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Evening meeting speaks to budget and community desire for active transportation planning

Budget 2020

An evening Council Meeting at the Fenelon Falls Community Centre on November 13 saw dozens of residents turn out to hear more about the 2020 budget.

Evening public meeting on budget in Fenelon Falls
Jennifer Stover, Director of Corporate Services, provided an overview of the Proposed Budget, noting this is the third budget created under the municipality’s long-term plan. The total budget is $305 million, with $205 million invested in operating budget that supports the delivery of over 200 services to the community.

Proposed Budget $305 million

The budget proposes $45 million for capital projects to maintain and grow the municipality. Stover noted that there had already been some tough decisions made around the timing of special capital projects to ensure affordability for residents.

Highlights of 2020 capital projects include:

  • Redevelopment of Bobcaygeon Beach Park into a destination park
  • Ops Arena replacement
  • Reconstruction of Kent St and Colborne St in Lindsay
  • Reconstruction/resurfacing of 130 kilometres of roads throughout the municipality

Total capital budget of $44 million and how its spentThe water and wastewater budget is $52 million and includes a modest increase in the fixed costs required to maintain all 21 water systems and 6 wastewater systems, providing clean drinking water across Kawartha Lakes. The largest investment this year will go to a new water treatment plant.

Stover explained that the proposed tax levy increase started at 7%, partly due to provincial cuts to Paramedic, Police, Health and Child Care, totaling a 1% increase to the tax levy. Additional pressures include increased winter control costs, waste management costs and investment in an ambitious capital program.

In order to bring the budget in line with the long term plan, and keep taxes affordable, staff have proposed to Council a number of reductions in the budget. These include reduced employee benefits, deferring certain capital projects to a later year and less provision for future provincial funding reductions. A total of $3.3 million in reductions brings the proposed budget to a tax increase of 3.9%, down from 7%.

Councillor Seymour-Fagan and Richard FedyAfter the presentation, Mayor Letham opened the floor to the public, noting that the purpose of the meeting was to hear local priorities and concerns. Several people spoke to Council in support of the Active Transportation Master Plan which is proposed as a decision unit of $100,000. Speakers’ interests ranged from walkers, cyclists and those facing mobility challenges such as parents with strollers and seniors with walkers. Residents requested there be consideration of building onto existing plans such as the Healthy Environment Plan, the Bobcaygeon Active Transportation Plan and the Walkability Study by the Health Unit. They suggested a focus of connecting the roads and sidewalks of downtowns to the parks and trails across Kawartha Lakes to enable people of all ages to reap the economic, environmental, health and social benefits of an active community.

 Follow budget process by social media or at www.kawarthalakes.ca/budget or on You TubeMembers of the public can submit correspendence on the budget to Council up until Capital Deliberations on November 26 and Operating Deliberations on December 3. Public deputations can also be made at both meetings.

For a copy of the Proposed 2020 Budget, visit our Budget 2020 webpage.
Subscribe the Council Calendar to be kept up to date of upcoming meetings, agendas and minutes.

Photo caption: Kathleen Seymour-Fagan, Councillor and Richard Fedy, Environmental Action Bobcaygeon

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