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Council to Approve $201M Transit & Fleet Services Facility

Council is set to approve a revised, $201-million version of the proposed city operations campus next week. This decision comes months ahead of a staff-generated information report on the project, which was initially scheduled to precede the approval.

As the budget finalization is anticipated this Wednesday (with the spending plan becoming official only at the end of next month), the council will be officially supporting the new plan for the facility for the first time.

“Although the multi-year budget spans four years, there will be budget confirmation years from 2025 to 2027 where adjustments are possible based on the project’s timing and costs, subject to annual council approval,” Deputy CAO Jayne Holmes stated in an email. “Essentially, the first year gets approved, and the subsequent three years are approved in principle, requiring yearly confirmation.”

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The construction of the Guelph Transit and fleet building, is proposed on city-owned property along Dunlop Drive adjacent to the Waste Resource Innovation Centre, near Stone Road East and Watson Parkway South.

This project is part of the draft 2024 to 2027 capital budget, allocating $34 million in 2026 and an additional $167 million in 2027, totaling $201 million.

As detailed on the city’s website, the facility’s cost is primarily funded through property taxes (66%), supplemented by development charges (23%) and grants (11%).

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Originally, the plan included consolidating additional city services at this facility. However, earlier this year, the project’s size and scope were reduced following environmental and archaeological site assessments.

The revised plan now involves accommodating these extra departments at various existing city-owned locations. The upcoming staff report to the council will provide specifics on the necessary upgrades and repairs for these facilities to remain operational.

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Although council has posed a few inquiries regarding the plan, it hasn’t been openly discussed during the budget proceedings, which began on November 3.

During its Wednesday meeting, the council will deliberate on amendments to the draft budget. This is followed by a period for the mayor to potentially veto these amendments and a chance for the council to overturn any mayoral vetoes with a two-thirds majority vote.

The city’s 2024 to 2027 budget will be officially adopted on December 25.

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