. "This helps decrease Guelph's carbon footprint, contributes to better air quality and generates annual financial savings for the City of approximately $460,000."
As of Monday, September 17, the Solid Waste Resources customer service desk is extending its hours of operation to accommodate residents' phone calls and e-mails throughout the transition to carts. The new hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
More information is available on guelph.ca/waste or by contacting Solid Waste Resources by telephone at 519-767-0598 or email at waste@guelph.ca.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Heather Connell
Manager, Integrated Services
Solid Waste Services
Planning, Building, Engineering and Environmental Services
T 519-822-1260 x 2082
E heather.connell@guelph.ca     

view comments (0)

Thursday Sep 13th - 2012

Streamlining City processes for planning and development:


GUELPH, ON, September 13, 2012 – The second report of a review of the City’s planning and development practices makes several recommendations to strengthen the City’s processes and make it easier for the Guelph business community to deal with the City on planning and development matters.
Recommendations for a new service delivery model focus on streamlining City processes, such as striking an interdepartmental committee involving Planning, Engineering, Building Services and Enterprise Services, implementing a pre-consultation process for development applications and reinstating a one-step engineering review process. The report also makes recommendations to improve communications among City departments and with business and other community stakeholders.
Steps already completed or underway by the City that address the report’s findings include finalizing several significant planning and urban design projects, developing a business retention and expansion program, streamlining the process for registering subdivisions and condominiums and formalizing the planning and development application processes. Earlier this year, the approval process for minor revisions to site plans was simplified and a triage process for economic development was implemented.
 “We welcome business investment in our community,” said Janet Laird, Executive Director, Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment. “The recommendations in this report will make it easier to do business with the City and, as a result, contribute to providing an excellent quality of life for Guelph residents.”   
“The Guelph Chamber of Commerce is committed to providing support through the expertise in  Guelph’s business community as the Joint Operational Review moves from analyzing operations to developing an action plan to implement the recommendations,” said Lloyd Longfield, President and Chief Administrative Officer, Guelph Chamber of Commerce.
The study that led to the report, Integrated Operational Review of Planning, Building, Engineering and Enterprise Services and the Development Review Process, was prepared by CGA Management Consultants with IBI Group. It cost $70,000.
An oversight committee for the review includes representatives from the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, the Guelph Wellington Developers’ Association and the local development consulting and real estate sectors. They will be invited to review the recommendations and discuss their implementation.

A link to the Phase 2 Report can be found HERE.

 FOR MORE INFORMATION

Janet Laird
Executive Director
Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment
T 519-822-1260 x 2237
E janet.laird@guelph.ca

Todd Salter
General Manager, Planning and Building Services
Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment
T 519-822-1260  x 2395
E todd.salter@guelph.ca

view comments (0)

Tuesday Sep 11th - 2012

GUELPH, ON, September 10, 2012 – This week, property owners in Guelph will receive a notice from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) stating the updated assessed value of their property. The City will use the reassessed property values to calculate property taxes between 2013 and 2016.

“Every four years, MPAC reassess properties across Ontario to align their assessed values with current market values,” says Gail Nisbet, Manager of Taxation and Revenue. “The last reassessment occurred in 2008 and MPAC is simply updating their records to reflect changing property values.”

MPAC will phase in increased property values over the next four years. This phased-in approach helps stabilize the potential impact on property taxes.

“For example, between 2008 and 2012 a property may have increased in value by $40,000. Rather than using the new higher value immediately, MPAC increases the assessed value by $10,000 in each of the next four years to provide some predictability for property owners,” adds Nisbet. “A decrease in assessed value would be applied immediately.”

An increased property assessment does not necessarily increase taxes. MPAC’s reassessment simply redistributes the tax burden among individual properties and property classes.  

The City of Guelph applies local tax rates to MPAC property assessments to calculate the taxes to be paid on each property. The tax rate is based on revenue needed to pay for municipal services like police, fire and ambulance services, road maintenance, repairs and snow removal, waste collection, parks, pools, libraries, community centres and public transit.

Other factors also determine the property tax rate including tax policy decisions and education levy changes as determined by the Provincial government.

About the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC)
MPAC is a not-for-profit, independent corporation responsible for providing property owners, tenants, municipalities and government and business stakeholders with consistent and accurate property assessments. Property owners are welcome to contact MPAC with any questions about their property assessment at 1-866-296-6722 or MPAC.ca.


FOR MORE INFORMATION
Gail Nisbet, Manager
Taxation and Revenue
T 519-822-1260 x 2316
E gail.nisbet@guelph.ca

view comments (0)

Tuesday Sep 11th - 2012

Family & Children’s Services
of Guelph and Wellington County
invites you to the launch of
Child Abuse Prevention Month
Guelph City Hall Galleria
Carden Street, Guelph
Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.
The purple ribbon is the symbol of
child abuse prevention
Help protect children in your community!

view comments (0)

Tuesday Sep 11th - 2012

Sent: September-04-12 2:48 PM
To: JUS-G-MAG-CRB
Subject: Simmonds Drive - Wilson Farm house decision?

Good day,

I’m just wondering if there is an idea of when the 80 Simmonds Drive, Guelph decision would be made?

Thank you,

Cam Guthrie
www.ward4news.ca
226-820-5080
Ward 4 Councillor – City of Guelph

 

Response: Sept 11th, 2012:

Good Day,

The decision is being drafted and there is no estimated timeframe as to when it will be issued.  I will make note of your inquiry.
Regards,
L.

view comments (0)

Tuesday Sep 11th - 2012

Mayor and Councillors

We understand that there have been inquiries from the public about the status of the reconstruction of Victoria Road South between Arkell Road and MacAlister Boulevard. The following is a summary regarding the project status.

To date, the City’s contractor has completed the majority of underground servicing work and has reconstructed the majority of the roadway up to granular base material.  Work by utilities to relocate their plant is primarily on schedule and should be complete over the next week.

With utility work being completed, the remaining work to be constructed includes retaining walls, road widening at the Torrance Creek crossing and installation of remaining deep underground servicing work.  The majority of the remaining underground servicing work is related to future development along this corridor. Some of this servicing work was not originally anticipated at the start of the project but by undertaking this work now, we will avoid future project co-ordination requirements and closing of Victoria Road South to service these lands.

The deep underground servicing work has been delayed due to high groundwater issues and the need to secure a permit to take water from the provincial Ministry of the Environment (MOE).   The MOE permit has recently been received and the contractor is now scheduled to start this work later this month.

At this point, the project is approximately five weeks behind schedule primarily due to the time delay to receive the MOE permit to take water and the additional underground servicing work. Instead of completing the reconstruction and opening Victoria Rd South by the end of October as originally planned and presented to the public, we now expect an early December opening subject to weather and any further other unforeseen delays.  

The second phase of Victoria Road South reconstruction from Stone Road to MacAlister Boulevard is scheduled for 2013. When completed, Victoria Road South between Stone and Arkell will have a four lane section and three lane section, bicycle lanes, curb and gutter and sidewalks along with underground services.

Please do not hesitate to  contact the City’s Project Manager, Brad Hamilton (519 837-5604 ext 2319 or brad.hamiliton@guelph.ca) or me, should you have any questions or require further information.

Don Kudo, P. Eng. | Manager,Infrastructure Planning, Design & Construction
Engineering Services | Planning,Building, Engineering and Environment
City of Guelph

T 519-837-5604 x 2490  | F  519-822-6194
E don.kudo@guelph.ca

guelph.ca

view comments (0)

Monday Sep 10th - 2012

September 20th, 2012 Ward 4 Townhall meeting!

 

The City, through it's Community Wellbeing Initative, needs your feedback! So come on out and join Gloria and myself for a meeting on this topic. We've also secured Armel Corporation to discuss the upcoming developments at the commercial node at the corner of Paisley & Elmira Roads. More specifically, the Costco development. We'll also have an open Q&A session on any issue you want to bring forward to us.

 

Here's the details:

As part of the Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative, each ward conversation will be an opportunity to discuss what matters in life, and how to work together to improve the wellbeing of individuals, neighbourhoods and the Guelph community.

“People have an important role to play in improving the quality of life in Guelph,” says Barbara Powell, General Manager of Community Engagement. “We’ve already heard from thousands of residents who completed our community survey in July. “Now, we’re still seeking additional input to make sure everyone has a chance to shape Guelph’s future.”

 

Thursday, September 20
6:30-8:30 p.m. Lion’s Lair
West End Recreation Centre
21 Imperial Road South Ward 4

Information about this and other upcoming events will be posted at guelphwellbeing.ca.

During September, the City and its community partners will continue to encourage residents to participate in the Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative by:
• Completing a comment card at their neighbourhood recreation centre, library branch or City facility
• Attending a ward conversation view dates here
• Talking to wellbeing volunteers at community events and gathering places view dates here
• Hosting a conversation with family, friends, neighbours or coworkers – a do it yourself guidebook is available on guelphwellbeing.ca
• Submitting comments at guelphwellbeing.ca
• Following and sharing comments using #guelphwellbeing on Twitter
• Posting comments on the City of Guelph Facebook page

 

About the Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative:


Using the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, the City and its partners are measuring Guelph’s quality of life in terms of community vitality, democratic engagement, environment, education, time use, health, leisure and culture and living standards.

Its purpose is to develop a shared understanding and vision for Guelph’s future so the City and community partners can make better decisions, improve programs and policies, and increase the wellbeing of people, neighbourhoods and the community as a whole.

In addition, the initiative aims to 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.

view comments (0)

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

HomeWard 4 NewsLinksAccountability Benchmark SystemReport GraffitiContact Christine