Planning and Environment Committee

Comité de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement


Minutes 71 / ProcÈs-verbal 71


Tuesday, 13 April 2010, 9:30 a.m.

le mardi 13 avril 2010, 9 h 30


Champlain Room, 110 Laurier Avenue West

Salle Champlain, 110, avenue Laurier ouest



Present / Présent :     Councillor / Conseiller P. Hume (Chair / Président)

            Councillor / Conseillère P. Feltmate (Vice Chair / Vice-présidente)

Councillors / Conseillers M. Bellemare, C. Doucet, D. Holmes, G. Hunter, B. Monette, S. Qadri






No declarations of interest were filed.




Ratification dU procÈs-verbaL


Minutes 70 of the Planning and Environment Committee meeting of Tuesday, 23 March 2010 were confirmed.





DÉCLARATION POUR LES questions SOUS LA Loi sur l’aménagement du territoire


The Chair read a statement relative to the Zoning By-law amendments listed on the agenda.  For the Zoning By-law amendment listed as Item 1 on the agenda, which was submitted before 1 January 2007, it was noted thatif anyone appeals City Council’s decisions on the proposed amendments to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) but does not make oral submissions at this public meeting or does not make written submissions before these proposed amendments are adopted by City Council on 28 April 2010, then the OMB may dismiss all or part of the appeal. 


For the Zoning By-law Amendment listed as Item 2 on the agenda, which was submitted after 1 January 2007, it was noted that only those who made oral submissions at the meeting or written submissions before the amendment is adopted may appeal the matter to the OMB.  In addition, the applicant may appeal the matter to the OMB if Council does not adopt an amendment within 120 days for Zoning and 180 days for an Official Plan Amendment of receipt of the application.


The Chair explained that a comment sheet was available at the door for anyone wishing to submit written comments on these amendments.






Responses to Inquiries: / Réponses aux demandes de renseignements:


OCC 28-08      Designation of two Communities for Increased Density/ Désignation de deux communautés en vue de l’augmentation de la densité







OCC 09-10                                                                                                                             


The Chair noted that there was a delegation who wished to speak to the above noted response to inquiry.


Moved by Councillor D. Holmes


That the Planning and Environment Committee approve the addition of this item for consideration by the committee at today’s meeting, pursuant to section 84(3) of the procedure by-law.




David Flemming, Heritage Ottawa, noted Heritage Ottawa had brought the issue of heritage demolition by neglect to the attention of City Council in 2007, and had worked with City staff prior to the presentation of the report to Planning and Environment Committee (PEC) and Council in April 2009.  He expressed that he had understood there would be a by-law draft in place by the end of fall 2009, and that many of the things outlined in the report would have been completed.  He expressed concern that, as outlined in the inquiry response, this work will not be done until 2011. 


Mr. Flemming wished to stress the urgency of the matter, noting that some buildings had been boarded up for a long time and were in need of some repair, and the City had not moved to ask the owners to do those repairs.  By means of a PowerPoint presentation,

Mr. Flemming showed examples of such buildings that he considered to be at risk or already lost.  A copy of Mr. Flemming’s presentation is held on file with the City Clerk.   He suggested a by-law or protocol was required to enable City staff to move quickly on buildings at risk in heritage areas.  He asked that PEC recommend the process be expedited so something could be done by the end of 2010.


In response to questions from Councillor Holmes, Arlene Gregoire, Chief Building Official, advised that implementation of the April of 2009 report was split between the Emergency and Protective Services (By-law and Regulatory Services) and Planning and Growth Management departments.  She explained that the emergency protocol component was established in the summer of 2009 and is presently in place.  Of the remaining components, Emergency and Protective Services is undertaking an amendment to the Property Standards Bylaw to incorporate standards specific to maintaining and protecting heritage buildings, which would go forward to the Community and Protective Services Committee in early 2010.  She noted the other heritage protection initiatives were within the mandate of the Planning and Growth Management department, and would stay with PEC.  She expressed her understanding that some of the delay was due to the fact that Bylaw and Regulatory Services needed time to consult with property owners, as the impact of the by-law standards would be retroactive, as well as time to prepare the report .  She expressed her understanding that the matter was not being delayed by Legal Services. 


Linda Anderson, Chief, By-Law and Regulatory Services commented that, in addition to the points noted by Ms. Gregoire, By-law staff had recognized and identified the potential for significant financial impacts of amending the By-law.  For example, she indicated that, should the City require a property owner to do extensive repairs to a building and incorporate the heritage features, and the property owner fails to do so, staff would carry out the work and charge it back on the tax roll.  She explained that in some instances, the work to be undertaken and added to the tax roll could exceed the total value of the property.  As a result, staff anticipates there may be a need to put some capital funding in place, which would be part of the consultation and consideration before the report can come forward.


Councillor Holmes surmised that there was not much opportunity for expediting the process.  Ms. Anderson indicated that staff was set to bring back their report to Committee and Council in the first quarter of 2010. 


Committee then received the above-noted Correspondence.










ACS2010-ICS-PGM-0052                                                                                       innes (2)


(This matter is not subject to Bill 51)


An e-mail dated 8 April 2010 was received from Derek Grant with respect to this matter, which is held on file with the City Clerk.


Councillor Doucet expressed concerns about the environmental implications of the tree planting associated with this application and asked for a staff presentation focusing on that aspect. 


Wendy Tse, Planner, provided a PowerPoint presentation summarizing the application, a copy of which is held on file.  She was accompanied by Karin Smadella, Program Manager, Development Review Process (Suburban East.)  In response to Councillor Doucet’s concerns, Ms. Tse remarked that the area in question contains sensitive marine clay, and given the development requirements for servicing and the setback requirements, it is not possible in some cases to plant a tree.  She advised that, in discussion with the developer and with Forestry Services, staff approved the use of root barriers in some cases to allow for trees to be planted in the front yard, adding that the requested Zoning amendments reflect this.


Councillor Doucet commented that problems can arise when developments are approved that do not meet normal City requirements and residents sign on for their own services, such as snow removal or garbage disposal, when subsequent owners realizes they must  pay taxes for services not received in that area.  He suggested this practice created a separate standard for those who build houses in areas that conform to normal zoning requirements and those who do not.  With respect to this specific application, the Councillor expressed particular concern that there would be no shade trees on the street, suggesting this could lead to future complaints against the City. 


Ms. Smadella indicated that, as City standard roadway cross sections are being used throughout the subdivision, there would be no impact in terms of snow removal or garbage collection.  With respect to front yard setbacks, she noted that even with the 7.5-metre setback, only four small species of trees were permitted due to the sensitive marine clays. .


Mike Wildman, Manager, Suburban Development Review added that existing Council policies restricted the types of trees allowed, particularly where marine clays are present. 

Acknowledging that there have been some issues in this regard, he indicated staff would be undertaking a review of the types of trees and mitigation measures, which could see a reintroduction of better trees to address concerns such those raised by Councillor Doucet. 


Councillor Doucet expressed his concern with streets lacking significant trees, noting his definition of a significant tree was one that stands four to five storeys high and provides shade.  Mr. Wildman clarified that staff is reviewing the Council policy that calls for those types of trees to be used and they hope to make recommendations to enforce an even greater tree presence. 


The Councillor reiterated his concern with approving this particular zoning application, given the treescape it would have.  Ms. Tse indicated that without changes to the front yard setback, in some cases they would not accommodate any trees at all.  With the use of root barriers, some accommodation can be made from the list of approved trees.  Mr. Wildman emphasized that staff is limited by the policy in this instance.


Nathalie Hughes, FoTenn Consultants, spoke on behalf of Minto.  She was accompanied by Doug Smeathers of Minto Communities.  She explained that Minto also wants street trees and fully supports staff’s efforts to review the Council policy.  She noted that in the Minto section of the subject property, six-metre front yard setbacks are being proposed, noting that most urban settings range from three to six metres.  This setback means that if staff comes up with a solution to allow larger street trees in the future, the setbacks will be sufficient to accommodate them.  She suggested the zoning was safe, as it could accommodate larger trees later, and was sensitive to the marine clay issue.  She further noted the staff-approved Draft Plan of Subdivision.


In response to further question from Councillor Doucet, Mr. Wildman confirmed that the problem in this case was the clay in the soil.  He explained that Council approved the policy as a result of concerns raised in one particular area where the soils were extremely bad, and it was thought the policy would provide measures to mitigate moisture depletion in the soils.  He added the existing policy took a very safe and conservative approach, and staff feels further investigation is warranted and could allow for greater flexibility with regards to tree planting.


Councillor Holmes suggested that, since there would be basements in the new development, there could be excavation of the yard sufficient to put in a large tree and appropriate soil.  Ms. Smadella suggested that this would not necessarily eliminate the moisture depletion concerns caused by a tree, and was not certain how much excavation would be required and its associated cost.

Councillor Holmes pointed out that residents who have clay soils are instructed they have to water their surrounding trees in a drought.  She questioned whether that requirement could be written into the purchase agreements for the homes in question, in order to solve the problem.  Mr. Wildman confirmed such a statement could potentially form part of the purchase agreements and could form part of the deeds in future, but he reiterated that staff is subject to the current Council policy.  Mr. Smeathers added that Minto would provide a homeowner’s package that addressed the issue.  In response to further questions from Councillor Holmes, Mr. Smeathers confirmed there would be trees both on the right-of-way and on private property.  The Councillor suggested the City would have some liability unless the aforementioned conditions were written on the deed or in the legal agreement. 


Responding to Councillor Doucet’s previous questions, Mr. Smeathers stated that, while Ottawa historically has 250 feet of Leda clay, this area has sensitive marine clay.  He noted these sites are the most difficult to develop, and they are the only sites left for development within the urban boundary.  He indicated that the local society of landscape architects had been consulted and had provided recommendations on what could be planted safely in sensitive marine clays, and reiterated that the issue was being revisited by staff.  With respect to the difference between Leda clay and sensitive marine clay, he expressed his understanding that it was a matter of bearing pressure. 


Lisa Dalla Rosa, Richcraft, indicated that Richcraft had also been working with staff on the issue, adding they had designed the plan around the Council policy.  She suggested that the front yards would need to be 10 to 11 metres long to accommodate large shade trees, adding that it would be difficult to achieve density targets with lot depths of that magnitude, given the requirement for a three-metre back yard.  She suggested what was proposed plan represented what was possible at the present time.  She assured Committee the developer wanted trees, but at the same time wanted to avoid creating future problems with roots.  She noted the root barriers were being put in, at a cost to the developers, in order to ensure every lot will have a tree, noting the Community Design Plan calls for two trees per lot.  She explained that Richcraft also distributes pamphlets that explain the type of trees permitted, but it does not advise that watering is necessary in drought periods.


In response to questions from Councillor Doucet, Ms. Dalla Rosa explained that the policy requires a 7.5-metre setback from a tree root to a house foundation in areas with sensitive marine clay; therefore, if the houses were permitted to be closer to the street, they would not be far enough away from the street tree. 


Ms. Hughes added large trees have very large root structures, which affect the entire soil area under it; in sensitive clay soils, those roots deplete the water and this can cause uneven settlement.  Providing a minimum six-metre front yard ensures that, even with a small tree in front, the house remains protected from any effects of the tree roots.  Mr. Smeethers commented that during droughts, tree root systems are under stress and seek out water sources, such as the weeping tile, which impacts the house foundations.


Councillor Doucet noted that, barring periods of drought, the roots should actually stabilize the soil.  He felt the policy was too risk-averse and suggested conditions have not warranted it to date.  He noted that, while the permitted trees (Amber Maple, Serviceberry, Japanese Lilac and Flowering Crab) were attractive, they do not grow tall enough to provide shade. 


Councillor Bloess, the Ward Councillor, suggested this was a straightforward application, noting the plan of subdivision had been in the works for 15 years, and the application followed Council’s direction in terms of achieving the densities required by the Official Plan.  He pointed out that staff is challenged by trying to put together plans that will provide intensification in these particular developments.  He went on to explain that the site is abutted by over 30 acres of maple wood lot, acquired from the developers after considerable negotiations, with a 30-metre buffer along the creek, and two storm water ponds that will be re-landscaped.  He agreed it was reasonable to be concerned about the impact of trees on front lawns, especially given previous problems the City had faced in this regard, but felt there had been adequate consideration of the issue in this case.  He suggested there had been too much focus on the species of trees permitted, when Committee should be looking at the bigger picture of what the whole plan tries to achieve.  He added that if the City did not wish to achieve the intensification and wanted to stay within the urban boundary, it would mean creating much bigger lots.


The committee approved the report recommendation as presented


That Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve:


1.                  An amendment to Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning of parts of 6151 Renaud Road and 6255 Renaud Road from DR Development Reserve to R3YY[x], Residential Third Density, Subzone YY, Exception [x] and Parks and Open Space [O1] as shown in Document 1 and as detailed in Document 2.


2.                  An amendment to Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning of part of 6151 Renaud Road from DR Development Reserve to Residential Third Density, Subzone Z, Exception [x1], [x2], and [x3] Zones,  R3Z[x1], R3Z[x2] and R3Z[x3]  and Parks and Open Space [O1] as shown in Document 1 and as detailed in Document 2.







ACS2010-ICS-PGM-0056                                                             knoxdale-merivale (9)


(This matter is subject to Bill 51)


Prescott McDonald, Planner, provided a PowerPoint presentation summarizing the application and staff’s recommendations, a copy of which is held on file with the City Clerk. 

In response to questions from Chair Hume, Mr. McDonald explained that for the side yard adjacent to an untraveled and unopened area, staff is allowing for a side yard setback similar to 1.2 metres.  Due to the irregular shape of the lot, the setback at one corner of the building would be shorter, increasing along the property line. The indicated corner area would have a setback reduction from 4.5 metres to 3.5 metres.  He confirmed that the setbacks from the south property line, in Sector B of the Zoning schedule listed as Document 3, would not change.


The committee then heard from the following public delegations.


Garnett Smith and Beverley Cullen, residents of Inverness Avenue, spoke in opposition to the application and the concept as proposed.  Mr. Smith indicated that they had been attracted to the neighbourhood by the large lots, old growth trees, and low-density development.  He noted most of the houses in the immediate neighbourhood were on a 42-foot lot or greater.  He noted that the applicant had explained to the neighbours that his intent was to re-zone the property to allow for two structures on the property; however, the neighbours had not foreseen the request to rezone the property would be redeveloped into two structures with at least three dwellings.  He acknowledged that at a meeting held to discuss the re-zoning issues, they were told that the request for re-zoning was not attached to a site-specific proposal; however, he suggested the current proposal appears to address a specific request to build two structures, one a semi-detached and one a single-family dwelling.  He emphasized they did not opposed the redevelopment of the property to allow for an attractive and innovative development compatible with the neighbourhood; rather, they opposes redevelopment to maximize the amount of residential units on the property and opposed re-zoning of the property to inherently change the character and scale of the neighbourhood. 


Mr. Smith pointed out that, while there are semi-detached dwellings in the neighbourhood, none are as wide as what is proposed.  Although he liked the conceptual drawings he had seen, he felt they did not fit with the general feel of the neighbourhood, which is characterized by large-lot residential homes.  He did not want a precedent to be set for allowing the zoning to be changed so that properties in the neighbourhood could be maximized for square foot land usage.  He indicated his pleasure that the applicant’s plan proposes to preserve as many trees as possible, and that the applicant intended to incorporate Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) objectives into the development of the properties.  He concluded by reiterating his opposition to the proposal, as presented.


Theo Mayer spoke in opposition to the application.  He explained that he was owner of 2 Inverness Avenue, the lot adjacent to the subject property, having moved there in December 2009.  After reviewing the plan, he surmised that the proposed duplex would come within nine feet of his property line.  He explained that he did oppose the redevelopment of the property, and would not mind seeing a duplex on it; however, he thought adding a single family home in addition to the duplex was too much development and was not in keeping with the neighbourhood.  He noted he was attracted to the neighbourhood because of the calibre and scale of the homes being built on existing lots, which differed from what is being proposed for this site. 


Mr. Mayer further pointed out there was an elementary school at the end of the street, and expressed concern that the proposed development could result in an additional vehicular traffic of the street.  Finally, he expressed concern that a professional architect had not been involved with the proposal, as part of an architect’s job would be to design a building that would fit within the neighbourhood.


In response to questions from Chair Hume, Mr. Mayer demonstrated the precise location of his property.  He acknowledged that he did not have any expertise in reading plans and might be incorrect in his assumption about the location of the proposed dwellings in relation to his property. Chair Hume asked staff to compare the current setback with what would exist under the proposed re-zoning.  Mr. McDonald advised that under the existing R1FF zoning the side yard must be set back 2.5 metres on one side and 1 metre on the other, whereas under the proposed R2M zone, the setback would be 0.9 metres on both sides.  He further explained that, because it is a through corner lot, the front and back setbacks would be the same, at 6 metres under the existing zoning and 4.5 metres under the proposed zoning.


In response to questions from Chair Hume, Mr. Mayer confirmed that he was concerned that re-zoning would allow the building to project further into the back yard and closer to his side yard, and requested more information on what would be allowed.  Staff clarified that, per the Schedule listed as Document 3 to the staff report, after the property is re-zoned to R2M, no further variation would be required to “Area B” to allow the development to proceed, whereas “Area A” required further adjustments to the zone. 


When asked for further comment, Mr. Mayer remarked that, aside from concerns about how the proposal would impact directly on his property, his larger concern was that a duplex and a single family home on the relatively small lot was not in keeping with the neighbourhood.  He elaborated that there are developments similar to what is proposed on Fisher Avenue and Ashburn Drive, but none in the immediate neighbourhood.


Arun Mhatre, owner and applicant, spoke in support of the application.  He provided a PowerPoint presentation to with respect to his proposal, which included several visual renderings of the site and proposed development.  A copy of his presentation is held on file with the City Clerk.  He explained that he had has lived in the area for 32 years and noted he had an architectural degree and 27 years of experience as an urban planner.  He indicated that, given his professional background, he felt comfortable with preparing his own plan and re-zoning application.  He raised the following points:

·           Carleton Heights is unique because it has larger lots than normally found in the urban area.  Similar urban lots are being re-zoned and modified where moderate development is compatible. 

·           The subject property is at the periphery of a community where there are many tree lines, and the intent is to purse the opportunity to create interesting architectural appeal. 

·           When he moved into the neighbourhood in 1977, there had already been a subdivision of the lot, as 2 Inverness Avenue and 1107 Normandy Crescent were severed. 

·           There are semi-detached homes in front the subject property, and there are smaller lots than what is proposed. 

·           The development would create architectural interest at the entry to the neighbourhood, create some variance from the trend of building large homes that span nearly the entire width of the lots in the area, maintain the scale and rhythm of the neighbourhood, and provide a variety of housing types to attract a younger generation. 

·           The intent is to maintain the tree line. 

·           The revised setbacks in relation to 2 Inverness Avenue property are something that is common to the neighbourhood.

·           The immediate neighbour at 1107 Normandy Crescent, who would be most impacted by the project, has expressed no objection. 

In closing, Mr. Mhatre advised that he had begun the process in consultation with the City planners one year previous, and had taken staff’s advice on re-zoning.  He noted that he had also consulted the ward Councillor, the community association and the neighbourhood at large, and felt that the concerns raised, including measures to avoid sanitary sewer issues, had been addressed. 


Chair Hume inquired if Mr. Mhatre would consider move his building forward on the site to alleviate that concerns about the impact on the rear yard of Mr. Mayer’s property.  Mr. Mhatre replied he had moved the building back so that there would be a gentler slope down to the garage and to create greater architectural appeal; however, he indicated he would have no problem with moving the building two or three feet forward. 


In response to further questions from Chair Hume, Mr. McDonald confirmed that the proposed development would not be subject to a site plan.  The Chair inquired how the Committee could accommodate Mr. Mhatre’s offer to move the building to alleviate some of his neighbour’s concern.  Mr. McDonald explained staff would need to prepare a schedule for approval. 


Councillor Hunter, the Ward Councillor, suggested the matter could be left for further discussion between himself, Mr. Mhatre and Mr. Mayer.  While Chair Hume was satisfied to give direction to staff to investigate and, if appropriate, provide a revised schedule prior to consideration of the matter by Council, Councillor Hunter predicted it would not be appropriate because, although moving the building might alleviate the immediate neighbour’s concerns, it might create a less attractive streetscape for Normandy Crescent and result in much dissatisfaction throughout the community. 


Councillor Holmes inquired whether it would be possible, given there is no site plan requirement, to request that the property have one laneway with a joint garage for the three units, to avoid the visual impact of three garage doors and three driveways.  Carey Thomson, Deputy City Solicitor, did not believe that could be requested in this particular situation.  He added that, even if it could be done, the question remains whether property owners would be interested, or willing to provide mortgage financing, given the fact that one or two driveways could potentially be owned by more than one individual.  Mr. Thomson indicated it would be impossible for the City to impose that condition when the application is not subject to site plan approval.  He further confirmed the Councillor’s speculation that the City’s Site Plan By-law would have to be amended in order to accommodate something of that nature.


Councillor Hunter suggested that the proposed development was offering something better than what Councillor Holmes had proposed, because only two of the driveways would front Normandy Crescent, and the third would be on the opposite side of the building.  He suggested a double driveway would be less visually appealing.  On the issue of moving the building forward, he indicated that he would look at it with the applicant, but emphasized that he did not want Committee to hold out hope that this would be a good solution.


Committee then approved the report, as presented.


That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve an amendment to the Zoning By-law 2008-250 to change the zoning of 1105 Normandy Crescent from R1FF, Residential First Density Zone to R2M [xxx] S xxx, Residential Second Density Exception Zone, as shown on Document 1, and as detailed in Documents 2 and 3.


            Councillor P. Hume dissented





ACS2010-ICS-PGM-0062                                         CITY WIDE/ À L’ECHELLE DE LA VILLE


That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend that Council approve the 2009 Annual Report on Building Code Fees.





4.         Building Permit Fee Rate Reduction

RÉDUCTION DES DROITS RELATIFS AU PERMIS DE CONSTRUCTION ACS2010-ICS-PGM-0067                                                                                    CITY WIDE/ À L’ECHELLE DE LA VILLE


A memorandum dated 12 April 2010 was received from the Environmental Advisory Committee with respect to this matter.  A copy is held on file with the City Clerk.


That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend that Council approve, effective May 1, 2010:


1.                  A reduction in the building permit fee rate from $12.50 to $12.00 per $1,000 in construction value for all construction except farm buildings;


2.                  A reduction in the building permit fee rate for farm buildings from $8.75 to $8.40 per $1,000 in construction value, and


3.                  That the Building By-law 2005-303 be amended accordingly.





ACS2010-ICS-PGM-0064                                         CITY WIDE/ À L’ECHELLE DE LA VILLE


Councillor Holmes wished to express her support for the program and congratulate staff for their initiative on this matter.   


That the Planning and Environment Committee receive this report for information.







ACS2010-ICS-PGM-0075                                         CITY WIDE/ À L’ECHELLE DE LA VILLE


That the Planning and Environment Committee receive this report for information







ACS2010-ICS-INF-0004                                                          BEACON HILL-CYRVILLE (11)


That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve a by-law to undertake the construction of a sanitary sewer on Swans Way South as petitioned Local Improvement works in accordance with the cost apportionment as outlined in this report.







ACS2010-ICS-ESD-0001                                           CITY WIDE/ À L’ECHELLE DE LA VILLE


The following correspondence was received with respect to this matter and is held on file with the City Clerk:

·         Memorandum dated 12 April 2010 from the Environmental Advisory Committee

·         E-mail dated 7April 2010 from Ruth McVeigh

·         E-mail dated 8 April 2010 from John Sankey

·         E-mail dated 8 April 2010 from Klaus Beltzner

·         E-mail dated 8 April 2010 from Sarah Levesque-Walker

·         E-mail dated 10 April 2010 from Bob Taylor

·         E-mail dated 14 April 2010 from Zsofia Orosz, Dalhousie Community Association


Dixon Weir, General Manager of Environmental Services, provided an overview of the staff report.  He was accompanied by Michael Burt, Manager of Customer Services, and Angela Buchanan, Program Manager of Public Information.  He explained that the report responded issues identified in the strategic plan developed by Planning and Environment Committee (PEC) in 2009, particularly around the concept of rebuilding the public trust.  He emphasized that in developing the plan staff was able to take advantage of a great deal of connection with the public, both through numerous meetings and through surveys.  He indicated the results of the surveys showed that, while there is much confidence in the City’s drinking water among many sectors of the population, there is an opportunity for greater understanding and awareness of how high quality the drinking water is.  The plan seeks to give customers better knowledge and awareness of the value that they are getting, allowing them to take better advantage of a service that provides more value than other sources of drinking water. 


Mr. Weir highlighted the new concept, recently approved in the 2010 budget, to provide water trailers e suited to providing and promoting the City’s water at outdoor festivals and events.  Staff is in the process of securing two such vehicles, tentatively named “Ottawatermobiles.”


Mr. Weir emphasized that having more residents take advantage of the drinking water resource would be advantageous to both residents and the City.  From an environmental perspective, he suggested the plan helps achieve some of Council’s strategic goals related to reducing reliance on landfills reducing greenhouse gases.


In response to question form Councillor Hume with respect to the installation of water fountains in City facilities, Mr. Weir explained that staff undertook an evaluation with the Public Works Department and have identified some areas where fountains can be installed.  The high-priority, high-visibility facilities would be selected first, along with those that for some reason have had a water fountain removed.  With respect to the funding for the fountain installation, Mr. Weir explained that the funding in 2010 would be largely focused on prioritizing and identifying where fountains should be, and the installation of a few fountains at very high profile areas.  The bulk of the funding for fountains is proposed for 2011 through 2013, which is one of the contributors to the increased budget requirement in future years, as installation of fountains represents a significant capital outlay. 


Councillor Hume asked staff if they could identify where the first fountains would be located, and if they could do so before Council.  Mr. Weir indicated that they would do so.


In response to questions from the Chair, Mr. Weir commented that Environmental Services had not been offering tours at either of the City’s water treatment facilities in recent years, as they had lacked the capacity to offer the service. 

The plan is intended to give the capacity to provide such tours, which he suggested was in line with PEC’s outreach strategy.  He noted the tours had been well received when they were offered in the past, and staff had recently received indications of support and interest from the community in helping develop the program.  Mr. Weir also highlighted the intent to have a virtual tour available through the City’s website.  He suggested these initiatives represented a good opportunity for schools and anyone else interested in the facilities.  It was noted there were currently 50 requests pending for tours of the facilities.


In response to questions from Councillor Hume with regards to the $216,000 already approved in the 2010 budget, Mr. Weir explained that of the funding Council had already approved, over $115,000 was dedicated towards the water trailers. The remaining piece would continue with the promotional tools and enhancement of those tools that were developed the previous year. 


In response to questions from Councillor Holmes, Mr. Weir emphasized that, while a side benefit of the plan would likely be increased water sales, the primary objective was to benefit residents and ensure they can take better advantage of the existing service.


Councillor Holmes suggested there may be a greater number of people not drinking tap water than what is reflected in the survey, based on what she had heard from residents. She suggested many residents think the water is unsafe as a result of sewage stories in the media in recent years.


In response to questions from Councillor Holmes, Mr. Weir referenced a visual display representing one cubic metre of City drinking water.  Mr. Weir explained that a cubic meter of drinking water comes at a cost of approximately $1.28, significantly less than bottled sources of water.  Along with that value comes a quality assurance, including some 400 different compounds and parameters, and over 100,000 sample results.  Mr. Weir confirmed that the visual aid had been located at the City’s Britannia facility, but there had not been the resources for staff to bring it out into the community as a promotional tool; however, with the money allocated in the 2010 budget for this plan, they would be able to do that.  


In light of any upcoming motions, Councillor Holmes wanted to caution against eliminating the future years’ budget allocation for the program, as she did not want to see the City start promotional programs such as tours for school groups, only to take them away the next year. 


Councillor Monette noted that he had some questions with regards to where the 2011-2013 funding would be allocated, noting he would be bringing forward a motion with respect to that funding.  He noted that there was a $790,000 allocation for 2011 to 2013, with $600,000 going towards promotions.  He asked staff for a breakdown of what that $600,000 would be spent on.  Mr. Weir explained that amount was a budget allowance.  As staff roll out the 2010 plan, they would be able to provide a more rigorous costing around some of those items.  He indicated staff had identified, for the years 2011-2013, $600,000 for promotion; $100,000 for the installation of new indoor fountains; $75,000 for outdoor fountains and $15,000 for the review of the fountain design specifications. 

Mr. Weir explained that the allocation for promotions included an allowance for additional surveys, suggesting part of the performance benefit will be to revisit the survey that was conducted in 2009 to see how effective the promotional materials had been in moving towards the 2013 target and long-range goals.


Councillor Monette suggested that, given that the province has identified that Ottawa has one of the best drinking water systems in the world, it was questionable to spend another $600,000 in surveys and promotions when the City is facing a 2009 rate-supported deficit of $5.579M, and are increasing the user fees.  He proposed that the $600,000 be put towards the deficit rather than towards promotion and surveys.  He indicated his support for the water fountains and the fountain feasibility study, agreeing the City should promote the use of fountains and make it easier for residents to use them.


Councillor Monette then introduced the following motion:


WHEREAS the drinking water program sustained a deficit of $5.579M in 2009, and;


WHEREAS City Council passed a three year plan to increase the user fees for Water and Waste Water budget by 9% until 2010;


THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the funds designated for promotion part of the plan, promoting municipal drinking water for the years 2011 through 2013, in the amount of $600,000, be integrated into the budget to offset the 2009 deficit.


He suggested that the City should be promoting the water system by means of regular updates, regular public announcements, through the website, or through the billing system.  He questioned the need to spend another $600,000 in 2011-2013.  He suggested what had been done to date was good, and suggested at a certain point residents know that drinking water is safe.  He encouraged Committee members to consider his motion.


In response to questions from Councillor Hume with regards to the survey, Mr. Weir confirmed that the survey was of 700 homes, all of which were located within the serviced areas.  With regards to the results, Mr. Weir confirmed staff’s analysis is that the 53.7 per cent who rely exclusively on tap water do not buy bottled water, and confirmed his understanding that those ratepayers would likely take municipal water in a reusable bottle rather than buy bottled water. 


In response to further questions from Councillor Hume, Mr. Weir suggested that the plan fits with the City’s strategic direction on a number of fronts, including taking best advantage of the City’s services, reducing reliance on landfills and reducing the generation of greenhouse gas emissions.  For ratepayers, it is an advantage in avoided costs because the more residents can continue to rely on the City’s water, the less they have to purchase at a comparatively high price.

In response to further questions from the Chair relating to water trailers, Mr. Weir confirmed that the intent is to have them out at as many events as possible, which could include sporting events such as Hope Beach Volleyball or the National Capital Race Weekend.  Mr. Weir indicated that Toronto has water trailers, and Vancouver was looking into purchasing similar vehicles.


In response to questions from Councillor Qadri, Mr. Weir indicated that they had not explored involving a private partner in the vehicle program.   He indicated that they could certainly look at sponsorship and other opportunities to help defray the cost.  He suggested the program not be deferred until such opportunities were investigated; rather, he favoured continuing with the development phase and seek sponsorships where possible.  He suggested once the vehicles are out in the community, they would become more attractive to potential sponsors.  He also wished to caution that, as the water trailers were intended to  promote the City’s drinking water, care should be taken not to lose that promotional value though other connections.


Councillor Qadri emphasized that several City programs were associated with private partners, noting private vendors use the City’s low-flow toilet refund as a marketing tool for their businesses.  He suggested the City should be working with private partners to get their support on this program.


Councillor Hunter expressed support for the idea of water trailers, though he was worried by the lack of detail.  He wondered how these trailers differed from the trailers called “water buffalo” that are used by military units, suggesting those could potentially be available for the City to borrow.  Neither Mr. Weir nor Mr. Burt was familiar with the water buffalo specifically.  With respect to the design of the tank that the City is looking to procure, Mr. Burt explained that staff had several requirements; one such requirement was that the tank be towable without an elevated drivers’ licence class, so that summer students could bring it from site to site.  The planned tank would hold 2500 litres (2.5 cubic meters) and would be equipped with water nozzles, drinking fountains and water bottle filling stations on either side, plus a lowered station at the back for those with limited mobility. Councillor Hunter suggested these specifications were similar to those of the water buffalo.  Mr. Burt confirmed that he would take the Councillor’s direction and look into the water buffalo.


Councillor Bellemare noted that this report had originated with a motion approved by PEC in December 2007 asking staff to develop a strategy to, among other things, reinstate water fountains and install new fountains in City of Ottawa facilities, encourage citizens to drink tap water and encourage the use of public drinking fountains.  He suggested that the best way to promote City water was to offer the service as widely as possible, through drinking fountains.  He suggested the focus should be on this rather than on advertising and promotions.  He expressed interest in seeing concrete numbers on how many drinking fountains the City had introduced in parks since the December 2007 motion was adopted.


Mr. Weir, while he did not have those figures on hand, indicated he could certainly obtain that information as to the number of parks with fountains, or fountains that have been installed in parks. 

He imagined the number would be relatively low, as there had not been an active promotion of installing them  He indicated he could speak to Public Works to see the number that have been installed in new parks recently, as there have been some.


Councillor Bellemare suggested that the proposed plan was backwards.  He noted the first phase emphasized promotion, followed by installation of some water fountains in certain high profile locations, before investigating to install drinking fountains in public facilities and parks.  He suggested it would be better to start with the fountains, and once the City is providing the service as widely as possible in parks and facilities then go towards promotion of the service.  He expressed his disappointment that little progress had been made since 2007 in introducing drinking fountains to parks, and reinstating those drinking fountains had been decommissioned, and his disappointment that the plan was not anticipating much progress on that front in the coming years.


Mr. Weir explained that staff tried to focus the strategy on the early achievable activities, while developing a longer-term strategy for sustaining the promotion and increasing the access by coordinating with parks development to install fountains both in parks and facilities.  Now that the necessary capital funding has been secured to initiate that, staff will develop a prioritization of those parks and facilities that would require fountains moving into the years 2011 to 2013.


Committee then heard from the following public delegations:


Larry Wade, Ottawa Water Study Action Group (OWSAG), spoke in support of the plan.  He explained that OWSAG was three-year-old group dedicated to supporting municipal water.  He expressed the group’s support for all aspects of the plan, in particular all efforts to rebuild public trust in the municipal water system.


He suggested there were two types of argument against the proposal: justified and unjustified.  The first, unjustified argument was that the quality of municipal water is low, and is exceeded by bottled water.  He suggested the City do everything possible to counter this perception via education, and advocated putting considerable resources towards working with local schools.  He suggested adult education was equally vital, relating a conversation with some recent immigrants who were under the assumption that they needed to boil water before drinking it, and thus bought bottled.   He noted even those who had lived in Canada a long time did not trust public services, and were educating their children to do the same. Mr. Wade suggested the more understandable arguments against City water include the fact that there have been public waste spills, and existing issues with school water taps leading parents to question their safety.  He suggested such concerns must be addressed by the City in a scrupulous, quick, and transparent fashion. 


Mr. Wade had several additional suggestions.  First, he recommended that if the City goes ahead with the plan to purchase and supply City of Ottawa refillable water bottles, it should avoid the types of plastic containers known to be objectionable and ensure even metal bottles are tested by reputable labs to avoid any concerns with possible contamination.


Secondly, he wished to remind Committee that the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) had stated that municipalities should phase out the sale and purchase of bottled water at their own facilities, where appropriate, and where potable water is available.  He noted an increasing number of jurisdictions across the country had banned the sale of bottled water on their premises, and hoped Ottawa take a more leading role in this respect.  He urged Councillors to recognize that banning the sale of bottled water would not be anti-business; rather it would emphasize the City’s determination not to allow the interest of the bottled water industry to trump the collective best interest of citizens.


Mr. Wade expressed support for the planned installation of outdoor public water fountains.  Further, in order to have the public believe the City is friendly to its needs, he suggested that new inter-urban transportation facilities include public toilets.  Finally, he suggested any education materials promoting municipal water include information specifically designed for the benefit of new Canadians.  He surmised that increased municipal water consumption would increase the income to the City by several hundred thousand dollars over the following few years.  He concluded by noting that a cubic metre contains 2000 500ml bottles, which at the minimum price of $1 a bottle costs the public $2000, plus the amount of money that must be spent in disposing of the bottles, compared with $1.28 for the City water.


Lynn Haggarty, Ottawa Folk Festival, spoke in support of the plan, in particular the proposal to purchase water trailers for use at outdoor festivals and events.  She noted the Folk Festival’s reputation for environmental leadership.  She explained that the previous summer, in collaboration with several local partners, they became the first Ottawa festival to go water bottle free, providing hydration stations at key points on the Britannia Park site where people could refill their water bottles.  She explained the hydration station, and showed several photographs of it, which are held on file with the City Clerk.  She noted the tank was continuously filled with direct City water. 


Ms. Haggarty explained that the hydration stations and volunteers were provided by the Water Store, and Orillia-based company interested in piloting that service at our festival, and a donation by CUPE local 503 enabled the festival to sell stainless steel water bottles to those who came without their own.  In collaboration with Ottawa Riverkeeper, the festival also distributed fact sheets outlining reasons to say no to bottled water.  She highlighted that, by the end of the festival, 3819 litres had been dispensed, diverting the equivalent of 7638 plastic water bottles from landfill sites. 


Ms. Haggerty explained that the water-dispensing unit was a free pilot project for one year only, and that to have the same unit for another year would cost the festival $5000, well beyond the festival’s capacity to pay for, and beyond what they feel is reasonable price to pay for City water, a public resource.  Therefore, she encouraged the City to fast-track the introduction of their water trailers in time for the summer festival season, or at least in time for the Folk Festival in August.  She expressed the festival's willingness to work with staff to expedite the project, by providing input to specifications, piloting the system of transport, set up and delivery, in addition to providing volunteers to staff the water trailer the festival to help offset costs.


She also urged the City to provide the water trailers at no cost to City of Ottawa festivals, which struggle to contain costs.  She suggested the service would be a good public relations tool for Ottawa to promote its excellent water and the City’s commitment to environmental issues.


In response to questions from Councillor Hunter, Mr. Weir stated that the cost to the City for the amount of water used by the Folk Festival would have been around $10.


Joe Cressy, Polaris Institute, spoke in support of the plan.  He explained that his Ottawa-based organization had worked with municipalities around the country on initiatives to promote and reinvest in public water.  He raised the following points: 

·           The City of Ottawa spends $121 million a year to provide drinking water, a service that people are using less frequently.

·           Despite the fact that Ottawa, like many Canadian cities, has some of the safest drinking water in the world, a third of Canadians drink bottled water as their primary source of drinking water. 

·           Not only are fewer residents comfortable drinking from water fountains, there are fewer fountains around.  The Ontario building codes do not require water fountains to be put in new buildings. 

·           Bottled water companies do a very good job marketing their product, and cities need to do the same in order to compete. 

·           The problem requires comprehensive approach that includes tackling the issues of public confidence in municipal water, promoting the service, and improving access to the service.  He suggested this report takes that approach. He highlighted the issue of the water trailers, which are a form of promotion as well as a form of access. 

·           He surmised that the $750,000 in funding for 2011-2013 was largely directed to the outdoor drinking water strategy and represented costs for infrastructure.

·           Over 18 municipalities have had success with water trailers, including Toronto, Stratford, Guelph, Ajax, Oshawa, and Vancouver.  With the exception of Toronto’s, they were all purchased from one company, and allow for transportation, on-the-spot filtration and multiple tap dispensing units. 


Mr. Cressy raised the following ideas related to promoting City water that had been adopted by other jurisdictions, suggesting Ottawa could explore them:

·           Metro Vancouver is launching a mobile phone application that allows you, whenever you’re on the go, to find out where the nearest water fountain is. 

·           The City of London has designed their own reusable water bottles, which are used to increase revenues and market their water.

·           Ohio and Florida became the first states in North America to codify water fountains, such that all new buildings must include water fountains.

Mr. Cressy concluded by stating that the responsibility of a City is to provide safe and accessible drinking water, and unfortunately cities are providing the same amount of water to fewer residents because they’re not drinking it.  He suggested it was time for Ottawa to promote their water and become a water leader, joining over 100 other municipalities that have done so over the past year, as encouraged by the FCM and AMO. 


In response to questions from Councillor Hume, Mr. Cressy suggested water promotion initiatives had not generated a great deal of controversy in other municipalities.  He also expressed the opinion that the recommendations of the report were a good default option, but felt the City could go much further.  He suggested the controversial stand related to banning bottled water, and expressed his surprise that people would find promoting City water and ensuring access to it to be controversial.


In response to questions from Councillor Doucet, Mr. Cressy suggested it was beyond debate that not everyone believes City water is great, as evidenced by the City’s surveys and those done by his organization and Statistics Canada.  Councillor Doucet noted that everybody used to drink from the tap because there was no alternative.  Now, they are buying bottled water, which is often treated water from other municipalities.


Mr. Cressy confirmed that some bottled water was indeed municipal water from other jurisdicions, noting Dasani and Aquafina brands were municipal water.  He emphasized that it was no longer enough to just provide the water, as cities are now in competition with bottled water companies that produce a product that cities pay for through landfills and recycling.  Councillor Doucet agreed the City had major problem promoting its water, in addition to having to deal with disposal of all the plastic bottles.  


Mr. Cressy wished to emphasize that the issue was access in addition to promotion, and that the City needed to ensure access to water via drinking fountains in order for them to be a viable alternative to bottled water.


Councillor Hunter suggested that the reason some people buy bottled water is not safety, but rather taste.  Some people are willing to pay extra for the taste of bottled water.  He noted that City of Ottawa water is bottled and distributed by a company in Nepean.  He noted that the water trailers referenced by Mr. Cressy filtered the water, and wondered if it was a mixed message to have the vehicle promoting the City’s water filtering that water.  Mr. Cressy suggested that the filtration was largely due to the fact that it is not safe to keep water stagnant in a large tank, and it has to be kept constantly circulating.  He suggested if Council wanted the details on the best options, they should go to the providers of such trailer, such as Cool Earth, who are at the forefront of positive initiatives in ways to provide water.


Councillor Wilkinson noted that she had some dealings with this subject in her role as a member of the FCM board of directors.  In response to questions from the Councillor, Mr. Cressy reiterated that cities have to promote their water to ensure public confidence in it, as well provide access to their public water infrastructure so that people do not have to turn to bottled water.  He noted the Polaris institute also urges cities to phase out the provision of sale of bottled water in their facilities, and feels bottles are a real problem. 

However, he emphasized that this was not on the agenda, and did not want to confuse access and promotion with restrictions on the other private alternative.

Councillor Wilkinson inquired as to the options for providing water trailers at smaller events.  Mr. Cressy suggested there were different water dispensing units available, on a small or large scale, and emphasized that the technology exists for cities to be able to provide water to everybody in every situation, and suggested it was a matter of establishing the political will to do so.


David Gladstone spoke in favour of the plan.  He wished to mention some historical points, namely that the City’s water supply system came in the aftermath of a series of cholera epidemics in the mid-nineteenth century, when there developed great interest in having a safe water supply.  He could not recall anyone saying there was a problem with the City’s water supply.  He suggested the fact that plastic bottled water was widely available, including at City Hall, was a great marketing success for bottled water companies, but it came at a considerable cost to the consumer and to the environment.  He supported reducing the use of bottled alternatives, and felt that the City should be promoting the use of City water, a resource everyone pays for. 


Upon conclusion of public delegations, Chair Hume turned the discussion back to Committee.  He indicated that, in addition to the motion previously introduced by Councillor Monette, there was an additional motion from Councillor Holmes.


Councillor Holmes introduced the following motion:


WHEREAS the City of Ottawa will be promoting its municipal water through a number of programs;


AND WHEREAS one of these programs are water trailers for festival and community use;


AND WHEREAS this is a new initiative for the City of Ottawa which has already generated community excitement;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the City of Ottawa launch a competition to name the water trailers.


Committee then addressed the motion put forward by Councillor Monette, that the funds designated for the promotion part of the plan for promoting drinking water for the years 2011 through 2013 in the amount of $600,000 be reintegrated to the budget to offset the 2009 deficit.  Chair Hume suggested that, while he understood the intent of the motion, he questioned the ability to take a future year’s budget allocation and apply it to a deficit whose resolution has already been approved.


Carey Thompson, Deputy City Solicitor provided the opinion that Councillor Monette's motion was out of order, and having confirmed with the Treasurer, even if it were in order it would not be implementable. 

On the first point, he noted that Item 10 pertaining to the disposition of the deficit had already been approved during the consent agenda, and the proposed motion is in opposition to that report with respect to the funding source.  In addition, the purpose of that approved report was to deal with the finalization of the 2009 operating deficit and enable the City’s external auditors to finalize the financial statements for 2009, and recommended temporarily borrowing from existing rates supported capital reserves to fund the rates supported operating deficit. 


He suggested the other problem with the Councillor’s motion, which the City’s external auditor would likely object to, is that the funds proposed to offset the do not currently exist.  He expressed the opinion that the external auditor would say that since they do not currently exist, they cannot be used as a funding source for a current operating deficit.

In response to questions from Councillor Monette, Marian Simulik, City Treasurer, explained that the $790, 000 allocated for the 2011-2013 portion of the plan to promote municipal drinking water was just an allocation that signalled an intention. She confirmed that it would be within the discretion of the next Council to change that.  


Councillor Monette withdrew his motion, and indicated that he would vote in opposition to the staff report.  He also expressed his consternation that, although staff reviewed his motion in advance, they did not bring these concerns forward before the meeting.


Councillor Holmes spoke to her motion and the report as a whole.  She expressed her strong support for the plan, and suggested the report was well thought out and comprehensive.  She agreed that the City had been somewhat losing the battle with respect to letting the public know how safe the drinking water is, and what a great taste it has.  She highlighted how ridiculous it was that so many residents did not feel City water was safe, given that it is some of the safest water in the world. She expressed her belief that the report was moving the City in the right direction, although there was still a long way to go.  She noted that the festivals were looking forward to having the water trailer available to them.  She suggested that the plan was beneficial from an environmental standpoint, as it would reduce the plastic bottles going into landfills.  She further suggested it would also benefit residents, as they will learn that they don’t have to buy bottled water. She also noted that if the City can get more people drinking water, they will make more money, which is relevant given the fact that consumption is decreasing while costs are increasing. 


With regards to her motion to launch a competition to name the water trailers, Councillor Holmes suggested a snappy name would help with the promotional aspect of the trailers.  She suggested a competition was also a good way to get the public involved.


Councillor Feltmate indicated she would also be supporting the plan.  She spoke to the issue of drinking fountains that were removed from buildings, noting this was due the fact that people were afraid to use them for fear of contamination.  She suggested that before the City can start putting the fountains back in, they need to build the brand.  She proposed that once people accepted that the water tastes good and that there are no problems with fountains, their demand for fountains will supports the activities of the City to build more fountains in appropriate places. 


The Councillor also expressed her concern that the releasing of data about the spills into the Ottawa River had heightened residents’ fears about the quality of the drinking water.  She suggested people needed to understand more about where and how the City’s water is produced.  She maintained Ottawa had very good tasting water compared to many areas.  She hoped the water trailers would not only be used for the large events downtown, but also for smaller events throughout the city. .  She suggested the plan would offer the community an enhanced service at very little cost, in terms of bringing the water to them at these events so that they do not have to spend money on bottled water.


Councillor Feltmate also expressed her support for re-instituting tours of the water treatment facilities, suggesting it was a great opportunity to demonstrate to young people some of the City’s services.  She predicted there would be a strong interest from various groups.


Councillor Monette reiterated his concerns with regards to the $600,000 allocated for promotions in 2011 to 2013, noting it was mostly for promotions and surveys.   He noted the City of Ottawa had some of the best drinking water in the world, and did not see why they should be spending money to convince people of that.   He proposed that there were many other ways to promote drinking water, including public service announcements, regular updates in water bills, information on the website, or other ways that do not cost anything.  He suggested that the City did an effective job of promoting bad news every time there was a spill by telling people how was going into the Ottawa River, and suggested the City should put the same effort into getting out the good news about City water.


The Councillor noted that when he was growing up everyone drank from the tap and from the fountain, as they expected the City to provide water, and they expected it to be safe.  He noted the City does not spend such a large amount of money promoting all the services it provides, and felt there was no need to do so for drinking water.  He reiterated that he supported making drinking fountains more accessible; however, he felt he could not support the $600,000 allocation for the promotion of water.


Councillor Doucet suggested the issue of bottled water was intimately related to the problems of public water.  He noted bottled water manufacturers had been effective in their advertising at the expense of City water.  He suggested clean municipal water had done more to reduce disease than any other invention, and lamented that it had lost ground.  He suggested this could be partly the City’s fault, as they had failed to really promote the service. He also emphasized the extensive testing the City’s water is subjected to, noting a Councillor is personally liable for $1Million if the water is dirty.  He suggested this exceeded the testing touted by bottled water companies.  He expressed his strong support for the plan, and congratulated staff, indicating his only criticism is that it was not an even bigger program.


Councillor Qadri indicated that he felt the concept of promoting the City’s services made sense, but felt there were other ways to do it. 


He suggested that City staff should be promoting it through the web site, and also that staff in charge of the water supply, such as Mr. Weir, put their faces out on the website to say they believe in the service they provide to the residents of this City.  However, he suggested spending over $700,000 to promote the service was unfair, given the impact on the taxpayer. The Councillor noted that one of the reasons bottled water was popular was its portability and convenience.  He suggested having water trailers would not prevent people from buying bottled water, unless there was one on every corner.  He suggested staff continue the tours and make the public aware through various means. However, he could not support the plan given the costs and impacts on the taxpayer.


Councillor Harder spoke in opposition to the proposed plan.  She suggested this issue was another example of how the City had lost its way.  She emphasized that when there was a regional government, very few people came out in opposition, even though the Region received 80 per cent of all the taxes.  Residents just expected the region to provide services like good water, sewers that didn’t overflow, buses that showed up, and major roads that were cleaned.  She suggested the issues that residents wanted investment in, both pre-amalgamation and now, were issues like Fire, Libraries, Parks and Recreation.  She suggested the City needed to stop talking about the things residents just expect them to do, and pay attention to those things residents really want them to provide. She pointed out that a draft of the Master Parks and Recreation Plan coming forward for public comment.  She expressed the frustration she had heard from her residents, who she indicated were at the breaking point and very disillusioned with the City.  She emphasized that residents expect the City to provide services well, which they do, but she could not support spending extra money to promote it. 


Councillor Hume noted that the former Region had done many things like those listed in the report, in addition bottling municipal drinking water and handing it out at community events, giving out rain barrels, low-flow shower kits and undertaking social marketing in the community.  He noted that there was good community response at that time and no argument over the costs of that program.  He noted the City does many things to promote its services and activities to the Citizens of Ottawa.  He suggested that, just as in the private sector, the City has to invest in the commodity they are selling.  With reference to the City’s web site as a place to promote the service, Councillor Hume suggested web site was difficult to navigate and not user-friendly.  He suggested the site required a complete revamping.


With regards to the plan, Chair Hume suggested it could have a positive impact on residents, and suggested people at Community events would like the water trailers.  He suggested the plan was composed of good things to be doing for a service that is important but poorly understood, according to the survey.   He indicated he would be supporting the initiative, which was more economical than what had been done by the ormer Regional Government.


Moved by D. Holmes


WHEREAS the City of Ottawa will be promoting its municipal water through a number of programs;


AND WHEREAS one of these programs are water trailers for festival and community use;


AND WHEREAS this is a new initiative for the City of Ottawa which has already generated community excitement;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the City of Ottawa launch a competition to name the water trailers.




Councillors M. Bellemare and S. Qadri dissented

Committee then voted on the report recommendations, as amended.


That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve:


1.         The 5-year Plan for Promoting Municipal Drinking Water set out in this report.


2.         That the City of Ottawa launch a competition to name the water trailers.


                                                                                                CARRIED, as             amended


Yeas (5): Councillors C. Doucet, D. Holmes, G. Hunter, P. Feltmate and P. Hume

Nays: (3): Councillors B. Monette, S. Qadri and M. Bellemare






ACS2010-ICS-ESD-0002                                           CITY WIDE/ À L’ECHELLE DE LA VILLE


The following correspondence was received with respect to this matter and is held on file with the City Clerk:

·         E-mail dated 12 April 2010 from Pam Woolridge

·         E-mail dated 9 April 2010 from Sylvia Lewis-Havard

·         Copies of comments received by Councillor Hunter by various residents of Knoxdale-Merivale Ward.

Dixon Weir, General Manager, Environmental Services provided a detailed PowerPoint presentation outlining the proposed rate structure, a copy of which is held on file with the City Clerk.  He was accompanied by Sally McIntyre, Program Manager, Environmental Programs; Felice Petti, Manager of Strategic and Environmental Services; Marian Simulik, City Treasurer; and Ken Hughes, Deputy City Treasurer, Revenue. 


Mr. Weir noted that the goals of the new rate structure included renewing aging infrastructure, improving revenue stability, ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability and continuing to deliver the level of service residents have become accustomed to.  He emphasized that the new rate structure would continue to be inherently water and energy conservation, as the largest part of the charge is still volumetric. 


In response to questions from the Chair, Mr. Weir confirmed that there were modest changes to both the water component and the sewer component of the rate, with the quantum split between the two.


Councillor Holmes expressed a desire to not significantly impact low water users, indicating that she would like to see more options for calculating different volumetric charges at different levels of consumption, to avoid such an impact.  To that effect, Councillor Holmes introduced the following motion:


WHEREAS the Auditor General recommended a new rate structure that would provide revenue stability, improved rate fairness and defensibility, and rate stability; and


WHEREAS this new rate structure, is in use in most major Canadian Cities – Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Region of Halton (Oakville, Burlington etc), Region of Durham(Oshawa, Whitby etc), Halifax, Quebec City and parts of Montreal; and


WHEREAS the new structure is a base rate plus a consumption charge; and


WHEREAS although new structure is revenue neutral to the City of Ottawa but the change will cause some minor increases (17 cents per day/$5 per month) to the bills of water users of less than 10 cubic metres a month; and


WHEREAS this shift has brought a welcome focus to water conservation efforts and a discussion on how to reward conservation efforts; and


WHEREAS on May 11 Planning and Environment Committee will receive and consider the City’s new water efficiency strategy;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT staff be directed to bring forward a companion report to the phase 2 water efficiency strategy, which outlines options for different volumetric rates based on levels of consumption that would be more supportive and encourage greater conservation efforts.


Mr. Weir suggested that there were some logistical issues associates with developing a rate structure with inclining/declining block rates.  He confirmed staff could come back with a report that would identify other rate models and their impact, but expressed staff’s concern that they would not have time to develop a comprehensive review of rate structures by May.  He suggested staff could undertake to do a larger report and come back with a discussion paper mid-year for the new Council’s consideration prior to the implementation of the rate structure in 2011.  Councillor Holmes suggested she would not expect a completely comprehensive review, rather just some options to come forward to give Council more flexibility in discussing how they might charge for different levels of consumption.


Ms. McIntyre raised the following additional points:  Firstly, she noted that water is billed by residence, and the system does not account for the number of people living in the household, what stage of life they are in or whether they have children; therefore, the total amount of water consumed does not indicate whether a household is water efficient.  She suggested it was erroneous to assume everybody in the lowest range of water consumption was necessarily water efficient.  She emphasized that under the new rate structure those who are water efficient would always pay less than those who are not, at all levels of water consumption, as they would still have a very significant portion of their water bill fully within their control.  She suggested the intent of the structure was to recover a greater portion of the fixed costs, which everyone benefits from, by apportioning them to all households, and would not penalize water-efficient households.


With regards to Councillor Holmes’ motion, she noted staff had examined alternative rate structures, as discussed in the previous report to Council, including fixed rates, incremental block rates and declining block rates.  She suggested the proposed rate structure was the one that achieved the established priorities related to meeting the fiscal framework, addressing Auditor General’s direction and ensuring sustainable infrastructure going forward.


Mr. Weir reinforced that much work had been done in reviewing the various rate structures in developing their recommendations. He suggested staff could develop a report that would look at all the rate structures and how staff felt the various structures met Council and Committee’s objectives.  This report could speak to the benefits and detriments of each such rate structure and some of the billing impacts, and could come forward with the water efficiency report in May. 


In response to further questions from Councillor Holmes with regards to the impacts on low-income, multi-child families, Mr. Weir suggested that, by virtue of their high numbers, such households would likely be higher water use bracket, and thus much of their bill would be volumetric and fall within the ability of the family to control. 


Councillor Doucet suggested this structure was doing what every other utility already does, namely divide the charge between a connection fee and a usage fee.  He expressed concern that it was being portrayed in the media as something that penalizes those who conserve water and benefits those who do not.  He suggested that the connection charge made sense because, even if a low water user is out of town for an extended period, they are still hooked up to the system, which costs money.


Mr. Weir explained that staff had tried to emphasize that, as a large portion of the bill remains on the volumetric side, the new structure continues to encourage conservation within all four customer classes.  He emphasized that the largest proportion of the costs to deliver the service had no connection to the volume of water sold, and the rate structure is intended to better reflect that and generate a more stable revenue to continue with investment in infrastructure and high quality service delivery for the benefit of ratepayers.


Councillor Monette expressed concern with the residential bill impacts, noting low and low-to moderate water consumers would experience significant percentage increase, while high and moderately high water consumers would experience a decrease as a result of the new rate structure.  He suggested this seemed to penalize low users who make the effort to conserve.


Mr. Weir understood the concerns expressed.  He noted that, as a high percentage of the charge remains volumetric, the structure continues to encourage water conservation and water-efficient use, and continues to allow those residents the opportunity to lower their water bill.  The rate structure is also meant to be a better reflection of the fixed to variable costs, as most of the costs for delivering the service are fixed.


Councillor Monette introduced the following Motion:


WHEREAS staff have proposed the implementation of a base and volumetric rate system to be applied to the billing of drinking water services; and


WHEREAS the current billing system based on water consumption does not recognize the fixed and continual nature of drinking water infrastructure costs; and


WHEREAS the base and volumetric rate system proposed by staff will add an additional 17% to the cost of residential drinking water services of low consumption users when compared to current billing practice and that low end users may not be able to sustain an additional burden or may have diligently worked toward achieving a level of conservation of city water;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that an incremental rate structure be implemented that would effect no increase in costs (When comparing the existing and proposed rate structures using base year 2010) to those with an average consumption of or less than 18 m3/mo. and shift resulting impact to those with an average consumption higher than 18 m3/mo.


He suggested the motion would keep the intent of the staff report, but would shift the burden away from low or moderate water users to high and moderately high users, noting those higher users would still be paying less than they are now.  He suggested this change would still be encouraging conservation, and would be sending the right message in the community.  He clarified that the motion would pertain to residential users and the impacts would be related to the full charge, including water and sewer.  He suggested that the City should not be penalizing those who go out of their way to conserve water, noting many residents had expressed that sentiment.  

Mr. Weir suggested explained that the City’s ability to implement complex rate structures such as those suggested in the motion was limited by the inability to obtain month-by month reads and bill on an incremental or altering block structure.  The noted the City currently relies on a manual system of collecting data, targeting a recovery of information every of four months, up to six to eight months if there are any deficiencies with the meter-reading system.  He suggested this infrequency of reads of actual consumption made it near impossible to implement a more complex structure effectively.


Ms. Simulik confirmed that until the full automated meter system was implemented, it would be difficult to bill on an inclining or altering block structure.  She suggested the scenario posed in Councillor Monette’ motion could be explored as one of the options coming forward in May, in conjunction with those suggested in Councillor Holmes’ motion, and that the benefits and problems of such an option could be reviewed.


Mr. Weir recommended that, due to the impending financial plan deadline, Council approve the base plus volumetric formula as outlined in the staff report, with option for the volumetric to be considered on 11 May, knowing the implementation will be in 2011. Ms Simulik suggested this would work for the preparation of the Financial Plan.  


It was suggested that Councillor Monette’s motion be combine with Councillor Holmes’ previous motion, with staff to come back 11 May with the results of their review.  Both Councillors agreed to this approach.


Councillor Bellemare noted that over 2008 to 2009, actual water sales were six per cent less than projected, and the examples used by staff in their presentation spoke to a 10 per cent fluctuation.  He suggested that, in order to justify a base charge, he would like to see a historical look at how much the total revenues have fluctuated over the years.  He suggested the 25 per cent base charge was perhaps too high if revenue fluctuation was only 10 per cent, and therefore a lower base charge would be warranted. 


Councillor Bellemare also noted that low and low to moderate water users would experience a very significant percentage increase in their water rates under the new structure, while moderately high and high users would experience significant decreases.  He suggested the structure was not fair because it necessarily penalized those who are efficient when it comes to the low-users.  He suggested that there are a significant amount of low-use households that are water efficient, and they would be seeing large increases in their monthly rates. He suggested a smaller base charge would be better. 


Mr. Weir explained that the rate structure was intended to address the fact that over 90 per cent of the cost of delivering the service is fixed and has nothing to do with water demand, while over 90 per cent of revenues are based on demand.  Further, he suggested the intent was to more fairly distribute the fixed charges over the entire customer base, while leaving sufficient bill control and encouragement for conservation.  He noted the proposed base charge was a lower percentage than in some other Ontario municipalities, which have base charges over 20 per cent.  Staff established an internal target to stay between 20-30 per cent base charge in order to moderate that impact. 


Councillor Bellemare wondered, why a 25 per cent base charge was necessary if the fluctuation in revenue was less than 10 per cent a year and the goal is to stabilize revenues.  He suggested perhaps a 6-10 per cent would be sufficient to bring stability to revenues.  Mr. Weir suggested that, even with a 25-29 per cent base charge, staff is only tempering the revenue variability, not eliminating it.  Even at the higher base charge, the volumetric portion is so large that major decrease in revenue exceeds what the base charge can modify. 


Councillor Bellemare maintained that the big increases and decreases in water bills were not fair and reasonable, and suggested phasing in the base charge over time, and seeing over time whether the revenues are being stabilized. 


In response to questions from Councillor Hunter regarding the impacts on extremely low water users (less than 10 cubic metres a month) Ms. McIntyre noted that as consumption decreases, the fixed portion represents a greater portion of the bill.  For low water users the fixed portion is a higher percentage of the bill, but the overall bill is still lower than that of a higher water user because the volumetric charge is applied to fewer cubic metres.  With regards to the quantum of the base charge, that will depend on the 2011 rate budget.  The current formula is intended to minimize impact to the average residential consumer.


Councillor Hunter expressed sympathy for the anger and frustration of those residents who had taken steps to conserve water, some by means of City conservation programs, in order to move to a lower category of water user, only to be hit with an increased charge in this new structure.  He noted that in the past he had raised concerns that encouraging conservation would reduce the City’s revenues, and had been told that conservation would help avoid capital costs in the future.  He suggested the current proposal was not a fair way to deal declining consumption, suggesting a better tactic would be to take the surplus collected in years of high consumption and bank it to be used when there is low consumption. 


Councillor Feltmate inquired whether moving to a similar rate structure in other municipalities had impacted conservation.  Ms. McIntyre explained the research has generally shown that when any change in a rate structure occurs, assuming it has a conservation component, it will affect a change in behaviour almost immediately.  That impact may dissipate over time as it becomes the new norm and as there is an evolution in the population.  Mr. Weir agreed that the change to the new structure elicits a one-time resistance to the change, but once it becomes the norm people will conserve. 


In response to further questions from Councillor Feltmate, Mr. Weir explained that the City was at 1987 levels in terms of water demand, despite the fact that the population had grown since then.  This can be attributed to investment in infrastructure, changing environmental designs, water conservation and efficiency.   Tammy Rose, Manager of Drinking Water Services, explained that, while the variable costs (hydro, chemical uses) have come down based on the volume produced, the fixed costs remain.  Mr. Weir further explained that costs increase as the pipe network expands further out, and the fixed costs were also going up with inflation.  Thus, the cost of delivering the service continues to rise despite the fact that staff is doing what they can to minimize operating costs.


Councillor Feltmate wondered if there was any evidence that conservation could reduce the needs for new infrastructure, and when those benefits would be reaped in the form of expenditure avoidance.  Mr. Weir noted that the need to replace infrastructure was largely age-dependant.  Conservation has an impact in terms of capacity by effectively expanding the capacity of the existing pipes, pumping stations, reservoirs or treatment facilities, allowing intensification on the existing infrastructure.


Ms Rose explained there was a study underway to determine the City’s plant expansion needs, and noted they were already deferring the need to expand Lemieux or Britannia water treatment facilities by a few years.  Mr. Weir stated that the report coming forward to Committee and Council in May would identify some of the projects that water conservation had been able to avoid or defer.


In response to questions from Councillor Qadri with regard to how the base rate and how it might vary over time, Mr. Weir explained that there are certain costs that are charged to the base or volumetric rate.  Therefore, if those charges changed, there would be a need to change the base charge or the volumetric charge.  Included in the base charge are all the support services, plus a portion of capital, debt payment and ongoing operating and maintenance. The larger share of the capital, debt, and operating maintenance reside within the volumetric change. 


In response to questions from Councillor Qadri respecting the impacts of continued water conservation, Mr. Weir explained staff was continuing to forecast on a year-to year basis what demand will be.  He suggested moving to the new rate structure would reduce the impact of the variability, should it occur in the future, on both the high side and the low side of consumption.  He reiterated the focus of the structure is generating a more stable revenue stream for the City.


Chair Hume noted that the City continues to produce bills based on estimated consumption, and the equipment is antiquated.  He suggested in order to eliminate variability, the City must move to actual consumption-based billing sooner rather than later.  Mr. Weir agreed, adding that the infrastructure does not currently exist to be able to support the changes proposed by Councillor Monette, reiterating that staff will nonetheless explore the options and come forward in the May report to identify the issues.


Committee then heard from the following public delegations.


John Dickie, Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization (EOLO) indicated his organization was generally supportive of the proposal and did not have a problem with the introduction of a base rate, suggesting it would lend consumer stability and revenue stability for the City.  He preferred the idea of one volumetric rate rather than multiple volumetric rates.  However, if there were to be variable volumetric rates based on consumption, he asked that the bands be set on a per-dwelling basis.  For example, if a single home gets a lower rate for the first ten cubic meters, a 10 unit building should get that rate for the first hundred cubic metres.  He suggested that, as the City has unit counts for use on the garbage charges, the data would be available to incorporate into the water billing system.  


In response to questions from Councillor Hume, Mr. Dickie explained that his members generally have one meter for multiple units.  He noted this issue applied not only to rental buildings, but also to condominiums, many of which are also not separately metered.  He also commented that many landlords have put in water saving measure and, while those who have been particularly aggressive in conservation would pay more under the new structure, they would still pay less than the non-conservers.


Richard Eveleigh spoke in support of encouraging water conservation.  He noted that he had seen water pipes being replaced that were 100 years old but still functional.  He suggested it was a waste to be fixing pipes that were not broken, leading to rising infrastructure costs.  He further suggested Council should not be afraid to raise the water rate per litre, as other municipalities that had feared this privatized their water, leading to increased costs and declining quality. 


Mr. Eveleigh also suggested the City use a meter to detect water leaving the sewer pipe, and have a separate charge for residential and commercial users based on that, suggesting such a meter could also be used to detect toxins in the water.  He also suggested residents should be charged per square meter for impermeable surfaces, such as parking lots and driveways that do not allow rainwater to sink through.  Moreover, he proposed having reservoirs built under roads to collect rainwater that can be used for such things as cleaning the streets or watering lawns.  He suggested there may be the ability to reduce the amount of the base charge on the water bill, and supported the suggestion of Councillor Hunter to save money in high-consumption years for use in low-consumption years. 


Chair Hume then confirmed the motions from Councillor Holmes and Councillor Monette had been combined into the following resolutions: 


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT staff be directed to bring forward a companion report to the phase 2 water efficiency strategy, which outlines options for different volumetric rates based on levels of consumption that would be more supportive and encourage greater conservation efforts;


BE IT FURTHERRESOLVED THAT the options for different volumetric charges include a rate structure that would effect no increase in costs (When comparing the existing and proposed rate structures using base year 2010 ) to those with an average consumption of or less than 18 m3/mo. and shift resulting impact to those with an average consumption higher than 18 m3/mo.


Councillor Hunter requested clarification on the motion, because he felt that Councillors Holmes and Monette had raised conflicting objectives.  Chair Hume explained that Councillor Holmes was asking staff to bring forward a companion report that outlines options for different volumetric rates based on levels of consumption that would be more supportive and encourage greater conservation efforts, while Councillor Monette was asking that consideration be given to an option amongst those that would ensure there are no increases in costs for consumers whose average consumption is less than 18 cubic meters a month. 


Councillor Hunter appreciated the clarification and said that, although the objectives are laudable, the current system of a pure volumetric charge already encourages and rewards conservation.  He suggested that any problems the City has in terms of financing should be dealt with internally through preventative budgeting in the surplus years and should not become the burden of consumers who have made efforts and continue to conserve.  He commented that just because other utilities and because other municipalities use the base plus volumetric system does not mean it is right for Ottawa.  He distributed copies of the results of a survey of residents of his ward pertaining to this issue, in which all but one respondent felt the change to the system would be inappropriate.


Councillor Bellemare stated he would be prepared to support Councillor Holmes’ motion on a conservation-based rate charge if wording were added to ask staff to include the option of phasing in the 25 per cent base charge over five years.  He felt this would resolve the impacts at both ends of the spectrum in terms of significant increases or decreases.


Councillor Holmes accepted Councillor Bellemare’s suggestion as a friendly amendment.


Councillor Bellemare stated he was not in favour of Councillor Monette’s portion of the resolution that targets consumption that is over 18 cubic meters, because large families may use that amount or more and still actually be conserving within their personal means.


Councillor Monette felt the motion was appropriate given that options would be discussed on 11 May before decisions are made on the volumetric charge.  He reiterated that he would not support any option that would penalize low and moderate consumers.


On a point of procedure, Councillor Bellemare asked for the motion to be divided for voting purposes since he did not support Councillor Monette’s component of the motion.


Moved by D. Holmes


WHEREAS the Auditor General recommended a new rate structure that would provide revenue stability, improved rate fairness and defensibility, and rate stability; and


WHEREAS this new rate structure, is in use in most major Canadian Cities – Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Region of Halton(Oakville, Burlington etc), Region of Durham(Oshawa, Whitby etc), Halifax, Quebec City and parts of Montreal; and


WHEREAS the new structure is a base rate plus a consumption charge; and


WHEREAS although new structure is revenue neutral to the City of Ottawa but the change will cause some minor increases (17 cents per day/$5 per month) to the bills of water users of less than 10 cubic metres a month; and


WHEREAS this shift has brought a welcome focus to water conservation efforts and a discussion on how to reward conservation efforts; and


WHEREAS on May 11 Planning and Environment Committee will receive and consider the City’s new water efficiency strategy;


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT staff be directed to bring forward a companion report to the phase 2 water efficiency strategy, which outlines options for different volumetric rates based on levels of consumption that would be more supportive and encourage greater conservation efforts, as well as the option of phasing the base charge in over five years.



Councillor G. Hunter dissented


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the options for different volumetric charges include a rate structure that would effect no increase in costs (when comparing the existing and proposed rate structures using base year 2010) to those with an average consumption of or less than 18 m3/mo. and shift resulting impact to those with an average consumption higher than 18 m3/mo.



Councillors G. Hunter and M. Bellemare dissented


Moved by D. Holmes


That Recommendation 1 be amended as follows:


1.                  Implementation of a “base plus volumetric” rate structure commencing in 2011 subject to confirmation of the volumetric rate at the May 11th meeting of Planning and Environment Committee meeting.




Committee then voted on the first report recommendation, as amended:


That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend that Council approve:


1.                  Implementation of a “base plus volumetric” rate structure commencing in 2011 subject to confirmation of the volumetric rate at the May 11th meeting of Planning and Environment Committee meeting.


                                                                                    CARRIED, as amended


YEAS (4):       Councillors M. Bellemare, D. Holmes, P. Feltmate, P. Hume

NAYS (3):      Councillors G. Hunter, B. Monette, S. Qadri


Committee approved the remainder of the staff report, as amended.


2.                  Full cost recovery by service area, specifically:  different rates for the provision of drinking water services, and sanitary and stormwater services.


3.                  That staff further examines options for the recovery of stormwater and drainage costs in 2010, for report back to Council in 2011.


4.                  That staff further examine options for the recovery of costs from Russell Township and report back in Q4, 2010.


5.                  That staff be directed to bring forward a companion report to the phase 2 water efficiency strategy, which outlines options for different volumetric rates based on levels of consumption that would be more supportive and encourage greater conservation efforts, as well as the option of phasing the base charge in over five years.


6.                  That the options for different volumetric charges include a rate structure that would effect no increase in costs (when comparing the existing and proposed rate structures using base year 2010) to those with an average consumption of or less than 18 m3/mo. and shift resulting impact to those with an average consumption higher than 18 m3/mo.


                                                                                                CARRIED, as amended




Suivi du déficit de fonctionnement 2009 financé par les tarifs

ACS2010-CMR-FIN-0018                                           City Wide/À l'échelle de la Ville


That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve the following:


1.                  That the 2009 deficit of $5.579 million in the drinking water program be funded from a transfer from the Water Capital Reserve Fund.


2.                  That the 2009 deficit of $11.177 million in the wastewater program be funded from a transfer from the Wastewater Capital Reserve Fund.


3.                  That the capital project authorities and financing adjustments, as detailed in Document 2 to this report, be approved, and that $5.579 million be returned to the Water Capital Reserve Fund and $11.177 million be returned to the Wastewater Capital Reserve Fund.








ACS2010-CMR-FIN-0019                                           City Wide/À l'échelle de la Ville


            E-mail correspondence on this matter dated 10 April 2010 was received from Howard and Linda Healey, which is held on file with the City Clerk.


            Bruce Webster, Richmond Village Association, was present in support of the recommendation.  He noted that the issue had been brought to the attention of the previous Councillor, and no action had resulted.  He wished to thank the current Councillor for taking action on this matter, and commend staff for their quick response.


That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council:


1.                  Approve a credit program for current owners to offset or adjust the sewer service charges collected by property taxes for the period of ownership between 2001 and 2009 to be applied to the 2010 Final Tax Bills issued in May 2010.


2.                  That such credit program include interest and provision in the same manner as authorized by the Municipal Act Section 345 and Education Act Section 257.11 for overpayments.


3.                  That the estimated cost of this program in the amount of $797,000 be funded by the Sewer Reserve.





12.       requireMENT FOR Inlet Control Devices


ACS2010-CCS-PEC-0012                                         CITY WIDE/ À L’ÉCHELLE DE LA VILLE


Doug Smeathers, and Dale Harley were present in support of the report recommendations.


That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve that, until such time as new protocols are finalized and approved by Council, staff be directed to permit connections to the existing storm sewer system provided that a flow limiting orifice plate, designed by an engineer to the satisfaction of the City, be installed at the storm water outlet prior to connecting upstream storm sewers.










ACS2010-CMR-CCB-0034-IPD                                 CITY WIDE/À L'ÉCHELLE DE LA VILLE








No notices of motion were introduced.






Councillor Hume submitted the following inquiry on behalf of Councillor Desroches:


What is the City's regulatory jurisdiction related to new cell towers?  How are the concerns of local residents addressed under the current regulatory framework?






No other business was discussed.






The meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.



Original signed by                                                                      Original signed by

Caitlin Salter-MacDonald                                     Councillor P. Hume


Committee Coordinator                                     Chair