City found evidence of termites on five properties near downtown

Guelph, ON, July 25, 2014 – After inspecting 300 properties near downtown Guelph, the City found evidence of termites on five properties near John Galt Park.

A map of the John Galt Park termite management area shows the five properties in red meaning the City found evidence of termite activity in the park, the River Run Centre and three Wellington County Catholic School Board buildings. The City is also monitoring termite activity on 12 adjacent properties to prevent the spread of termites downtown.

“After discovering termites at the River Run Centre this spring, we treated the area, inspected 300 properties and installed 169 termite traps,” said Tim Myles, the City’s termite control officer. “We’ve mapped out the termite management zone, notified the affected property owners and we’re providing them with safe ways to dispose of wood and soil.”

In and around termite zones the City asks property owners to remove dead trees and stumps, and use non-wood materials for renovations and landscaping. An inspection is required before selling a property in a termite zone, and the Ontario Building Code has specifications for new buildings, porches, and decks in termite infested areas.

To prevent the spread of termites the City urges all residents to be cautious about donating or receiving any wood items that have been stored on the ground, such as firewood, landscaping ties, wood sheds, mulch, etc.

About Guelph’s termite management program

Guelph’s termite management program helps to control the local termite population and prevent damage to wood structures. Since 2007, the program has proven effective in reducing termite populations in the Emma/PineWoolwich, and Windermere termite management areas.

Today, Guelph’s five termite management areas encompass 663 properties.

The eastern subterranean termite was detected in Guelph in the early 1970s near Goldie Mill Park. The non-native insects were accidentally introduced from the United States to more than 30 Ontario municipalities.

Resources

For more information

Tim Myles
Termite Control Officer
Building Services
519-822-1260 extension 2840
tim.myles@guelph.ca

guelph.ca/termites

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City administration and ATU Local 1189 to meet this week

 

 

Guelph, ON, July 28, 2014—In a joint announcement, the City of Guelph and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 are letting the public know they will be meeting this week with regards to the current lockout of Guelph Transit’s union employees.

“We believe there is a way to end this lockout and get Guelph Transit running again soon,” said the City’s Chief Administrative Officer Ann Pappert. “We are hoping to see a reasonable and affordable counter-offer presented by the ATU Local 1189 executive that clearly represents the objectives of their membership.”

“We want to be working and serving our community,” said ATU Local 1189 President Andrew Cleary. “Any step that can help us move towards that goal is one we’re willing to consider.”

During this period of negotiations, the City and ATU Local 1189 will not be commenting to the media.

 

For media inquiries

Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260  extension 3356

stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

 

 

Andrew Cleary

ATU Local 1189 President

519-827-8471

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Morris Street reconstruction

 

(Alice Street to York Road)

 

 

To: Property owners, businesses and residents

 

 

The project

The project involves the reconstruction of Morris Street between Alice Street and York Road. The work will entail the replacement / upgrading of the sanitary sewer, storm sewer, watermain, curb and gutter, sidewalk and asphalt roadway. 

 

Project status

The tender for the reconstruction of Morris Street closed on June 17, 2014.  Unfortunately only one bid was received and the bid price exceeded available Capital Budget funding.  As a result, the tender will not be awarded and the reconstruction will be deferred until 2015.  Additional funding will be secured through the Capital Budget process and the tender for the reconstruction will be reissued in early 2015.

 

Future notice and timing

A future construction notice will be issued in advance of the reconstruction in 2015.  It’s expected that the reconstruction will be rescheduled to start in early June 2015 after the Guelph Little Theatre finishes its 2014-2015 season.  The reconstruction will take approximately three months to complete.

 

The City of Guelph regrets any inconvenience caused by the deferral and appreciates your ongoing patience, understanding and cooperation required to complete this important infrastructure renewal project.

 

For more information

Brad Hamilton

Project Engineer

Engineering Services

T 519-822-1260 x 2319

E brad.hamilton@guelph.ca

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Transit Negotiations: How we got here and how we can get out

 

July 25, 2014

How we got here and how we can get out

The City of Guelph is interested, first and foremost, in having Guelph Transit back serving the community as soon as possible. To achieve this, the City needs to reach a reasonable and affordable contract agreement with ATU Local 1189. When transit is running for the community and the City’s employees are back in the workplace, City administration and their transit employees can address workplace concerns and rebuild a positive and productive relationship.

 

The following details the sequence and rationale behind where we’ve ended up and the continued hope for a fast resolution.

 

  • Exhaustive negotiation: Months of negotiations through to the end of June including 22 days of bargaining – seven with a conciliator – led to a list of demands from the ATU, which had not yet included a wage and benefit proposal. The union had indicated a wish to reach wage parity with Grand River Transit so we have included those figures in our calculation. The cost of ATU’s demands combined with wage parity with Grand River Transit would be:
    • $4.6 million in new dollars over three years
    • An additional 2.34% increase to property taxes over three years
    • 20 to 30 new unionized drivers to cover requests for vacation days, lieu days, floater days, birthdays off etc.
    • No improvement to transit service delivery

 

  • First offer: On Wednesday, June 25 the City put an offer on the table with a deadline for union response that was missed. When asked if the union would take it to its members the response was it would take it to the members in two to three weeks with a clear endorsement against the proposal.

 

  • Final offer: On Friday, June 27 the City put forward a “final offer” to ensure a ministry-monitored vote in a faster timeframe.

 

  • Offer rejected: On July 11 ATU members rejected the vote – 186 voted no and 12 voted yes

 

  • Notice of lockout announcement: On July 12, Mayor Karen Farbridge and Chief Administrative Officer Ann Pappert address the media and public to provide two days of notice to the community before suspending Guelph Transit service.

 

  • Tentative agreement: At midnight on July 13 the City and union executive agree to a tentative agreement:
    • The union brought 15 items to the table for consideration andconsensus was reached on the resolution of the items.
    • Agreement to resolve that list included agreement on a binding letter of understanding about key workplace concerns raised by the union that fall outside the collective bargaining agreement (e.g. lunchroom and washroom facilities)
    • Signed by ATU executive and City administration
    • Ratified on July 14 by Guelph City Council

 

Typically, union executives only accept and take agreements to a membership vote if they are confident they will be ratified.

 

  • Tentative agreement rejected: Union executive recommend tentative agreement that is “overwhelmingly” rejected by the union members.

 

  • Lockout reinstated: With the City’s original concerns compounded with an increased disconnect between union executive and members and potential instability within the union, the lockout was reinstated.

 

  • Why lockout: City makes decision to lockout ATU Local 1189
    • A consistent pattern of unexplained and lengthy delays leads City officials to believe the union is trying to delay negotiations to September before taking a strike vote. A September strike would create the maximum amount of disruption to the Guelph community (transit ridership moves from 7,000 per day in July to 14,000 per day in September) and apply political pressure in an effort to force capitulation to union demands.
    • Typically lockouts take effect immediately to protect the safety of the community, frontline service providers and property.
    • Exhaustive negotiations with a union that hadn’t moved on any items on the table; hadn’t offered wage and benefit requests; and, based on comments in the media, hadn’t been clear about its members’ main concerns
    • Working without a contract indefinitely creates uncertainty for employees and service users and continual negotiations is a perpetual drain on public funds.

 

  • Lack of clarity: The gap between union executive and members on the tentative agreement has not been explained officially by the union to City officials.

 

The union president and lead negotiator stated in a Guelph Mercury article on July 24 that: “I don’t believe it’s a mystery,” Cleary said of the issues, “which were outlined in a package presented during negotiations last October. They know what was in that package.”

 

Which takes us back to where we were at the beginning. ATU Local 1189 requests add up to a 2.34% property tax increase over three years to maintain existing service levels for on City department. To put that number in perspective, the 2014 tax increase from the City’s entire operating budget including fire, emergency services, public works, transit, parks and recreation etc., etc. was 2.38% total.

 

  • Union instability: The union’s negotiating team changed on June 18 with a slim vote margin and a second union executive vote is expected at the end of July. Another change in the negotiating team could mean new priorities, a new approach and, most certainly, more delays.

 

  • Counter offer: The City has demonstrated its willingness to make adjustments within the Council-approved negotiation mandate as well as its interest in addressing workplace concerns through the binding letter of understanding in the tentative agreement. A reasonable and affordable counter offer would be seriously considered by the City.

For media inquiries
Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260 extension 3356
stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

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City prepared to consider transit union counter-offer

 

July 25, 2014 – Statements from Guelph Mayor and CAO regarding transit lockout

Statement from Mayor Karen Farbridge
On behalf of Council, I urge ATU to provide a counter-offer so that we have clarity on what they are seeking. That will allow us to move forward so that we can reach an agreement and get the buses moving again – which is what we all want for our riders, employees and the whole community.

Statement from Chief Administrative Officer Ann Pappert
There is a path forward beyond our current impasse, and we hope to have transit services running for our community soon.

In the interests of our community and our employees, we need to move past the months of unsuccessful negotiations.

To move forward, we need to see a reasonable and affordable counter-offer presented by the ATU Local 1189 executive that clearly represents the objectives of their membership.

The City will seriously consider that offer.

For media inquiries
Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260 extension 3356
stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

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New urban design documents table renewed vision for downtown

 

Downtown Advisory Committee says design represents level of excellence comparable to Market Square

 

Guelph, ON, July 25, 2014–A report that brings together three key urban design documents was delivered to Council this afternoon and will go before the Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment (PBEE) Committee on August 5. The proposed concept for St. George’s Square, the Downtown Streetscape Manual and the Built Form Standards are central to transforming Guelph’s downtown and crucial in achieving the city’s long-term City-building vision.

The documents set the stage for tangible change and significant enhancements for Guelph’s downtown:

  • a central square that is a lively year-round destination—a place that offers a broad range of activities, experiences, and entertainment; connectivity; and anchors downtown Guelph
  • a road ringing a central square—different from a roundabout which is a traffic device intended to move cars—that enhances the pedestrian culture
  • attractive, accessible and safe spaces for all modes of transportation—walking, cycling and vehicular
  • a more accessible downtown that removes barriers for people with disabilities
  • more patio space
  • more parking spaces
  • better traffic flow
  • conveniently located bus stops
  • well-placed commercial loading zones

 

Doug Minett, Chair of Guelph’s Downtown Advisory Committee, says an investment in transforming St. George’s Square has tremendous long-term value. “The Downtown Advisory Committee feels the design concept for St. George’s Square represents a level of excellence comparable to Market Square which is appropriate for Guelph’s major historic public space.” Minett says the committee “supports the vision and principals embodied in the Streetscape Manual and related documents and looks forward to their evolution through more consultation with all parties as they move to detailed design.”

A 16-month consultative process led to the finalization of the design documents.

The redesign of St. George’s Square is proposed now as the City prepares to reconstruct Wyndham, Quebec and Baker Streets to replace aging underground infrastructure and provide servicing to the Baker Street redevelopment. The planned work presents a logical opportunity to renew St. George’s Square. Taking that opportunity would be a more holistic approach to renewing Guelph’s downtown within the existing $18.5 million, 10-year capital envelope.

While these proposed documents establish direction for future projects, staff will continue to engage the public as they advance through the detailed design phase to make refinements and improvements to design.

“The documents going before PBEE in August are part of the continued implementation of the City’s plans for significant residential and employment growth downtown,” explains Guelph’s corporate manager of downtown renewal, Ian Panabaker. “They’re part of the planning for the significant renewal of the downtown to create a more socially and economically vibrant place, and to reinforce its role   as a major destination and an emerging urban neighbourhood.”

 

For more information

 

Ian Panabaker

Corporate Manager, Downtown Renewal
Finance & Enterprise Services

519-822-1260 extension 2475

ian.panabaker@guelph.ca

 

David de Groot

Senior Urban Designer
519-822-1260 extension 2358
david.degroot@guelph.ca

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John Galt Day celebrates Guelph’s civic holiday in Market Square

 

CORPUS Dance Company to perform Camping Royale

 

GUELPH, ON, Friday, July 25, 2014 – On Saturday, August 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. everyone is invited to Market Square in downtown Guelph to celebrate John Galt Day.

Contemporary dance company CORPUS brings their latest show, Camping Royale, to Market Square at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. The show offers a surreal and comical look at a pair of royal queens as they experience camping and must use their creativity to survive in the wild. The show is presented with the support of The Ontario Arts Council. A video demo of Camping Royale can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XD7kjENQu4.

The celebration also offers free family-friendly activities such as face painting, water play, and hands-on crafts. A variety of Guelph Farmers’ Market craft and food vendors will also be on site.

“It’s a great mid-summer opportunity to gather friends and family for some lighthearted entertainment, food, crafts and water play in celebration of our city and community,” says Ella Pauls, manager of Cultural Development. There will be free parking at the Fountain Street parking lot for the duration of the event.

As part of the civic celebrations, Locomotive 6167 will be unveiled at 11 a.m. at its location on Farquhar Street, east of Wynham Street. The ribbon cutting ceremony marks the end of restorations of Locomotive 6167 and its handover to the Guelph Museums.

About John Galt

John Galt was a prominent Scottish novelist who founded Guelph in 1827. As the superintendent of The Canada Company, a large land company in London, England, he conceived the idea of building a town to stimulate and direct the agricultural settlement of the area. Galt planned the community with its distinctive radial design, quite different than the gridiron plan of most cities, making Guelph a unique and special place.

Visit guelph.ca/marketsquare

For more information

Danna Evans

River Run Facility Manager

Culture and Tourism

City of Guelph

T 519-822-1260 extension 2621

E danna.evans@riverrun.ca

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Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. appoints new Chief Executive Officer

 

 

Guelph, ON, July 23, 2014 – The Board of Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. (GMHI), the City of Guelph’s municipal holding company, has appointed Barry Chuddy as its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Chuddy formerly served as the CEO of Guelph Hydro Inc. He replaces Ann Pappert, the City of Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer, who has served as CEO of GMHI since its inception.

 

“We are thrilled that Barry Chuddy has accepted this new role. His extensive knowledge of the Guelph Hydro group of companies, his understanding of the City’s aspirations for GHMI and the Community Energy Initiative, and his strong relationships with City staff will be great assets to the holding company,” said Karen Farbridge, Guelph’s Mayor and Chair of GMHI. “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Ann Pappert for her leadership in developing GMHI to where it is today.”

 

Mr. Chuddy’s leadership of GMHI comes as the holding company is responding to a number of exciting business opportunities and seeking to build value for the community. Next month, Guelph City Council will review a business case study and related materials supporting a proposal to amalgamate Guelph Hydro Inc., a holding company for Guelph’s electrical utility, and GMHI.

 

Pankaj Sardana, who is currently Guelph Hydro Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed as interim Chief Executive Officer of Guelph Hydro Inc.

 

For more information:

 

Karen Farbridge

Mayor

Chair, Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc.

519-837-5643

mayor@guelph.ca

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Guelph’s Official Plan protects Guelph’s rivers, wetlands and natural spaces

 

Natural Heritage System policies now in effect

 

Guelph, ON, July 23, 2014 – The City of Guelph’s Official Plan Amendment for the Natural Heritage System (OPA 42) was approved by the Ontario Municipal Board on June 4 and is now in effect.

 

“The City’s Natural Heritage System is a combination of natural heritage features and areas including wetlands, rivers, woodlands, valleylands, wildlife habitats, restoration areas and wildlife crossings,” explained Melissa Aldunate, manager of policy planning and urban design. “The approval of OPA 42 brings into effect new Official Plan policies that demonstrate Guelph’s environmental commitment by providing a strong framework for long-term protection of the City’s Natural Heritage System.”

 

On June 4, the City submitted OPA 42, also known as the Natural Heritage System, to the Ontario Municipal Board for approval. The submission consolidated all of the decisions made on the appeals over the past three years. The Board issued a decision approving OPA 42, which came into effect as of June 4, 2014.

 

The Official Plan policies for the Natural Heritage System establish minimum standards for development within the city to protect natural heritage features and areas including:

  • Greater protection of woodland and wetland features, including requirements for protective buffers.
  • Protection of portions of the Paris Galt Moraine.
  • Support for the management, enhancement and restoration of the City’s Urban Forest and the Urban Forest Management Plan.

 

About the Official Plan – Envision Guelph

 

Guelph’s Official Plan, Envision Guelph, will direct growth and development over the next 20 years. The policies included in the plan encourage well-designed, walkable, transit-friendly neighbourhoods; promote economic vitality and innovation; support social well-being; and incorporate goals of Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative.

 

“Guelph values its rivers and green spaces, and the City’s Official Plan continues to make the environment a priority—protecting, preserving and enhancing the city’s natural assets and ecological systems as the city continues to grow,” said Aldunate.

 

Guelph’s Official Plan review process was undertaken in three phases. Phase 1 dealt with Official Plan Amendment 39, which brought the City’s Official Plan into conformity with the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. OPA 39 is now in effect. Phase 2 dealt with Official Plan Amendment 42, which introduced policies for the Natural Heritage System. OPA 42 is now is effect. Phase 3 deals with Official Plan Amendment 48, and is the final phase of the Official Plan Update. Phase 3 ensures that Guelph’s Official Plan is in conformity with provincial legislation and is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement. OPA 48 is currently under appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.

 

Related links

 

 

For more information

 

Melissa Aldunate

Manager of Policy Planning and Urban Design

Planning Services

519-822-1260 extension 2361

melissa.aldunate@guelph.ca

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Transit Update: Picket line protocol, City parking facilities and facility hours for bus pass refunds

 

 

Guelph, ON, July 21, 2014—The City of Guelph is sharing information regarding a picket line protocol, downtown parking and refund location hours.

Picket line protocol

City of Guelph representatives met with the ATU Local 1189 executive and Guelph Police Services to agree on a picket line protocol, which includes picket line locations and rules and expectations to govern picket line conduct. The City and ATU agree to act in a respectful and responsible manner throughout the lockout.

Picketing will be limited to three locations: City Hall, Guelph Central Station and the Guelph Transit offices.

Parking at City facilities

There has been no impact to the City’s public parking facilities after the first day of the transit lockout. The hundreds of hourly parking users and 1,400 monthly pass holders can use the facilities as they would normally.

 

Facility hours for bus pass refunds

Starting Wednesday, July 23, refunds to Guelph Transit bus passes are being offered at City Hall, Evergreen Seniors Community Centre, Victoria Road Recreation Centre and West End Community Centre. Details on options for refunds can be seen here >>

 

The hours for refunds at the four sites will vary to provide opportunities to match the availability of Guelph Transit bus pass holders.

 

 

  Wed July 23 Thu July 24 Fri July 25 Sat July 26 Sun July 27
City Hall 8:30 am – 7 pm 8:30 am – 7 pm 8:30 am – 4 pm 10 am – 3 pm not available
West End 7 am – 8 pm 7 am – 8 pm 7 am – 8 pm 8 am – 4 pm 8 am – 4 pm
Victoria Road 8:30 am – 4 pm 8:30 am – 4 pm 8:30 am – 4 pm not available not available
Evergreen 8:30 am – 4 pm 8:30 am – 4 pm 8:30 am – 4 pm not available not available

 

For updates, frequently asked questions and transportation alternatives, please visit guelphtransit.ca.

 

For information about ATU negotiations, please visit guelph.ca/atu.

 

For media inquiries

Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260  extension 3356

stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

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