At the special council meeting held yesterday, Kawartha Lakes Council approved the largest Capital Budget in the municipality’s history. The budget includes $47.1 million of investment, more than half of that going toward care of roads.
“The 2019 Capital Budget shows we have turned the corner in Kawartha Lakes. This Council is fully committed to looking after the $3.2 billion of assets we have, while ensuring affordability for our residents. I’m pleased that even with the magnitude of our roads program, upgraded recreational facilities and new park developments, we have been able to set aside capital reserves for the future. Our community will benefit this year, and for years to come, through the projects in this budget,” commented Mayor Andy Letham.
Major capital projects include investments in roads, equipment and fleet, emergency services, public parks, arenas and recreation facilities well as several multi-year initiatives including:
- Roads: A total investment of $24.2 million in roads and related infrastructure, representing a 32% increase since 2017. This is the largest approved capital budget for the roads program in history. Projects include gravel road rehabilitation ($1.4 million), resurfacing of urban and arterial roadways ($4.6 million) and resurfacing of rural hardtop roads ($3.6 million).
- Redevelopment of Bobcaygeon Beach Park: $2 million in 2019 of a total $6 million investment to develop the park into a multi-use recreation property, to expand the park and its recreational amenities and to enhance tourism. Project design includes outdoor pavilions, increased docking, playground structures, walking paths and shoreline improvements. For details, visit the Major Projects page on the City’s website.
- Finalization of Logie Street Park redevelopment: $1.4 million in 2019 out of a project total of $4.5 million. Project includes a new splash pad, playgrounds, enhanced trails, lilac plantings and improved parking.
- Commencement of Downtown Lindsay reconstruction and revitalization: a major investment in roads, water, sewer and streetscape assets over 2019-2021, starting with $6 million for Russell St. and Peel St. in 2019.
- Construction and renovations across all arenas (new roofs, flooring, ice work and more) totalling $1.4 million.
- Fire facilities enhancements of $2.2 million including the new Mariposa fire station which will consolidate the Oakwood and Little Britain stations.
- Investment in fleet and transit equipment, including paramedic fleet, of more than $4.6 million
The Water and Wastewater Budget was also approved at the meeting. This budget is funded by the approximately 17,000 users of municipal water and sewer services only. The capital portion of the budget includes $9.5 million in investment over the municipality’s 21 drinking water systems and 6 wastewater systems. The average user fee increase for 2019 will be 2.7%, slightly lower than the projected 3% increase.
“We continue to ready the City for the growth we’re attracting by investing strategically in infrastructure. A good example of this is the construction of the new Colborne Street Pumping Station, largely financed by development charges through new residential and commercial developments in Lindsay,” added Mayor Letham.
The Water and Wastewater Capital Budget includes the following achievements:
- Continuing to invest the $5.8 million Small Communities Fund grant to support replacement of cast iron watermains in Lindsay.
- Beginning of downtown Lindsay reconstruction and revitalization with a $2.1 million investment to replace aging water and sewer mains under Russell Street and Peel Street.
- Finalization of the new Colborne Street Sewage Pumping Station ($500,000).
- A $1.4 million upgrade to the Fenelon Falls Water Treatment Plant to secure treatment capacity and maintain regulatory compliance.
- Considerable contributions to reserves to support future capital needs in alignment with the 10-Year Financial Plan.
“Going into Operating Budget deliberations, we are sitting at a proposed 3.5% increase to the tax levy. This is below projections in the 10-Year Financial plan of an increase of 4%. We continue to look for every possible way to lower the tax levy while protecting the service levels set by Council,” said Jennifer Stover, Director of Corporate Services.
Council will consider the 2019 Operating Budget next. Public input and department overviews will be heard on February 13 at 9 am in Council Chambers. If you would like to make a written submission to Council, please submit to the Clerk’s office by Noon on February 12. Public Comments will begin at 9 am. Sign in with the Clerk’s Office upon arrival. The meeting takes place in Council Chambers at City Hall, 26 Francis Street, Lindsay.
Council will deliberate the Operating Budget on February 20 at 1 pm in Council Chambers. A complete budget timeline and supporting documents are available online at www.kawarthalakes.ca/budget.