Guelph looks at co-locating critical services as city grows

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Critical service demands are on track to increase in Guelph, Ontario, as the population rises to a projected 203,000 residents by 2051. As such, the city is looking at plans to build a centralized campus of facilities that would house snow removal, solid waste collection and transit and fleet maintenance.

The campus would also replace multiple facilities that have outgrown operations or are in need of major repair. Last year, Guelph determined its asset portfolio would cost about $4.39 billion to replace. Of that, roughly $1.41 billion will likely need replacing within the next 10 to 20 years, with many facilities reaching poor condition by five years.

In its operations campus report, the city also explored various sites and alternatives, including rehabilitation and expansion of current facilities and new decentralized facilities. A centralized campus option is said to align best with factors like social benefits and supporting the future community, said Antti Vilkko, general manager of facilities and energy management.

Co-locating services would help electrify the transit fleet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve the city’s climate change goals.

“Our community is growing and this centralized campus, implemented over 10 years, will help us deliver on community expectations from their local government—efficient services, quality programs and value for their tax dollar,” added Vilkko.

The campus is estimated to cost between $186–$228 million; $25 million less than the other alternatives. Council will decide on business case on May 31.

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