Region of Waterloo Council Info From the Oct. 21, 2015 Regional Council meeting
Waterloo Region - Council Info is a summary of discussion and the major items presented at Council meetings. It is circulated immediately following each meeting.
Council votes on service review
Regional Council debated a number of recommendations made by KPMG related to the Service Review. Regional Council supported recommendations to further explore improvement opportunities related to Information Technology Services, to complete the Airport Master Plan/Business Plan and to consider KPMG's recommendations when negotiating the next road maintenance agreement with the three cities. Council did not support other KPMG recommendations, and voted to keep Regional Child Care are centres open, to continue providing the Employment Ontario program and continue with the current responsibilities for road maintenance in the Townships.
Arts investments approved
Regional Council approved continued funding to local core arts and culture organizations, including the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, THEMUSEUM, and the Grand Philharmonic Choir for the period 2016 through 2019. The Region will work with the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo to establish a collaborative funding and assessment process for these key cultural institutions. The Region continues to support individual artists, small and emerging cultural organizations, and special projects of larger organizations through the Waterloo Region Arts Fund.
Child care service agreement
Council approved a service contract with Morningside Montessori Inc. in Cambridge. The Region currently has service agreements with 135 licensed early learning and child care programs. These service agreements allow the Region of Waterloo to purchase child care spaces on behalf of subsidy eligible families in a licensed early learning and child care programs. These agreements support choice for subsidy eligible families with a wide range of requirements including special needs placements. Morningside Montessori is a for-profit licensed child care centre. This program offers licensed spaces for toddler and preschool age children.
Council approves the Region's Strategic Plan for 2015 - 2018
Council has approved the new strategic plan following significant public and staff input. The plan identifies the most pressing issues and needs of our community, therefore providing focus for the organization on key priorities. The strategic plan guides decision making and helps inform the annual budget. The new vision is Waterloo Region: A community where people matter and ideas grow. The five focus areas determined by Council are: thriving economy; sustainable transportation; environment and sustainable growth; healthy, safe and inclusive communities; and; responsive and engaging government services.
Laurel Creek Headwaters ESL Open House
Regional Council authorized staff to hold an Open House on October 27, 2015 in order to present preliminary findings of the Laurel Creek Headwaters Environmentally Sensitive Landscape (ESL) Case Study and to receive further public input to inform the completion of the study. The overall goal of the study was to identify opportunities to better balance transportation and environmental considerations in the Region's ESLs. Regional staff subsequently initiated this work focusing on the Wilmot Line-Kressler Road corridor within the Laurel Creek Headwaters ESL as a case study.
Ottawa Street land expropriation
Regional Council has approved an application for approval to expropriate partial takings of lands for the widening and reconstruction of Ottawa Street from Dreger Avenue to Midland Road in the City of Kitchener. The lands proposed to be expropriated are required for the reconstruction of Ottawa Street and will include new cycling lanes, curb and gutters, sidewalks and multi-use trails, transit stops, as well as replacement of storm sewer and a trunk water main.
Source Protection Plan Incentive program
Regional Council has approved in principle, the Source Protection Incentive Program (SPIP). Under the Source Protection Plan, the Region is required to implement many policies, including providing incentives, to protect local drinking water quality. The principles upon which the SPIP will be designed are share the cost of projects and encourage beneficial management practices. The program details, including project guidelines and grant rates, will be brought back to Council for consideration prior to the SPP effective date (anticipated spring or summer 2016). In addition, Regional Council approved offering incentives for septic owners to pump out their tanks. By August 16, 2017, local area municipalities are required by the Ontario Building Code to inspect septic systems considered "significant" in the Source Protection Plan. To encourage early participation to help the municipalities meet the deadline, the grant rates decrease each year until the deadline.
The following tenders/contracts were approved by Council:
• $364,223.00 to Frank Cowan Company Limited for the 2015/16 General Insurance Program for Waterloo Region Housing and that the Chief Financial Officer be authorized to sign all documentation pertaining to such insurance coverage.
• $300,000 to Innovative Surface Solutions Canada for the supply of winter maintenance de-icing liquid.
• $104,344.90 to Ontario Limited Dundee Nursery and Landscaping for the snowplowing of the Region's Operations Centre and surrounding properties for one , five month period beginning Nov. 15, 2015 and ending Apr. 15, 2016.