News Release

Council approves 4.1 per cent water, wastewater rate increases

2015 Non-tax-supported budget receives Council approval

Guelph, ON, January 28, 2015 – Earlier this evening, Council approved the City’s Water and Wastewater Services, Building Code Administration and Court Services budgets.

“We continue to keep Guelph’s water and wastewater rates within the average among our comparator municipalities through the innovative and proactive programs undertaken by these departments,” noted Al Horsman, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services. “For example, Water Services continues enhanced leak detection work to reclaim water supply capacity, and Wastewater Services has performed an optimization demonstration to allow the City to apply for a re-rating of the treatment facility that will help offset the costs of any future expansions, if required.”

Approved 2015 water/wastewater charges, effective March 1, 2015
2014 2015 CHANGE
Water Volume – $/cubic metre (M3) $1.43 $1.52 $0.09
Water Basic – $/Day $0.25 $0.26 $0.01
Wastewater Volume – $/Cubic metre (M3) $1.59 $1.66 $0.07
Wastewater Basic – $/day $0.31 $0.32 0.01
 Average residential annual bill (185 M3*)  $763  $794  $31 or 4.1%

*City estimate of average annual volume of water consumed by a Guelph household of three people

Water Services
The $27.1 million operating budget and $206.6 million 10-year capital budget and forecast for Water Services allows Guelph to continue delivering a safe and sustainable water supply while renewing its aging infrastructure.

Wastewater Services
The $28.8 million operating and $192.1 million 10-year capital budget and forecast support continued optimization of Guelph’s wastewater systems.

Building Services
The $3 million operating and $166,000 10-year capital budget and forecast include continued investments to improve the City’s online building permit application system, and enhance service to residential and commercial customers.

Court Services
The $3.35 million operating and $682,400 10-year capital budget and forecast include plans to implement convenient e-ticket processes.

2015 City Budget

The Non-tax-supported budget is the first of four to be approved by City Council. Residents are invited to review proposed documents and bring their comments to Council on February 25 (Capital Budget meeting) and March 11 (Public Delegation Night), and to follow the City’s budget news on guelph.ca/budget, Twitter (@cityofguelph, #GuelphBudget) and facebook.com/cityofguelph.

Delegation registration and submission must be submitted by Friday, February 20 at 9 a.m. for the Capital Budget meeting and Friday, March 6 at 9 a.m. for the Public Delegation Night.

All budget documents and related information will be posted on guelph.ca/budget as they become available.

Coming up next

February 25 – Proposed Capital Budget presentation and public delegations
February 26 – Proposed Local Boards Operating and Capital Budget presentation
March 5 – Proposed Operating Budget presentation

March 11 – Public delegation night

March 25 – Council deliberates and approves Operating and Capital budgets
March 31 – additional meeting for budget approvals if necessary

For more information

Al Horsman
Chief Financial Officer/Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services
519-822-1260 extension 5606
al.horsman@guelph.ca

Mark Amorosi
Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
Corporate Services
519-822-1260 extension 2281
mark.amorosi@guelph.ca

Mayor Cam Guthrie launches mayorguthrie.com

GUELPH, ON, January 28, 2015 – Mayor Cam Guthrie has launched a blog at mayorguthrie.com.

“I’m looking forward to sharing my perspectives on local issues from where I sit as the mayor of Guelph,” said Mayor Guthrie. “As mayor, I want to be accessible to people and have respectful discussions on the issues that matter to them. For many people, social media is the best way to have those discussions.”

Blog posts will be linked on Mayor Guthrie’s Facebook page at facebook.com/mayorcamguthrie and Twitter feed (@camguthrie), for those who prefer to follow through those channels. Readers can also follow the blog via e-mail by subscribing at mayorguthrie.com.

“It’s going to be an important and exciting four years for Guelph City Council. I invite everyone to join the conversation through my blog. Tell me what you think and where you want to see our city going,” said Mayor Guthrie.

For more information:

Kate Sullivan
Communications Assistant
Mayor’s Office
519-822-1260  extension 2558
kate.sullivan@guelph.ca

Commitment by new mayors remains strong for two-way all-day GO trains

Kitchener, ON, January 13, 2015 – The faces may be new but the commitment to two-way all-day GO train service remains the same. The new mayors of Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph and the re-elected Chair of Waterloo Region re-confirmed their commitment to two-way all-day GO train service and are thrilled that the City of Brampton, under the leadership of new Mayor Linda Jeffrey, has joined the consortium advocating for improved and expanded GO train service.

“We are pleased to welcome Brampton and Mayor Jeffrey to our team,” said Kitchener’s Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “The strength of our business case is the collaboration and commitment among our local governments and the private and not-for-profit sectors. Including Brampton more clearly emphasizes the importance and value of connecting regional economies.”

“I am excited to add Brampton’s voice and support to this critical infrastructure project and look forward to working with the consortium,” stated Brampton’s Mayor Linda Jeffrey, “Our 21st century economy needs 21st century transit and transportation solutions. The City of Brampton looks forward to working with the provincial government and our partners as we develop real and tangible transit and transportation solutions for the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) region and beyond.”

“Fast, efficient rail transit is critical for continuing to develop the economic potential of our communities,” said Waterloo’s Mayor Dave Jaworsky, “Investment in GO train services is key to helping local companies attract and retain talent to help them compete globally.”

Partnering communities have come together in the pursuit of enhanced GO train service to increase the connectivity of their regional economies and to drive the attraction of talent, investment, and innovative companies, which the Innovation Supercluster Consortium details in their 2014 business case. The business case demonstrates that the majority of costs to build the system will be met from the potential $542 million in annual personal income taxes generated from increased economic activity. This business case will now be expanded to include information and data from Brampton.

“I’m encouraged that we will continue to work together to make it happen and want to send a strong message that despite changes in leadership, these communities continue to fully support this project,” said Guelph’s Mayor Cam Guthrie. “We’re pleased to see the positive steps taken towards this goal by Metrolinx and the Province.”

In September 2014 the province announced that it has purchased an additional 53 km of the rail corridor increasing its ownership of the corridor to 80 per cent. As well, plans are moving ahead in 2015 with the construction of a new GO bus and train layover station in Kitchener.

The July 2014 Ontario budget confirmed the province’s planned improvements to GO’s Kitchener line to prepare for full-day, two-way train service, which include:

  • More trips: by the end of 2016, Metrolinx will double current service frequency between Kitchener and Toronto, with two additional morning and afternoon peak period trips.
  • Upgrades to the rail corridor leading to faster travel times.
  • Building a new train layover facility in Kitchener.

Background

The business case, “Innovative Regional Economies and Strategic Infrastructure: the business case for Two-Way Urban Commuter Rail on the CN North Mainline,” outlines the economic imperative and opportunities along the Toronto to Kitchener rail corridor which will help the province and our communities compete for global talent and innovative companies.

The joint request was that a 10-year capital allocation for rail infrastructure be established by the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to support full two-way GO Train service on the Kitchener line (CN North mainline) in the 2014 federal and provincial capital budgets.

The business case contains cost-savings analysis, maps, ridership estimates and development potential organized in six sections:

  • Ontario’s economic growth opportunity
  • Building an innovation supercluster
  • Innovative cities in the Waterloo region to Toronto corridor
  • The geography of innovation
  • Proposed two-way GO Train service
  • Recommendations and conclusion

Quick facts

  • There are 30,000 local tech workers in Waterloo Region, 34 per cent commute from Toronto/GTA.
  • There will be an additional 37,000 tech and creative workers in Waterloo Region by 2031.
  • 32,000 trips are made daily each way between Waterloo Region and Guelph.
  • There are 11 million square feet of potential residential growth in transit station areas.
  • There is $4 billion construction potential in urban growth centres/station areas.
  • Initial prediction of ridership fares total $5.25 million with net operating costs of $750,000.
  • Intensifying development activity at all three of Brampton’s GO rail mobility hubs (Mount Pleasant, Downtown Brampton and Bramalea) is expected to attract 37,900 new jobs and 105,400 new residents by 2041.

Staff is currently working on an update to the business case to include figures for Brampton and the impact their involvement has on the innovation supercluster. The partnership looks forward to sharing that update in the coming weeks.

For more information

Brian Stittle, Senior Media Coordinator
Strategic Communications
City of Brampton
905-874-2143
brian.stittle@brampton.ca

Tara Sprigg, Corporate Manager
Corporate Communications
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2610
tara.sprigg@guelph.ca

Colleen Collins, Interim Director
Corporate Communications and Marketing
City of Kitchener
519-741-2200 extension 7094
colleen.collins@kitchener.ca

Megan Harris, Director Communications and Marketing
Corporate Services
City of Waterloo
519-747-8513
megan.harris@waterloo.ca

City asks residents for help creating Northview Park

Guelph, ON, January 8, 2015 – On January 29, community members will be invited to help the City of Guelph develop a master plan for Northview Park, located at 83 Wideman Boulevard in the city’s north end.

Using online and in-person engagement opportunities, the City hopes to collaborate with future park users on a design that best reflects the community’s active and passive outdoor recreational needs.

“Success of a park begins at the park planning stage and so we are excited to work closely with residents, in person and online, to identify park features they would like to see in Northview Park,” says Luke Jefferson, the City’s project manager of Parks.

Residents living in the Northview Estates subdivision, as well as anyone interested in park planning, will have an opportunity to share, learn, and discuss their ideas at a visioning workshop on Thursday, January 29 from 10 a.m. until noon or from 7 to 9 p.m.

At the second workshop—concept selection—residents will review a draft park concept based on feedback received from the first workshop and online discussion. The concept selection workshop will be held on Tuesday, March 3 from 1 to 3 p.m. or from 7 to 9 p.m.

Both workshops will be held at the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre in Guelph. Childcare is available with advance registration by calling 519-837-5618 or emailing community@guelph.ca.

For those who are unable to attend the community workshops or would like to participate in the discussion now, an online forum at guelph.ca/northview is open until February 2 and again from February 18 to March 11.

Community feedback from the workshops and online forum will directly influence park design and impact operations and maintenance of the park. Parks and Open Space staff will bring forward a proposed park master plan with recommendations to the Public Services Committee and City Council this spring.

About Northview Park

Northview Park is a new 2.86 acre neighbourhood park in the Northview Estates subdivision. The area is zoned as a neighbourhood park (P.2 zone). The City’s zoning bylaw permits a conservation area, informal play area, outdoor skating rink, picnic areas, play equipment, public washroom, sports fields, trails, and water spray area in P.2 zones.

The park will likely contain a trail, as indicated in the Guelph Trail Master Plan, to connect Simmonds Drive to Beverly Robson Park, Woodlawn Road and Victoria Road via the open space. The master plan process will determine the rest of the park facilities.

For more information

Luke Jefferson
Project Manager, Parks
Parks and Open Space
519-822-1260 extension 2527
luke.jefferson@guelph.ca

 

City provides new facilities for Guelph Transit employees

Guelph, ON, December 24, 2014 – As of December 21, Guelph Transit employees have access to a new lunchroom at Guelph Central Station and year-round washroom access at the University Centre.

As a result of the agreement between the City of Guelph and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1189, ratified on August 5, 2014, the City committed to improving working conditions for Transit employees. The commitment included adding a climate-controlled lunchroom at Guelph Central Station, and providing drivers with uninterrupted access to washroom facilities at the University of Guelph, including when the university is closed.

“We are pleased with our growing partnership with ATU Local 1189, and we are happy we could address our employee’s concerns over the holiday season,” said Phil Meagher, general manager of Guelph Transit. “The University of Guelph has again shown that it is a great partner for transit in our city, and we thank them for accommodating our requests.”

Secure washroom access for drivers is available in Mountain Hall, east of the bus loop at the University Centre. Access is being provided on a trial period and will be evaluated next year by the University to see if it will continue.

“We are continuing to work with the management team at the City of Guelph to address the needs of our union members and ensure quality working conditions at all times of the year,” said Andy Cleary, ATU Local 1189 president. “We thank the Guelph Transit management team and the University of Guelph for being so responsive to the needs of our drivers this season.”

The Guelph Central Station lunchroom, located between platforms 18 and 22, requires keypad access and is open to Guelph Transit employees only.

For more information

Phil Meagher
General Manager
Guelph Transit
519-822-1260 extension 3321
phil.meagher@guelph.ca

Guelph seeking $917,000 for ice-storm cleanup

Claims under Provincial Ice Storm Assistance Program due December 31

Guelph, ON, December 23, 2014 – The City of Guelph is asking the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) for $917,300 to help cover the cost of cleaning up after last December’s ice storm.

The Ministry’s Ice Storm Assistance Program is a one-time disaster assistance program estimated at $190 million. This spring, the Ministry invited 300 municipalities to submit expressions of interest in the program, and Guelph was one of 70 cities to do so.

The City has reviewed all costs related to the storm that occurred on December 21 and 22, 2013, and most are eligible for provincial funding—emergency response, overtime, temporary staff, cleaning up debris, removing hazardous trees and limbs, and other activities associated with protecting public safety, allowing access to roads sidewalks and frequently travelled routes.

Costs for replanting trees and restoring the tree canopy are not eligible for the program.

The City must submit its claim before December 31, 2014. Payments will be issued once the Ministry has reviewed the claim.

“The City appreciates any and all support the Province is able to offer, and it’s hard to say when we can expect to receive payment,” said Al Horsman. “It took us quite a while to assemble all the documentation to support the claim, so we expect it will take some time for the Province to review it.”

The City will update the community when the claim has been processed and announce any payments to be awarded. A summary of the City’s claim is provided below.

Goods and services emergency response costs $132,400

Goods and services recovery costs $229,100

Employee emergency response costs $65,200

Employee recovery costs $206,100

Claimant-owned equipment emergency response costs $24,900

Claimant-owned equipment recovery costs $259,600

 

For more information

Al Horsman
Chief Financial Officer/Deputy CAO
Infrastructure Development and Enterprise
519-822-1260 extension 5606
al.horsman@guelph.ca

Council to discuss water and wastewater rate changes

2015 Non-tax-supported budget open to comment January 21

Guelph, ON, December 19, 2014 – Community members will have a few opportunities to participate in the 2015 budget discussion beginning with a proposed water rate increase. The City will present the Non-tax-supported portion of Guelph’s Financial Strategy on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.

“Guelph’s sound financial strategy focuses on taking care of what we own, enhancing City services and ensuring regulatory compliance in a way that is affordable for residents and businesses in Guelph,” said Al Horsman, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services.

Water and Wastewater Services

Guelph continues to make the most of its existing infrastructure and has deferred millions of dollars in capital investments by optimizing water and wastewater systems. The community contributes to these efforts by using waster wisely.

The City delivers safe drinking water and effective sewage treatment, and ensures the timely replacement of Guelph’s water related infrastructure to reduce the risk of system failures and expensive emergency repairs, and to support Guelph’s continued growth. This includes building reserve funds.

In 2015, the City plans to invest approximately $16.5 million to renew aging water and wastewater infrastructure, and another $19.1 million in growth-related upgrades and expansions to water and wastewater treatment, storage, collection and distribution systems.

“Successful water conservation and infrastructure renewal programs allow us to keep rates affordable,” said Horsman. “In 2015, we are proposing a measured increase and we will conduct a water and wastewater rate review study which will include a review of affordability and rate structures in our comparator municipalities.”

Proposed 2015 water/wastewater charges
Proposed charges 2014 2015 change
Water Volume – $/cubic metre (M3) $1.43 $1.53 $0.10
Water Basic – $/Day $0.25 $0.26 $0.01
Wastewater Volume – $/Cubic metre (M3) $1.59 $1.66 $0.07
Wastewater Basic – $/day $0.31 $0.32 $0.01

 

When rate changes are applied on March 1, 2015, the average residential annual bill would change from $763 to $796 ($33 or 4.3 per cent). City estimate of average annual volume of water consumed by a Guelph household of three people.

Building Services

The proposed $3 million operating and $34,200 2015 capital budget includes continued investments to improve the City’s online building permit application system and enhance service to residential and commercial customers.

Court Services

The proposed $3.35 million operating and $302,400 2015 capital budget includes plans to implement convenient online processes.

Have Your Say

View the proposed 2015 Non-tax-supported Operating and Capital Budget.

Delegations have to be registered by 9 a.m. Friday, January 16 to speak at the January 21 budget meeting. The meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

View all budget documents at guelph.ca/budget . Residents planning to address City Council regarding the proposed budget for Water and Wastewater Services, Court Services and Ontario Building Code Administration are invited to call 519-837-5603 or email clerks@guelph.ca by 9 a.m. on Friday, January 16.

For more information

Al Horsman
Chief Financial Officer/Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services
519-822-1260 extension 5606
al.horsman@guelph.ca

Mark Amorosi
Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
Corporate Services
519-822-1260 extension 2281
mark.amorosi@guelph.ca

Guelph joins WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities

Guelph, ON, December 19, 2014 – The City of Guelph’s commitment to be an age-friendly community has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Late last month, Guelph was accepted as a member of the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities for its promise to make Guelph a great place to live and age well.

More than 250 cities and communities in 27 countries have joined the Network as a part of a growing global movement of cities and communities striving to meet the needs of older residents. By 2031, Guelph’s population will be 175,000 with 57,000 people over the age of 55.

“Being a part of the Network gives us efficient and effective ways to learn about age-friendly initiatives that are already working in other communities,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie.

The two-year membership gives the City access to new resources like agefriendlyworld.org; an online platform where members share experiences and good practices as well as pose questions and discuss challenges.

“In Guelph, we are creating a community that encourages healthy and active aging and the well-being of older people. Being a part of the Network allows us to share information across a global platform and receive guidance on becoming an age-friendly community,” says Wendy Kornelsen, manager of Senior Services.

The City is also establishing a Community Older Adult Leadership Team to guide the actions needed to make Guelph age friendly. The team will work to ensure Guelph is a place that helps people stay healthy and active regardless of age.

About WHO age-friendly cities and communities

WHO age-friendly cities and communities recognize the wide range of capacities and resources among older people; anticipate and respond flexibly to aging-related needs and preferences; respect older people’s decisions and lifestyle choices; protect those who are vulnerable; and promote older people’s inclusion in and contribution to all areas of community life.

About Guelph’s Older Adult Strategy

The purpose of the strategy is to create an age-friendly community that supports older adults to live in security, maintain their health and participate fully in society. In response, the City will adapt its structure and services to be accessible and inclusive of older people with varying needs and capacities.

guelph.ca/olderadultstrategy

For more information

Wendy Kornelsen
Manager
Senior Services
519-822-1260 extension 2684
wendy.kornelsen@guelph.ca

 

Wellington Street reopens to eastbound traffic

Guelph, ON, December 18, 2014—Wellington Street between Gordon Street and Edinburgh Road opens to both east and westbound traffic later today. Dublin Street from Wellington Street north to Surrey Street, and the left turn lane from Wellington Street onto Dublin Street will remain closed until traffic signals are completed.

“We’re opening one eastbound lane from Edinburgh Road to McCrae Blvd, and all eastbound lanes from McCrae to Gordon Street,” explained Ike Umar, project manager, Engineering Services. “One westbound lane will continue to be open from Gordon Street to Edinburgh Road.

McCrae Boulevard (Gow’s bridge) will remain closed to traffic and pedestrians between Wellington Street and the Royal City Park access road (Royal Recreation Trail) until spring 2015 for ongoing work on the York Trunk Sewer and Paisley-Clythe Feedermain construction project . McCrae Boulevard will stay open south of the park access road to allow vehicular to access the park.

“This is a complex project but it has progressed well and we’re very happy to reopen Wellington Street to both directions of traffic,” noted Umar. “We appreciate the patience of our community during this work, including our local businesses, and we ask that people drive carefully as crews continue to work in the area.”

The reconstruction of Wellington Street from Gordon Street to just west of McCrae Boulevard began in June. Traffic on Wellington Street was reduced to one west¬bound lane from Gordon Street to Edinburgh Road. Further work by utilities will be required in the area and may require temporary lane closures or reductions.

The City of Guelph appreciates residents’ patience, understanding and co-operation during this important construction work, and will continue posting updates on guelph.ca/construction , Twitter and Facebook .

Map showing Wellington Street traffic flow

About the construction projects

Wellington Street reconstruction
The City is working to support the development at 40 Wellington Street through the widening of Wellington Street to create on–street parking, and connect underground utilities. The City is also replacing and upgrading storm sewer, watermain, sanitary sewer, decorative street lighting, curb and gutter, sidewalk, driveway aprons, median and asphalt paving as part of the project.

York Trunk Sewer and Paisley-Clythe Feedermain construction
The City is working on the York Trunk Sewer and Paisley-Clythe Feedermain . Water and wastewater services are being installed from Slivercreek Park, east of the Hanlon Expressway, through the parkland to a municipal parking area on the east side of Gordon Street. Phase I of this project includes crossing the Speed River and ends just north of the lattice covered bridge in York Road Park.

For more information about the Wellington and Gordon Street reconstruction

Ike Umar
Project Manager
Engineering Services
519-822-1260 extension 2242
ike.umar@guelph.ca

For more information about the York Trunk Sewer and Paisley-Clythe Feedermain construction

Majde Qaqish
Project Engineer
Engineering Services
519-822-1260 extension 2225
majde.qaqish@guelph.ca

City unveils design for McCrae House renovation

The Guelph Community Foundation announces gifts totalling $21,427

Guelph, ON, December 18, 2014 – In anticipation of next year’s centenary of the writing of In Flanders Fields by Guelph-born doctor, soldier and poet John McCrae, the City of Guelph unveiled the design for the renovated McCrae House National Historic Site of Canada.

“Guelph is so proud of Lieutenant-Colonel McCrae and the influence he had on the world,” says Tammy Adkin, manager of Guelph Museums. “We want to present his story in a way that resonates with a diverse group of visitors—from local school children to veterans to European tourists who make a pilgrimage to McCrae House. We want their experiences to inform, inspire and have a lasting impact, and we are delighted that this design sets the stage for such occasions.”

The refurbished McCrae House will focus on McCrae’s life as a doctor, adventurer, soldier and artist. In addition to exhibitions about his early life in Guelph, and his medical, military and artistic pursuits, the museum will present the poem In Flanders Fields in a dramatic fashion, with a large-scale script of the poem accompanied by an audio presentation.

BaAM Productions, an exhibition design firm based in Toronto, created the design.

Today, The Guelph Community Foundation also announced gifts totalling $21,427 from the Anne and John Lawrence Fund to support the McCrae House project. John Lawrence was a devoted Museum volunteer for 15 years, and upon his passing in 2010 he left a significant endowment with The Guelph Community Foundation, designating McCrae House as the beneficiary of that fund.

The first gift of $10,000 was made in 2013 followed by a contribution this month of $11,427. The Guelph Community Foundation executive director Chris Willard indicated that McCrae House will continue to receive gifts in perpetuity from the Anne and John Lawrence Fund.

“Anne and John Lawrence’s generosity leaves a legacy that continues to support their interests and build community through their endowment fund held at The Guelph Community Foundation,” says Willard. “This is a wonderful example of a charitable legacy that will have impact for generations.”

For more information

Tammy Adkin
Manager
Guelph Museums
519-836-1221
tammy.adkin@guelph.ca