Making Decisions that Matter for February 21, 2024

Posted on Wednesday February 21, 2024

With input from the community, Regional Council sets the direction for the Region as an organization and makes decisions that help improve the lives of Waterloo Region residents every day. Please refer to the minutes for an official record of the meeting.

Council moves forward on River Road extension to ease congestion

Council has approved the contract for the extension of River Road that will ease traffic by diverting traffic from Fairway Road in Kitchener. The $11.7 million project will build a section of road from Bleams Road roundabout on Manitou Drive to west of the Goodrich/Wabanaki Drive intersection. The project will include municipal stormwater utilities, street lighting, sidewalks and multi-use trails, as well as an underground pipe to supply water from the Hidden Valley reservoir to the Mannheim Water Treatment Plant. Work begins in March and is expected to be completed in 2025.

Region to explore using its land and buildings to develop child care spaces

The Region is working to increase access to licensed child care by exploring the use of its unoccupied buildings and lands to develop non-profit spaces. Council approved a plan to consult with municipalities, school boards, post-secondary institutions, hospitals, and other community partners and businesses to explore creating affordable spaces where it is needed most.

Council supports arts and culture sector with additional funding

Council approved funding for the recipients of the Key Cultural Institutions grant program, in addition to what was originally budgeted for 2024. The Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Drayton Entertainment, and THEMUSEUM will receive a combined total of $840,603 this year. Staff will also review the funding model for the grant program to provide clarity for the next round of funding requests.

Council approves design for rehabilitation of popular historic bridge

Council has approved the design concept for the West Montrose covered bridge rehabilitation. The project, funded in part by the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), will include removing the old steel Bailey trusses and replacing deteriorated wooden truss members and bridge elements. An overhead restriction bar will prevent oversized vehicles from entering and damaging the bridge. Construction is expected to start in the spring of next year. Built in 1881, the bridge is Ontario’s last remaining covered bridge and is a popular tourist destination. 

Council approves measures to increase accessible taxi service

Regional Council has approved several measures to increase accessible taxi service in Waterloo Region, including additional funding for more subsidized trips and accessible vans. Measures include:

  • Increase Taxi Scrip program funds from $40,000/year to $55,000/year;
  • Increase funds for the vehicle conversion project from $10,000 per vehicle to $40,000 over 5 years to support the purchase of new vehicles;
  • Increase Fare Subsidy program support from $2.00/trip to $5.00/trip; and
  • Increase the meter drop rate from $3.50 to $4.50, in line with other municipalities.

The fund, collected from auxillary taxis, aims to bolster the ability of metered taxi operators to provide accessible service.

Council extends Every Child Matters bus mural

The Region will extend the 2023-2024 Every Child Matters bus mural to run through to September 29, 2024. The Every Child Matters bus mural was unveiled on September 30, 2023 at the Every Child Matters walk hosted by Healing of The Seven Generations, and features artwork from indigenous artist Tsista Kennedy. Extending the artwork upholds the Region’s commitment to advancing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

Contact Us