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Council Highlights - March 19, 2007 Meeting

 
Town To Review Arena Association Agreement
Council extended the current agreement with the Richmond Hill Arena Association for one year from December 31, 2007 and authorized staff to undertake a joint review of the relationship between the Town and the Association as well as the operation of the Town’s arenas. The agreement, which was entered into on March 18, 2003 and expires at the end of this year, allows the Association to maintain and operate the Town’s ice arena facilities. Before entering into a full term extension at the end of this year (which would expire at the end of 2013), the Town will conduct a thorough assessment of the arenas in partnership with the Association. The one-year extension will give the Town and the Association sufficient time to review the relationship and the operation of the Town’s arenas. For more information, contact Joan Anderton, Chief Administrative Officer, at (905) 771-8800, ext. 3834 (From Committee of the Whole Meeting held on Monday, March 5, 2007; Staff Report SRCAO.07.10, Agenda Item No. 21).
 
Town Gets Even Greener With Wind Power Possibilities
Council commended Engineering & Public Works Department staff for their efforts and achievements in energy efficiency and clean air initiatives to reduce climate change impacts. Council also decided to investigate the potential of having a municipally-owned wind turbine installation. A report to Council stated that the Town is 80 per cent of the way towards meeting 2009 targets of decreasing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from 2000 levels thanks to initiatives such as: a wind power study, use of green fuels in the vehicle fleet, hybrid vehicles, building automation systems, an anti-idling policy, Energy Efficiency Open House, Commute to Work Week and National Public Works Week. The report also investigated the possible purchasing of “green” power for Town facilities. However, Council decided that, although it does yield environmental benefits by encouraging renewable energy developers in Ontario, it has few direct benefits to Richmond Hill and would be close to an additional $1,000,000 per year in conversion costs. Instead, it was decided that the possibility of investing in a wind generation project was a better use of funding to directly provide electricity to the Town. Staff will now further investigate the potential for wind power in Richmond Hill. The Town has recognized that climate change and increasing GHG emissions are significant global issues of our time and has been actively working towards limiting both with programs for over 10 years. The energy efficiency and conservation measures taken to date have been effective in significantly reducing our corporate GHG emissions and demonstrate the Town’s commitment to the environment. They have also resulted in significant financial savings for the Town through energy and fuel efficiency. For more information, contact Dan Olding, Manager of Environmental Programs, at (905) 771-5505 (From Committee of the Whole Meeting held on Monday, March 5, 2007; Staff Report SREPW.07.032, Agenda Item No. 15).
 
Town’s Water Continues To Be Safe
Council was presented with the Ministry of the Environment’s 2006 annual report of the Town’s water supply system with respect to distribution and water quality. The report confirmed that the Town’s water supply and delivery met all of the necessary levels above and beyond what is required by law. The Town conducted 1,878 tests for microbiological samples throughout the year, almost 600 more than required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Although this report is dictated by Ontario’s Drinking Water Systems Regulation 170/03 under the Act, Council acknowledged the Engineering & Public Works Department for staff’s excellent work in maintaining the Town’s water, a precious commodity that is sometimes taken for granted. Richmond Hill receives its water from Lake Ontario by purchasing treated water from the Region of York who purchases it from the City of Toronto. The water is tested throughout the process by the City of Toronto and Region of York before the Town even receives it. The Region of York is responsible for the production, treatment and storage of the Town’s water and for pumping it up from Toronto. Town of Richmond Hill staff are then responsible for distributing the water to the consumer through its 462 km of watermains. Certified and licensed staff are responsible for the maintenance and operation of the Water Distribution System by performing a variety of tests on the watermains and samplings for disinfectant levels and bacteriological testing. The report is available for public viewing on the Town’s Website. For more information, contact George Pellarin, Acting Manager of Roads, Water & Wastewater, at (905) 771-8800, ext. 4426 (From Committee of the Whole Meeting held on Monday, March 5, 2007; Staff Report SREPW.07.030, Agenda Item No. 14).

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