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Farm country, Canadian Shield…anything but “cottage country”

Economic Recovery Task Force focuses on simplifying city processes

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Farm country, Canadian Shield…anything but “cottage country”

The Economic Recovery Task Force held its third meeting this week, focusing on feedback it has received from working groups. It also considered options to improve processes in light of limited resources and staffing due to the pandemic.

“The Task Force had another good session,” said Mayor Andy Letham, chair of the task force. “Our working groups provided a lot of strong feedback across the board from agriculture to tourism and we’re looking into options to streamline planning and development processes.”

Since the Task Force’s last meeting on June 16, Economic Development reached out to 10 Working Groups across the municipality with representation from all of the municipality’s primary industries.

Over 60 people participated in providing feedback on the challenges they are facing and potential areas of improvement. Working groups will meet regularly every two months to stay updated with the business community and get input on how they can help.

The task force also discussed the need to simplify the city’s processes to improve efficiencies, with a focus on planning and development. An electronic and permitting system is currently being explored to help streamline the tracking and approval of applications.

An additional Development Process Working Group was also put together during the meeting, which will be led by Bjorn Alfredsson, retired owner and Operator of Holsag Canada, and include Mark Wilson, owner of MVW Construction, and city staff.

This group will work out how to further improve its permitting process and make it more customer friendly.

At Regular Council on June 28, Chris Marshall, director of development services, also provided a Planning and Building Update that highlighted the department’s recent workarounds during the pandemic.

After delays due to the pandemic, pre-consultations for development approvals are back on schedule.

The majority of staff continue to work successfully and efficiently at home while satellite offices are closed and external inspections are being done on-site or by video as needed.

The task force wants to hear from you. Provide your feedback on Jump In, Kawartha Lakes.

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