National Public Works Week Celebrated

To wrap up National Public Works Week (May 16 – 22),  the City of Guelph Operations division hosted a public open house at the Municipal Street facility today, as they do every year.

Despite the drizzle and chill in the air, the turnout was excellent.  And I can see why!  It is always an impressive display and a reminder of how many services are provided  — tree trimming, snow removal, street cleaning,  signage, traffic signals, parks groundskeeping and maintenance of a fleet of machines with names so fancy I don’t even know what to call them (ie. storm drain-sucking-vacuums and underground-sewer-videocameras).

My 12 year old was pretty impressed with the big machines, displays and technology.  He was able to try out a handheld ticketing device to issue a by-law infraction notice to himself.

And even city councillors learn something new every year.  This year I learned that the City of Guelph recycles all of the broken asphalt and concrete when it digs up roads.  The asphalt and aggregate are ground up and used again for other road building related uses.

Thank you to the Operations division staff for an excellent event, and for the less-than-glamorous work you do year-round to keep our city running smoothly and looking beautiful.


Natural Heritage Strategy at Council TONIGHT

Sorry for the late notice – but if you have nothing on your plate tonight, come out to hear delegations and discussions about the City of Guelph Natural Heritage Strategy.

The NHS will protect about 2,600 hectares of natural features (woodlots, slope, meadow, riverlands, etc.) as part of the city’s Official Plan.

Where: City Hall, Council Chambers
When: Thursday, May 20 at 7:00 pm

No Jefferson Salamander on Hanlon Creek Busines Park Lands


Salamander monitoring finds no Jefferson Salamander presence on Hanlon Creek Business Park lands

GUELPH, ON, May 10, 2010 – Results of the recently completed salamander monitoring program indicate no Jefferson Salamander presence within the Hanlon Creek Business Park (HCBP) lands.

Natural Resource Solutions Inc. completed a comprehensive salamander monitoring program at the site between March 11 and April 30, on behalf of the City of Guelph, Belmont Equity (HCBP) Holdings Ltd. and Guelph Land Holdings Ltd. The monitoring program was developed in consultation with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) Guelph District Office, City staff and Dr. Jim Bogart, Chair of the Jefferson Salamander Recovery Team.

The monitoring program included 5.5 kilometres of drift fencing, 122 minnow traps and 611 pitfall traps to monitor location and direction of salamander movement to and from potential breeding grounds. The monitoring program was undertaken during peak salamander breeding season when salamanders begin emerging from their overwintering sites and migrating to breeding ponds.

Thirteen salamanders were captured and sampled during the monitoring program. DNA extraction and analysis was then performed at the University of Guelph by Dr. Bogart. In all cases, the DNA analysis found no presence of pure Jefferson salamanders or Jefferson-dominated polyploids (Jefferson-dominated unisexuals).

“In consultation with Dr. Jim Bogart and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, we have concluded that there is no Jefferson Salamander presence on the Hanlon Creek Business Park lands,” stated Mayor Karen Farbridge. “We will move forward with our plans to service and develop these important employment lands and grow jobs in our community while ensuring excellence in environmental protection and restoration. In Guelph, sustainability and prosperity go hand in hand.”

On May 7, 2010 the City received confirmation from the MNR, Guelph District that the 2010 salamander monitoring program was rigorous enough to ascertain the presence of Jefferson Salamanders on the site. Based on the results of the program, the MNR, Guelph District also stated that there are no requirements for authorizations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the HCBP and that no agreement or permit under the ESA is required to proceed with development of the business park.

The City will be moving forward with the development of the HCBP subdivision as approved by the Ontario Municipal Board in November 2006. The 2010 salamander monitoring program has provided additional information on the location and movement of other amphibians within the HCBP subdivision. This additional information will be used to consider design refinements and to undertake measures for wildlife protection during construction activities.