M E M O   /   N O T E   D E   S E R V I C E





To / Destinataire

Mayor and Members of Council

File/N° de fichier:  T13-06-MAIN

From / Expéditeur

Barry TownsendManager, Light Rail Implementation Division


Subject / Objet

Selection of Site for Storage and Maintenance Facility for North-South Light Rail Transit Project

Date:  06 February 2006



The Light Rail Office has received a number of enquiries related to the selection of the storage and maintenance facility for the North-South Light Rail Transit Project (N-S Light Rail Transit project).  This memo summarizes the process to date and provides information on the steps to be followed in the selection of the site for the facility.


On 15 July 2005, Council approved the North-South Corridor Light Rail Transit Project Environmental Assessment Study Recommendations.  That report identified three potential locations for the site of a storage and maintenance facility for the N-S Light Rail Transit project, and committed that the final site selection would be the subject of a future report to Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee and Council.  The three sites, shown in yellow detail on the attached plan are:


      1.   Walkley Yard [north site]

      2.   Airport Parkway, also known as the Lester Site [centre site]

      3.   Transport Canada Lands Outside the Curve, also known as the Bowesville Site [south site]


The Environmental Assessment (EA) document for the N-S Light Rail Transit project was subsequently submitted to the Ministry of Environment (MOE), public comments/questions were accepted, and City responses to them were returned to the MOE.  After reviewing the City’s responses, the MOE published a “Notice of Completion” of the Ministry Review of the environmental assessment review on 30 December 2005.  The MOE Review concluded that “the City undertook a complete EA”, complied with the approved Terms of Reference and addressed all information requirements outlined in Section 6.1(2) of the provincial EA Act - i.e. the EA was prepared in accordance with the Act - and that sufficient information has been provided to enable the Minister to render a decision. The following are two of the draft conditions of approval contained within the Review to address issues raised during the public comment period:



Furthermore, the MOE indicated the steps for the City to follow in the selection of the preferred site for the storage and maintenance facility as follows:



The first step in the MOE’s process, the “Set up of a Public Working Group”, is now underway.  It is being coordinated by Marshall Macklin Monaghan, the engineering consultants to the City of Ottawa for the procurement phase of the Project.  Delegates will include folks who represent community interests, and the concerns of agencies and businesses.  The Working Group will meet under the guidance of an independent facilitator, and report to the Manager, Light Rail Implementation Division.  This Working Group will develop criteria, consider the relative importance of those criteria, and evaluate each site based on the criteria.  That information will then be available at a Public Information Centre meeting.  Notice of that meeting will be distributed by flyer throughout neighbourhoods in proximity to the sites, in daily newspapers and by direct notice to folks who have registered an interest in this aspect of the project with the Light Rail Office.


In order to ensure we obtain direct input from residents and communities who have indicated an interest in the selection of a storage and maintenance facility, the technical evaluation done to date by staff and consultants has been set aside. The intent is that the Working Group will develop the evaluation criteria rather than critique an existing evaluation.  Various experts will attend the Working Group sessions to act as resource people to assist the Working Group in their endeavour.


Subsequently, the preferred option will be presented to Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee (tentatively a joint meeting with Transportation Committee), who may then provide a recommendation to City Council.


Concurrent with this environmental evaluation process, the procurement process is proceeding in order to select a proponent to design, build and maintain the N-S Light Rail Transit project for 15 years.  For the purposes of normalizing the proponent submissions to facilitate the fair evaluation of all proponents, the proponents are preparing their bid assuming that the storage and maintenance facility is located at the Lester site.  Many residents from the Emerald Woods community have voiced their concern because they assume that the decision on the selection of the site for the storage and maintenance facility is complete and has been made without their input. This is absolutely not the case.  The selection process as described above in this memo is being followed.  Ultimately, the selected site as approved by Council will be incorporated into the contract for the N-S Light Rail Transit project.  This will be communicated to Emerald Woods residents through the Public Information Centre meeting and in direct correspondence with anyone contacting the Light Rail Office on this issue.


The Light Rail Office remains committed to a consultative process that results in the best possible site for the new light rail maintenance yards.


Original signed by:


Barry Townsend



Attach:  1


cc:     Kent Kirkpatrick, City Manager

         Ned Lathrop, Deputy City Manager, Planning and Growth Management

         Richard Hewitt, Deputy City Manager, Public Works and Services

         Steve Kanellakos, Deputy City Manager, Community and Protective Services

         Greg Geddes, Chief Corporate Services Officer

         Réjean Chartrand, Director, Economic Development and Strategic Projects