This is the time of year that seems like winter will never end. Since the rush of the holiday shoppers ended in January, and with various types of winter weather being heaped on us over and over again, it’s difficult for most to be motivated to spend much of their time outside.
Absent at a recent BIA meeting were the angry rants and finger-wagging at business leaders and city officials that one might have expected, given the looming major downtown reconstruction. Instead, the tone and atmosphere was mostly buoyant.
This year is going to be another big year for construction and infrastructure repair for Lindsay. Below is a snapshot from the City of Kawartha Lakes of what to expect in the coming months:
Enbridge Gas Pipeline Replacement
In order to upgrade aging infrastructure located in downtown Lindsay, Enbridge will replace the natural gas pipelines on Kent Street West starting in late January 2020.
The project scope involves replacing approximately 1.1 kilometres of natural gas main infrastructure on both sides of Kent Street, beginning at Lindsay Street South and ending at Victoria Avenue. The project is expected to last approximately eight weeks.
At the recent mayoral luncheon in front of the Lindsay and District Chamber of Commerce, City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham laid out what he believes are the top 10 ways the City is moving forward to the assembled business leaders.
1 – Roads
“Roads are our number one issue and challenge,” says the mayor.
“We now spend $50 million a year on our 5,400 lane kilometres of road network. We spend 90 per cent more on roads than we did 10 years ago and 50 per cent more on winter control.”
Letham says 35 cents of every tax dollar brought in goes toward roads. The City of Toronto only allocates five cents of every tax dollar to roads, showing the challenge of maintaining this many roads in a single tier municipality with a small tax base.
“Roads are a challenge with the changing climate and we need to change the way we do business. Over the next few years, it will improve.”
The Fenelon Falls main streetscape will get a facelift when recommendations from the 2016 Fenelon Falls Corridor Study of Lindsay Street and Colborne Streets (CKL 121) are implemented. And while the restructuring is intended to contribute to “traffic calming,” it may result in the opposite reaction from drivers looking for a spot to park.
Benches, waste receptacles, and tree plantings will freshen up the sidewalks, but the most noticeable change for residents and visitors will be a loss of seven parking spots on Colborne Street (the main thoroughfare) between Water Street and Bond Street.
The 4.5 per cent tax levy increase forecast in the City’s Long Range Financial Plan for 2019 was whittled down to 2.85 per cent, largely the result of decisions not to fund purchase of an aerial ladder fire truck and to reduce contribution to the capital reserve.
A budget process that began last September with the presentation of a draft to the previous council wound up yesterday being approved unanimously.
As Jennifer Stover, director of corporate services, pointed out with some satisfaction, the overall reduction in tax levy was accomplished without any reduction in service levels and while supporting the City’s largest capital program to date.
Kawartha Lakes is getting more than $92,000 to enhance their downtown cores with landscaping, signage and lights, crosswalks for pedestrian safety, and even for local businesses to spruce up storefronts.