On the agenda: Audit work plan, towers in Ritchie, and more

· The Pulse

This week, a public hearing will take place on June 26, and audit committee will meet on June 27. Two private audit-related meetings will take place as well: the city auditor recruitment committee will meet on June 27, and the audit selection committee will meet on June 29. The next city council meeting is scheduled for July 4.

Here are some of the key items on the agenda:

  • Citing staff turnover and vacancies, the office of the city auditor would like to revise its 2023 work plan by removing four planned audits: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace; Dedicated Accessible Transit Service (DATS); Data Governance and Management; and Capital Projects — Lessons Learned. Five audits have already been completed this year, seven are in progress, and three are to start later this year.
  • Evertrust, which purchased the final development site in the Muttart Urban District near Stadium LRT station last year, originally planned to build a 32-storey tower with up to 366 residential dwellings. A rezoning application, which administration supports, proposes increasing the number of dwellings to 600 and adds two publicly accessible greenways that will help to connect with the bike network.
  • Mill 99, a proposed development in Ritchie that includes one 19-storey high-rise and one six-storey building separated by a publicly accessible open space/plaza, would include up to 230 new residential dwellings, nine of which would have at least three bedrooms. The taller tower would feature a two-storey podium with stepbacks above to help it fit in with the surrounding area, which is primarily zoned for four-storey buildings. Administration supports the application, which has received extensive engagement over the past two years.
A bird's-eye-view render of the proposed Mill 99 development in Ritchie

As part of its required community amenity contributions, the proposed Mill 99 development in Ritchie would include storage, bicycle parking, a communal play space for children, and public access to a 390-square-metre public plaza. (Supplied)

Here are some of the other new agenda items:

  • Administration has 36 outstanding recommendations from the office of the city auditor, just one of which is overdue. The recommendation to fully implement the disaster recovery program, which was originally due by Dec. 31, 2021, is now 16 months overdue. Five other recommendations have been pushed back, including recommendations to develop a corporate-wide homelessness plan, to assign accountability for that plan, and to develop performance measures to evaluate the plan. Those recommendations were expected to be addressed by Dec. 31, 2023, but now have a due date of Dec. 31, 2024.
  • Over the past three years, administration has implemented 103 of 124 audit recommendations without direct or indirect budget implications. As of April 3, six open recommendations are expected to have budget implications. Two of the recommendations related to the historical resources management program are unfunded, as is one related to safety code permits and inspection services.
  • An audit of employee absences and overtime found that guidance on effective overtime management is outdated, most supervisors are unaware of the tools available to help them manage overtime, there are issues with how the city manages overtime to minimize costs, and there's a lack of reporting on overtime. The city auditor made four recommendations to help address these shortcomings. The city spent $39 million on overtime in 2022, up from $22 million in 2018, which is about 3% of the total $1.165 billion personnel expenses budget.
  • Charter Bylaw 20519 would rezone the property at 5919 107 Street NW in Pleasantview, which is currently used as a pocket park with several mature trees, from RF1 to AP, the public parks zone. Administration says the rezoning will help ensure "open space amenities are retained as mature areas experience infill and population growth."
  • Rezoning applications will be considered at public hearing for row housing in Parkview, and small-scale housing in Glenora.

Meetings are streamed live on YouTube on the Chamber channel and River Valley Room channel.