Guelph’s annual Clean and Green Community Cleanup

Hey Ward Twovians……. Come and Join myself and Andy Van Hellemond to help clean up Ward 2!

Let me know if you’d like to join our gang! James     james.gordon@guelph.ca

It’s time to register for Guelph’s annual Clean and Green Community Cleanup

Register by April 17 to participate in this city-wide cleanup event

Guelph, ON, March 30, 2015 – The City of Guelph and a number of local partners are looking for volunteers to help pick up litter during the annual Clean and Green Community Cleanup event taking place Saturday, April 25.

Residents have until Friday, April 17 to register for this year’s Clean and Green Community Cleanup. Volunteers can register by calling the Operations Department at 519-837-5628 extension 3305 or going online to guelph.ca.

The City of Guelph, together with Tim Horton’s, Guelph & Wellington Development Association, Terra View Homes, Guelph Downtown Business Association, Zehrs Markets and M&M Meat Shops are hosting the city-wide cleanup to help remove unsightly litter from our community.

The cleanup takes place Saturday, April 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  Clean-up crews will be picking up litter along predetermined roadways, boulevards, parks and trails that need a spring cleaning.

Clean-up crews will be provided with supplies and instructions for collecting litter safely.

All volunteers will be invited to attend an appreciation barbecue following the event.

The Clean and Green event is one of Guelph’s largest community environmental clean-up events.  Last year, over 4,000 kilograms of garbage was removed from neighbourhood streets, green spaces and community parks by more than 850 volunteers. That work helped to ensure more enjoyable common spaces for everyone.

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New Guelph Transit co-fare rules take effect April 13

Guelph, ON, March 31, 2015 – Starting April 13 Guelph Transit, in partnership with Metrolinx, will update its co-fare program to help reduce the chance for fare evasion.

Effective April 13, GO Transit riders will be able to take advantage of the $0.60 co-fare when they board a Guelph Transit bus and present one of the following:

·         A valid single-ride GO Transit ticket when connecting from a GO Train or GO Bus at Guelph Central Station on any service day. Transfers will be issued for the Guelph Transit system upon request.

·         A valid GO Transit day-pass when connecting to or from a GO Train or GO Bus at Guelph Central Station on any service day. Transfers will be issued for the Guelph Transit system upon request.

·         A PRESTO card between 5:45 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. and between 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. on buses scheduled to arrive at or depart Guelph Central Station during regular weekday service. Transfers will not be issued if passengers are required to take more than one Guelph Transit bus to reach Guelph Central Station; these passengers will be required to pay the co-fare at each boarding.

Riders will no longer be able to use the PRESTO card to receive the co-fare rate on Guelph Transit outside of the specified hours.

“Guelph Transit is aware that this change to the co-fare program will impact those GO Transit riders who use PRESTO cards outside of the specified time frames, and we apologize for this inconvenience,” said Phil Meagher, general manager of Guelph Transit. “Guelph Transit is taking this step to better ensure the co-fare program works the way it was intended so only those who are eligible will fairly receive the discount.”

Over the past year, fraudulent use of the co-fare program increased significantly. As a result, Guelph Transit and Metrolinx are clarifying the rules for the program.

The co-fare program between Guelph Transit and Metrolinx was introduced in January 2012 to encourage GO Transit riders to use Guelph Transit to connect with GO Train and Bus service at Guelph Central Station.

“Guelph Transit is committed to multi-modal transportation and hopes GO Transit passengers will continue to use Guelph Transit toconnect with GO Transit at Guelph Central Station,” says Derrick Thomson, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Public Services.

Guelph Transit riders who connect with GO Transit using a PRESTO card, but travel outside of the program hours, are encouraged to purchase a monthly Guelph Transit pass or daily tickets.

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Budget night

good morning TwoVille,

It was an epic 8 hour budget meeting last night, a culmination of many weeks of hard work and dedication by Staff and council. I want to congratulate all for the quality of the dialogue and for the outcome last night.

Our taxes went up more than some wanted….. but we are still very much in line with other communities our size, and I am confident that residents will come to appreciate the value that they are getting for the tax contributions. It’s a community based, value based budget that addresses important issues like transit, housing, sustainability, safety, including items added last night that will benefit those of us who need support the most.

Here are some notes I made to present last night about affordable housing, and it outlines what I’ve been hearing from Ward 2 about what their priorities are. Thanks to all for your input… keep it coming:

James

Affordable Housing

Keeping a healthy reserve for affordable housing is HEALTHY for our whole community…. Can we justify this expense? I think we CAN because it is NOT an expense… it’s an investment in the well-being of our community. As many of the informed, articulate delegates who spoke about this issue last month said-  during the municipal election 10 of the 13 of us around this horseshoe identified affordable housing as a top priority for this new council. That commitment by those ten did not come from their own personal opinions, it came from canvassing our neighbourhoods, from listening to our electorate, from hearing the compelling stories of those who struggle to have their basic needs met. An investment in affordable accessible housing, especially in my view SOCIAL housing, now, will pay for itself quickly in reduced health care costs, reduced crime, increased security and safety, and it will allow more people, once housed in a way that gives them a sense of self-esteem, sustainability and equality, to CONTRIBUTE to our community as taxpayers and engaged citizens.

There are those here who STILL will say we can’t afford this, and I would suggest that there are compelling arguments that suggest we cannot afford NOT to do this. Some say this is more a provincial and county matter, but I’d like to remind us all that fiscally this city is sound, and that when other levels of government fail in meeting the needs of our residents, we have a responsibility to step up. For those who say this might result in a small tax hike, I believe that our citizens are looking for a community-focused budget that leaves no one behind, that is inclusive, innovative, and visionary. I believe that our enlightened populace expects us to be fiscally responsible, AND that they also understand the VALUE that they get for their tax dollars, and that with some of the community-minded amendments we are seeing tonight, we will still be in line with other cities our size in this province.

I believe that a majority of Guelphites want us to make sure that our fiscal policies are aimed at our quality of life, not at an artificial bottom line that only helps those who need help the LEAST. They want to know that our budget is aimed also at those most at-risk neighbourhoods that need help the MOST… that we are addressing the widening gap between the wealthiest and the poorest of us. When that gap is too great, NONE of us thrive. Addressing affordable housing is a do-able positive step in addressing that gap. We can send a strong signal  that we are pro-actively addressing an area that we have fallen sadly behind in, in a city that IS for the most part prospering. Please, let us be be bold, let us be responsible, and let us keep the commitment we have made to keep housing as a priority by supporting this amendment.

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2015 budget focuses on maintaining services for Guelph residents

City council approves 3.55 per cent tax increase over 2014

Guelph, ON, March 26, 2015 – Earlier this morning, Guelph City Council approved a $207 million operating budget and a $52 million capital budget for 2015. This represents a 3.55 per cent tax increase over 2014; an average increase of $114 per household based on a home valued at $301,770. Combined with changes to Guelph’s water and wastewater rates, the impact on an average household is roughly $145 in 2015.

“The 2015 budget reinforces the City’s commitment to serving our community and delivering public service better,” says Ann Pappert, Guelph’s chief administrative officer. “This budget positions us to maintain existing infrastructure, systems and programs for the community to enjoy. It allows us to deliver exceptional service by adding resources where they are needed most, and it responds to the community’s needs.”

The 2015 budget balances affordability and predictability with excellent service and value for taxpayers. Recognizing the need to enhance services to meet the changing needs of the community, the 2015 Budget focuses on improving and building on work already underway such as the expansion of two-way GO service, active transportation (Woodlawn multi-use corridor) and continued work on the transit technology plan. The budget provides room for the City to expand services to the community through additional emergency services personnel.

During the meeting Council also approved operating and capital budgets for all Local Boards and Shared Services—Guelph Police Service, Guelph Public Library, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and the Downtown Guelph Business Association. Combined, these budgets use approximately 36 per cent of the City’s tax revenues collected through property taxes.

On January 28, City Council approved non-tax-supported operating and capital budgets for Guelph’s Water and Wastewater Services, Ontario Building Code Administration and Provincial Offences Court Administration.

Guelph’s approved 2015 budget will be compiled and published on guelph.ca/budget in the coming months.

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Break-in at the Farmer’s Market

From City Staff
This is to advise you that the Guelph Farmers Market has suffered break in.
Both staff from the City and Guelph Police Services are on scene and an investigation is underway.
The damage is substantial to both the interior walls as well as the vendors equipment but we hope to ‎work towards having the market open this coming Saturday but if we cannot will work with our communications staff to inform the public through various media outlets.

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City asks residents and businesses to protect indoor plumbing

Guelph, ON, February 24, 2015—Ongoing extreme cold temperatures are causing both City–owned water services and household plumbing to freeze. The City has installed approximately 30 temporary water lines since the beginning of February.

Unlike last year’s problems with frozen City–owned water services, private household plumbing is a more common problem this year, especially where uninsulated household pipes are exposed to cold temperatures such as in cellars and basements.

“This year we’re getting as many calls about pipes freezing inside people’s homes as we are about frozen City services. We’re working as fast as we can to ensure all customers have access to water,” said Peter Busatto, general manager of the City’s Water Services department. “People can protect their household plumbing by keeping pipes warm and insulating them.”

The City’s website offers tips for preventing and dealing with frozen household pipes such as keeping the areas where pipes run warm by opening doors and cupboards, and by insulating pipes. If a household pipe does freeze, the City suggests calling a plumber for assistance, or using a space heater or hair dryer to slowly warm up the frozen section.

The City is working with all affected households and businesses to ensure continued access to water. Crews are working hard to thaw service lines or install temporary water services where possible, and in some cases it may take until mid-April for some services to thaw.

Record cold February temperatures and increased winter frost depth are contributing to the freezing and disruption of regular water services. As cold temperatures continue, the City asks residents and businesses to take proactive steps to protect indoor plumbing. Tips are posted online at guelph.ca/frozenwater.

As the air temperature warms, customers may experience leaks where expanding ice has broken or cracked previously frozen pipes. Customers that have had frozen pipes should watch for leaks over the coming weeks, and can visit guelph.ca/fix-a-leak for information about using their water meter to identify leaks.

Get more information about frozen water services including household tips at guelph.ca/frozenwater.

Residents or businesses experiencing a frozen water services, should call Water Services:

  • Regular business hours, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., call 519-837-5627
  • Afterhours, weekends and holidays, call 1-866-630-9242

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capital Budget

Dear Ward Twovians… It’s budget season….. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the proposed capital budget… as a council we’ll be debating it in the coming weeks…… It’s all available at the guelph.ca website…. and it might be helpful to start with the introduction at

http://guelph.ca/wp-content/uploads/ProposedCapitalInvestmentStrategy2015-2017-Introduction1.pdf

There is a forum for asking questions of staff on the website too, and if you’d like to share your thoughts with me, please send them to james.gordon@guelph.ca

thanks

James

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