Minutes: November 23, 2009


MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE RESOURCE PLANNING AND PRIORITIES COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Monday, November 23, 2009 at 10:10 a.m. in the Ante Room, #3129, South Building.

Present: A. Wensley (in the Chair), B. Schneider, J. Lim, M. Tombak, P. Goldsmith, N. Basiliko, M. Tombak, M. Georges, C. Capewell, S. Gonsalves
Regrets: G. Averill, R. Reisz, N. Collins, S. Munro
In attendance: D. Mullings, G. Richter, C. McGrath, A. MacIsaac

The Chair announced that due to the availability of presenters, agenda item 2a as circulated would be moved to 2c.

1) Approval of Minutes of the Previous Meeting (October 26, 2009)

The report of the last meeting was approved.

2) Reports of Committees and Officers:

a) For information: Transportation and Parking Subcommittee report - Paul Donoghue, CAO on behalf of the Chair

Paul Donoghue reported on behalf of Scott Munro. The recent meeting focused on a discussion on parking demand. The subcommittee discussed how demand has been moderated, as a result of increased alternatives, such as expanded transit options. Mr. Donoghue noted that up until September of 2009, the campus had an excess of parking spots. However, because of the construction of the Instructional Centre on top of Lot #2, 309 spots were lost, and the addition of the Health Sciences Complex has meant the loss of another 140 parking spots. Only a handful of these lost spaces would be returned to the parking supply once the two buildings are finished.

As a result of this shortage, temporary measures such as creating some parking spots through the existing tennis courts, the old baseball diamond and alumni house have been implemented. In addition, UTM needs to provide 130 temporary parking spots for construction purposes. All of this combines for pressure on spaces that has resulted in a level of service that is below acceptable levels.
This shortage of spots has not only affected the UTM community, but also community events, some of which have had to be cancelled or deferred.

The subcommittee agreed that this shortage must be addressed by the fall of 2010. In the past the UTM community discussed the three options and associated costs available of creating parking spots: paving a new parking lot costs $2500 per spot; constructing an above ground lot costs $25,000 per spot and an underground lot costs $35,000 per spot. These discussions have led to the conclusions that the campus cannot afford to construct an additional underground lot, and that paving green space should not be contemplated. The construction of an above ground parking structure therefore remains as the only alternative.

The subcommittee heard that a proposal to construct such a structure would be introduced in the near future. The new structure would consist of a an above ground single level parking deck on top of Lot #8, just across from the RAWC. Because of the depression in the road in that area, the finished ‘parking deck' would be almost level with the adjacent road. The structure would cost $6M and would provide the campus with 250 additional parking spaces. If site preparations began in the spring of 2010, the structure could be finished by September of the same year.

The Transportation and Parking subcommittee also discussed how this project could be financed. The university could do the project on its own, by borrowing and repaying the sum from the parking surplus. If borrowing the required funds was not possible, a partnership with a third party would have to be considered, but would not present an ideal situation. The subcommittee was unanimous in endorsing the first approach.

The Chair asked committee members to hold back on their questions until after the parking budget presentation from Alex MacIsaac.

Mr. MacIsaac referred members to the Parking Statement of Operating Results 2008-09 to 2010-11, which is attached hereto as Appendix A, and reiterated the challenges experienced by the parking operation detailed above. He added that waiting lists had to be introduced this year because of demand and noted that during peak times in September, only ten to thirty empty parking spots were available on campus.

He reported that parking permit sales were lower this year, but pay and display machine sales were higher.

He announced that for the 2010-11 academic year, there would be an increase in parking permit prices of 3%. For the same time period, there would be an increase of $1.00 for pay and display machines, going from $12 to $13 for the daily maximum and from $5 to $6 for the evening/weekend category.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member's question, Mr. Donoghue explained that UTM staff continue to explore increasing public transit availability to the campus community.

A member asked about the option of partnering with a third party for the proposed parking deck. Mr. Donoghue commented that if such a partnership were entertained, UTM would have to retain control.

In response to a member's question about whether parking was being used efficiently, Mr. MacIsaac confirmed that it was and that the parking office was performing rounds throughout the campus several times per day to check on this. He added that once the affected lots were closed this year, demand for CCT underground parking increased substantially, resulting in the much more efficient use of that garage. In addition, as a result of this increased demand, pay and display parking had to be restricted within a certain time period.

b) For information: Ancillary services status reports and preliminary figures in preparation for the next meeting in January, when these items appear for approval

i. Residence - Dale Mullings, Director of Residence

Mr. Mullings referred members to the Residence Statement of Operating Results 2008-09 to 2010-11, which is attached hereto as Appendix B.

He reported that the department is projecting a 95% occupancy rate for the 2009-10 year, slightly below the anticipated 96% budgeted. The spring 2009 Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation vacancy rates for the GTA range from 3-5%, leaving the residence operation in a comparable position with the local occupancy. Summer revenues were up, due in large part to the expansion of the half-summer housing option which is appealing to students looking to take a course over the summer. Commissions and Other Incomes is over this year due to an increase in non-refundable deposits and damage collections from students.

For expenses, Mr. Mullings reported that salaries are anticipated to be lower, due to a hold on hiring in some areas, and greater controls on overtime. To be noted, last budget year, salaries came in $260,000 under projections, and the department continues to benefit from those savings through a re-organization of roles and responsibilities. Utilities are expected to come in under due to lower than projected rates and environmental initiatives such as light replacement in OPH resulting in an annual savings of $18,000 per year in hydro. Cable rates have increased half way through the year, accounting for the additional costs associated with telephone, cable and internet for the current budget year, as well as the installation of wireless internet into the various lounges to create a 24-hour per day wireless study space. Annual and Major Maintenance are projected to come in collectively over budget. This is in part, due to $60,000 in additional electrical work required to meet code issues in our various townhouse communities, an additional roofing project at $25,000 and $30,000 in automatic door openers to complete Oscar Peterson Hall as an accessible building. Cleaning Costs are coming in slightly higher than plan, however many of these costs have been recouped in damage collections from students. We are forecasting a reduction in cleaning costs of 50% from last budget year.

Mr. Mullings reported that the department anticipates that the 2009-10 budget will come in $96,620 better than plan and will continue to allow the department to come out of Operating Debt in year 4 of opening Oscar Peterson Hall, and Fund Debt in year 9, as previously planned.

Highlights for the 2009-10 Budget:
• Roof conditioning audit was completed with the development of a 20-year roofing replacement plan
• Roofing preventative maintenance program was initiated to extend roofing life
• 5 roofing projects were completed over the summer
• 5 student lounges were renovated and modified with wireless and HD television
• Implementation of a preventative maintenance program
• Survey of graduate students and graduate departments lead to the implementation of a new 12-month lease period beginning in September; and, the addition of 4-month contracts in our bachelor units to accommodate various graduate program needs

Highlights for the 2010-11 Budget:
• Improved security for Family & Graduate communities with installation of VingCard lock systems
• Undergraduate townhouse communities will receive improved desk chairs in December
• Bachelor units will receive new furniture that appeals to the graduate students needs
• Further consultation is underway regarding the 2010-11 budget with the Student Housing Advisory Committee

There were no questions for Mr. Mullings.

ii. Food services - Bill McFadden, Director of Hospitality and Retail Services

Mr. McFadden referred members to the Food Services Statement of Operating Results 2008-09 to 2010-11, which is attached hereto as Appendix C.

Mr. McFadden reported that regarding forecasted revenues, the budget for 2009-10 was very conservative in approach. When this budget was prepared there were incredible inflationary pressures on the cost of food and the threat of reduced cash sales as a result of the global economic slowdown. The condensed academic schedule, to 12 weeks of classes each semester, will also have an impact on the food services budget.

These forces have had a significant impact on the Food Service Budget for 2009-10.
He explained that total revenues were up marginally at 1.4% over budget ($53 752) and is down over last fiscal year (-1.9%, $159 843). Sales were very flat and showed the impact of the forces indicated above. Regarding meal plans, there was an increase of 1.6% over the budgeted amount, which was primarily the result of students choosing a higher number of the larger plans than budgeted. The overall number of meal plans is marginally lower than budget as a result fewer people in residence than budgeted. Cafeteria Sales were very flat: up .6% against budget up .8% over last year. Vending sales were down as a result of a change to the vending route driver over a 2.5 month period. The machines were running more frequently and product was not available for sale.

Mr. McFadden explained that there were tremendous challenges with the cost of products due to the inflationary increases of food last year and the less than inflationary increases that were taken by Chartwells on campus. Retail Prices across campus went up approximately 3% and Colman Commons pricing went up approximately 1%. These forces resulted in pressure on the Contribution Margin / Net Revenue Line versus budget.

Regarding direct expenses, major maintenance was budgeted as a contingency amount, but has been eliminated as there is sufficient contingency space available in the Furniture and Equipment Repair category and the Annual Maintenance Expense Categories. Furniture & Equipment Depreciation is reduced as a result of changing the way in which we purchase and depreciate / expense equipment within the budget plan. He noted that there needed to be a balanced approach to expensing and depreciating equipment especially given the imminent debt that will be incurred by the Food Service budget. He added that food services was planning investments in equipment to increase efficiency and capacity in this budget year.
Mr. McFadden proceeded to discuss the 2010-11 budget.
The preliminary approach to the 2010-11 budget includes the following:

  • an approximate 4.0% inflationary increase to the price of food on campus
  • Meal Plans: 5.7% increase related to a combination of:
    -The above inflationary increase
    -An increase in the number of plans sold
  • Cash Sales: 6.5% increase related to a combination of:
    -The above stated inflationary increase
    -Subtle increase to the enrollment numbers
  • Increased business related to construction contractors on campus
  • Catering Sales Down as a result of current reduced conference business schedule
  • Vending Sales returning to near historical levels

Regarding cost of sales, Mr. McFadden explained that the supply cost of food will still be subject to the inflationary increases, since food cost inflation was still one of the primary drivers of the Consumer Price Index in Canada.

In terms of direct expenditures, he explained that there was no expected change to the budgeted level of expenses for the direct expense category and that direct expenditures were being budgeted in a manner which was consistent with the forecasted expense amounts.

There were no questions for Mr. McFadden.

iii. Conference services - Gale Richter, Manager of Conference Services

Ms. Richter referred members to the Conference Services Statement of Operating Results 2008-09 to 2010-11, which is attached hereto as Appendix D.

Ms. Richter reported that the 2009-10 accommodation income was greater than projected due to higher registration numbers of a client. Conference income food, facilities/space rental was also higher due to this same client's increase in registration numbers. Increased accommodation numbers resulted in higher cleaning expenditures

She reported that for 2010-11, early income estimates are lower than anticipated, however she noted that this could change depending on some current ongoing negotiations with two potential youth groups. She added that the availability of outdoor space was an issue this year due to the loss of field space.

There were no questions or comments from members.

c) For information: Grounds Monitoring Subcommittee report - Aubrey Iwaniw, Environmental Project Coordinator

Ms. Iwaniw presented the annual report of the Grounds Monitoring Subcommittee, which is attached hereto as Appendix E, on behalf of the group's Chair, Professor Nick Collins.

There were no questions for Ms. Iwaniw.

The Chair announced that the next meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee was scheduled for Monday, January 18, 2010 and would feature the finalized ancillary reports for approval. The meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

Chair ______________________________ Secretary______________________________