The 2018 City of Kawartha Lakes budget will see $20 million invested in roads and bridges, but next year’s tax increase is on track to be below the previously forecasted 4.5 per cent.
Instead, the increase will come in around a 3.5 per cent average tax-supported increase, as Council goes into operating deliberations in December.
Operating budget deliberations must factor in such things as grants from other levels of government and other operating pressures that come in to play between now and December.
Council endorsed a multi-year gravel road rehabilitation program worth $4.6 million. A further $2.9 million will go toward roads capital replacement, largely for paved roads. There will be also be an environmental assessment for an additional bridge crossing in Fenelon Falls.
With $9 million more in capital replacement spending, this is expected to make a big impact across all City of Kawartha Lakes communities in the form of better roads, parks, recreational facilities and buildings.
“We’ve taken a big step up with this budget,” says Mayor Andy Letham.
“Staff put a solid financial plan in place and Council had the confidence to support it. Our residents are going to see the tangible improvements taking place across our municipality,” the mayor adds.
The proposed budget at the special council meeting was introduced by Chief Administrative Officer Ron Taylor.
“I’m thrilled that we’re bringing forward a capital budget that not only meets our needs for 2018 and beyond, but also sets the 2018 tax increase on track to be well below the previously forecasted 4.5 per cent,” he says, noting it “completely aligns with our 10-year financial plan.”
The budget also includes includes $3.3 million in across-the-board arena improvements, including new parking lots, roofing, dressing rooms, score clocks, electrical and security systems. A new ice pad will be installed in the Woodville arena at a cost of $1 million.
Money back in reserves
Letham also noted that this budget “reverses the trend of taking money out of our reserves.”
“We are now starting to put money back in the reserves, which is crucial to our future success. At the same time, we are taking steps to keep it affordable. The forecast looks very positive going into operating budget deliberations next month,” the mayor says.
Council will deliberate the 2018 Operating Budget on Dec. 13 at 9 am in council chambers, and on December 14 at 9 am if required.
All are welcome to attend and provide comment.
Operating Budget documents will be posted Nov. 10 at: