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Million Dollar Makeover: First intake a success with 17 successful applicants

in Municipal by

Communities across the municipality will begin to see makeovers taking place for 17 business and property owners who were successful applicants in the first round of the Million Dollar Makeover funding program. In total, almost $400,000 of the nearly $1,100,000 has been allocated for 2019.

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Development charges being reviewed in City to support housing, growth

in Municipal by
Owners of downtown buildings might elect to do more work on upper stories without development fees. Photo: Erin Smith.

At today’s Committee of the Whole meeting the first step was taken that could eventually see development fees relaxed for property owners who may wish to upgrade their buildings and turn them into livable spaces.

Mayor Andy Letham presented a memo to Council requesting that the Task Force currently reviewing development charges consider the following issues when writing a new by-law for January 2020:

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Community roundtables to be hosted across Kawartha Lakes

in Community/Municipal by
Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie and roundtable discussions.
Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie.

Kawartha Lakes Council is introducing a new way of engaging with the community. Starting late summer and continuing into September, the public will be invited to participate in community roundtables in each of the eight wards. A community roundtable is an opportunity for Kawartha Lakes residents to engage with their elected officials, municipal staff and each other about current topics of general interest.

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Kawartha Lakes adopts its first Healthy Environment Plan

in Environment/Municipal by

At the March 19 Committee of the Whole meeting, the Healthy Environment Plan was recommended to be adopted by Council. The Plan has been 18 months in the making, involving a 60-member working group and consultations with more than 2600 community members.

Council Champion Tracy Richardson kicked off the presentation by sharing that “the Healthy Environment Plan is a transformational plan that maps out high-level strategies for reducing greenhouse gasses over the next 10 years. It addresses changes in our growing seasons, droughts, flooding, impact of freeze-thaw cycles and warmer lake temperatures. This is a community plan; it was created with the community and will be carried out by all of us as we seek to cope with climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

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Civic Engagement 101 in City of Kawartha Lakes

in Municipal/Opinion by

It’s fair to say that City Hall  affects us more directly than Queen’s Park or Parliament Hill. The water we drink, our roads and sidewalks, our parks and arenas, the bylaws that regulate our relations with neighbours, delivery of social services — all municipal matters. Altogether, according to City CAO Ron Taylor, there are over 200 municipal programs and services, delivered by over a 1,000 municipal employees.

Our elected mayor and eight councillors represent our interests. Their mission, Taylor reminded them at a February 13 meeting, is to provide “responsible, efficient and effective services.” But their powers go beyond that: Council policy and budget decisions set priorities and shape our future.

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Troubled bridge over water in Fenelon Falls

in Opinion by
Kawartha Lakes Country Living Show

This Just In: A government-appointed official reported that there was “a great deal of dissatisfaction being expressed at Fenelon Falls” over progress on the bridge.

That may sound current, but it’s actually a report from 1887. And that’s not a typo: 18-87. It seems that figuring the best way (and the number of ways) over the Fenelon River is just part of the Fenelon DNA, perhaps as integral to a Fenelonite as as our perpetual rivalry with Bobcaygeon.

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Council should vote ‘no’ to Ashmore’s pipeline promotion of oil sector

in Community/Opinion by
The Alberta tar sands. The oil sector in Canada is increasingly foreign-owned.

Among the many items that the City of Kawartha Lakes will consider at the January 15, 2019 meeting is a motion by Ward 6 Councillor Ron Ashmore stating that the City of Kawartha Lakes should take a position in favour of oil pipelines and should promote that fact to the provincial premiers, the prime minister and to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

Council should say no to that motion and vote against it.

The motion, as submitted by Councillor Ron Ashmore on January 7, 2019 is in the agenda package for the meeting and reads as following:

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Almost half the money in the capital budget assigned to ‘roads and related’

in Around Town/Community by
It's all about the roads in this budget.

Over half of the proposed operating budget for the City of Kawartha Lakes is directed to public works and emergency services (29 per cent for each) and another 10 per cent goes to community services. However, almost half – 49 per cent — of the capital budget is to be assigned to “roads and related.”

Council’s first major task will be setting the 2019 budget. The process will culminate in approval of a finalized 2019 operating budget on February 20.

Today the first step for council was taken: Director of Corporate Services Jennifer Stover delivered a Powerpoint “primer” to prepare councillors for their slog through the 218 page Budget and Business Plan.

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Doug Elmslie voted in as deputy mayor for one year

in Around Town/Community by
Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie and roundtable discussions.

The inaugural meeting of City of Kawartha Lakes Council happened yesterday, with Councillor Doug Elmslie elected as deputy mayor through secret ballot, voted on by Mayor Andy Letham and all councillors.

He beat Councillor Pat Dunn who had been nominated by Councillor Ron Ashmore.

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