Public Works Committee for November 18, 2014

The HSR wishes to cut frontline staff to fund new managers, the City’s Protective Plumbing Program remains popular, Brock Students look to get UPass, and Public Works wants to consolidate its yards – all this and more on Monday’s Public Works agenda.

Live coverage begins at 9:30am, watch the livestream (LINK), and follow @JoeyColemanLIVE for updates during the meeting.

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AGENDA

Full Agenda on City Website

CONSENT ITEMS

5.1   Intersection Control List
5.2   Protective Plumbing Program 3P

PUBLIC HEARINGS/ DELEGATIONS

6.1   Jack Gibbons Chair, Ontario Clean Air Alliance to recommend that the City of Hamilton request the Government of Ontario to enter into an electricity supply contract with Hydro Quebec
6.2   Alan Griffiths respecting the Your32 regional transportation campaign

STAFF PRESENTATIONS

7.1    Central Fleet

DEBATE ITEMS

8.1   Coordination of Street Furniture with Transit Shelter Works
Update on the Consolidated Street Furniture Program
8.2   Public Works Yards Review Strategy
8.3   University/College Transit Pass Program (Brock)
8.4   Standardization of Water Plant Operations and Enviro Lab Equipment, Parts, Supplies and Services
8.5   Transportation Division Complement Adjustment (Increase HSR Managers)
8.6   Greenbelt Cycling Route
8.7   Red Hill Valley Parkway Improvements (Advertising)


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Items of Note

Protective Plumbing Program | Cutting Frontline to Increase Management at HSR | Public Works Yards Consolidation | Brock HSR Pass | Delayed Outstanding Items

Delegations

There are two delegations speaking at the meeting.

Jack Gibbons, the Chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, is asking Council to support a call for the province to import more hydro from Quebec. OCAA’s research report on the matter states this can lower electricity bills in Ontario by $950-million per year.

Alan Griffiths, Manager – Sustainability Office at Mohawk College, will update Council on the Your32 campaign for greater investment in transportation in the GTHA. The campaign takes its name from the 32 minute difference in average commute times between implementing Metrolinx’s proposed plan *The Big Move *and not taking an action on transit in the GTHA.

Protective Plumbing Program Update

2013 3P Plumbing Grants Average Weekly Cost2013 3P Plumbing Grants Average Weekly Cost

Council’s backflow prevention program remains very popular with homeowners – providing $2000 towards the installation of a backwater values to prevent basement flooding.

In February, Council changed the program slightly to require 3 quotes from contractors to qualify for the fund. Council hoped the change would decrease the cost of the average grant by increasing competition.

The change took effect on March 1st, eight months later, City staff says the difference in costs “have not declined appreciably” and grants “remain very close to the $2,000 maximum.”

Staff say they are working to provide “clarity on the ancillary costs such as CCTV inspections” to decrease costs.

$55,000 is the weekly average for grants issued, staff say if the trend continues until year end, the program will be “slightly higher than budget” for the year. In the past, Council has voted to increase the budget whenever the cap is reached.

Cutting Front-line, Adding Management at the HSR

Hamilton Street Railway’s upper management is asking Councillors to approve a cut of three front-line maintenance positions to fund an increase in upper-middle management by two managers. Read more about the proposal here: HSR Looks to Cut Three Front-line Positions, Add Two New Managers

Public Works Yards Consolidation

Public Works staff are asking to hire a consultant – at up to $95,000 – to review the locations of current Public Works Yards with the goal of consolidating the Yards into fewer locations to find cost savings.

The report says that a recent move of the DARTS service from the Upper James HSR garage – near the airport – to the Public Works garage at 330 Wentworth saves approximately 100,000 “travelled kilometres per year.”

The consultant is to also look at co-locating fueling and other facilities with outside agencies such as Horizon Utilities.

Brock HSR Pass

City staff recommend extending the post-secondary HSR pass program to Brock students. If approved, Brock students will pay the same amount as other post-secondary students in Hamilton.

Read more here: Students at Brock’s Hamilton Campus to get HSR UPass

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