Regional Council received an update on results stemming from frozen water services events that occurred across the Region of Peel during the 2014 and 2015 winter seasons and information on an action plan developed to improve service response for future events.
Staff are developing strategies to improve response to frozen water services in the future which include communications, monitoring frost depths, proactively notifying residents affected in the past to run their water, identifying capital repair opportunities and working with stakeholders to ensure new standards are developed and adhered to.
Peel handled more frozen water services with greater efficiency in 2015 compared to 2014 due to several improvements that were made after the events of 2014. If the historically low winter temperature stretches continue in 2016 and beyond, then we can expect recurring challenges with frozen water services.
Regional Council approved ten full time positions for staffing the Make Ready model at the Fernforest reporting station located at Bovaird Drive and Fernforest Drive, based on the outcomes of the Make Ready evaluation for Paramedic Services.
A Request for Tender (RFT) process was conducted to evaluate the option of outsourcing the Paramedic Make Ready model. As a result of there being no suitable vendor to meet the requirements for the Make Ready model, the service will need to be provided by Region of Peel staff.
Given that the Make Ready model continues to increase the quality of Paramedic preparedness and availability, as well as creates significant improvements in the state of readiness for all vehicles in the system, it is recommended to continue the model using internally trained full time staff for the three future reporting stations.
Regional Council directed staff to take a new approach to engaging the development community and the area municipalities in exploring alternative growth infrastructure financing options to inform the planned 2017 Development Charge By-law update based on the population and employment forecasts to 2041. Staff will report back to Regional Council through the Growth Management Committee with the results from these consultations.
In 2014, the Growth Management Committee considered several presentations providing details on growth infrastructure financing strategies. On September 5, 2014 a Growth Management Workshop was held to obtain input and advice on options to ensure a financially sustainable growth program, in conjunction with a Regional Official Plan Amendment and master servicing plans based on 2041 population and employment forecasts.
Regional staff recognizes that this new consultative process could be beneficial in supplementing the ongoing work that is leading to a 2017 DC By-law update based on the 2041 population and employment forecasts. Consultation with the development industry benefits Regional growth planning, infrastructure servicing plans as well as the development of sustainable financing strategies.
Creating Affordable Rental Housing Through Residential Condominium Unit Acquisition
Regional Council authorized entering into Agreements of Purchase and Sale for the acquisition of units in residential condominiums.
Capital funds are available through Development Charges and Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) Extension to build or purchase affordable rental housing. Timelines associated with the IAH funding require spending to occur in the 2015/2016 fiscal year. The purchase of 40 residential units within condominium corporations will allow the Region of Peel as System Manager to stay within funding guidelines and timeframes and provide fast access to affordable rental housing for 40 households.
Human Services staff will work with staff from Legal Services and Real Estate to begin searching for units that fit the program criteria. Human Services staff will work with purchasing staff to issue an RFP to the vendor community to find an Operations and Management organization. Staff will report back to Regional Council in 2016 with an update regarding this pilot initiative.