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Conservative cuts to library system now mean user fees for some book loans

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Conservative cuts to library system now mean user fees for some book loans

Free inter-library loans are back at the Kawartha Lakes Public Library system, even after the Ontario Conservatives slashed budgets across the province. But ‘free’ comes at a cost, as this will now impact the collections budget and has also created a new type of user fee for books that come from universities.

In April the Advocate reported that funding for two key services – the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) and the Northern Ontario Library Service (NOLS) were cut in half. SOLS – of which Kawartha Lakes system is a member of — supplies courier service that moves material between different systems. About 200-250 items per month for local patrons are moved about through other libraries, showing the popularity of the system.

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Province keeps municipalities guessing: Is paramedic funding down or up?

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Province keeps municipalities guessing: Is paramedic funding down or up?
Photo courtesy of City of Kawartha Lakes.

It hasn’t been easy for municipalities to get a handle on this current provincial government when it comes to funding, whether for paramedic services, childcare, Ontario Works, and more.

Communication has been unclear and sometimes contradictory. The Province has sent mixed signals on cuts, promising to slay a deficit that grew under two previous Liberal governments, solely by cutting “red tape.” At the same time they’ve promised to avoid the kinds of egregious cuts made by Ontario Conservatives in the Mike Harris years.

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New Lindsay transit route, expanded fleet, as part of new infrastructure money

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New Lindsay bus route, expanded fleet, as part of new infrastructure money

Lindsay Transit will be updating its fleet, adding a new route, creating bike racks on buses and upgrading transit software, among other changes after the Province announced new infrastructure funding.

Laurie Scott, minister of infrastructure, announced Kawartha Lakes has been nominated for funding under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Ontario will be investing upwards of $790,000 to go towards new transit infrastructure projects.

The project is being nominated under the Public Transit stream of the ICIP, a 10-year, $30 billion fund created by Federal and Provincial levels of government to provide support to help municipalities repair or build critical infrastructure.

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Ready, set, grow: The challenge and promise of a bigger, better Kawartha Lakes

in Community/Municipal by
Thousands of people are coming. Will we be ready?

Speak to any four people in the City of Kawartha Lakes about the prospect of growth and development and you are likely to get at least as many opinions.

Some will no doubt abhor the idea of more people, more traffic and less of the tranquility that they either grew up with or came here to enjoy. A business owner might say we need to grow and we need to grow fast to increase economic opportunity and wonder how we can increase employment. A parent with young children might suggest that we are growing too old as a community and ask about much-needed community amenities.

Still others might simply ask, ‘‘When is the Walmart coming?”

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City launches new online platform to gather public opinion

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Al Macpherson. Photo: Mallory Cramp-Waldinsperger.

For Al Macpherson, a 70-year-old Lindsay resident, city council has not been the most inviting place. “I’ve been to council meetings a few different times, and I prefer not to be,” says Macpherson, “It’s very intimidating.”

According to Hannah Scott, communications and marketing officer for the City of Kawartha Lakes, Macpherson is not alone. A new online platform for citizens to share their opinions, Scott explains, might be the solution.

Jump In, a website launched in mid-June will be used to gather and process information from local residents such as the city’s upcoming 2020-2023 strategic plan.

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Update on downtown parking strategy — to be complete by year’s end

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Council approves study for downtown parking

At the July 16 Council meeting, Council and staff received an update on the Downtown Parking Strategy for Lindsay, Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon that was launched in late 2018.

The purpose of the presentation was to provide a touch point for Council to learn of the study’s progress to date. IBI Group brought forward data gathered since the study commenced, including key findings and common themes heard from the public and stakeholders.
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Lower speed limits may be coming

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During the July 16 Regular Council meeting, municipal staff brought forward recommendations to Council surrounding speed concerns across Kawartha Lakes.

Council was presented with four options:

  1. Maintain the current community speed zones in place while using current traffic calming management strategies on a case by case basis
  2. Enforce municipal-wide community speed zones at 40 km/h
  3. Designating five urban settlement areas that would enforce the 40 km/h
  4. Designating three major urban communities that would enforce the 40 km/h

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Four citizen heroes honoured by City in ceremony

in Community/Health/Municipal by
Some directed traffic, some communicated with the 911 operator, some notified family, and one started CPR. Photo: Geoff Coleman.

At the June 21 City of Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Recruitment Ceremony, the focus shifted briefly from 11 new recruits to a group of citizens present at an emergency in Cambray. When Ronald Goodhand collapsed from a heart attack at the four corners, citizens took action until the paramedics arrived.

Some directed traffic, some communicated with the 911 operator, some notified family, and one started CPR. Goodhand was revived and transported by ambulance to Ross Memorial Hospital. 

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Accessibility Awareness Recognition awards handed out by City

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Kawartha Conservation was one of the winners of an accessibility award.

Accessibility for all. This simple statement has inspired many to work towards a barrier-free Kawartha Lakes. From rethinking the design of a building to hosting programs for the elderly, accessibility can be celebrated and encouraged in many ways throughout Kawartha Lakes.

Each year, to honour the efforts of those working towards a more accessible municipality, Kawartha Lakes recognizes residents, organizations and employees at the Accessibility Awareness Recognition Awards.

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Kawartha Lakes capitalizes on grant opportunities

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A downtown Omemee reconstruction project has been submitted. Photo: Erin Smith.

At the last Special Council meeting, Adam Found, Manager of Corporate Assets, reviewed the new capital grant opportunities that the municipality has submitted applications for, including the following:

Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program

Rural and Northern Municipalities Stream – This is a competitive program targeted toward roads and bridges to strengthen Canada’s transportation networks. Federal and Provincial governments will fund up to 83% of eligible capital project cost subject to a $5 million cap. The Colborne St. Bridge and Colborne St. West reconstruction project scheduled for 2020-2024 has been submitted. The bridge location was approved by Council in 2015 following several studies.

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