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Ron Ashmore

Council looks at multiple full-sized outdoor rinks for future

in Municipal by

After three months of budget preparation and discussions, council finally had a chance to talk about other key issues, such as outdoor rinks and downtown reconstruction in Fenelon Falls and Lindsay.

Petition for outdoor rinks 

Lindsay resident Al Irvine presented a petition to council with over 700 signatures supporting the creation of at least one full sized outdoor hockey rink in Kawartha Lakes.

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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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City took, on average, 54 days to remedy complaints, says retired civil servant

in Municipal by
City took, on average, 54 days to remedy complaints: Service review

Retired civil servant David Webb made a deputation to council recently regarding the ongoing service level review the city is preparing for release later this year. By using the Freedom of Information Act, Webb discovered the following data about the current city complaint system:

  • The city received 6000 complaints last year requesting action
  • 60 per cent of the complaints involved road conditions and potholes
  • The average complaint took 54 days to remedy
  • Some complaints were not remedied for well over a year

“Citizens and businesses should have a direct input into any city changes (regarding customer service),” Webb said. “We need to make services better and I am willing to volunteer to help if desired. There must be citizen input into any customer service review.”

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Councillor wants city to establish PPE production to see return of manufacturing jobs

in Business/Municipal by
Councillor wants city to establish PPE production to see return of manufacturing jobs

If Councillor Ron Ashmore has his way Kawartha Lakes could one day be a manufacturing hub for PPE, therapeutics, and vaccines.

A majority of council, at the committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 12, recommended a written proposal from the Ward Six councillor to investigate attracting medical manufacturers with hopes of reducing the area’s concerning 9 per cent unemployment rate.

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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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City decides against refund of 2019 surplus, will keep for reserves

in Municipal by
"We are faced with no funding source for community pandemic recovery."

By a unanimous vote, council endorsed a report from senior staff that recommended against the return to taxpayers of the $3 million surplus from the 2019 budget in the form of a tax rebate.

Council instead endorsed a proposal that the money be put into corporate reserves for pandemic recovery and support.

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City’s $3 million surplus should be shared amongst all wards

in Municipal/Opinion by
Kawartha Lakes looking at new alternatives to reduce environmental footprint
Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan was one of many councillors lobbying for money to be spent in their ward.

There has been much discussion across the city since Mayor Andy Letham proposed on Oct. 6 to return a $3 million surplus accrued from the 2019 budget to the taxpayers of Kawartha Lakes in a small refund on their 2021 taxes.

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Retired civil servant offers to assist city improve its performance

in Municipal by

While many Canadians might find their municipal, provincial of federal government services lacking and complain about it, one local man is taking another approach.

David Webb, a retired Ontario civil servant living in the Dunsford area, sees things differently.  In a deputation to council made on Oct. 6, Webb offered to work pro-bono to assist the city to measure and improve the performance of city departments beginning first with a small pilot project.

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Unpaid property taxes in city lower than provincial average, audit shows

in Municipal by

In 2019 the city collected a little over $139 million in taxation from the citizens of Kawartha Lakes, with $5.57 remaining in unpaid taxes from 2019 currently sitting on the city’s books.

“The ratio of taxes not paid is 4.01 per cent,” Carolyn Daynes, the treasurer for Kawartha Lakes, told council at their September meeting.

“And any delinquency under 10 per cent is deemed okay by the province. The average of uncollected taxes across the province sits at 5.6 per cent so the city is generally doing a good job.”

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City fine tunes fireworks legislation; Ashmore opposes limits in bylaw

in Municipal by

By a vote of 8-1, Kawartha Lakes council passed a sweeping by-law that will limit the use of fireworks to just six different sets of days in the annual calendar. Special permits will be required for all other days.

Councillor Ron Ashmore wanted to debate the issue because he felt that the whole idea of a ban “was taking away a lot of enjoyment in people’s lives.”

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