Report: March 21, 2005



Report of the RESOURCE PLANNING & PRIORITIES COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Monday, March 21, 2005 at 3:10 p.m., in Room 3138.

Present: R. Reisz (in the Chair), U. Krull, R. deSouza, D. Crocker, S. Kibria, K. Krupica, N. Collins, B. Schneider, M. Jalland, K. Hannah-Moffat, D. Pond
Regrets: J. Linley, M. Lord, P. King
In attendance: Walied Khogali (full-time student), Mark Overton (Dean of Students)

1. Adoption of the Agenda

The Agenda was approved. (N. Collins /K. Krupica)

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting (February 21, 2005)

The report of the previous meeting was approved. (D. Pond/K. Hannah-Moffat)

3. Business Arising from the Minutes

a) Parking Garage Update – Ray deSouza, CAO

Mr. deSouza reported that since the Committee discussed and approved the issue at its last meeting, a problem had arisen regarding the planned parking garage and alternate delivery of parking services through Standard Parking. The University’s auditors did not agree with the position that the cost of the garage was considered to be “off-balance sheet financing.” The original plan had called for a financing management and operations plan by the special purpose company that was approved by the university’s Chief Business Officer. Since that time, major accounting changes by the Province have affected the ability of organizations to use “off balance sheet financing.” A meeting between the university’s auditors, Standard Parking’s auditors and university staff from the Office of the Vice-President, Business Affairs and UTM will occur on April 5th to further consider the problem.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member’s question, Mr. deSouza explained that indeed this accounting issue represented a major hurdle for the project. He added the university would be considering alternate parking options during the summer to ensure that there are adequate parking spots to meet the demand in the fall.

A member asked about alternate means of financing the parking garage. Mr. deSouza explained that the difficulty would not be with the financing of the project, but rather with how the cost of the parking garage would be recorded: in this case, $20M would be recorded as a liability.

A member asked about how the rejection of the proposed parking garage would affect parking rates. Mr. deSouza stated that if UTM does not have to finance a parking garage and can provide adequate green parking spaces to meet the fall demand at no additional cost, then parking rates would be revisited. Another member asked about the implications of not increasing the number of parking spaces. The Chief Administrative Officer replied that UTM is in the process of studying the current demand ratio and the possibility of re-painting existing lots in a different configuration to yield more spaces. During the summer, both a project planning committee and the transportation and parking subcommittee would meet to consider these options. He noted that some progress has been made regarding more effective course scheduling for parking demand purposes, but added that other solutions must be considered to ameliorate the stress on parking that is evident during the months of September and October in particular.

The project planning committee for parking will continue to work on proposed solutions and then update the transportation and parking subcommittee, which in turn reports to this Committee.

The Registrar noted that an 8:00 a.m. class start time could be introduced along with spreading classes to later in the day to help with the parking demand issue. She also added that many students from Oakville, Burlington and Milton are having difficulty accessing the campus because of the lack of connections to GO transit. Mr. deSouza explained that the Dean of Students continues to meet with GO transit officials, who recognize this problem and have pointed to the inadequate turning circles at GO stations which do not allow the safe passage of transit buses. He added that a special bus route, much like the ones GO transit has adopted with McMaster, Square One and York would be explored in subsequent meetings. The Registrar commented that York University has introduced such buses.

A member noted that there is easy access from Milton through GO and Mississauga transit, but these operate during standard commuter hours only.

Another member noted that the Student’s Administrative Council (SAC), along with York and Ryerson universities had plans to meet with GO transit to discuss these issues.

4. New Business:

a) Space Planning and Management Committee (SPMC) Update – Ray deSouza, CAO

Mr. deSouza reported that the Space Planning and Management Committee (SPMC) met on February 25th to review its terms of reference, which was adopted by the Accommodations and Facilities Directorate (AFD). The focus of the meeting was to discuss the Committee’s mandate and no space allocation decisions had been made as of yet. The terms of reference of the (SPMC) was distributed to members of the RPPC is attached to this report for information.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

A member commented that current Council of Ontario Universities (COU) space standards are sometimes inadequate for certain disciplines. He cited the department of Psychology’s involvement with genetics research, which requires a substantial amount of space not taken into account by COU standards. Mr. deSouza explained that COU space standards were to be used as guidelines and that any problems with their requirements could be taken to their Executive Committee. The University of Toronto is represented on this Committee.

5. Other Business

There was no other business.

6. Next Meeting

The next meeting of Resource Planning and Priorities Committee will be during the 2005 fall session.

The meeting adjourned at 3:35 p.m. (D. Pond/ U. Krull)

Secretary _______________________________ Chair __________________________

September 2005