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Council hears from Agencies and Boards on proposed 2024 budget

Budget 2024 fall imace

Budget 2024 fall image
Kawartha Lakes – At a Special Council meeting on November 2, 2023, Council heard from Conservation Authorities, Agencies and Boards of Council relating to their proposed 2024 Budgets. The proposed budget spend of all organizations is $28.5 million, representing a 7.8 percent increase over 2023, and approximately eight percent of the City’s total budget.

In the morning, the four Conservation Authorities responsible for the municipality presented the impacts of recent provincial legislation, including changes to the Conservation Authorities Act, on their mandatory programs and services, special projects and service agreements. Memorandums of Understanding will be finalized in the new year.

Kawartha Conservation encompasses the majority of the land in Kawartha Lakes and impacts the municipal budget accordingly. Mark Majchrowski, Chief Administrative Officer, noted that the budget includes a 2.5 percent increase over last year, for a total levy of $1.5 million. Major projects include implementation of Lake Management Plans and Rural Stewardship. Increased community connection was built throughout 2023 via popular festivals, facility rentals, and the new Nature’s Edge Disc Golf course.

Kawartha Lakes Library

Jamie Anderson, CEO, presented the proposed 2024 budget, noting that 2023 was an excellent year for the library including the opening of the new Bobcaygeon Library Branch, expanded public hours at Dalton and Norland branches and launch of the Library of Things – a lending library of active living gear, cognitive kits, community passes and more. Across its 14 branches, the library welcomed 140,000 visitors. Growth in program attendance was up 50 percent in 2023 over 2019. The budget requests three new positions to support programming and marketing along with additional hours for existing branch staff, representing a total budget increase of $223,000.

Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton Housing Corporation

Kirstin Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer, Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton Housing Corporation presented to Council the Corporation’s breadth of housing as 829 units with a replacement value of $255 million. Most units are rent geared to income. Social assistance rates haven’t increased since 2018, putting financial pressure on housing providers.

The housing stock has increased by 22 percent since 2013, with 46 new units to be completed in 2024. These units are a combination of Rent Geared to Income, affordable and market rate and will be rented through the existing housing wait lists managed by Housing Services. Overall budget pressures include catching up from five years of zero increases, loss of pandemic funding, and overall increased costs. A new Compliance Officer will attend to Landlord and Tenant Act matters and arrears collection. Two new maintenance positions will allow additional leadership in facilities and more move out repairs to be done in house.

Kawartha Lakes Police Services

Chief Mark Mitchell and Board Chair Wanda Percival outlined highlights from a strategic planning session that led to the budget request of 9.8 percent increase. Growth readiness in the population served by KLPS, Lindsay and Ops, is driving the bulk of the pressures. That area’s population is estimated at 36,000 by 2031.

Chief Mitchell announced this is his last budget as he is retiring after five years as Chief. He noted this budget is a step toward meeting the future demands the Service is facing.

New positions include an Information Technology Officer and two additional Uniformed Officers, for a total of 45 uniformed officers. Recruitment is a focus and a challenge to maintain the optimum balance of new and experienced officers.

The Chief noted that the provincial average for police personnel costs has increased 34 percent over the last 10 years; KLPS is well below that figure. Similarly, the per capita cost of policing in Kawartha Lakes is $307, well below the national average of $423 per capita. KLPS is funded by an area rate paid by residents in Lindsay and Ops only.

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDU)
Dr. Natalie Bocking, Medical Officer of Health, presented the 2024 budget with a 5 percent increase in operating budget levy. The province has just announced it is incentivizing small and medium size public health units that voluntarily merge. HKPRDU is having exploratory conversations and a feasibility study with Peterborough Public Health. A decision will be made early in the new year.

Lindsay Downtown Business Improvement Association (BIA)

Wesley Found, Board Chair, presented the budget approved by the Board and its members. An increased amount of $15,000 is requested to fully offset the cost of the BIA Enforcement Program. In cooperation with KLPS, a Closed Circuit Television Grant is being pursued and would require $40,000 from the municipality to implement. Council will discuss this funding request and project as a decision unit in the budget deliberations.

Kawartha Lakes Doctor Recruitment Initiative

Andrew Veale, President, presented the budget and noted that one third of residents are without any family doctor or are travelling outside of the City to access one. There is a need for 23.5 physicians. The organization recruited Dr. Lesslie Ponraja to the Kinmount Medical Centre in March 2023, replacing Dr. Mihu. Unfortunately, two physicians retired in 2023, with three more retirements pending. Veale noted that the Board has not seen such a critical situation since the Board was created in 2004.

There is opportunity regarding the easing of credentialing challenges between provinces which would help those who practice in different areas of the country. The budget was consistent with 2023 levels.

The next Budget meeting takes place on November 8 at 7pm at City Hall. An overview of the budget will be provided, followed by presentations from community groups. Members of the public are welcome to attend and make a deputation to Council. Please register for a deputation when you arrive.
Follow along with the budget process at

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