City of Waterloo council summary from December 14, 2015
Waterloo - The council summary below provides a snapshot of the major items presented at this evening’s council meeting.
2016 annual debt and financial obligation limit calculation updated
In 2014, the city paid approximately $7.2 million in principal and interest charges on a total debt of
$70.2 million or 4.99% of net operating revenues. The city has a capacity for an additional $28.8
million in principal and interest payments before reaching the debt repayment limit as set by
Provincial regulations. This equates to additional debt capacity of approximately $281 million. If
capital projects proceed as planned, there is enough capacity for debenture and/or long term
Interim spending authority approved
Council has approved interim spending authority to staff so that they may continue to operate
effectively, deliver its programs and meet its financial commitments during the period in 2016 before
the budget is approved.
Enterprise 2016 fees and charges approved
In light of a series of reviews currently taking place or to begin in 2016, fees and charges will not be
increased in 2016 for comprehensive business licensing, residential rental licensing, and building
standards. Cemetery user fees, will be adjusted in 2016 to reflect an overall average increase of
Servicing agreement for 338 Albert St. approved
Council has approved a servicing agreement with IN8 Developments Inc. that gives permission to
extend a 300 mm diameter municipal storm sewer from 292 Hemlock St. to 338 Albert St.
Condo conversion application recommendations approved for 110 Columbia St. W.
Council has approved comments and feedback provided by city staff on an application received
from the Region of Waterloo for the condominium conversion of 110 Columbia St. W. The site being
considered was built in 2008 and contains 18 residential apartment units, one laundry unit, and 18
Funding agreement with the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre approved
Council has approved a three-year funding agreement between the cities of Kitchener, Cambridge
and Waterloo for the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre. In addition to the ongoing costs of
running the Waterloo satellite office including facility space, utilities, one staff person and other
miscellaneous items the city agrees to pay the City of Kitchener 10 cents per capita (based on the
most recent Canadian census figures for the City of Waterloo) for overall program management
costs, with a projected payment in 2016 set at $9,879.
Erb Street West and Platinum Drive improvements
To facilitate the construction of a new roundabout on Erb Street, west of Ira Needles Boulevard,
council authorized the conveyance of two small parcels of land to the Region of Waterloo as
widenings to Erb Street, and approved opening part of Platinum Drive. The new roundabout will facilitate the construction of a collector road connecting Erb Street and Columbia Street, and
provide access to the West Waterloo Commercial Centre and surrounding employment lands.
2016-2018 operating and capital budget overview
At a finance and strategic planning committee meeting this afternoon, staff presented council with
draft 2016-2018 operating and capital budgets and the 2019-2024 capital budget forecast for their
consideration. Staff presented two options for the proposed tax increase, one slightly more than
inflation and a second in line with inflation. Both budget options include efficiencies of $850,000.
Option one is staff recommended and is slightly more than inflation:
• 2.7% in 2016
• 3.1% in 2017
• 2.6% in 2018
This would equal approximately $37 more per year for the average household.
Option two is in line with inflation and built from a CPIX forecast:
• 2.2% in 2016
• 1.8% in 2017
• 1.8% in 2018
This would equal approximately $26 more per year for the average household.
In addition, staff recommended a water-sanitary-storm user fee increase:
• 5.01% in 2016 (2.40% increase from the region plus 2.61% from the city)
• 5.66% in 2017 (2.04% increase from the region plus 3.62% from the city)
• 4.52% in 2018 (2.21% increase from the region plus 2.31% from the city)
A CPIX equivalent water-sanitary-storm fee user budget has also been provided to council for
consideration. Both budget options include efficiencies of $185,000.
Capital projects receive early approval
Council gave early approval to a series of capital projects totaling $313,000. These projects include
fire rescue personal protective equipment ($56,000), fire rescue small equipment ($33,000),
municipal enforcement consultant and rental housing by law review ($41,000) and infrastructure
virtualization project ($183,000).
Lease agreement with Catherine Fife, MPP approved
Council has approved a lease agreement with Catherine Fife, MPP for 1,500 square feet of space
on the second floor of the Waterloo City Centre. The term of the agreement is from January 22,
2016 through February 28, 2019 with the option to renew twice for four years a piece. $41,500 has
been approved to fund the work required and to cover real estate commissions.
Settlement approved with City of Waterloo staff association
Council has approved the terms of settlement between the City of Waterloo and its staff association,
their largest group of employees (242 members). The agreement includes a four year cost of living
allowance averaging 1.575% over the term of the agreement, benefit reductions in extended health
and dental benefits and parking rates were maintained with minor adjustments. The average cost of
settlement per year is $325,000.