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Kawartha Lakes looking at new alternatives to reduce environmental footprint

in Environment/Municipal by
Kawartha Lakes looking at new alternatives to reduce environmental footprint
Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan has proposed a possible Styrofoam ban.

A motion brought forward by Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan to Committee of the Whole on May 7 proposed looking at a possible Styrofoam ban. The memo recommended that Kawartha Lakes staff conduct a study surrounding the feasibility of a ban and bring a report back to Council by the end of this year.

“It’s time that we do something. We can’t ban what’s coming in from external sources, such as online retailers, but we can ban what’s being used and sold directly in our municipality. It all ends up in the landfill,” commented Councillor Seymour-Fagan.

“I own a restaurant and there are options to ban Styrofoam. Part of our Strategic Plan is a healthy environment, and this is part of a healthy environment. It’s time we take a leadership role in change.”

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Kawartha Lakes unveils new strategy to improve way of doing business

in Municipal by

During the May 7 Committee of the Whole, Kawartha Lakes staff unveiled a new strategy to Council to improve the municipality’s way of doing business. The strategy, which was developed by the Office of Strategy Management (OSM), focuses on maximizing resources and investing in service and operations. The strategy also focuses on continuously improving our processes in order to focus on customer needs.

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Time to get moving on active transportation

in Municipal/Opinion by

“With an aging population, increasing health care costs and an inactive population, the City of Kawartha Lakes needs to invest in environments that make being physically active the easy choice, while at the same time reducing the environmental footprint. CKL needs to adopt a longer-term vision for how our community is designed and the policies that direct new development.” (City of Kawartha Lakes Integrated Community Sustainability Plan Final Report, April 2014)

The Sustainability Plan was an inspirational document. It saw promoting and enabling active transportation — walking and cycling — as critically important, and called for a decreasing of our dependence on cars.

The preamble to the Active Communities section ends with a vision of transformation:  “Connecting communities through safe routes for walking and cycling to school, work and key community amenities . . . can become the way of life in CKL.”

But the Sustainability Plan was meant to be more than inspirational. It included a commitment to “move these words into action.” Around Active Transportation there were sets of actions laid out around four goals, each action given a priority and a timeline.

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MPP says $1 billion will be invested in community housing

in Municipal/Provincial by

The Ontario government will provide “more than $1 billion dollars in 2019-20 to help sustain, repair and grow community housing and help end homelessness,” according to a press release from local MPP Laurie Scott.

The government has also revealed the province’s new Community Housing Renewal Strategy, outlining its plan to “transform a fragmented and inefficient system into one that is more streamlined, sustainable and ready to help people who need it most.”

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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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City receives $5.6 million in one-time funding from Province, Feds

in Municipal by
City receives $5.6 million in one-time funding from Province, Feds

Recently the Federal and Provincial governments have made funding announcements that have positively impacted Kawartha Lakes — and now a staff report going to Committee of the Whole on April 9 outlines in detail the funding changes.

Kawartha Lakes will receive over $5.6 million in one-time additional funding for 2019, including the following:

Federal Gas Tax Funding
One-time top-up of approximately $4.66 million, to be used for infrastructure projects including: local roads and bridges; regional and local airports; broadband connectivity; public transit; drinking water; waste; recreation; culture and tourism.

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Bell launches new broadband wireless Internet service in rural Kawartha Lakes

in Community/Municipal by
Nearly half of Kawartha Lakes City Council showed up to hear what Bell representatives had to say about new rural, wireless broadband.

It’s the first thing on the minds of people who are considering the possibility of moving to Kawartha Lakes – or any largely rural municipality. ‘How’s the Internet?’

Bell today announced the expansion of its Wireless Home Internet wireless broadband service to more communities in the Kawartha Lakes region and Peterborough County, including Kirkfield, Lindsay and Little Britain.

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Food insecurity, affordable housing, and ‘freedom from want’

in Municipal/Poverty Reduction by
City says it's 'turning a corner' on affordable housing supply

Norman Rockwell’s Freedom from Want is one of the best-known of all American paintings. You might not know it by its title, but you would recognize it. An extended family is gathered around a table at Thanksgiving.

Food on the table. A roof over your head. Basic human needs.

At the most recent Committee of the Whole, councillors and city staff heard presentations on how we’re addressing those basic needs.

Hard to imagine individuals better qualified to provide a briefing: Aisha Malik, Chair of the Food Security Working Group and Public Health Dietitian with the Health Unit joined Heather Kirby, Chair of the KL Food Coalition and General Manager of the KL Food source to address food insecurity. The presenter on affordable housing was Hope Lee, the City’s Manager of Housing.

Both presentations painted a clear picture of the current situation, of what’s being done and of what should be done in the future. Both deserve a wider audience.

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Transportation and child care: Key barriers to work in Kawartha Lakes

in Municipal/Poverty Reduction by
Transportation and child care: Key barriers to work in Kawartha Lakes
A lack of affordable or flexible childcare is another employment barrier here.

Until his work accident, ‘Tom’ had always had regular employment. Deemed medically unfit to work by a team of doctors, and denied WSIB benefits, Tom had to sell his possessions and eventually the family vehicle to feed his family.

He had to move from Lindsay to a rural part of the city in search of less expensive rent. Finally cleared to return to work, Tom faced what employment professionals call a ‘barrier’ to work.

“The (time off from the) accident had used up every available dollar I could borrow from friends and family. I had already sold anything of value. I needed a car to get a job. And I needed a job to get a car. I was in this feedback loop of failure,” he says.

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