From the February 11, 2015 Regional Council meeting:
Council Info is a summary of discussion and the major items presented at Council meetings. It is circulated immediately following each meeting. You are encouraged to quote from and copy this information. Please refer to the minutes for an official record of the meeting. Watch the Regional Council webcast.
Provincial pilot grant program proposal could introduce transit services to Wilmot Township
Regional Council has instructed staff to proceed in pursuing a one year pilot program to introduce a transit service from Wilmot Township into the City of Kitchener. Funds for the expansion of this service will come from the Ministry of Transportation which has established the Community Transportation Pilot Grant Program. The grant provides financial assistance to municipalities for the development and implementation of community transportation initiatives. If successful in the application, the province would provide the Region up to $100,000 to introduce transit services into the Township of Wilmot by using smaller vehicles from the BusPLUS contracted services.
Community input welcome for Laurel Creek Headwaters Case Study
Regional Council has endorsed an initiative to examine how best to balance transportation and environmental considerations in Environmentally Sensitive Landscapes (ESL). Using Laurel Creek Headwaters as a case study, this study will seek the best methods to: protect and enhance the social value of ESL, protect creeks, wetlands, and wildlife from the effects of traffic and required road maintenance, retain or potentially enhance the scenic rural character of roads, assess the impacts of recreational road uses and identify potential issues affecting the safety of road users. A public open house will be held on Thursday, February 26, 2015 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Waterloo Region Emergency Services Training and Research Complex, located at 1001 Erb's Road in Waterloo. Details of this public open house will be advertised in the newspaper and online.
Community Alzheimer Program to open in Waterloo
Council approved funding from the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network to open a Waterloo location of the Community Alzheimer Program. Currently, Region of Waterloo Seniors' Services runs Community Alzheimer Programs in Kitchener and Cambridge. The programs offer a range of services for people with mid to late stage Alzheimer's disease or related dementias, including day programs and an overnight respite program. More than 400 participants and their families are served every year through these programs. Region of Waterloo staff is currently securing a facility for the Waterloo-based program.
Child care purchase of service
Council approved a service contract with Sunny Day Care in Kitchener. The Region has service agreements with many licensed early learning and child care programs. These agreements allow the Region to purchase child care space on behalf of subsidy eligible families in licensed programs in order to support choice for families with a wide range of requirements including special needs placements.
Child care wage enhancement program approved
Council approved funding for the Provincial Child Care Wage Enhancement Program. This program aims to close the wage gap between registered early childhood educators (RECEs) working in the publicly funded education system and those in the licensed child care sector. In addition, this program will help stabilize child care operators by supporting their ability to retain RECEs.
Council renews agreement on behalf of Waterloo Region Education and Public Network partners
The Region is part of a joint venture with the cities, local school boards, the Cambridge and Waterloo library boards and Conestoga College that share a high speed fibre optic network. The partnership has helped governments and public sector partners operate an affordable, accessible, dedicated network at a reduced shared cost for 15 years. The renewed agreement with Rogers Communications means the group's 320 sites will be supported for another five years.
Market rates for purchase of service related to child care fee subsidy for licensed Early Learning and Care operators approved
Effective April 1, 2015, the Region of Waterloo will pay full market rates for purchase of service related to child care fee subsidy for licensed Early Learning and Care operators in Waterloo Region. This will address the increasing gap between the daily per diem paid by the Region for a purchase of service space and the rate paid by full fee paying families, and it will help ease the financial strain on operators who are already feeling increased pressure due to the impact of full day kindergarten. Community consultations identified that the gap between purchase of service and market rates is one of the factors that is contributing to the instability of the child care system.
The following tenders/contracts were approved by Council:
- $5,408,699 to Barber-Collins Security Services Ltd. for building, property and mobile security services.
- $1,119,702 to Overland Custom Coach Inc. for the purchase of 10 Wheelchair Accessible Mini Buses in 2015 for Grand River Transit.
- $417,653.65 to Harold Stecho Electric Ltd. for William St. Pumping Station electrical upgrades phase 2.
- $376,629 to Bio Bob's Corporation for removal/disposal services for backwash water from 14 water treatment facilities.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 7 p.m.
For further information, contact:
Bryan Stortz, Director, Corporate Communications, 519-575-4408
Or the Regional Clerk's Office, 519-575-4420