May 21, 2015 - Minutes

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City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

Public Works and Transportation Committee



Thursday, May 21, 2015


Anderson Room
Richmond City Hall


Councillor Chak Au, Chair
Councillor Harold Steves (entered at 4:05 p.m.)
Councillor Derek Dang
Councillor Alexa Loo
Mayor Malcolm Brodie (entered at 4:41 p.m.)


Councillor Ken Johnston

Also Present:

Councillor Carol Day (entered at 4:06 p.m.)

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.






It was moved and seconded



That the minutes of the meeting of the Public Works and Transportation Committee held on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, be adopted as circulated.









With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation (copy on file, City Clerk’s Office), Goran Oljaca, Director, Engineering and Construction, Water Services, Metro Vancouver, spoke on the Seymour-Capilano Twin Tunnels, and the following information was highlighted:




the Capilano Raw Water Pump Station was commissioned in March 2015, and as one the largest municipal pump stations in Canada, it boasts eight 2,000 horsepower pumps; and




the Seymour-Capilano commission plan included disinfecting of the tunnels, filling and flushing of the tunnels, and commissioning the Capilano Raw Water Pump Station, Energy Recovery Facility and Break Head Tank.



Mr. Oljaca then commented on water quality benefits as a result of the completion of this decade long infrastructure project, noting turbidity removal, improved primary disinfection, pH adjustment and corrosion control, and lower chlorine dosages for secondary disinfection.




Cllr. Steves entered the meeting (4:05 p.m.)




Cllr. Day entered the meeting (4:06 p.m.)



In reply to queries from Committee, Mr. Oljaca remarked that the decrease in water consumption in Richmond may be a result of increased conservation efforts.  Also, he stated that the Seymour-Capilano Twin Tunnels treat approximately 1.8 billion litres of drinking water daily.



Achilles Mallari, Operations Manager, Sierra Waste Services, provided an overview of Sierra Waste Services’ operations in Richmond.  He commented on the company’s commitment to their partnership with the City, noting that they wish to see the City meet its solid waste diversion goals.



Mr. Mallari then spoke to the Sierra Waste Services’ safety and customer serivce training protocols, remarking that both areas are of utmost importance to the company.  Also, he commented on Sierra Waste Services’ participation in local events such as the City’s annual Public Works Open House.



In reply to queries from Committee, Mr. Mallari advised that Sierra Waste Services only operates in Richmond and Langley as this allows the company to provide quality service to both communities.  Also, he noted that staff are trained monthly on safety protocol and that new technologies for solid and organic waste collection are examined as the need arises.






Street Furniture Program
(File Ref. No. 10-6360-03-03) (REDMS No. 4491651 v. 4)



In reply to queries from Committee, Victor Wei, Director, Transportation, advised that the bus shelters, including the benches in the shelters are owned by the supplier and therefore, staff are not aware of what happens to them once they are removed.



Also, he stated that the installation of bus shelters is determined by the amount of transit user traffic at any given transit location.  Mr. Wei then commented on vandalism of bus shelters, noting that it is not an area of concern.



It was moved and seconded




That staff be directed to issue a Request for Proposals for the supply, installation and maintenance of a city-wide street furniture program that includes advertising, as described in the staff report dated May 4, 2015, from the Director, Transportation; and




That staff report back on the responses to the above Request for Proposals with a recommendation prior to December 1, 2015.









Alexandra District Energy Utility Expansion Phase 4
(File Ref. No. 10-6600-10-02) (REDMS No. 4557795 v. 5)



In reply to queries from Committee, Alen Postolka, Manager, District Energy, advised that the business case for the Alexandra District Energy Utility reported that payback for the project is 21 years; however, he highlighted that as a result of ongoing development, the most current business case reports that payback for the project is 17 years.  Also, he stated that the project’s internal rate of return is comparable to that of other utility projects.



It was moved and seconded



That funding of up to $7.6 million through borrowing from the Utility General Surplus be approved for capital expenditure for design, construction and commissioning of the Phase 4 expansion of the Alexandra District Energy Utility and that the Five Year Financial Plan (2015-2019) be amended accordingly.






Smart Thermostats Pilot Program
(File Ref. No. 10-6125-07-02) (REDMS No. 4565860)



In reply to queries from Committee, Brendan McEwen, Manager, Sustainability, stated that should the smart thermostat project be successful, staff would report back to Council to consider increasing funding for the program to add to the number of maximum dparticipants.



Discussion ensued regarding other manners in which residents can save costs associated with energy consumption, and it was suggested that a list of these methods be compiled in an effort to promote energy savings.




Mayor Brodie entered the meeting (4:31 p.m.)



It was moved and seconded



That the development and implementation of a “Smart Thermostats Pilot Program” for homes be endorsed.






2014 Annual Water Quality Report
(File Ref. No. 10-6375-01) (REDMS No. 4550012)



Bryan Shepherd, Manager, Water Services, noted that the City’s water meter program, leak protection program, and washing machine rebate program have likely contributed to the reduction in water consumption in Richmond.



In reply to queries from Committee, Mr. Shepherd stated that water turbidity has likely decreased as a result of the quality of water delivered by Metro Vancouver.  Also, he commented on water infrastructure, noting that ongoing maintenance and Capital projects ensure that the infrastructure can properly deliver drinking water.  Mr. Shepherd then stated that if residents suspect they may have a leak, the City has a leak rebate program and staff will assist residents in investigating their concerns.



It was moved and seconded



That the staff report titled “2014 Annual Water Quality Report,” dated April 28, 2015, from the Director, Public Works be received for information.






Bi-Weekly Garbage Collection
(File Ref. No. 10-6405-03-01) (REDMS No. 4567623)



Suzanne Bycraft, Manager, Fleet and Environmental Programs, provided background information, highlighting that residents in single-family homes met the 70% waste diversion target in 2013.  She commented on the number of garbage and recycling options provided to residents, such as the large item pick up program, noting that bi-weekly garbage collection will further encourage residents to recycle.  Ms. Bycraft then stated that in an effort to meet the City’s objective to divert 80% of waste by 2020, the bi-weekly garbage collection initiative is important in advancing recycling performance in the single-family residential sector.



In reply to queries from Committee, Ms. Bycraft provided the following information:




overall cost savings under the proposed bi-weekly garbage collection program will be minimal in the initial transition year as a result of the purchase of new garbage carts and the loss in collection efficiency as these carts take longer to service when compared to the manual collection process;




with regard to odour concerns, organics collection will continue to be provided weekly with the proposed bi-weekly garbage collection;




depending on the cart size selected by residents, staff are projecting a cost saving of approximately 2% to 15%; for instance, residents who opt for a smaller cart will be rewarded with costs savings;




the 240-litre cart was utilized for the bi-weekly garbage collection pilot and will be the standard size of cart for the proposed program;




residents will have the opportunity to influence their garbage collection costs; for instance, a 120-litre cart will result in costs savings, and should residents with a 120-litre cart wish to have additional garbage collected, they may purchase an additional garbage tag for $2;




garbage tipping fees are set by Metro Vancouver; although there may be a decrease in tipping fees as a result of the proposed bi-weekly garbage collection program, the City will incur costs related to communication and outreach initiatives and illegal dumping; and




the City’s garbage collection provider is committed to customer service and in the event a resident has missed their scheduled collection, an additional collection service may be provided;  however,  should this circumstance become reoccurring, staff would identify options to address this need and report to Council accordingly.



Discussion ensued on the potential for a garbage bin at the Works Yard for residents who have missed their scheduled collection, and it was noted that such a program is not advisable.



It was moved and seconded




That City garbage collection service for single-family dwellings be changed from weekly to every other week (bi-weekly) commencing the first quarter of 2016, with recycling services (i.e. Blue Box and Green Cart) continuing to be provided on a weekly basis;




That, as part of implementation of bi-weekly collection service, the City provide one garbage cart per household to residents in single-family dwellings, where residents have the opportunity to select the cart size of their choice;




That the Chief Administrative Officer and General Manager, Engineering and Public Works be authorized to negotiate and execute an amendment to Contract T.2988, Residential Solid Waste & Recycling Collection Services, to service, acquire, store, assemble, label, deliver, replace and undertake related tasks for the garbage carts, and related operational service changes associated with this program;




That an amendment to the City’s Five Year Financial Plan (2015 – 2019) to include capital costs of $2.6 million with $2.3 million funding from the City’s General Solid Waste and Recycling Provision and $300,000 from the City’s General Utility Surplus, be approved; and




That appropriate bylaw amendments be brought forward as part of  the 2016 solid waste and recycling utility budget process and amending rates, to enact this service.



Opposed: Cllr. Loo







Utility Box Art Wraps



With the aid of photographs, Romeo Bicego, Manager, Sewerage and Drainage, commented on the attractiveness of utility boxes that have been wrapped in art.




Project WET



Tom Stewart, Director, Public Works, highlighted that over 600 kids from 13 Richmond elementary schools participated in Project WET – an interactive program aimed at educating students about the importance of water.




Public Works Open House



Mr. Stewart stated that the annual Public Works Open House is scheduled for Saturday, May 23, 2015 at the Works Yard from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.






It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (5:14 p.m.).





Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Public Works and Transportation Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Thursday, May 21, 2015.



Councillor Chak Au

Hanieh Berg
Committee Clerk