Kitchener volunteers recognized by Governor General

Tonight, on behalf of Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, Mayor Vrbanovic was pleased to present the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to Kitchener residents Husayn Jamal and Tracey Weiler for their significant and sustained volunteer contributions.

Recent highschool graduate Husayn Jamal’s volunteer efforts over the past four years created opportunities for students and for members of the community at large. He was a student trustee on the Waterloo Region District School Board, as well as president and CEO of the Federation of Canadian Secondary Students.

Since 2006, Tracey Weiler has been a dedicated volunteer, working on behalf of her community specifically in the area of children with special needs. Her passion for community engagement is infectious, and she inspires people at all levels to become involved in charitable work and to give back.

New crossing guard for Fischer-Hallman Boulevard and Seabrook Drive roundabout

In the interest of pedestrian safety, council approved a motion to implement a crossing guard at the roundabout at Fischer-Hallman Boulevard and Seabrook Drive. At their Aug. 27 meeting, council directed staff to be on site at this roundabout during the first week of school to help educate students about crossing the roundabout safely as well as to conduct a review to determine what measures could be implemented to help pedestrians safely navigate the roundabout. While driver compliance has improved since the beginning of the school year, council endorsed placing a crossing guard at this location with the need for a guard to be reviewed annually. Staff is also directed to investigate other measures with the Region of Waterloo, including reducing the speed limit to 50 km/h, flashing beacons and/or increased signage and trimming vegetation within the roundabout, in order to assist students travel safely to and from school.

Heritage decisions

Council approved the recommendations outlined in report DSD-18-107 to permit the demolition of the building located at 242 Queen St. S., currently occupied by OneRoof and refuse the applications to demolish the buildings at 254 and 262 Queen St. S. The approval of the application to demolish 242 Queen St. S. is subject to the owner obtaining heritage approval under the Ontario Heritage Act as well as a building permit for a replacement building prior to the issuance of a demolition permit.

Council also approved the recommendations outlined in report DSD-18-106 to permit the demolition of the home and accessory buildings located at 1094 Doon Village Rd. The approval was subject to the conditions that:

  • heritage staff be granted access to the property to gather photo documentation and
  • the owners conduct a heritage research study to document the property’s history and submit a report to staff for the public record.

Council supported Heritage Kitchener’s recommendation to refuse the heritage permit application for the construction of the proposed new single detached home, meaning the owners will need to submit a new design for approval before a permit for construction will be issued.

Cap and trade removed from Kitchener Utilities bills

Council approved the recommendation to remove the Ontario Cap-and-Trade charges from Kitchener Utilities bills effective Oct. 1, 2018. Removing the provincial cap and trade charge should reduce the average residential Kitchener Utilities customer bill by about $81.30 annually.

Council also approved staff’s recommendation to hold natural gas rates consistent at the current rates (see appendix A). Customers have told us they prefer stable rates and through careful management of our gas portfolio and expenses, we are pleased to keep rates the same over the next 12 months. As one of only two municipally owned utilities in Ontario, rates are regulated by Kitchener City Council, not the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). Rates are set annually each fall.

Despite the cancellation of the provincial cap and trade program, Kitchener Utilities understands the environment remains a top priority for residents and is committed to offering customers conservation programs and tips to help them save money and energy.

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