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.

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EC_ROW_barriers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is time we bring the EC Row Expressway into the modern era of safety while simultaneously pressing the Ontario government to improve Highway 401.

On Monday’s sitting of Council I requested that Administration report back on the cost and feasibility of installing so-called High Tension Cable Barriers (HTCB) along the median of EC Row Expressway separating east and westbound traffic.  The Cable Barriers have been used widely across the United States, British Columbia and Alberta.  They are 95 per cent effective and are 1/3 the cost of regular concrete barriers to install and maintain.  Wherever they have been installed, they have reduced cross-over fatalities to zero and they are endorsed by RCMP and police officers who have seen them do their work.

Here is a Windsor Star article on the subject: click here.

Lynn Martin did a one hour program on improving EC Row on AM800: click here.

Here is a good article that testifies to the effectiveness and cost-friendly High Tension Cable Barriers that have been in use by the Minnesota Department of Transportation over the last decade: Click here

And here is a very good video describing how it works: click here

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ITEM # and DESCRIPTION IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
1 – To deny Car Pro industries festival Yay 10-0 Delegation
2 – One foot reserve Yay 10-0 Consent
3- Mandatory recycling facilities Yay 10-0 Consent
4 – 10 year housing and homelessness plan Yay 10-0 Consent
5 – Children’s safety village Yay 10-0 Delegation
6 – WECHU reserve fund Nay 0 – 10 Consent
7 – Municipal funding agreement Yay 10-0 Consent
8 – Application for New Build Canada Fund Yay 10-0 Consent
9 – Reaume Park renovations Yay 10-0 Consent
10 – Tree planting at Airport Yay 10-0 Consent
11 – Host for Evacuees Yay 10-0 Consent
Report No. 193 – 4 hour dog tethering limit Yay 9-1 Delegation
Communication #22      
       
       

Communication #22 – I asked the City Engineer to explain why 19 out of 33 streets that received supplementary Sidewalk Street Cleaning were located in the downtown core?  I asked for an equitable number of streets in Ward 7—streets such as Banwell, McHugh, McNorton and Little River to receive equal attention under this plan.

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Serbia fundraiser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spent a wonderful evening at the Serbian Centre meeting some great and generous people over dinner at the fundraiser for the flood victims in Serbia.  The key word is Solidarity.  We are all neighbours, and we rally around each other in times of need.

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BoAz2ohIMAAUCql

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a fantastic time with some good friends at the 2014 Mayor’s Riverfront Walk as we celebrated the City’s Birthday!

Sincerest congratulations to the Youth Leadership Award recipients including Foad Karimian who has been running a successful entrepreneurship program at the Accelerator for high school students and also the unemployed, as well as Michelle Gajewski who is the President of the Polish Canadian Students Association at the University of Windsor.  Great work!

BoA0wjNIIAE6y1Z

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I had a wonderful time at the South Asian Centre banquet.  Great food.  Fantastic entertainment.  Wonderful celebration.South Asian Dinner

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ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
1 – Car Pro Industries waiver of fees deferral Yay 10-0 Deferral
2 – Targeted Initiative for Older Workers renewal Yay 10-0 Delegation
3- Blight mitigation update Yay 10-0 Consent
4 – Declaration of Vacant Land Yay 10-0 Consent
5 – Declaration of improved properties Yay 10-0 Consent
6 – Application to Innovation Fund Yay 10-0 Consent
7 – 2014 BIA Budget Approval Yay 6-5 Delegation
Report No 187 – Concrete Barriers Yay 10-0 Consent

 

Item #7 – The nine Business improvement Areas (BIA) across Windsor presented their budgets for 2014.  Administration put forward several recommendations including approving the budgets or working to complete the budgets for eight (8) of them.  The City administration recommended that Council not approve the 2014 budget for the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Area (DWBIA) which was asking the City to forgive $152,073 it owes the City for streetscape improvements while asking for an extended repayment period for the additional $101,352 it owes the City when the 1 Riverside Drive property was reassessed.

The total under consideration was $253,426.

I voted to support the City’s recommendation to reject both the forgiveness and the ten year repayment plan.  Of primary consideration for me was the fact that more than 30 per cent of DWBIA funding goes towards administration costs.  This seems very high to me.  In essence, the DWBIA levies a tax on small business owners each year and one-out-of every three dollars ($1 of every $3) of that goes towards DWBIA salaries and other office expenses.  Seems to me there is some fat to be cut here.  We all have to tighten our belts.

Although I will not support forgiving the money that is owed to the City by the DWBIA, I will support a longer repayment period if the DWBIA can demonstrate an effort to bringing administration and salary costs down.

Report #187 – A report regarding concrete barriers aka Jersey Barriers came before Council.  In short, Councillor Valentinis had put forward a Council Question in September 2013 asking Administration to report back on whether time limitations or prohibitions can be placed on private land owners who place concrete barriers on their vacated lots.  The City recommended not put any restrictions on the use of concrete barriers.  No other city has such restrictions since it is necessary to secure vacant lots to prevent vandalism, littering and unauthorized use.  Although I supported this motion, it is my view that the question itself is faulty as is the approach.   The City should pursue establishing options for private landowners to choose alternatives e.g. placing large concrete planters with trees/plants in place of the unsightly concrete barriers especially in gateway intersections—such as—the vacant former gas stations on the corner of Forest Glade Drive and Tecumseh Road East.  Though this motion passed,  I will continue to pursue an alternate to jersey barriers with the City such as the use of concrete planters with trees/plants in order to maintain the standard of our neighbourhoods – which in my opinion concrete barriers simply degrade.

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FAB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I attended the kick off of the Food.Art.Bikes (FAB) @ City Cyclery last week where about 90 people listened to a half dozen presenters put forward their vision for a more livable City through music, food, art, and recreation.  Kudos to the organizers.  Now let’s roll up our sleeves and do the hard pedaling of making these inspiring ideas a reality around town!

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