City Council overview package June 10, 2019

full bike rack

City Hall at night

City Council, sitting as Finance Committee, endorsed the following items at its meeting on Monday, June 10, 2019:

  • Treasurer’s report on the 2018 Consolidated Financial Report, 2018 Trust Funds Financial Statement and Five-Year Review;
  • Management letter and verbal audit findings report for the year ended December 31, 2018;
  • Audit of the consolidated financial statements of the City of Peterborough;
  • Tax adjustments under Section 356 and tax appeals under Sections 357, 358 and 359 of the Municipal Act, 2001; and
  • 2020 Budget Guidelines.

Council, sitting as General Committee, endorsed following items at its meeting on Monday, June 10, 2019:

  • An information report on the Township of Douro-Dummer decision regarding exploring the provision of police services;
  • An information report on the process for selecting a farmers' market operator for Morrow Park – research to date and proposed surveys;
  • Housing and homelessness – April 2019 provincial budget update and funding approval;
  • Funding and service impacts to Children’s Services and Ontario Works resulting from the 2019 provincial budget;
  • Closing and selling part of a rear laneway west of 461 Paterson St.;
  • Installing upgraded electricity service infrastructure for the Peterborough Airport;
  • Installing water storage infrastructure for fire protection at the Peterborough Airport;
  • Amending the contract for the construction of the Crawford Trail extension;
  • Extending the City’s option on the sale of 1850 Technology Dr;
  • Sending a letter to the provincial government stating Council's position on various items related to Bill 108 - provincial legislation that affects numerous areas of municipal activity;
  • Directing staff to implement a Rainbow crosswalk in the downtown;
  • Sending a letter to the provincial government and WSIB asking WSIB to ask them to re-look at a rejected claims and to proceed as quickly as possible with claims that have been filed.

Items Council endorsef at the meetings will go to the regular Council session on June 24, 2019 for its consideration.

Treasurer’s report on the 2018 Consolidated Financial Report, 2018 Trust Funds Financial Statement and Five-Year Review

Council endorsed the treasurer’s report on the 2018 Consolidated Financial Report, and the 2018 Trust Funds Financial Statement before the documents are submitted to the provincial government.

“The City of Peterborough continues to be well positioned financially for the future,” states Richard Freymond, the City Treasurer, in the report.

In the report, Freymond notes that demand for infrastructure funding still exceeds that amount of funding that’s available as the City struggles to keep up with the need to maintain and replace aging capital infrastructure as well as requests for expansion. He also notes that for day-to-day operations the City, like most Ontario municipalities, struggles to provide a reasonable level of service to its ratepayers while keeping tax rate increases to a minimum.

Each year, the City goes through an external audit as required under the Municipal Act. The external auditor reviews the City’s financial statements as well as assesses the accounting principles and significant estimates made by City management.

The treasurer’s report and five-year review supplement the financial statements. They are used to summarize, highlight and evaluate the financial health of the City and confirm its ability to meet future obligations.

Management letter and verbal audit findings report for the year ended December 31, 2018

Council supported receiving for information the management letter and verbal audit findings report for the year ended December 31, 2018.

The external auditor, Baker Tilly KDN Kawarthas LLP, drafts a letter each year to assist the Finance Committee with its review of the financial statements and to raise issues for management’s consideration and potential action.

Audit of the consolidated financial statements of the City of Peterborough – acknowledgement letter

Council endorsed receiving the acknowledgement letter for the audit of the consolidated financial statements of the City of Peterborough.

The external auditor for the City asks that the Mayor and Finance Committee Chairperson sign the acknowledgement letter to ensure there is a clear understanding and record of the matters discussed in its audit letter.

Tax adjustments and tax appeals

Council supported tax adjustments under Section 356 and tax appeals under Sections 357, 358 and 359 of the Municipal Act, 2001.

The tax reductions would total $143,318.25.

2020 Budget Guidelines

Council endorsed 2020 Budget Guidelines with a 1.75% all-inclusive (municipal, education, sanitary sewer surcharge) increase for the development of the general operating budget plus a 0.59% all-inclusive provision for the capital program, including funding for storm sewer protection and the sewer surcharge.

A combined 2.34% all-inclusive rate increase equates to a $5.2-million increase in the tax levy requirement.

Provincial funding changes are estimated to cost the City $666,506 in 2019, growing to almost $1.7 million in 2020 for services such as Children’s Services, Ontario Works, paramedics and Peterborough Public Health. If operating budgets aren’t adjusted in 2019 to account for the in-year changes, the accumulated impact on the 2020 budget will be about $2.3 million.

Accommodating the various pressures on the 2020 budget, including the provincial funding changes, within the 1.75% increase for general operating expenses will result in reductions in levels of service, staff state in the report.

“Over the coming months, staff will be very diligent in identifying efficiencies and cost savings to be included in the 2020 Draft Budget in order to still meet the Guideline,” staff state.

The Draft 2020 Budget would be presented to Council’s Finance Committee on October 28, 2019.

The 2020 Budget priorities survey is available on the Budget and Finances page of the City website.

Douro-Dummer Township decision regarding the provision of police services

Douro-Dummer Township has decided to enter into a contract with the OPP for the next four years. 

The Township had asked the City and the Peterborough Police Service if they had an interest in providing a policing quote for the Township for a four-year period or longer. In April, Council directed staff to enter into discussions with the Township.

Process for selecting a farmers' market operator for Morrow Park – research to date and proposed surveys

Council supported receiving for information a report on research done to date on farmers’ markets and proposed surveys that would be made available to local market vendors and the broader community.

In February, Council approved extending for one year the current licence agreement with the Peterborough and District Farmers’ Market that operates at Morrow Park and that the City proceed with a competitive process for the operation of a farmers’ market with the awarding of the agreement no later than January 2020.

Housing and Homelessness – April 2019 provincial budget update and funding approval

Peterborough has received notice of its funding over the next three years under the Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative, Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative and Investment in Affordable Housing programs. 

Funding allocation 2018-19 to 2021-22
Program2018-19 confirmed allocation2019-20 confirmed allocation2020-21 planning allocation2021-22 planning allocation
Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative N/A $296,581 $234,185 $281,529
Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative N/A $1,224,000 $634,100 $987,200
Investment in Affordable Housing for Ontario 2014 Extension $1,629,900 $776,900 N/A N/A
Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative $3,380,790 $3,380,790 $3,413,935 $3,413,935
Home for Good - operating $983,236 $983,236 $983,236 $983,236

Funding and service impacts to Children’s Services and Ontario Works resulting from the 2019 provincial budget

Council supported a report for information on the funding impacts for Children’s Services and Ontario works resulting from the 2019 provincial budget.

Staff would report back in September with recommendations on how to mitigate or fund the impacts for 2019 and future years.

Specific financial and program impacts in 2019 and 2020 remain unknown as there are still some outstanding questions with the provincial government’s direction.

The City estimates that the province is reducing funding for Ontario Works by $513,000 and for Children’s Services by $302,000 in 2019 and by another $314,000 and $960,000 respectively in 2020 for the City and County. The City is the consolidated municipal service manager for Children’s Services and Ontario Works for the City and County.

Closure and sale of part of rear laneway west of 461 Paterson St.

Council endorsed closing and selling a portion of the City-owned rear laneway that’s on the west side of 461 Paterson St.

The property that would be sold has an area of 173 square feet. It would be sold to the owner of 461 Paterson St. for $5,000.

The property is a City laneway that was never physically opened for public use and has for many years been incorporated into the yards of the abutting private properties. The owner of 461 Paterson St. contacted the City to ask to purchase the lane as part of a development plan for an affordable housing project on their land.

Electricity service infrastructure installation for the Peterborough Airport

Aerial photo of Peterborough airport

Council supported creating a $1.45-million project for the expansion of electricity infrastructure at the airport in order to provide 44 kilovolts electricity service.

The installation cost would be recovered through additional fees on land lease agreements with airport tenants that require the large electricity service.

The airport has gone through unprecedented growth since the major expansion in 2010. The direct employment at the airport has grown to more than 500 people today from 382 people in 2016 and from 251 people in 2008. Flying Colours, one of the large tenants at the airport, is expanding, building a 100,000-square-foot facility and will be hiring an additional 60 people.

Hydro One completed a study on the large industrial connection at the airport and found the station and feeder supplying the airport with electricity were heavily loaded.

Airport fire protection water storage

Council endorsed a non-standard procurement process for the supply, installation and commissioning of an airport fire protection water storage system at an estimated cost of $300,000.

The cost can be accommodated within the approved $3.5-million budget in the City’s 2019 Capital Budget for Airport Water and Sewer Servicing Upgrade.

In 2018, the City started a project to design and build an expansion to the existing fire protection water reservoir and pumphouse at the airport to support both the immediate needs and to meet future anticipated capacity requirements for fire protection at the airport. The initial estimate for the work was $1.55 million. The lowest bid came in at almost $2.6 million. Staff are recommending that the original tender be cancelled and instead that the City proceed with an above-ground storage tank to meet immediate needs in the short term.

Crawford Rail Trail extension

Council supported expanding the Crawford Rail Trail extension to take advantage of favorable pricing after the contract for the current 300-metre extension came back under budget.

The current extension of the multi-use trail extends from Romaine Street to Lake Street, including a pedestrian crossover at Park Street South.

If construction of the original extension progresses well and costs remain within budget, staff recommend completing more of the Crawford Rail Trail expansion as part of this project.

The contract with Drain Bros. Excavating would be increased to $707,385 from $606,375 plus tax to accommodate the expanded scope of the project.

Option on sale of 1850 Technology Dr.

Council endorsed extending its option to reacquire 1850 Technology Dr. until November 15, 2019 if construction hasn’t started on a building on that property by that date.

The City completed the sale of the property in January 15, 2018. The agreement included an option for the City to reacquire the property if construction on a building hadn’t started by a certain date. It’s a typical clause when the City sells a property in an employment park.

The property has been prepared for development and is being sold to Nortrax Canada Inc., but construction hasn’t started on a building yet. Nortrax has asked for an extension of the option in the agreement. Nortrax, through its legal counsel, has informed the City that it is committed to starting construction of its facility as soon as reasonably possible following receipt of site plan approval and building permits.