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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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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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City says it’s ‘turning a corner’ on affordable housing supply

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City says it's 'turning a corner' on affordable housing supply

During the June 4 Committee of the Whole, Housing Manager Hope Lee, CAO Ron Taylor and Policy Planning Supervisor Leah Barrie provided an update to Council about the ongoing housing initiatives in Kawartha Lakes. The presentation included an overview of municipal, provincial and federal housing legislation and initiatives as well as a summary of how Kawartha Lakes will continue to grow affordable and attainable housing in the coming years.

“Affordable housing is essential to our municipality, and it’s important that Kawartha Lakes and Council continue to develop this sector,” said Ron Taylor, CAO of Kawartha Lakes.

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City loses $620,000 for licensed childcare in PC cuts; more kids for less staff expected

in Community/Municipal/Poverty Reduction/Provincial by

More than $620,000 in funding has been lost to the City of Kawartha Lakes for licensed childcare spaces due to cuts from the provincial PC government.

Within that pot, nearly $258,000 was for general allocation funding. This money is used for child care fee subsidies for low-income families and general operating costs.

The remaining amount, more than $360,000 is being eliminated through cost sharing changes. In what was once a 100 per cent boost from the Province, it is now a forced 80-20 cost-sharing agreement between Province and Municipality. This includes reductions in the administration allowances (from 10 per cent down to 5 per cent).

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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

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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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Million Dollar Makeover: First intake a success with 17 successful applicants

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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

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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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Community roundtables to be hosted across Kawartha Lakes

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Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie and roundtable discussions.
Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie.

Kawartha Lakes Council is introducing a new way of engaging with the community. Starting late summer and continuing into September, the public will be invited to participate in community roundtables in each of the eight wards. A community roundtable is an opportunity for Kawartha Lakes residents to engage with their elected officials, municipal staff and each other about current topics of general interest.

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Kawartha Lakes adopts its first Healthy Environment Plan

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At the March 19 Committee of the Whole meeting, the Healthy Environment Plan was recommended to be adopted by Council. The Plan has been 18 months in the making, involving a 60-member working group and consultations with more than 2600 community members.

Council Champion Tracy Richardson kicked off the presentation by sharing that “the Healthy Environment Plan is a transformational plan that maps out high-level strategies for reducing greenhouse gasses over the next 10 years. It addresses changes in our growing seasons, droughts, flooding, impact of freeze-thaw cycles and warmer lake temperatures. This is a community plan; it was created with the community and will be carried out by all of us as we seek to cope with climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

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