Thursday, July 23, 2009

Flood Cheque, Hearing Delayed and Free Rides

Receipt for River Run Flood

Damage to the River Run Centre after a flood this past Victoria Day long weekend, including repair to the stage and lost revenue, is estimated to come out to about $300,000. Won’t insurance cover that, you’re probably asking. Well yes, the insurance will cover much of that 300 grand price tag, but there’s still the small matter of the $50,000 deductible and the $10,000 temporary set up of lights and stage that allowed the Centre to continue its pre-booked program for the two weeks during the clean-up. On the bright side though, the next time the River Run has a false fire alarm it won’t require the clean-up from the flood damage of 8,000 gallons of water. "We're replacing the water wall system with a fire curtain," general manager Colleen Clack told the Guelph Mercury. "That will come out of the $2.2-million infrastructure money we received.''
Hearing Delayed

The Ontario Municipal Board hearing in regards to the disputed Lafarge lands in the city’s west end has been postponed a week due to “member availability.” The hearing was scheduled for July 27th, but has instead been moved to a week later for August 4th. Because I’m sure we’ve all forgotten, let’s reminisce a little about what the deal is with that triangular tract of land just off the Hanlon Parkway. Last January, the neighbourhood group Howitt Park Neighbourhood Residents' Association opposed a plan brought forward to council three years ago which would see heavy commercial develop on the site. Through mediation, the HPNRA, the City of Guelph and Silvercreek (Guelph) Developments Ltd reached a deal which would see the commercial space reduced by half with more residential areas worked into the compromised plan. The so-called fifth dentist in this matter is Armel, who don’t like any commercial space in the area because they’re worried about losing traffic on their own developing shopping centre at Imperial and Paisley. The hearing will take place in the council chambers at 1 Carden Street.
No More Free Rides

The University of Guelph and the City of the same are looking at upgrading student bus passes to something more high tech after a 26-year-old student was caught using a counterfeit bus pass a few weeks back. "It's not a huge problem, but it's a problem. We get some each year,'' says interim manager of transit services Rudy Stehle. "But we don't really know how many are out there. There may be more than we even know of.'' It’s particularly a problem during the summer months when the Central Student Association gives out only a limited number of bus pass stickers going mostly to students taking summer courses. The problem of fakes, says Guelph Transit, has become particularly pronounced in the last few years. So much so that a $50 fine was instituted last school year in an attempt to stymie the number of fakes being made. Stehle told the Guelph Mercury that there is money currently in the budget to eventually change the passes to something more like a smart card, akin to the TTC Metro passes in Toronto. "Next year, we're going to take the first steps (toward change),'' Stehle said. “But as soon as you come up with something new, someone comes up with a method to fool it.''

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