Council overview package for September 28, 2020

full bike rack

Aerial view of downtown

City Council endorsed following items at its meeting on Monday, September 28, 2020 in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 500 George St. N.:

City Council agenda

Council gave final approval to the items after endorsing them during its General Committee meetings on September 8, 14, and 21, 2020.

Council is meeting in person in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 500 George St. N. Residents can watch or listen to the livestream of the meetings at peterborough.ca/watchcouncil

In order to speak at a Council meeting, or to attend a meeting, individuals must register as a delegation no later than 11:00 a.m. on the day of the meeting.  To register, complete the online application at www.peterborough/delegations, or phone 705-742-7777 ext. 1820.

Watch Council

Update on reports requested by Council

Council approved an update on reports that Council has requested during previous meetings.

Examples of subjects for requested reports include:

  • Creating a terms of reference for an advisory committee for the Peterborough airport
  • Installing water refilling stations in City facilities
  • Information on zero-based budgeting processes
  • An update on the City's naming policy to reflect diversity in the community
  • A review of the Emergency Management Bylaw

Mayor and Warden's COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force

Industrial park

Council supported responses to recommendations from the Mayor and Warden's COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force on subjects such as regulations for short-term rentals and discussions about streamlining development approvals processes.

The City had completed a number a number of actions that were recommended by the Task Force, including:

  • working with Farmers' Markets to establish additional space for physical distancing
  • providing summer cams and working with daycare operators on the availability of child care services
  • Preparing a plan to support patio space for businesses, in consultation with the Downtown Business Improvement Area
  • Holding virtual meetings to allow planning applications to proceed during the pandemic
  • Working with businesses to support curbside pickup

Update on the proceeds from the sale of PDI

Council approved receiving a report for information with an update on the proceeds received to date from the sale of the assets of Peterborough Distribution Inc. to Hydro One.

The negotiated sale price of the assets of Peterborough Distribution Inc. (PDI) to Hydro One was $105 million before debt associated with PDI and other liabilities are paid. The net sale proceeds received by the City to date is about $59.7 million.

The funds received to date have been temporarily placed in a high-interest savings account with the ONE Fund. The funds are fully liquid and will be invested as per Council direction pending the outcome of the ongoing discussions with the Investing Options Review Working Group.

City of Peterborough Holdings Inc. annual report

City of Peterborough Holdings Inc. has submitted its 2019 Annual Report, including the company's consolidated financial statements for 2019, to Council for its information.

Council also approved appointments to the City of Peterborough Holdings Inc. (COPHI) board of directors and appointing Baker Tilly KDN LLP as the auditors for COPHI.

COPHI operated electricity and water distribution systems in the City of Peterborough, Norwood and Lakefield in 2019. The company also develops and operates renewable hydro and solar generation facilities and operates a wholesale metering business. The company and its related entities operate as the Peterborough Utilities Group.

"The fiscal 2019 financial results reflect an exceptionally strong year, with net income for the year at $8 million and Earnings Before Interest Taxes and Depreciation/Amortization (EBITDA) at its highest level in the Company’s history, at $31.1 million," COPHI states in its annual report. "This strong performance was driven by the expansion of our solar generation capacity and very favourable conditions experienced for our generation production fleet. Over the last three years, the average net income and EBITDA have been $7 million and $29.6 million respectively, reflecting the continuing strength and quality of the Company’s generation portfolio."

2021 Snofest festival planning

Snofest mascot posing next to a sign for Snofest

Council approved changes to the Snofest event for 2021 to replace in-person events with virtual/online activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Snofest is an annual community event that has been in existence since the 1970s. It is directly operated by the City and consists of multiple activities taking place over several days in the month of January. The Organizing Committee begins the planning process in late September for the following year’s event.

The Provincial orders currently in place for Stage 3 of the Province’s reopening of the economy during COVID-19 would prevent the usual in-person Snofest activities from occurring.

It is unknown how long the Provincial Stage 3 restrictions will be in place. However, the Organizing Committee recognizes the value of Snofest to the community and would like to provide alternative Snofest activities, in keeping with the Provincial orders.

COVID-19 response and financial impacts update

Council supported a report for information on the COVID-19-related financial impacts estimated until December 31, 2020 that shows projected net financial impact of $10.3 million with potential funding sources of $7.7 million to offset the impact, leaving about $2.5 million to be funded.

The impacts reflect lost revenues of $15.3 million, direct costs of $5.7 million, cost savings of $2.5 million, and program specific provincial funding, related to Transit and Social Services, in the amount of $8.2 million for a net financial impact of $10.3 million.

To help pay for the $10.3 million in estimated net financial impacts, the City has identified potential funding sources of $7.7 million, including funding from City reserves and $4.4 million of Safe Restart operational funding received from the Province. There would be about $2.5 million in financial impacts remaining to be funded.

City staff are recommending that the City apply for Phase 2 funding through the Province's Safe Restart program. The Province is offering a second phase of funding to those municipalities that can demonstrate that 2020 COVID-19 operating costs and pressures exceed their Phase 1 per household allocation. To be considered for Phase 2 funding, municipalities will be required to submit reports outlining their COVID-19 operating costs and pressures.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have significant financial impacts on the City of Peterborough in 2020. Certain impacts will carry over into 2021.

Removing property tax discount for vacant and excess commercial and industrial property

Industrial park

Council approved eliminating the current municipal property tax discount to commercial and industrial vacant and excess land starting in 2021. 

There are currently 189 properties in Peterborough with a vacant or excess land tax class. Eliminating the vacant and excess land subclass reductions will increase the municipal tax revenue by approximately $245,000 for the 2021 taxation year.

In the City of Peterborough, commercial land assessed as vacant or excess currently receives a 30 per cent tax rate discount and industrial land assessed as vacant or excess receives a 35 percent tax rate discount. 

Provincial amendments to the Municipal Act, 2001 allow municipalities to reduce or eliminate their commercial and industrial vacant and excess land subclass discount program. Under the same authority, and following the same guidelines, the City eliminated the Vacancy Rebate Program for vacant commercial and industrial buildings effective 2017. Tax rate discounts are not provided to owners of vacant residential or multi-residential properties.

The Province of Ontario has phased out the reduction percentages in the education tax rates. For the 2020 taxation year the vacant land subclass education rates are at 100 per cent. Eliminating the subclass reduction in the municipal tax rate in the City of Peterborough, will bring the rate in line with the Province’s education rate.

Debentures for certain capital projects

Council approved by-laws to borrow funds up to a maximum of $24,831,500 to finance City capital projects that have been previously approved by Council.

The debentures would be used for the financing of projects such as the Parkhill Road West reconstruction, the purchase of Transit buses, the construction of multi-use trails, and the LED streetlight retrofit.

Council also authorized the borrowing of $6 million to help finance Peterborough Utilities Commission projects.

Response from Police Services Board regarding light armoured vehicle

Council received a report with an update on its request for information from the Peterborough Police Services Board regarding the acquisition of a light armoured vehicle.

Council had asked the Police Services Board for information on the identity of the donor of the light armoured vehicle (LAV), the maintenance costs for the LAV, and the vehicle replacement costs.

The Police Services Board provided a letter in response to the request.

Procedure By-law update for electronic meetings

Council approved changing the City of Peterborough Procedure By-law to allow electronic meetings outside of a declared emergency.

The Province amended the Municipal Act to allow municipalities to update their procedure by-law to permit members of council, of a local board or of a committee of either of them, to participate electronically in a meeting. The members participating electronically may be counted in determining whether or quorum - the number of members required to be present to hold the meeting - has been achieved and members may participate electronically in a meeting that is open or closed to the public.

Council met virtually using online platforms on their computers or smartphones for a period during the COVID-19 pandemic. The meetings were livestreamed for the public and residents could participate by calling into the meeting. The by-law change would allow Council members to meet virtually outside of an emergency situation.

Council also supported surveying advisory committees on whether they would like to be able to attend meetings virtually and reviewing the feasibility of providing virtual meetings for advisory committees.

Charlotte Street cycling lanes

Handle bars of bike

Council approved providing cycling lanes on Charlotte Street between Park Street and Monaghan Road, including a painted buffer with lane delineators.

Parking will be prohibited on both sides of Charlotte Street from Park Street to Monaghan Road.

The cost to add the line painting, symbols, signs, and buffer treatment for the cycling lanes is estimated at $25,000.

The City will create a program to pay for curb cuts for for residents where on-street parking has been removed and they wish to create a driveway connection to Charlotte Street. The budget for the curb cut program would be $20,000.

Charlotte Street between Park Street and Monaghan Road is being micro-surfaced this year as part of the pavement preservation program. The contract to micro-surface the road already includes the cost of the centre line pavement markings.

Conceptual rendering of street layout with bike lanes

There are a number of benefits that accrue to a community when investments are made in infrastructure to support cycling, including:

  • Increased health and well-being
  • Improved equity in the transportation system
  • More affordable transportation options
  • Reduced road congestion and air pollution; and
  • Progress towards reaching targets for climate change action.

Recognizing these benefits, the 2012 Comprehensive Transportation Master Plan included recommendations for an extensive city-wide cycling network, developed in consultation with local cycling groups and stakeholders.

Since 2012, 21 km of new cycling facilities have been implemented and an additional 2.5 km of existing cycling facilities were significantly upgraded.

Peterborough residents have increased cycling travel from 1.3% to 3.5% of total daily travel between 2011 and 2016, and this represents approximately 6,000 cycling trips made in the City each day, excluding the numerous cycling trips made purely for recreation purposes or by children. Much of this increase can be attributed to the extent and quality of the cycling network in the City.

While there is strong public support for cycling lanes on this section of Charlotte Street, there is not enough road width to accommodate new cycling lanes while retaining the parking on the north side of the street.

Currently, Charlotte Street from Park Street to Monaghan Road has one travel lane in each direction, with left turn lanes at Monaghan Road and Park Street. The westbound lane is currently wide enough to allow space for one lane of parking on the north side of the street. To incorporate the cycling lanes, the existing parking would be eliminated on the north side of the street and the centre line of the street would move to the centre of the pavement.

The cycling lane would start at Monaghan Road and end just west of the Park Street intersection. The existing left turn lanes would be retained at both of these intersections. Cycling lanes cannot be carried through the Park Street intersection at this time due to restricted road width and alignment challenges at the intersection. Opportunities to extend the cycling lanes through the Park Street intersection will be explored as part of the design of the Charlotte Street reconstruction, between Park Street and Aylmer Street.

Transit Pass agreements for Trent University and Fleming College

Council supported entering into agreements with the Trent Central Student Association and Fleming Student Administrative Council for the implementation of interim Universal Transit Pass Agreements that would generate $643,000 for September to December 2020.

The agreements are contingent on the interim Transit routes remaining in place until the Transit Route Review consultation is complete, at least until April 2021, and the long-term routes are approved by Council.

Council indicated that any changes to the current transit system made before the completion of the Transit Review and before April 2021 will not have a significant impact on either the Trent or Fleming service and that Trent and Fleming be engaged prior to any change be contemplated.

Peterborough Transit has a longstanding and successful U-Pass arrangement with the Trent Central Student Association (TCSA). This U-Pass provides approximately $1.9 million in operating revenue to Peterborough Transit (about 36% of total fare revenues collected) and generates about 1.48 million rides per year (about 31% of total annual ridership). Through the arrangement with TCSA, the student association collects and administers the pass revenue collected from students and pays for the enhanced transit service provided to the Trent campus.

Fleming express services began in the fall of 2016 modelled after the service arrangement in place with TCSA. The service launched with 1 initial express route and the second express route commenced in Fall of 2017. Typical fall and winter semesters service includes two express routes plus a late-night service. In 2019, Fleming generated revenues of $1,100,000 (about 16% of total annual fare revenue) and generated 1.18 million rides (about 25% of total annual ridership).

The ridership increases that result from the U-Pass agreements contribute to the City’s annual Provincial Gas Tax allocation as the formula used to calculate the Provincial Gas Tax allocation is 30% based on population and 70% based on ridership. With approximately 56% of total annual ridership attributed to postsecondary students, it is estimated that approximately $760,000 of the City’s 2019-2020 allocation of $1,896,894 (40%) can be attributed to the ridership generated by post-secondary students.

The increased ridership significantly contributes to the City’s Transportation Master Plan goal of increasing transit use from 4% of peak period travel to 6% of peak period travel by 2031. Providing a service that is convenient for students is a proven way of building ridership patterns that can last beyond their student years. The ability to reduce auto travel demand to and from the Fleming College Sutherland Campus and the Symons Campus at Trent University has helped to limit the growth in traffic on area roads, such as Brealey Drive, Water Street and Armour Road and continued growth in ridership on these routes can help to avoid or defer costly capital improvements to widen roads in the future or additional student parking facilities within the campuses.

Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendment for 689 Towerhill Rd.

Conceptual rendering of a long-term care home

Council approved an application to amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-law designations for 689 Towerhill Rd. to allow for a 256-bed long-term care facility and to facilitate future residential development of the remainder of the site.

The current designations for the property as Urban Fringe Control Area and Rural Zone were inherited from when the property was part of Selwyn Township prior to 2008.

The 9.87-hectare property is a pocket of undeveloped land surrounded by existing development on all sides.

"Planning for residential uses on the subject property will provide an opportunity to introduce housing and infrastructure that will tie existing neighbourhoods together and create a more efficient land use pattern in the area," City staff state in a report. "Furthermore, the introduction of a long-term care facility will also help to address a need for long-term care in the community, will help to meet the needs of Peterborough’s aging population, and will provide a compatible employment opportunity in close proximity to residential areas."

The City staff report reviews the planning framework as well as other considerations such as servicing for the site, the environment, and transportation.

City staff recommended approving the Official Plan and Zoning By-law changes along with a Holding Symbol that would remain in place until a number of conditions are met to allow the changes to be completed, including:

  • an agreement is in place for the provision of sanitary services to the property;
  • a cost sharing arrangement for downstream sanitary sewer upgrades;
  • an agreement with respect to natural heritage protection and mitigation, conceptual stormwater management and low-impact development, and groundwater monitoring on site and at nearby private drinking wells; and
  • the payment of cash-in-lieu of parkland dedication to the City. 

If the development proceeds, a site plan application would need to go to Council for approval.

Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development

Council supported an information report on second quarter tracking metrics from Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development.

It is important to note that COVID-19 is a fluid situation and causing businesses to continually anticipate and adapt their business to respond to these ongoing changes. Some businesses are able to respond, while others are having difficulties to respond to these challenges.

Peterborough and the Kawarthas update report

 

Businesses in Peterborough & the Kawarthas are having similar experiences to businesses in other jurisdictions, such as concern about consumer confidence, access to PPE, childcare, supply chain management and the recognition that we will not be going back to business as usual.

However, there are challenges that Peterborough & the Kawarthas are facing that is specific to this region. These challenges were present before COVID-19, however as businesses try to rebound from COVID, these challenges will continue to negatively impact businesses in this region.

  1. Labour Force: Currently, the Peterborough Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) has one of the lowest participation rates in the province. As of May 2020, only 49.5% of individuals 15+ years are participating in the labour force (62.2% in May 2019). The provincial participation rate for the same period was 60.8% (65.1% in 2019). Persons not in the labour force include people who are unable or unavailable to work. It also includes persons who are without work and had not actively looked for work in the past four weeks. While it may be easy to lay blame with COVID-19, this statistic was also true prior to COVID-19.
  2. Job Vacancies: There are many job vacancies within the Peterborough CMA. As of August 17, 2020, there were 840 active job postings in the City of Peterborough that are posted on the Workforce Development Boards Job Map. This job map is updated daily and offers a diverse range of job openings that are actively posted as available in the region.
  3. Services and Available Land and Buildings. As the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 are realized and remote working continues to be an accepted working option, interest in relocating to this region will grow. Ongoing access to robust broadband will be a key component for remote working. The EORN project will be key in positioning this region competitively for remote workers. Peterborough & the Kawarthas also currently has limited options for housing for future remote employees as well as shovel-ready, serviced lands in comparison to our competitor communities.

The Mayor and Warden’s Task Force has received updates from the Workforce Development Board on the issues of labour force and job vacancies identified above. The Workforce Development Board has a labour force task force and PKED sits on that committee to try and tackle these long-term challenges. PKED will continue to keep Council updated on this key work.

The available land and buildings issue has been a long-term challenge. Prior to COVID-19, Infrastructure and Planning Services has begun to work across city teams to look at long term growth and has invited PKED to participate in these working meetings. It is recommended that PKED continue to work with the City’s Infrastructure and Planning division to look at growth scenarios and identify areas for economic development.

Downtown Business Improvement Area board membership

Council approved amending a bylaw to expand the Downtown Business Improvement Area board of management membership size to 13 from nine members.

The Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) board of management passed a motion at its meeting in May 2020 asking the City to expand the board's membership to up to 13 members.

Ontario 55+ Summer Games

Council approved the Province's request for the City of Peterborough to host the Ontario 55+ Summer Games in 2021 instead of in 2020 as originally scheduled.

Before the Province postponed the Games due to COVID-19, preparations had been underway for the hosting of the Games in August this year. A Games Organizing Committee was established, consisting of City staff and representatives from the County of Peterborough, Hiawatha First Nation, the Provincial Games Unit, Fleming College, Trent University, Peterborough and Kawartha Economic Development, Ontario Senior Games Association, Loomex and Community Volunteers. Twelve sub-committees were established with each focusing on specific aspects of the Games.

The estimated additional cost to postpone the Games to 2021 is $147,325. The additional cost results from increased expenses for items such as accommodations, event venues, food, transportation, translation services, and staffing, as well as an anticipated loss of revenue through the sponsorship and donation categories. The City would ask the Province to cover the costs associated with the re-scheduling of the Games to 2021.

In January 2018, Council approved a one-time municipal contribution of $135,000 in support of hosting the Games with an overall budget of $654,000.

Brine solution pre-wet vehicle up-fit components

Council approved awarding a contract to Viking-Cives Ltd. for the supply and installation of pre-wet vehicle up-fit components for $247,176 plus tax.

This equipment will pre-wet the granular salt or salt/sand product prior to dispensing it on the road surface and allow for better adhesion to the road surface and accelerated melt action.

The City’s Public Works winter control fleet currently is not equipped with pre-wet capabilities. Pre-wet technology has proven to reduce salt usage and improve melting and adhesion characteristics of the granular salt products used. Through the design and construction of the Municipal Operations Center on Webber Avenue, an appropriate amount of space and the required infrastructure was installed in the salt storage building to accommodate brine storage and dispensing. The addition of brine solution pre-wet technology to the existing fleet of 18 salt/plow units will provide another important tool to winter control response.

These improvements will reduce salt consumption and improve the melting characteristics of the rock salt used.

Site plan application for 64-unit apartment building

Conceptual rendering of apartment building for 191 Rink Street

Council approved a site plan application for a planned 64-unit, six-storey apartment building that would be built at 191-203 Rink St. and 59-63 Olive Ave.

The site is a collection of properties fronting on Rink Street and Olive Avenue, to be consolidated into one property with a future municipal address of 191 Rink St. The site is located at the southwest corner of Rink Street and Olive Avenue.

Highlights of the Site Plan Application include:

  • A six-storey building with 64 dwelling units constructed of a combination of acrylic stucco and coloured cement board fronting on Rink Street within 100 metres of Del Crary Park;
  • The establishment of on-street parallel parking spaces across the property’s frontage on Rink Street, including one to serve persons with a disability;
  • A walk-up building entrance off the Rink Street sidewalk including an accessible ramp in compliance with the Ontario Building Code;
  • Concrete walkway access entirely around the proposed building;
  • A patio space wrapping around the southwest corner of the building;
  • One vehicle driveway from Rink Street along the west side of the building;
  • The provision of 46 parking spaces, including parking spaces for persons with a disability;
  • The provision of two drop-off/pickup parking spaces and two electrical vehicle charging spaces;
  • Bicycle storage and parking facilities;
  • A garbage/recycling enclosure of heavy-duty board construction on a concrete slab located in the south-west area of the parking lot;
  • A professionally prepared Landscape Plan showing new street trees lining Rink Street and Olive Avenue with the generous massing shrubs and perennials; and
  • A Storm Water Management Plan and Report submitted and revised as requested by City staff.

Zoning change for a single-dwelling unit

Council approved removing the holding symbol from the zoning of the property at 482 Mark St. to permit the conversion of the upper one-and-a-half stories of a former industrial building at the rear of the property to a single dwelling unit.

The rezoning was initially approved in September 2014 with the holding symbol applied to the new zoning. The holding symbol put in place the requirement for certain conditions to be met before the zoning change could be completed.

The conditions for the removal of the “H” – Holding Symbol were as follows:

  • Site Plan Approval is granted for the subject property;
  • Payment of cash-in-lieu of parkland for the third unit; and
  • Payment of all applicable development charges for the third unit.

All of the conditions associated with the removal of the “H” – Holding Symbol from the zoning of the property at 482 Mark Street have been satisfied.

Site plan application for 91-unit apartment building

Conceptual rendering of apartment building for 195 Hunter Street

Council approved a site plan application for a planned 91-unit, nine-storey apartment building at 195 Hunter St. E. and a recommendation to remove the holding symbol from the zoning on the property.

The property is at the southwest corner of Hunter Street East and Armour Road and is currently vacant. It was formerly part of the St. Joseph’s hospital campus, which was rezoned from a Public Service District to SP.356-H in 2013 to permit the construction and renovation of existing buildings to accommodate a mixed-use development.

Highlights of the Site Plan Application include:

  • A nine-storey building of masonry construction, with balconies, roof-top terrace and underground parking;
  • Commercial ground floor exposure to the Hunter Street East - Armour Road intersection, assisting to animate the public space;
  • Full accessibility from the intersection of Hunter Street East and Armour Road, as well as into the building from all on-site parking spaces;
  • A single driveway entrance at the south end of the site, away from the intersection of Hunter Street East and Armour Road;
  • Sufficient road widening has been conveyed to the City along Armour Road and at the corner of Hunter Street East and Armour Road;
  • Parking has been provided in accordance with applicable Zoning By-law regulations, slightly exceeding one space per unit and meeting parking requirements for persons with a disabilities;
  • Professionally prepared Landscape Plan showing new street trees on Armour Road and planters with trees, shrubs and perennials next to the intersection and along Hunter Street East; and
  • A Storm Water Management Plan and Report were submitted and revised as requested by staff.

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