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Council unanimously adopts budget

Operating Budget breakdown

Kawartha Lakes Council unanimously adopts 2019 Operating Budget

Kawartha Lakes - Yesterday Council adopted the 2019 Operating Budget for the municipality totalling approximately $200 million. Due to a combined effort of Council and staff, the initially projected tax levy increase of 4% was reduced to 2.85%.

Mayor Letham commented, “The new Council is working well together and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to beat the projections set out by our long term financial plan while unanimously adopting a budget that provides all of the services and amenities that residents value.”

Jennifer Stover, Director of Corporate Services added, “One of the good news stories in this budget is that the tax burden has been lessened by an additional $1.6 million in revenue raised by new development across the municipality. This represents 1.5% growth, and the most we’ve seen in years. We are growing, and it benefits all tax payers.”

The addition of four paramedics will greatly improve paramedic coverage in the north region of the municipality. This will significantly relieve pressures on the emergency medical system by allowing staff and ambulances to serve the areas closest to where they are stationed. The Paramedics Service is funded 50% by the province.

Highlights of new programs, pilot projects and service enhancements approved by Council include:

  • $100,000 contribution to the Community Improvement Plan funding, in the form of a City-wide grant program under the Million Dollar Makeover initiative.
  • Increase of $36,000 to the Kawartha Lakes Health Care Initiative to develop and deliver a Family Physician Professional Development program to benefit and support all family physicians across the municipality.
  • Allowing year-round leaf and yard waste drop-off, free of charge, up to 250 kg (about 25 bags), up from 150 kg. This will be in addition to existing curbside collection of leaf and yard waste, effective April 1, 2019.
  • Further investment in the Arts, Culture and Heritage sector with a new staff position to manage statutory heritage requirements under the Ontario Heritage Act.
  • Funding a three-month Paramedic Community Outreach pilot program at a cost of $25,000. The pilot will identify high risk discharge patients from Ross Memorial Hospital and help bridge the transition from hospital to home. The goal is to reduce patient re-admission to hospital with a focus on the needs of seniors.

“Council and staff are working together to keep taxes as stable as possible for residents. We continue to find ways to maintain the services and amenities residents have told Council they value. We’re keeping all arenas and community centres open.  We’re investing more than ever before for upkeep of our roads. We’re building new affordable housing, fire stations and recreational facilities. This requires significant investments in our buildings, land, fleet and equipment. The 2019 Capital Budget that was adopted in January is the largest one in our history and shows how we’re committed to building Kawartha Lakes,” explained Mayor Letham.

At the Special Council meeting held last week, Kawartha Lakes Council heard presentations from CAO Ron Taylor and all eight department directors on the services they provide and the pressures to this year’s budget. Read the nine department presentations and the City-wide overview for the budget on our website at www.kawarthalakes.ca/budget.

Image available on the Newsroom version of this release.

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