From the April 20, 2016 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
Council approves implementation plan for waste collection changes
Regional Council has approved an implementation plan for curbside waste collection changes. The Plan includes an enhanced public outreach and education program, introduction of a bag tag program, and support for citizens as they transition to the new service standards which come into effect in March 2017. In order to prepare for the implementation of the new collection contract, $799,000 will be added to the 2016 Waste Management Division Operating Budget, which will be funded from the Tax Stabilization Reserve Fund, with no impact on the tax levy. Net contract cost savings to Regional taxpayers is anticipated to be approximately $2.6 million per year.
Council appoints Ombudsman for the Region of Waterloo
Council appointed Agree Incorporated as the Region's Ombudsman. In October 2015, Council agreed to pursue the hiring of their own Ombudsman for the Region and the cities of Cambridge and Waterloo, as well as the Townships of Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich. A local Ombudsman will be better positioned to understand and address complaints within the local context of Waterloo Region. Staff have been preparing and updating complaints processes across the Region which will be shared with the new Ombudsman. Ombudsman is an office of last resort for citizens to bring forward unresolved complaints.
Wilmot community new BusPLUS Route 77 Service approved
Regional Council approved the Wilmot pilot transit program. Service will begin Monday, April 25, 2016 and will continue until March 31, 2017. This pilot service was made possible by a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation in 2015. The grant allows Grand River Transit (GRT) to begin providing weekday peak service connecting New Hamburg and Baden to Kitchener and Waterloo at The Boardwalk satellite terminal. The route will be operated as part of the GRT BusPLUS service using smaller contracted vehicles provided by Voyageur Transportation Services. A unique feature of the route will be a flex option that will allow the route to serve a larger area by serving parts of the route upon request only. Monitoring and evaluation will occur during the pilot period to determine the success of the program.
Region promotes the 2016 Census
In May 2016, Statistics Canada will conduct a census. The census will consist of two mandatory surveys, the short form and the long form census. Official census day in Canada is May 2, 2016. Every household in Canada is required to complete and submit all census forms they receive. Regional Council is encouraging all Waterloo Region residents to complete their census forms. Census data is a very important data source for our community. The information collected is critical for government organizations, as decisions are based on analysis made possible by information that is collected. It is used across the organization and throughout the community for numerous purposes.
Purchasing of eBooks
The Region has formally endorsed the 2016 Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) resolution requesting the Federal Government to examine publishers' current practices in making eBooks available at public libraries. Region of Waterloo Library has experienced increased demand for eBooks in recent years, however, pricing practices used by many publishers limits the purchasing power of public libraries. Libraries are often charged 10 to 15 times the consumer price for an eBook. It is hoped that the FCM resolution brings awareness to this issue.
ION public art
Council has approved the spending of $385,000 from the Public Art Reserve Fund for up to seven artwork projects to be incorporated into the ION Light Rail Transit corridor. One piece (Pin Art by Ken Hall) is currently being commissioned for the Cambridge Centre Transit Terminal. Other artworks will be selected by a jury for ION stops in Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge.
Region supports provincial eCigarette regulations
The Region is supporting the Government of Ontario for its continued efforts to protect Ontarians by strengthening the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act (2015). The provincial government is recommending changes that would strengthen the Smoke-Free Ontario Act by preventing youth from using eCigarettes, minimizing visual cues of eCigarettes, and limiting challenges in enforcement of existing smoke-free laws.
Substance use, opioid and overdose trends
The Region will ask the provincial and federal governments to develop consistent monitoring and surveillance of opioid use and overdoses in Ontario and Canada. Problematic substance use, particularly overdose, is an issue of public health importance in Waterloo Region, Ontario, and Canada. It is also of concern to many partners including Police and the Crime Prevention Council, and members of the Integrated Drugs Strategy. Public Health continues to work with its community partners to improve and expand overdose education. Despite local work on harm reduction and surveillance initiatives, leadership is required at the national and provincial level to monitor substance use, and prevent overdose deaths, especially those caused by opioids.
Child Care wage enhancement agreement
Council approved a funding contract with Sunshine Montessori School in Kitchener under the new Child Care Wage Enhancement initiative. This initiative aims to close the wage gap between registered early childhood educators (RECEs) working in the school system and those in the licensed child care sector. It supports an increase of up to $2 per hour, plus 17.5 per cent benefits in 2016. As the Consolidated Municipal Service Manger, the Region of Waterloo is responsible for licensed child care.
The following tenders/contracts were approved by Council:
- $6,766,920.85 to H2O Ontario Inc. to complete the Waterloo Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade. And $984,000 plus applicable taxes to AECOM Canada Ltd. to extend its agreement with the Region.
- $4,161,063.94 to Capital Paving Inc for Fischer-Hallman Road Improvements, Ottawa Street to Bleams Road, City of Kitchener.
- $3,822,745 plus applicable taxes to Steed and Evans Limited for widening Ira Needles Boulevard and Roundabouts South of Thorndale Drive to Chablis Drive, City of Waterloo. The Region also approved an increase in project costs of $1,067,694.81 for construction of the Thorndale Drive Extension, including roundabout, storm sewer and watermain on behalf of City of Waterloo.
- $3,468,800 plus applicable taxes to M.J. Dixon Construction Ltd. for the Cambridge Centre Terminal (a new satellite transit terminal).
- $1,979,233 to E&E Seegmiller Limited for Hutchison Road and William Hastings Line Reconstruction, Village of Crosshill, Township of Wellesley.
- $1,177,077 plus applicable taxes to Capital Paving Inc. for Victoria Street improvements, Fischer-Hallman Road to Eastforest Trail and asphalt resurfacing, City of Kitchener. The Region also approved an increase in project costs of $6,569.45 for work on behalf of City of Kitchener.
- $891,487 plus applicable taxes to Carlington Construction Inc. for the rehabilitation of the Nafziger Road bridge, Township of Wilmot.
- $169,900 plus applicable taxes to Velocity Mechanical Inc. for MRC HVAC/BAS upgrades.
- $167,352 plus applicable taxesto Diversey Canada Inc. for Sunnyside Home Kitchen and Café Cleaning products.
- $123,300 to Voyager Transportation Services to operate the Wilmot Community transit pilot service from April 25, 2016 to March 31,
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
@ 7 p.m.
For further information, contact:
Bryan Stortz, Director, Corporate Communications, 519-575-4408
Regional Clerk's Office, 519-575-4420