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New manager of public services position would be an investment in our library

in Community/Municipal/Opinion by
New manager of public services would be an investment in our library

Last week, the Kawartha Lakes Public Library Board presented our proposed 2020 operating budget to City Council. Part of our proposal is a request for additional funding to create a new manager of public services position.

Far from libraries dying out or become redundant in the digital age, usage of our library system has grown over the last several years. Our branches are often one of the few places in our communities where everyone is welcome. Whether it is a place to study and do research, to find a new book to read, or learn a new skill, our libraries offer something for everyone.

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Mayor says development charges should spur job creation for Kawartha Lakes

in Municipal by
Mayor says development charges should spur job creation for Kawartha Lakes

At the November 5 public meeting, Kawartha Lakes Council heard from staff, consultants and members of the public about proposed changes to the Development Charges By-Law and related Policy.

The meeting began with a presentation that outlined the Development Charges Background Study prepared by Watson and Associates. The purpose of Development Charges (DCs) is to recover the capital costs associated with residential and non-residential growth within the municipality. DC revenue helps fund growth-related expansion of such services as water and wastewater facilities, roads and other infrastructure.

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Single-use plastics and Styrofoam: Kawartha Lakes considering voluntary ban

in Environment/Municipal by
Kawartha Lakes considering voluntary ban on single-use plastics and Styrofoam

At the November 5 Committee of the Whole, staff brought forward a recommendation to Council for a voluntary ban of Styrofoam and single-use plastics throughout the municipality. Kawartha Lakes alone produces roughly 10 tonnes of Styrofoam waste and more than one third of all plastics collected come from single-use materials.

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Community groups present their budgets with zero per cent increases

in Municipal by

At the October 29 Special Council meeting, Council heard presentations from the agencies and boards whose budgets are supplemented by the municipality. Due to pressures for the 2020 budget, Council had requested all agencies and boards submit their budgets with a zero percent increase over 2019 levels. In total, $25 million, or 12% of the municipality’s total operating budget is allocated to the services provided by these organizations.

Police Chief Mark Mitchell and Don Thomas, Chair of the City of Kawartha Lakes Police Services Board presented the proposed 2020 budget, noting the Board has kept to the zero percent increase requested by Council. Mitchell explained the pending reduction of funding from the Ministry of Public Safety and Security for three officers posted at the Central East Correctional Centre. The $443,000 reduction was just recently announced and is being discussed with the Ministry with the intention of reversing the decision.

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Mandatory connection fees reduced by City Council

in Municipal by

At the September 24 Council meeting, Council adopted changes to By-Law 2014-255, known as the “Mandatory Connection By-Law.”

The changes involve the fixed rate fees assigned to properties which are not currently connected to municipal water or wastewater, when such properties fall within servicing boundaries. There are currently 134 properties that meet the criteria for mandatory connection.

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Kawartha Lakes launches Paramedic Pilot program for seniors

in Community/Health/Municipal/Seniors by
Kawartha Lakes launches Community Paramedic Pilot Program
Registered Nurse Christina Janke discusses patients with Paramedic Julie Milne.

On Monday September 23, Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Service began the first day of the three-month Community Paramedic Pilot program. The program, which was approved by Council in February, was created to help reduce patient re-admission with a focus on seniors at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay.

The Advocate first broke the story last December about the many seniors in our area who were falling through the cracks and not getting the care they needed. Soon after, Council stepped up to provide funding to paramedics to try and address these needs.

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Council to prioritize capital projects, remain ‘nimble’ in wake of provincial changes

in Municipal by
Mayor says development charges should spur job creation for Kawartha Lakes

Council met on September 17 and 18 to hear from staff across all departments about the driving forces shaping the 2020 budget. The main themes will be prioritizing the timing of capital projects and remaining resilient in the wake of known and potential funding cuts and reorganization of service delivery by the province.

Ron Taylor, CAO, summed up the discussions by noting, “We have a 2020 capital budget that is very ambitious at almost $50 million. It includes a number of new and significant projects that invest in our roads, downtowns and parks. Council has acknowledged the need to prioritize projects in light of many unknowns at the provincial level. The timing of capital projects will be critical to ensure we stay on course with our financial plan in order to keep services affordable for residents.”

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Council eyes tear-down of east-side historical properties to allow for apartment building

in Community/Just in Time/Municipal/Opinion by
The historically significant land overlooks the river, right on the Rotary Trail. Photo: Roderick Benns.

It’s a property with a now well-documented past but an uncertain future. There are competing interests and City Council and its Planning Advisory Committee have some decisions to make.

You can see the property for yourself if you turn off King Street onto St. David, towards Logie Road. Number 3 St. David, one of the property’s two houses, will be on your right. It’s a large red-brick, gable-front Victorian with a wrap-around porch, set back from the road on a well-treed lot (there’s a towering walnut, some maples and others).

Take the first right onto the extension of Riverview and past a line of mature pine trees you’ll find 4 Riverview, the second, smaller house — a typical Ontario Gothic cottage.

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Going, going, gone: Death of a species as Kawartha Lakes set to lose 24,000 trees

in Around Town/Community/Environment/Municipal by
City Parks workers taking down the Peace Park trees. Photo: Jamie Morris.

Peace Park sits on a small, irregular plot of land just north of Central Senior Public School. It’s bordered by Albert Street., Peel Street W., a parking lot used by LCVI students, and a home. You might not have been aware it’s a park: there are no benches or play equipment. Until very recently what it consisted of was a stand of trees. There were thirteen of them, all planted in 1992, which is the year the park was dedicated.

The number 13 was significant, as a plaque explains: “The trees are symbolic of Canada’s Provinces and Territories and represent a link with one another, with nature, and as a symbol of hope for the future.”

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It’s ‘Housing First,’ addiction issues after, says Fourcast

in Community/Health/Municipal/Poverty Reduction by
It’s ‘Housing First,’ addiction issues after, says Fourcast

Twenty-four chronically homeless people in our area now have a home, thanks to the City of Kawartha Lakes and and Kawartha Lakes Housing Corporation. But since many of them are struggling with addictions, hundreds of readers recently questioned on social media whether they were deserving of accommodation.

The story, ‘New housing complex should be for rehab, not ‘condoning drugs’: Woman’s petition,’ was read by thousands with the majority of readers on social media holding the opinion that these 24 people should be ‘clean’ first before being given the keys to a brand new one bedroom apartment.

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