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Posted May 9 , 2013

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Regional Meeting

Waterloo Regional Council Opposes casino

From the May 8, 2013 Regional Council meeting

Waterloo Region - Council Info is a summary of discussion and the major items presented at Council meetings.

Council opposes casino

Council voted against the location of a casino within the Region of Waterloo. This position is to be conveyed to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) and the Province.

All aboard ION

Council approved ION as the new brand name for the Region’s Rapid Transit (RT) service. ION has a number of meanings including ‘going’ in Greek. It links to the region’s academic and scientific communities as well as our electricity heritage. ION emerged as the most preferred option following numerous public consultations and surveys. The next step in the brand process includes developing a logo for ION. More public consultation will be held on this.

Region to enter Rapid Transit payment agreement with Province

As the next step, Regional Council will authorize the execution of the transfer payment agreement with the Province of Ontario for the rapid transit project. In March 2012 and April 2012, the Region received approval-in-principle letters from both the provincial and federal governments respectively, confirming their financial support for the Region’s rapid transit project. Regional staff has met with Ontario Ministry of Transportation staff to negotiate a transfer payment agreement. A template agreement has been drafted to reflect the conditions outlined in the approval-in-principle letter and to confirm the terms and conditions under which the provincial funds will be provided. Negotiations with the Province are proceeding in a cooperative manner and staff will continue to work towards executing the Agreement as soon as possible. A signed transfer payment agreement will represent the final step in the provincial approval of the Region’s rapid transit project and provide the Region with up to $300 million in provincial funding.

GRT improves service

Regional Council approved GRT’s 2013 Transit Service Improvement Plan. The service improvements include implementation of the new 202 iXpress route along the University Avenue corridor, an extension of the existing 201 Fischer-Hallman iXpress from the Columbia Street West and Philip Street intersection to Conestoga Mall, and realignment and improved frequency and hours of service for local routes in Waterloo and Kitchener. The changes will focus on integration with Rapid Transit stations, creating a grid-like network, and more direct travel options. Service improvements would begin on September 2, 2013. Service changes will be communicated to the public through various communications methods, including, Advertisements in local newspapers, radio advertisements, media releases, the GRT website, posters at transit terminals and key locations as well as social media.

2013 transit fare change approved

The 2013 Regional Budget included a seven per cent increase to Grand River Transit (GRT) fares. Fare increases help the transit system keep pace with increasing operating costs, as well as sustain on-going service improvements. Frequent riders will continue to have access to discounted passes and tickets compared to the cash fare, and the most frequent riders of the transit system, using monthly passes, will have a lower increase in their pass price. The cash fare will remain at $3.00. Various programs exist to assist residents who may not have the means to pay the full transit fare. The fare change will be effective from July 1, 2013.

New Woolwich roundabout

Regional Council approved in principle the installation of a single-lane roundabout at the intersection of Line 86/Church Street (Regional Road 86) and Floradale Road (Regional Road 19), in the Township of Woolwich. A review of traffic control options determined that a roundabout would reduce the probability of more fatal collisions. The construction of a roundabout at this intersection will be considered as part of a ‘Roundabout Installation Prioritization Program’ in the 2014 Transportation Capital Program.

Immigration partnership

Council approved an agreement with the United Way of Kitchener-Waterloo and Area for funding of $42,500 for the Immigration Partnership. The mandate of the Immigration Partnership is to help facilitate successful settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees in Waterloo Region by creating and enhancing partnerships and implementing strategies to help newcomers settle, work and belong. The Partnership is funded by the Region of Waterloo, the federal and provincial governments and the United Way of Kitchener-Waterloo and Area.

Funeral rates approved

Council approved a maximum rate of $2,974 for funerals paid for by the Region of Waterloo. The Region covers the cost of funerals for eligible low income individuals.

Maintenance plan approved for West Montrose Bridge

The West Montrose Covered Bridge in the Township of Woolwich is ranked one of the top 10 most historically significant bridges in Waterloo Region and is the last covered bridge in Ontario. In the fall of 2012 a crack in the Bridge’s primary load carrying timber was identified. The bridge was closed and repaired. Public consultations were held to review options for future monitoring and maintenance. The development of a Bridge Management Plan has been approved that includes structural and monitoring improvements, as well as improved communications of the load restriction of the Bridge including signage, the installation of early warning signs on routes leading to the Bridge, updating electronic media and maps such as Google to indicate load restrictions, as well as postcards distributed to each household in the Township. Special thanks and appreciation is extended to the BridgeKeepers (West Montrose Residents Association Inc.) and other community stakeholders for their involvement in monitoring the status of the Bridge.

Tenders/Contracts:

The following tenders/contracts were approved by Council:

· $4,933,315.69 to Steed and Evans Limited for rural recycling and resurfacing in North Dumphries and Wilmot Townships.

· $604,298.85 to Titanium Contracting Inc. for the Fairway Road extension noise walls, retaining walls and sidewalks.

· $442,779.47 to INIT Innovations in Transportation Inc. for 50 real-time passenger information display signs.

· $310,600.00 to CIMA Canada Inc. of Kitchener to provide consulting engineering services for undertaking the Conestogo Plains Water Supply Class Environmental Assessment and Preliminary Design.

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