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Doug Elmslie

Council uses provincial money to reduce tax levy to 1.5 per cent  

in Municipal by
Mayor Andy Letham pushed for a lower tax rate using provincial money.

Kawartha Lakes council unanimously approved applying a portion of the Safe Restart pandemic funding provided by the province to reduce the tax increase for 2021 to 1.5 per cent.

Over the past eight weeks of budget deliberations, Mayor Andy Letham and council have been staring at a much larger 3.84 per cent increase in the tax levy for 2021. Council went through the budget with a fine-toothed comb in multiple February meetings and reduced the proposed levy to a 3.77 per cent increase.

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Kawartha Lakes to move forward with community safety and well-being plan

in Community/Municipal by
Kawartha Lakes to move forward with community safety and well-being plan

Right across Ontario an increasing number of people who are socio-economically disadvantaged or neuro-divergent are becoming involved in tragic incidents with law enforcement – many that could have been prevented with the proper interventions beforehand.

By July 1, Kawartha Lakes will have a community safety and well-being plan in place that recognizes and assists vulnerable groups and neighbourhoods throughout the city to lessen the severity of these interactions in the future.

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City council prepares to move municipality to level orange

in Health/Municipal by
If Kawartha Lakes moves to orange level, downtowns and other community businesses will get to re-open. Photo: Jessica Topfer.

Chief Administrative Officer for Kawartha Lakes, Ron Taylor, told council recently that while the city is looking forward to reopening on Feb. 16, citizens should expect continued restrictions as the city will likely be designated orange under the current provincial re-opening framework in the continuing battle to limit COVID-19 and its variants’ spread.

The colour orange in the province’s framework means enhanced measures are still in place, there are restrictions on the number of people who can gather at businesses (which get to open again) or in homes, and enforcement while avoiding any closures.

“It has been a couple of months since my last report,” Taylor said, “and this report is in response to the provincial re-opening announcement made on Feb. 8.”

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Road database update delivered to council as city tries to map all its roads

in Municipal by

Kawartha Lakes is responsible for maintaining almost 2,800 kilometers of roads right across the city. Since 2017, city staff has been mapping the road network, trying to create an accurate database of all roads in the area, including those the roads department has no legal responsibility for.

The director of public works responsible for roads, Bryan Robinson, told council that 4,554 road segments have been mapped and included in the database. A segment is from intersection to intersection or where the service or ownership changes.

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City recommends internet and telephone voting for 2022 election

in Municipal by
City recommends internet and telephone voting for 2022 election

Kawartha Lakes council unanimously recommended at their Jan. 12 committee of the whole meeting that the city permanently adopt the combination of internet and telephone voting for future municipal elections that was first experimented with in 2018.

City clerk Cathy Ritchie asked that the internet/telephone vote be kept for the upcoming Oct. 24, 2022 city-wide election.

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O’Reilly elected to second term as deputy mayor

in Municipal by
Councillor Pat O'Reilly, left, with Councillor Doug Elmslie, right. O'Reilly stays on as deputy mayor.

Councillor Patrick O’Reilly was re-elected deputy mayor for 2021, defeating fellow councillor Ron Ashmore in a recent vote of councillors and the mayor.

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Downtown Fenelon Falls to get major face lift

in Municipal by
“The design is done,” Letham said, “and the refresh is long overdue.” Photo: Geoff Coleman.

Downtown Fenelon Falls was the main beneficiary in the decision by council not to refund to taxpayers the 2019 budget surplus of nearly $3 million. The money was instead put in capital reserves to be spent on pandemic recovery, and spent on a major structural and cosmetic facelift of downtown Fenelon Falls.

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City eyes larger tax increase if budget shortfall can’t be addressed elsewhere

in Municipal by
Director of corporate services, Jennifer Stover.

Kawartha Lakes is currently looking at a $4.8 million shortfall in funding for their proposed 2021 operating budget.

Director of corporate services, Jennifer Stover, told council that unless something is done to reduce that shortfall, then local citizens could be looking at a 4 per cent increase in their property taxes, rather than the 3-3.5 per cent increase budgeted by the city as part of their five-and-10-year plans.

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Juniper Street housing project gets a step closer: Council to sell land to non-profit

in Municipal by
“Fenelon Falls is not a community prepared for this kind of development.”

Kawartha Lakes council prioritized the need for housing in Fenelon Falls over the range of objections of a handful of people who were determined to block a new development from being built.

Council approved a bylaw to sell a surplus Fenelon Falls property adjacent to Juniper Street for potential future development, despite five deputations presented by local residents opposing the sale.

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City in need of more rental housing

in Editorials by

Terms like “desperate” have been used to describe the need for more rental housing of all kinds in Kawartha Lakes which currently has a minuscule 1.3 per cent vacancy rate, according to the last figures available from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

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