GCA Board Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, October 23, 7:00 p.m.
Glebe Community Centre
Board members: June Creelman, Sylvia Grandi, Rochelle Handleman, Lauren Hills, Jennifer Humphries, Bruce Jamieson, Angela Keller-Herzog, Sylvie Legros, Carol MacLeod (proxy for Elizabeth Ballard), Carolyn Mackenzie, Matt Meagher, Brenda Perras (proxy for Sam Harris), Bill Price, Jennifer Raven, Laura Smith, Sue Stefko, Josh VanNoppen, Sarah Young
Others: David Chernushenko, Darlene Conway, Ryan Lethbridge, Jim McKeen, Liz McKeen, Ryan Polkinghorne, Caroline VanNeste
Sarah welcomed all to the meeting and acknowledged that we meet on the territory of the Algonquin people.
AGENDA AND MINUTES
The agenda was approved with minor changes to the order in which things were considered, as outlined below (Jennifer / Rochelle). The minutes were approved as presented (Bill / Carol).
REPORT FROM THE COUNCILLOR
Sarah welcomed David to the meeting, and offered thanks to him and his staff for his service to the community during his time in office.
David thanked the GCA, saying that it had been a pleasure and honour to work with the group. He also provided a brief status update of work on the footbridge, in response to a question.
INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL IN BROWN’S INLET
Darlene Conway, Jim Lethbridge and Ryan Polkinghorne, from the City of Ottawa Parks, Forestry and Stormwater Services, provided an overview of the infestation of yellow floating heart in Brown’s Inlet and upcoming work in Brown’s Inlet to remove it.
In response to questions about the success of this particular method and other potential impacts of the work (e.g., on wildlife), city staff assured the Board that consultations about the proposed work would occur with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources and Department of Fisheries and Oceans. They provided examples of other places where this approach had been taken (i.e., Maine, New York state). They also said that there would be a greater risk to the system as a whole if no action were taken. This method will be used to remove as much of the yellow floating heart and the pond will then be monitored.
In response to a question about protections for nearby trees, city staff said that work would be prescriptive, that fencing would be installed to limit the area of work, and the contractor would have clear direction about where the work is to take place. They added that it is part of their mandate, as Parks, Forestry and Stormwater Services, to protect trees.
City staff also committed to share the draft consultant report and to receive any additional comments on the proposal.
- The recent election will bring change to our ward and to city council. She acknowledged Carol, Angela and other GCA members who coordinated debates during the campaign. Carol would be happy to receive any feedback on the debate format.
- The Second Avenue parklet will go to Heron Park Community Association.
- The GCA 50th Anniversary artwork has been installed in the atrium in GCC.
- A grant application has been submitted to the City for the Community Conversation series.
- Sylvie sent out a request for input into the budget. The Executive will present a draft budget and budgeting principles to the Board in November.
- Sylvie is investigating insurance options, including a general policy and event-specific insurance. Board members were asked to let Sylvie know if they have any insurance needs that should be considered.
- The Glebe BIA convened a meeting about homelessness and panhandling in the Glebe; participants included the GCA, businesses, the councillor and his staff, and Stephanie Lemieux (community liaison officer). The BIA is looking for a commitment to develop community-drive solutions; Andrew Peck will join the Board at our November meeting.
In response to a question about whether the city in general, or downtown, is seeing a rise in aggressive panhandling, Sarah said that there was a count recently of people who are homeless and that that data is available.
Board members wondered if a shift to community policing had had a negative effect. Stephanie Lemieux has committed to look into information about policing activities in neighbourhoods in the downtown core.
WORKING WITH OUR NEW COUNCILLOR
Sarah asked Board members how we wanted to work with our new councillor, Shawn Menard, and what issues we wanted to bring to his attention early (e.g., the importance of the community design plan; inclusionary zoning; traffic calming; re-establishment of a ward council).
Other ideas from Board members for how to work with the councillor included:
- Having a dedicated staff person for the Glebe
- Working in English and French
- Encouraging Shawn (or a staff person) to stay for the duration of our meetings
- Proactive communication on things that affect us, such as being notified about permits issued to remove trees
- Providing a report at our meetings of what is happening at City Hall, and being encouraged to stay for the duration of our meetings (or have a staff person do so)
- Being transparent and following through to provide requested reports or resources
Other priority areas included:
- Divestment from fossil fuels in City’s endowment fund
- Infill development
Sarah committed to write to Shawn Menard to welcome him, offer a standing invitation to our meetings, and request a meeting with him to discuss how we can work together. She will also send a note of thanks to David.
COMMENTS / ISSUES FROM COMMUNITY
A concern was raised about the lack of 40 km/h signs on Fourth Avenue between O’Connor and Bank, despite this being a priority for the GCA. Matt, on behalf of the Transportation Committee, committed to follow up.
It was asked if there were any similar plans for Second Avenue between Bank and the canal. Matt reported that the Transportation Committee is looking at an overall plan for the community. He clarified that flex posts are installed as a result of street petitions.
Bruce reported that some overarching themes are emerging in the Parks Committee’s work on a parks plan: management of dog waste, dogs in parks that are designated as being dog-free, and general maintenance. The committee is trying to get information from the City about how parks are funded.
COMMITTEE REPORTS / MOTIONS / Q&A
Carolyn provided an update on the secondary plan for Bank Street (417 to Lansdowne) in the Glebe. She met with City planning staff for a high level discussion of a workplan and objectives. There should be something more defined in the near future, which Carolyn will share with the Planning Committee and then with the Board.
Following the last board meeting, Carolyn, Jennifer and Bill discussed a possible statement on intensification. They are currently focused on researching what other communities are doing, and will continue to keep the Board posted on this work.
In response to a question about collaborating with Old Ottawa South on the secondary plan, Carolyn reported that there was a desire to keep the project small, focused, and cost effective, and to look at recent development pressures in the Glebe.
Motion 1 – No-truck signage
Whereas the no-truck signage located on Bronson Avenue northbound near Second Avenue can be confusing to drivers, who may interpret the signage as permissive, indicating that Second Avenue is a designated truck route;
And whereas residents have observed numerous large trucks travelling down Second Avenue to make deliveries to retailers on Bank Street;
Be it resolved that: The Glebe Community Association formally requests that the City install “No Heavy Truck” signs on Bronson Avenue on both sides of the entrance to Second Avenue, with a sign directed towards traffic travelling both northbound and southbound on Bronson Avenue; and that the permissive truck sign that is currently in place be moved further north on Bronson to eliminate the potential to create confusion amongst drivers.
Discussion: Matt presented the motion. In response to a question, there are no approved truck routes through side streets in the Glebe to Bank.
(Matt / June) Carried
Sarah introduced the motion, stating from the outset that the Executive is prepared to convene a special meeting of the Board, should the Board deem it necessary.
Angela provided a brief status update of the project.
- The committee’s GCC Energy and Carbon Reduction project is looking to make the GCC more sustainable and to decrease its energy costs.
- As part of this project, the City has given a $58,000 grant to replace some windows in the GCC and to do some follow-up on the Algonquin College energy modelling work.
- With respect to the Algonquin component, some of the work is done but there is still some to do; their report will be provided in December. Pending practical recommendations, we have $7,500 from the City to pay for some of that work.
- The work associated with this grant must be completed by 2020.
- Instead of a milestone schedule, the City will provide 90% of the funds when the grant agreement is signed. This will ease the administrative burden on the GCA.
- The committee is prepared to keep close track of the project and associated finances; they will provide a monthly update. John Humphries is serving as the project coordinator.
- With respect to reporting responsibilities, the City is using a system with which the committee is familiar, and the evaluation criteria for the project seem reasonable. BEEM and the City will be responsible for the more technical pieces of the evaluation.
- The committee is meeting with BEEM to clarify responsibilities with respect to procurement and contracting (e.g., who approves what in what sequence).
- With respect to procurement, there are two suppliers:
- Asbestos – the City has standing offers, so that process will be used.
- Windows – the company is named in the proposal that the City accepted.
- For this grant, the City requires that the GCA have commercial liability insurance. Angela will ask the City if the cost for this could be included in the grant funds so that the GCA does not have to pay it separately. We may try to get some legal advice on this.
- There is some concern about the administrative burden for the GCA in working with the City. Indeed, GNAG is supportive of this work but does not want to be an official partner because of past challenges in working with the City on capital projects.
- The motions below would enable the committee to move forward with the work as quickly as possible.
- We had also agreed to work with the City’s Building Engineering and Energy Management Unit (BEEM) on making the GCC “smarter” so as to reduce energy use. Contracting for this is underway.
- With respect to replacing the door at the GCC, there have been some delays; it was challenging to find a door that would fit the heritage characteristics of the building.
Motions 2 and 3 – Insurance
Whereas the GCA Environment Committee Glebe Community Centre energy and Carbon Reduction Project grant application has been successful in qualifying for funding under the 2018 Community Energy Innovation Fund,
Whereas the current draft version of the Agreement for Acceptance of Funds from the City of Ottawa has a requirement for project commercial general liability insurance of not less than 5 (five) million dollars which the GCA does not presently hold,
Whereas the GCA Project Coordinator John Humphries has been tasked with soliciting multiple quotes for such project insurance,
Be It Resolved that the GCA buy such insurance, as per the terms of the grant acceptance, seeking to make costs for this insurance eligible under the grant, and where this is not possible, delegate authority to the GCA Executive to cover the costs of such insurance out of environment earmarked or general funds of the GCA up to a limit of $2,500.00 over the insured life of the project.
Discussion: Angela presented the motion.
In response to questions about the insurance, it was clarified that the City wants the commercial liability insurance to last for two years beyond the end date of the project. The committee is in the process of getting quotes for the insurance. If the City does not agree to include the insurance costs in the grant, this motion would provide flexibility for up to $2,500. If the cost is higher than this, the committee would return to the Board.
In response to a question about responsibilities, Angela clarified that the GCA signs the Grant Acceptance Agreement and that the BEEM has done much of the preparatory work on the windows and asbestos; they will provide the specifications and they will supervise and approve things from an engineering perspective. There will be a documented process that gives them that responsibility.
Some board members were concerned about the burden on the GCA – both administrative and financial. Angela provided examples of the City and community working together to improve infrastructure through the minor capital grants program.
Some board members expressed a desire to have more information (e.g., how much the insurance will cost, who is responsible for what, who signs the purchase order(s), what happens if the cost is higher than the grant amount) before making a decision. Angela clarified that she would like to have everything ready by the end of November
(Angela / Carol) Carried
Be It Resolved that the President of GCA and/or the Co-Chair of the Environment Committee, GCA be authorized to sign the “Agreement for Acceptance of Funds” on behalf of the GCA upon resolution of any outstanding issues.
Discussion: Angela presented the motion. The City has asked for one person, but the Executive would prefer that two people sign, as per normal GCA processes.
In response to a request for more time for discussion, it was agreed that the Board will hold a special meeting to discuss this so that the project can move forward in a timely way. This special meeting would also be an opportunity for the Environment Committee to report back on any of the outstanding questions that have since been resolved. Board members specified that it would be helpful to understand the contracting mechanisms, the risks and mitigation strategies, and a list of outstanding questions. Angela committed to provide the grant proposal, draft grant acceptance agreement, and lists of risks and outstanding questions.
(Angela / Rochelle) Vote postponed
Sarah summarized the earlier action items from the meeting:
- Follow up with City for report about Brown’s Inlet
- Thank David
- Welcome Shawn
She also summarized items coming forward in November (i.e., new councillor, parks plan, BIA discussion on homelessness and panhandling, Old Ottawa East on cross-ward issues), and encouraged Board members to provide any other agenda items early.
The meeting adjourned at 9:10 pm. (Josh / Brenda)