ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
8.9 – Great Lakes Sustainability Fund Yes 10-0 Consent
8.26 – Metered On-Street Accessible Parking Yes 10-0 Referral
8.12 – Plan of Condominium Ojibway Lakes Yes 10-0 Consent
8.13 – Rezoning 0 Walker Road Yes 10-0 Consent
8.20 – Prairie Court Sight Lines Yes 10-0 Delegation
11.1 – St. George Church Demolition Yes 8-2 Delegation
8.7 – Capital work Capitol Theatre Yes 10-0 Consent

 

8.9 – Great Lakes Sustainability Fund: Excellent report and excellent initiative – an application to the Federal Great Lakes Sustainability Fund (GLSF) that will support a pilot project involving Low Impact Design (LID) features such as bio-retention at the South Windsor Recreational Complex parking lot that will help divert storm water from the storm sewers thereby potentially mitigating damage from severe rainfall events – such as the one that impacted Ward 7.  LID projects are being implemented province wide by municipalities looking to lessen flooding during severe weather events.   For example, the City of Toronto is converting parks to serve a dual purpose as retention basins.  Windsor is fairly new to the LID game.  Lessons learned from this LID pilot project will be applied City Wide.

8.26: Metered On-Street Accessible Parking: I asked Administration in February, 2016 to report back on feasibility and cost of free metered parking for residents with Accessible Parking Permits.  Administration reported back and recommended keeping status quo aka NO free metered parking.  I asked that this report be referred to the Windsor Accessibility Advisory Committee for further comment, which City Council supported.

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
5.11 – PwC Concerned Citizen Complaint Yes 10-0 Deferral
5.1 – PWC EnWin Utilities Audit Yes 10-0 Presentation
5.2 – PwC Enwin Utilities Action Plan Yes 10-0 Presentation
5.3 – PwC EnWin Energy Audit Yes 10-0 Presentation
5.4 – PwC Energy Ltd Action Plan Yes 10-0 Presentation
5.5 – Windsor Utilities Commission Audit Yes 10-0 Presentation
5.6 – WUC Action Plan Yes 10-0 Presentation
5.7 – PwC Fraud Risk Management Yes 10-0 Presentation
5.8 – PwC Fraud Risk Management Action Plan Yes 10-0 Presentation
5.9 – PwC Internal Audit Dashboard Yes 10-0 Presentation
5.10 – PwC Internal Audit Report on Findings Yes 10-0 Presentation
6.1 – Status Report on Implementation of Audit Recommendations Yes 10-0 Business Item
6.2 – Summary of Hotline Issues Yes 10-0 Business Item
6.3 – Status Report – Compliance Yes 10-0 Business Item
6.4 – ERM update Yes 10-0 Business Item
6.5 – Annual performance management reporting calendar Yes 10-0 Business Item

 

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
7.1 – Conversion Pelissier Garage to Parking No 7-4 Delegation

Item 7. 1: Pelissier Street Parking Garage  - Conversion to Parking

There are a number of reasons to maintain commercial and retail space on the ground floor of the Pelissier Street Parking Garage – and many of them check off the key points in the 20 Year Strategic Vision put forward by City Council.

Promotes Downtown Revitilzation?  Check

Promotes Quality of Life? Check

Creates Jobs?  Check

Improves City Brand?  Check

Establishes new Revenue Stream?  Check

Has Measured ROI? Check

In addition to all the positive things that comes from maintaining commercial and retail, it also prevents the negative – namely – hurting the existing businesses and small business owners who have invested in the Pelissier Street corridor – businesses such as March 21 Cafe, Pho Maxim, The Squirrel Cage, A Dog’s Breakfast, Mario’s, Terracotta, Emone Korean Restaurant etc.   Creating a dead-zone of parking will hurt these businesses.

Finally, all one has to do is look two kilometers north and across the river to Detroit to see the best practises being adopted by all cities on the move.  The Z-Garage built by successful business owner Dan Gilbert has 10 floors and 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail.  The parking garage at the new Little Caesars Red Wings Arena has 7000 square feet of ground floor retial.  And the Studio One mixed use residential – a 150,000 square foot complex built by Wayne State University – also has a parking garage with …. you guessed it …. ground floor retail and commercial.

Windsor – unfortunately – chose a sub optimal path and voted to convert its ground floor commercial and retail to parking.

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
8.3 – POA agreements Yes 10-0 Consent
8.4 – Purchasing Card Policy Yes 10-0 Consent
8.8 – Condo conversion 1400 Ouellette Yes 10-0 Deferral
8.1 – Site Plan for WE Community Health Centre Yes 10-0 Consent
8.2 – Amendment to prohibit smoking Yes 10-0 Consent
ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
9.1 – International Playing Card – deferral Yes 10-0 Deferral
8.28 – Condo conversion 1400 Ouellette Yes 10-0 Deferral
10.1 – Sovereign’s Medal Yes 10-0 Presentation
10.2 – Presentation to Fire Chief Montone NA NA NA
10.3 Sparky’s Toy Drive NA NA NA
8.26 – Zoning bylaw 3951 Walker Road Yes 10-0 Consent
8.29 – Azar Holdings – Eastlawn Yes 10-0 Delegation
11.2 – Gino Marcus Alley closure Yes 10-0 Consent
8.11 – CQ: street light standards Yes 10-0 Delegation
8.2 – Amendment to Business Retention for 1207 Drouillard Road Yes 10-0 Consent
8.19 – Rail Issues Committee report Yes 10-0 Delegation
8.12 – Options for Rodent Extermination Yes 10-0 Consent
8.14 – Top cyclist collision report Yes 10-0 Delegation
8.18 – Ticketing for cars parked on lawns Yes 10-0 Delegation
8.30 – Rezoning 1949 Devonshire – St. George’s Church Yes 9-1 Delegation
8.17 – All way stop Richmond and Chilver Yes 10-0 Delegation
8.24 – Dougall Two Way Conversion to be heard at Budget Yes 10-0 Consent
11.1 – 2017 Public Works budget pre-approve Yes 10-0 Consent

 

 

How’s My Driving? At the halfway point of the term of City Council – I am submitting the last two years of my Recorded Votes. Please feel free to share your feedback – via post or email – as a kind of Performance Review. Note: Recorded Votes are typically high profile issues where a member of Council requests each individual CouncilloIrek Recorded Votes pg 2- 2014-16r’s votes are recorded separately.

Irek Recorded Votes pg 2- 2014-16(1)

 

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
7.5 – Response CQ54-2015 CQ54-2015 CQ No 3-6 Delegation
7.5 – Motion #2 Yes 9-0 Delegation
11.1 – Clean Waste Water Fund Yes 10-0 Regular
8.1 – Declare 1356 Tecumseh Rd E. surplus Yes 10-0 Consent
8.2 – WFCU Centre Ticketing Agreement Yes 10-0 Consent
8.3 – Combined Heat Power @ WIATC Yes 10-0 Consent
8.4 – Photovoltaic update Yes 10-0 Consent
8.9 – CQ16-2016 Windsor Detroit Pedestrian Ferry Yes 10-0 Deferral

As we transition from emergency and recovery mode – it makes sense to start the process of reviewing the state of our storm and sanitary system. We got the ball rolling at City Council on Monday with a few questions and followed this up by additional questions submitted to the City Engineer – SEE BELOW. I invite you to share with me questions and concerns you would like raised at City Council and with our City Engineer regarding last week’s rainfall and flood.

(1) What is the status of Stormwater and Sanitary Master Plan – timeline for completion?

(b) What resources are necessary to expedite/prioritize the completion of the Plan?

(2) Livelink #15549 (2012) report calls for a comprehensive Stormwater Management Strategy -
Where are we on that?

(3) After the last major flood in 2011 – the Town of Tecumseh hired an independent engineering consulting firm – Dillon Consulting – to prepare a Sanitary Sewage Collection System Improvements Class Environmental Assessment. It has 167 pages that reviews capacity, performance and provides recommendations.

a. Has the City of Windsor conducted a Sanitary Sewage Collection Improvement EA?
b. What resources would be necessary to proceed with a similar EA in East Windsor?

(4) City has 43 pumping stations – 8 sanitary; 29 storm; 6 combined. Can you confirm that all 43 pumping stations working on September 28, 29 & 30?

(5) The City constructed a $60 million downtown Retention Treatment Basin (RTB) in 2012.
a. Is East Windsor connected to the Retention Treatment Basin?
b. Would a retention basin on the East End help in this situation?
c. Would it relieve pressure on Little River Pollution Control Plant?

(6) What percentage of our 1700km of sewers have been analyzed using CCTV – for anomalies such as cross-connections and deficiencies leading to infiltration? In your Professional Opinion – can more be done? What resources are necessary to expedite CCTV in East Windsor?

(7) Little River Pollution Control Plant (LRPCP) – treats sanitary from Windsor (east of Pilette) through East Windsor to Town of Tecumseh – co-called Zones 2, 4,5,6,8,11,12 correct?

a. Could we collaborate with the Town of Tecumseh on a joint Master Plan and/or join EA for sanitary improvements – since our systems are so linked together?
b. Can LRPCP handle flows from Tecumseh and Windsor as is?

(8) Confirm that Emergency Bypass Gate at Little River Pollution Control Plant allows water to bypass Secondary Treatment and be discharged directly to Detroit River in times of heavy flow.
a. When is it opened?
b. What happens?
c. Key Question – what time was bypass activated on Thursday/Friday?

(9) In 2010 – the Little River Pollution Control Plant bypassed 514 million litres of water because LRPCP was at capacity. In 2011 – LRPCP bypassed 2.1 billion litres of water – representing a 311 per cent increase. Why is that?
a. Does LRPCP have a capacity problem? Will it have a capacity issue with future development – if so, when?
b. LRPCP has primary treatment capacity of about 27,000 cubic metres/day whereas Lou Romano Water Reclamation Plant has 273,000 cubic meters/day. 10 times more. Is that an issue? Should LRPCP capacity be increased to accommodate new development?

(10) How many employees do we have conducting sewer maintenance on our 900km of sanitary sewers? What do they do? How much do we spend? How long does it take for one clean cycle? Is that standard across cities?
a. In June 2010 – there was flooding in Ward 8 – and part of it was attributed to a giant grease ball that caused a blockage. Can we rule out blockages as contributing factor in Ward 7 floods?

(11) Backwater valves have been mandated on all new builds since 2012 – correct?
a. I talked to residents who had it installed – and yet still got flooded. Can you explain?
b. How many backflow valves have been installed – and in your professional opinion can we do better to get more uptake on this program? What is required to expedite backflow valve installation across East Windsor?

(12) In 2012 – a report recommended that the City purchase 20 permanent flow monitors and hire a consultant so that the City can collect data on sewer flows and create computerized models that show inefficiency and infiltration.
a. Where are we on this? What is the data showing us?

(13) Where are we on updating Intensity Duration Frequency (IDF) curves for the City of Windsor?

(14) About $500 million is required to separate sewer and sanitary. Currently spending $10 million per year? How long would it take to accomplish this? In your Professional Opinion – is this sufficient?

(15) Where are we on the downspout disconnection program?

a. 2012 report states: “Had downspouts been disconnected during the previous (2011) major flood events, then most of the basements flooded would not have. A 10% reduction in water volume heading to the sanitary sewer would greatly reduce instances of basement flooding”.
In your professional opinion – do we need more resources to expedite downspout disconnection?
b. How much are we spending per year on downspout disconnection?
c. How much does it cost to treat stormwater every year

(16) The retention pond at Blue Heron Lake & Troupe Crescent both crested and/or overflowed.  As City Engineer you stated that the retention ponds did what they were designed to do. If capacity is not an issue at these individual retention ponds – is it possible additional retention capacity in Ward 7 is necessary or would have been beneficial?
(b) Had intense rains continued onto Friday/Saturday as forecast – with Blue Heron and Troupe Crescent retention ponds at capacity – where would the water go? What would be the outcome for residential basements without additional retention capacity?

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
7.2 – Assessment valuation report Yes 10-0 Communication
7.3 – Canada Goose control program Yes 10-0 Communication
7.4 – Asphalt Specifications and Quality Assurance Yes 10-0 Communication
7.5 – FINA Expenditures report only – note and file Yes 10-0 Communication
7.6 – McDougall Rail Crossing grant application Yes 10-0 Communication
7.7 – Smart Community and Fibre Optics Yes 10-0 Communication
11.3 & 11.4 – Clothing Donation and Bin Yes 10-0 Deferral
11.7 – Riverside Vista expropriation Yes 10-0 Deferral
10.1 – Friends of Ojibway video Yes 10-0 Presentation
10.2 – Property assessment notices MPAC Yes 10-0 Presentation
10.3 – Grand Marais drain concrete channel update Yes 10-0 Presentation
8.5 – Riverside Underpass EA acceptance No 8-2 Consent
8.8 – Parking clearance implementation Yes 10-0 Delegation
11.1 – IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship Bid No 9-1 Regular business
11.2 – Town of Lasalle Transit Yes 10-0 Regular
11.5 – Swimming Canada bids Yes 10-0 Regular
11.6 – Rimini Street Peoplesoft software Yes 10-0 Regular
11.8 – WEEEDC agreement with City Yes 10-0 Regular

 

7.3 – Canada Goose control program: In 2009, the Town of Vernon, B.C was a defendant in a case brought before the Supreme Court of British Columbia by a resident who was injured after slipping on a park sidewalk covered in goose droppings.  The court ruled in favour of the City – but in large part as a result of the fact that the City demonstrated a reasonable level of care having put in place a regular cleaning schedule three days per week.

My line of questioning during this debate centered around making sure that we have in place similar protections against liability in the form of a regular cleaning program.  Subsequently, I forwarded the BC Supreme Court Case to Administration.  Stay tuned for the response.

7.4 – Asphalt Specifications and Quality Assurance:  First off, I would like to congratulate and thank Mr. Andrew Lewis – from the Engineering Department – for an excellent report that really underscores the critical importance of one of our most important and expensive assets: roads.

The City spends $22 million every year on roads.  Increasingly, we have witnessed roads falling apart prematurely after only a few seasons – much sooner than their expected 25 year life-cycle- not just in Windsor but across Ontario.  This is a serious enough issue that even the industry association – Ontario Hot Mix Producers Association (OHMPA) is studying the issue.

Hence – one would think the City would make certain that (a) we have tight specifications in place that make sure good material is used in our roads, while the bad stuff is kept out (b) that we have a robust Quality Assurance program that can verify that contractors are using good stuff, and keeping the bad stuff out of Windsor roads.

Bad stuff like used motor oil – or what the industry calls Re-Refined Engine Oil Bottoms (REOB) and also something called Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP).

A large number of studies – including those conducted by Queen’s University roads expert Dr. Simon Hesp – clearly show that both REOB and RAP are junk by-products that lead to premature road failure when inserted into asphalt.

Five (5) major cities across Ontario restrict the use of RAP – with Ottawa and Toronto introducing restrictions in 2017.

Eight (8) major cities across Ontario ban the use of REOB – or used engine oil.

Windsor is one of the few large cities in Ontario that have NO restrictions on used engine oil, and still use RAP in our asphalt.

The good news – is that we have representatives from City Administration on two major taskforces and committees studying this issue – industry and government – which look like they might produce tighter specifications with greater restrictions on RAP and REOB by November, 2016.

Our hope is that Windsor adopts those stricter restrictions when they are made public.

In the meantime, we keep our eyes on the process and on the clock. Hopefully, we don’t spend too much money laying down asphalt that proves to have substandard material.

In addition to tighter specifications – we also need a strong Quality Assurance (QA) program, which is a fancy way of saying we have enough trained people in place who are testing what contractors put into our roads – making sure the good stuff is there, and the bad stuff like engine oil is kept out.

Well – you may be concerned to learn that the City spends a whopping 0.3 per cent of our roads budget on Quality Assurance every year.

Dr. Simon Hesp – from Queen’s University – recommends cities spend at least about 3 per cent per year more on Quality Assurance.

Even the City’s report states in bold lettering that “Quality Assurance must be the first priority of the infrastructure owner in keeping the supplied materials and contractors’ practises in check”.

My position is that the City’s current Quality Assurance program is weak and underfunded.  That appears to be the message in the report.

The good news is that this issue will be raised again at Budget Time.

In a zero per cent budget – we prioritize.  And I firmly believe – we can do more to make sure our annual $22 million capital roads budget is spent on good roads that last.

7.7 – Smart Community and Fibre Optics:  I am excited to report that super high speed internet is available in Forest Glade Community Centre, Forest Glade Library and Forest Glade Arena after all three community centres were connected to fibre optics.  Have fun surfing :)

8.5 Riverside Underpass Environmental Assessment (EA): I have opposed and voted NO on the Riverside Underpass since the first day.  To keep my vote consistent – I voted NO on accepting the Environmental Assessment – which is the blueprint for the underpass.  This is not a priority.

8.8 – Parking Clearance Implementation: The good residents in the condo association fronting Esplanade Drive will be relieved to learn that the City will not be eliminating the few available on-street parking spots near the multi-use trail.  This is the right call.  A one-size-fits-all policy for parking clearance adjacent to multi-use trails does not take into account local variations – like the one on Esplanade where it is readily apparent that the existing parking has absolutely no impact on sight lines for the nearby multi-use trail.

Hat tip to Mr. Michael Duquette for doing the heavy lifting of bringing this issue to the fore.

11.1 – World Junior Hockey Championship Bid: First off, let me state outright that I love watching World Junior Hockey.  Our family hunkers down in front of the television every boxing day to start the tournament.

Having said that – my research indicates that the four or five previous bids were put forward by cities that could guarantee to Hockey Canada a profit of between $10 million and $15 million. 

In addition, many of the Cities had large arenas that could host about 20,000 spectators – which neither Windsor nor our partner-city London have.

I question once again the Return-on-Investment (ROI) for Windsor taxpayers of hosting big ticket sporting events.  I would rather see that money put on long term infrastructure improvements – roads, parks, community centres etc.  That’s money well spent.

11.5 – Swimming Canada Bids: I did vote in favour of the City supporting three Swim Canada competitions.  The bids are cost neutral to the taxpayer – since the City is in essence only waiving the fees for renting out the Aquatics Centre.

The “in-kind” contribution for the three swimming championships is about $60,000 in total – and it will bring in hundreds of competitors and spectators to the City.  That’s a good trade.

I’ve consistently argued – that the City should support smaller and local sporting and cultural organizations and events such as OFSAA or the Windsor International Film Festival or Tour di Via Italia.  Not as the main sponsors – but leveraging existing organizations that are putting in most of the work, raising most of the funding, and taking on most of the risk.

The key words: leveraging partnerships, protecting the taxpayer.