|ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_||IREK VOTED||COUNCIL VOTED||TYPE OF ITEM|
|1 – Transportation and Transit consolidation||-||-||Deferred|
|2 –Transport Canada Directive No. 32||Yay||8-0||Delegation|
|3 – Windsor Fork and Cork Festival||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|4 – Refurbish Lou Romano tanks||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|5 – Amendment to bylaw 80-2013||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|6 – Lease agreement Windsor River Cruise||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|7 – Curbs and gutters for Hanna street||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|8 – 2014 DWBIA budget approval||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|9 -2014 Municipal Elections vote times||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|10 – Benefits for Mayor and Council||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|11 – George Avenue park easement||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|12 – Wyandotte road reconstruction||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|13 – Age Friendly Windsor report||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|14 – PWC governance plan||Yay||8-0||Delegation|
|15 – Drouillard road underpass||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|16 – Corporate Energy Management Plan||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|17 – 2014 enhanced capital budget WFCU||Yay||8-0||Delegation|
|18 – RFP playground||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|19 – Capital project variance report||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|20 – PWC enterprise governance||Yay||8-0||Delegation|
|21 – PWC enterprise policy management||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|22 – PWC strategic leadership||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|23 – PWC detailed 2014-16 audit||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|24 – Walker Road improvements||Yay||8-0||Consent|
|Report No. 227 – Huron Church Road Development||Nay||7-1||Delegation|
|Communications #26 – Geothermal system for New City Hall||Yay||1-7||Communications|
Communications No. 26 - The cost of gasoline jumped to $1.42 cents this weekend. We know hydro has gone up by 50 percent over the last 10 years and will increase by 30 percent over the next four years. We know the City already pays $15 million per year in energy costs. All those costs will continue to go up!
Concerned about the rising cost of electricity and energy, in January I asked Administration to report back on the cost/feasibility of installing Geothermal Heating and Cooling (GT) in the new City Hall. Geothermal uses the natural temperature of the ground to provide heating and cooling. It is clean, green, renewable energy that is free.
Today Administration reported back (Communications No. 26) and rejected the idea of Geothermal.
The fact that Geothermal was rejected is not my issue here.
While the report represents a good introduction to geothermal heating and cooling systems, and I thank Administration for their efforts, it does not provide sufficient information for Council to make an informed decision on the choice of heating and cooling system for the new City Hall. In short, the report is incomplete and insufficient, lacking the basic core facts necessary an informed decision.
Hence, I put forward the Motion to Council that it REFER the report back to Administration to include the following critical information:
(1) the estimated upfront capital cost of installing a geothermal heating and cooling system
(2) the estimated payback period for any additional upfront capital costs and thereafter energy savings
(3) federal and provincial incentives available for renewable and more efficient energy systems e.g Federal Gas Tax; Green Energy Fund from the FCM; Ontario Power Authority funding; New Build Canada Fund etc.
(4) the potential for adding geothermal to existing District Energy in order to create a hybrid system
(5) the estimated environmental benefits in terms of CO2 reductions
The report as presented by administration puts forward some core assumptions that I feel are not adequately backed up by fact. For example:
The disadvantages of the Geothermal System: That it is mostly used in residential and traditionally not used in large facilities with space constraints like the New City Hall.
This statement is based on the past and only partially represents current trends not just in North America but elsewhere. The trend IS toward Geothermal District Energy:
Here are some examples from near and far:
The best ‘local’ example of a District Energy Geothermal System is the brand new McMaster University Innovation Park: CLICK HERE
The Innovation Park demonstrates that it can be done in Southern Ontario. The Geothermal Innovation Park has won countless awards and recognition. So the question becomes not only “do we want Geothermal versus Natural Gas District Energy” BUT “do we want to lead?”
With geothermal, Windsor can cement its reputation as a leader in Green Energy as we add to our portfolio of wind, solar and other renewable energy projects in the region. More than just economic sense, this is an opportunity to change Windsor’s brand and image from a heavy industrial city to an innovation and clean energy leader. The potential for spinoffs for tourism and additional investment is significant.
Here are some other examples:
City of London, UK New City Hall: CLICK HERE
New City Hall in Surrey, BC opened in April 2014: CLICK HERE
New City Hall in Corner Brook, NFLD: CLICK HERE
New City Hall in Farmington Hills, Michigan: CLICK HERE
City of Wetaskiwin, Alberta: CLICK HERE
City of Surrey, BC city hall and the Geothermal District Energy system: CLICK HERE
A new geothermal energy system from Ameresco currently provides cooling at Miami City Hall, the Miami Convention Center and the Miami Beach Police Headquarters: CLICK HERE
The initial cost to install the pipe system is relatively high
This statement is too general with no information on estimated costs – especially in comparison to the current District Energy system that utilizes natural gas.
According to the following article from Manitoba the Return on Investment (ROI) is 100% in 8 years: CLICK HERE
According to the report there is a 30% reduction on the cost of energy and in addition there is approximately a fourfold reduction in the cost of the maintenance of the Geothermal (GT) HVAC system. It means that the savings on using the GT system pay for its installation in 8 years and after that the investor enjoys a big savings on the energy cost.
The cost of gasoline jumped to $1.42 cents this weekend. We know hydro has gone up by 50 percent. We know the City already pays $15 million per year in energy costs. All those costs will continue to go up! Geothermal represents an opportunity for some long term relief. This is too important a decision for Council. Geothermal deserves a proper analysis and consideration.
Here is a Windsor Star editorial titled Hydro Costs are Crippling Ontario: CLICK HERE
My motion to receive a report on Geothermal was defeated.
Item #2 – The City of Windsor was asked to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement with rail carriers such as CN and CPR in exchange for annual information that would be provided by the railway companies to the City’s Emergency Planning Official (e.g. Fire Chief) on what types of material (oil, ammonia etc.) travelled through our city over the past year. The Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) would also include the acceptance by the City of something called injunctive relief – which basically means that the railways would gain the right to determine on their own if they dislike how our Fire Chief is using that information and the City would automatically be liable for that misuse.
The motion put before Council was to request the disclosure of aggregate rail cargo traffic through Windsor while REMOVING and REJECTING the injunctive relief clause. In voting to support this motion, I argued that the Railways were asking the City to give up a lot of control/power with regards to how we use this information in exchange for information that really tells us something that we are already know e.g. that oil trains are coming through our City. It was not a fair exchange and yielded too much authority to the rail companies.