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Pat Dunn

Dunn provides off-road vehicles task force update to council

in Municipal by

Councillor Pat Dunn, who serves as chair of the Off-Road Vehicles Task Force, was asked by Mayor Andy Letham to provide council with an update on the work of the task force at the recent council meeting.

The task force has been asked by council to look at the issues surrounding off-road vehicles accessing municipally owned roads, and what roads, if any, should be opened to the off-road vehicle community.

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“Aging tsunami” drives paramedic plans for the future

in Community/Health by
Province keeps municipalities guessing: Is paramedic funding down or up?
Photo courtesy of Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Service.

Consultants Todd MacDonald and John Prno gave council a first look at their 10-year master plan for the Kawartha Lakes paramedic service. Their proposed solutions are driven by demographics, and if adopted will see a considerable re-shaping of how and where the service does business from 2022-2031.

MacDonald and Prno suggested that over the next 10 years there will be “steady long-term population growth in Kawartha Lakes” and that the bulk of the growth is going to be in the population cohort above the age of 65.

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City’s ATV task force must put health of citizens ahead of everything else

in Letters to the Editor by
Public shares differing views on off-road vehicle bylaw changes

It is outrageous that the Kawartha Lakes ATV task force wants to open up essentially all roads in the City of Kawartha Lakes to ATV and Side by Side use as can be seen when one views the last task force meeting of March 4.

What is most troubling is the fact that the committee members have not consulted the local health unit for an opinion on what effects such a move would have on the health and safety of area residents. Public Health Ontario released a report on the epidemiology of ATV-related injuries in Ontario in 2019 and found that the Haliburton-Kawartha Pine-Ridge Health Unit (to which our city belongs) had the fifth highest rate of Emergency Room visits and hospitalizations of the 34 health units in the province.

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Local man excited about possibility of outdoor rinks for hockey, skating

in Community/Municipal by

Allen Irvine grew up in Lindsay playing hockey every opportunity he could. Now, years later with children of his own, Irvine would like to see Kawartha Lakes expand the options for children to get out and play a game of shinny by considering the construction of an outdoor ice rink for community use during the winter months.

“I have played hockey my whole life,” Irvine said. “I have kids of my own now and there is nowhere to play hockey outside in Kawartha Lakes. With this new (COVID) world we are living in I think the rink would be well used and it is something we should do.”

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Fairness of new city task force questioned; use of off-road vehicles examined

in Environment/Municipal by
"Where is input from walkers, hikers, bicyclist and horseback riders whose enjoyment will be interfered with by these motorized vehicles?" asks Peter Petrosoniak.

Some community members are speaking out against Kawartha Lakes City Council’s taskforce on off-road vehicles since all four citizen appointees have clear ties to the outdoor pastime.

The four community members selected to assist the task force include current president of the Kawartha ATV Association Caroline Richards, past president of the Kawartha ATV Association Steve Lane, ATV enthusiast and Trent Hills fire chief Don Mitchell and Kawartha Lakes Police Service constable Jason Ramsay. At the first meeting of the task force in early February, Richards was elected the vice-chair of the group.

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Health unit requests money from city after reduction in public health spending by Conservatives

in Health/Municipal by
Health unit requests money from municipality after reduction in public health spending by Conservatives

With the Ontario Conservative government reducing provincial grants by 30 per cent for mandatory provincial programs, the local health unit has requested a 19 per cent increase in funding for the 2021 operational year from the municipality.

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City’s 2018 election data shows more young adults need to be engaged

in Municipal by
Do municipal politicians spend too much time talking about property taxes, alienating younger voters?

Kawartha Lakes released a detailed breakdown of the 2018 municipal election as part of a proposal for changes to the 2022 municipal election tentatively approved by council on Jan. 12. The numbers make it clear that voter turnout for municipal elections needs improvement, both in Kawartha Lakes and the rest of Ontario.

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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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Pandemic impacting 2020 and 2021 Kawartha Lakes’ budgets

in Municipal by

At their meeting of the whole, senior staff shared with council the largely negative impact of the COVID pandemic on both the 2020 and 2021 budget.

While some of the numbers presented rely on Kawartha Lakes remaining at Stage 3 in the province’s re-opening plan, it is clear that projects from 2020 that have been rolled over into 2021 will impact the city’s ability to take on many new capital projects in the upcoming budget year.

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CAO on hot seat; Councillors demand answers on slow city response times

in Municipal by

Kawartha Lakes Chief Administrative Officer Ron Taylor said the city’s priority was “cost containment,” not maintaining pre-pandemic level city services, at a recent council meeting.

The CAO was responding to councillors who were not happy with city response times or city services after fielding many calls from their constituents.

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