Jump In to the conversation about the 2021 budget. View the proposed budget, past presentations and post your questions.
Jump In to the conversation about the 2021 budget. View the proposed budget, past presentations and post your questions.
On February 16, Council deliberated the 2021 Water and Wastewater Budget, Special Projects Budget and Operating Budget. Council received a record of all public questions that were submitted on the Jump In Kawartha Lakes website. In total, 630 residents visited the 2021 Budget project page, 104 residents downloaded information and 23 questions were answered.
As requested by Council, Jennifer Stover, Director of Corporate Services, provided a report with a variety of options for Council to consider in order to reduce the tax levy. Going into deliberations, the tax levy increase was at 3.84%. Options included leveraging provincial modernization funding ($300,000), allocating Safe Restart funds to cover projected lost revenues and pandemic costs ($836,000), applying the 2020 surplus to certain area rates ($365,000) and using established reserve funds ($131,000). Once all these options were applied, Council unanimously chose to further offset forecasted pandemic costs using the Safe Restart funding, which in turn reduced the 2021 levy increase to 1.5%.
Mayor Letham commented, “This gives residents a much needed, one-time break. It’s a responsible budget that maintains service levels, keeps reserves healthy and gives us some options to consider in the fall once we know the impact of the pandemic. We have leveraged the provincial funding wisely and will be able to give our community a hand up through our recovery efforts.”
Items approved as decision units in deliberations include:
The Water and Wastewater Budget was adopted with a user rate increase of 3% to ensure adequate funding to support capital and operating requirements across all 21 water systems and 6 wastewater systems.
There will be a Special Council Meeting on the 2021 Budget on Tuesday, February 16 at 1pm. The meeting format will be electronic participation for health and safety reasons. Members of the public can watch live on the municipality’s YouTube Channel.
Council will deliberate the 2021 Water and Wastewater Budget, Special Projects Budget and Operating Budget. View agenda on the website.
Any member of the public (or group) who would like to speak to Council about a matter that impacts the 2021 Budget can do so by:
For more information about the 2021 Budget visit the municipal website at www.kawarthalakes.ca/budget.
If you have a budget question, post it under the questions section.
The Council meeting on February 2 provided an overview of the various needs across departments and from the 11 agencies and boards of Council.
Majority of boards and agencies hold budget requests to 2020 levels
All but one of the organizations that carries out services for the municipality have kept 2021 budget requests to 2020 levels. The Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit has requested an additional 10% ($200,000) to make up for a decrease in provincial cost-sharing. The funding for mandatory health programs has changed from a provincial-municipal cost-sharing model of 75-25% to 70-30%. Dr. Gemmill, Acting Medical Officer of Health, explained that the services provided range from protection, prevention and promotion, supporting expectant mothers to students and people with lower incomes.
Kawartha Lakes Police Services presented the proposed budget totaling a 1% increase of $123,000. Pressures on the budget include increased cost for one officer formerly funded at the Central East Correctional Centre and a public consultation process that will help shape the future of the Police Service. A project is proposed to renovate headquarters in order to improve health and safety and make most efficient use of the space. The project would begin in 2021 with physical improvements and finish in 2022 with specialized lab equipment.
The Lindsay Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an advocacy group on behalf of the downtown businesses. Their role is to oversee the beautification, improvement and maintenance of the downtown area, marketing and promotion of special events. Member fees make up the majority of the revenue, however the BIA requested continued support from the municipality through a renewal of the $30,000 subsidy for a Community Liaison to oversee parking enforcement, snow removal and ambassadorship. A $10,000 increase decision unit in addition to their annual $30,000 request/grant will be considered under the Community Partnership and Development Fund (50/50 Matching Funds) for the beautification of banners and planters for downtown lampposts that need new materials since the reconstruction project.
Kawartha Conservation represents the largest of four Conservation Authorities that are funded by the municipality. The budget request was decreased from 2020, totaling $1.3 million. Project highlights from 2020 included the Shoreline Stewardship program to improve beach water quality at Omemee Beach and Bond Street Beach in Fenelon Falls. A new joint project is proposed with Durham Region to leverage tree planting programs. Council will deliberate supporting a new Lake Management Plan for Lake Dalrymple, the fifth largest lake in Kawartha Lakes. This four-year plan involves working with stake holders to understand pressures on the lake and determine priorities over multiple years. The cost is $90,000 in 2021.
Kawartha Conservation continues to respond to the pandemic in a variety of ways: adoption of new technology to provide a digital permitting process and tracking capability, reduced permit processing time by 30%, increased surveillance of Ken Reid conservation area to ensure safety, Story Walk program in partnership with the Public Library, Forest Therapy Walks, and a Talking Forest App to be launched in early 2021.
Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton (KLH) Housing Corp presented the positive news of an unchanged subsidy request to the municipality of $2.8 million. While overall housing units have increased by 70 units to 776 in 2020, the subsidy cost per unit of housing has decreased from $4900 to $3600 per unit. Municipal subsidies have decreased over the last five years due to prioritizing energy efficiency, performance management and long term strategic planning. An additional 21 units of housing will be available this spring in Minden.
The Kawartha Lakes Health Care Initiative (KLHCI) shared the needs facing the community of 14.5 family physicians, representing a gap of 33% of residents without a physician locally. In the spring of 2020, Dr. Allison MacKay was recruited and began practice at the Community Health Centre. All physicians have moved to offering virtual care by telephone and/or video in addition to in person care. A virtual tour will be developed to allow ongoing recruitment during the pandemic.
The Kawartha Lakes Library Board reviewed how operations have shifted to providing pick-up services and expanded digital resources. Before the pandemic, 60% of services were delivered digitally, with that number growing to 80% in 2020. The permanent elimination of overdue fines that began in the summer resulted in $9000 revenue loss. The Library strengthened partnerships with Boys and Girls Club and Kawartha Conservation to deliver programming. Early learning resources such as ‘100 Books to Read before Kindergarten’ and STEAM Maker packs have been popular with patrons. An online card application process allows for temporary instant access, along with extended loan periods.
2021 priorities include continued pandemic response to assist residents with quality of life, Bobcaygeon branch relocation and renovation and the Fenelon Falls branch expansion into the adult education area for enhanced programming. The budget request from the tax levy is $2 million.
Additional boards and agencies provided written budget requests that are available on the website. All requests for funding will be deliberated by Council on February 16.
Departmental budget overview highlights accomplishments in 2020 and goals for 2021
Ron Taylor, CAO, provided an overview of common principles applied across all department budgets: break even budgeting, staffing efficiencies and longer term reserve planning to stabilize tax requirements.
“The 2021 budget has been prepared at 2020 pre-pandemic levels except where contractual or other similar commitments exist. To achieve a tax levy that is as affordable as possible for residents in these challenging times, we are leveraging all sources of grants and relief funding and frequently assessing our service delivery as the pandemic unfolds,” commented Taylor. Organization-wide objectives include:
Pandemic funding of $23.5 million has been received to date, with the majority of funding going toward Safe Restart of municipal services, Ontario Works and child care and housing supports. Council has committed $3 million to recovery through the 2019 surplus. Read more about the Community Pandemic Recovery Fund.
A list of all agency, board and department presentations is available from the February 2 meeting minutes on the website or under the 2021 Budget Presentations section.
Subscribe to the Council Calendar to be notified of the February 16 budget deliberations.
If you have a question about the 2021 Budget, post your question under the questions tab.
A special evening Council meeting was held on January 26 to provide the public with an overview of the 2021 budget process and the considerations facing Council as the budget is finalized in the coming weeks.
Residents were invited to ask questions on the Jump In, Kawartha Lakes website or to make a deputation at the meeting. More than 300 people have visited the site to learn more and questions were responded to by Jennifer Stover, Director of Corporate Services. Stover’s presentation to Council included answers to some of those questions by explaining what taxes are spent on, where budget dollars come from aside from taxes and the impact of the pandemic.
For a full list of the Q and A, or to ask your question, visit the website any time before the budget wraps up on February 16.
Council applies 2019 surplus to spur economic recovery
The 2019 budget resulted in a $3 million surplus. To date, Council has approved the use of the funds for the actions outlined by the Economic Recovery Task Force including:
Council approved two funding frameworks at the January 28 meeting that utilizes $220,000 from the surplus to further support the community. Approximately $800,000 is available for other pandemic recovery initiatives.
Provincial funding helps reduce pandemic effect on the budget
Approximately $5.8 million in pandemic relief has been received from upper levels of government to cover all pandemic related costs or lost revenue for 2020 and 2021. To date, already $5 million in costs have been incurred. Additional funding was announced January 27 for Long Term Care homes, with $121,000 going to Victoria Manor for enhanced prevention and containment measures. To date there have been no positive resident cases at Victoria Manor.
Capital Budget moving forward with new projects and carryover of 2020 projects
The Capital Budget approved in December includes $30 million of new investment into municipal assets. A focus on roads continues, with 122 kilometres of road reconstruction or resurfacing scheduled. To enhance downtowns and boost the economy, Lindsay reconstruction will continue and Fenelon Falls will begin a new downtown reconstruction project. Bobcaygeon Beach Park is undergoing the bulk of the project this year, which will result in a destination to serve all residents and attract visitors. Read more on the Major Projects section of the website. www.kawarthalakes.ca/majorprojects
The proposed Operating Budget of
$210.7 million is funded by taxes of $125.2 million, with the remainder coming from grants ($53.7 million), user fees ($26.7 million), investments and reserves ($5.1 million).
More than half of the total operating budget is invested in municipal staffing to deliver over 200 services, and external agencies and partners such as Police Services, Conservation Authorities, HKPR District Health Unit and the Public Library.
Increases to the budget are driven by salaries and benefits ($2.1 million), Waste Management ($1.5 million), Victoria Manor ($800,000), Winter Control ($500,000) and the HKPR Health Unit ($400,00). These increases equate to a total budgeted tax levy increase of 3.84%. Council and Staff will work together to reduce the tax levy increase to be in line with affordability given the challenges facing the community.
“We fully appreciate the need to deliver a budget that is affordable to residents, especially in the year that lies ahead. We are confident that together with Council we can find ways to continue delivering the services residents need while keeping increases manageable,” commented Stover.
Special Council Meeting - Agency & Board Presentations, Department Presentations
February 2 at 9am
Boards and agencies will present their 2021 budget requests to Council. In addition, the municipality’s departments will present an overview of their roles, responsibilities, goals and accomplishments to Council. There will be no deliberations at this time.
Special Council Meeting - Budget Deliberations
February 16 at 1pm
Council will discuss the 2021 Operating Budget requests, the Water and Wastewater Budget and the Special Projects Budget in more detail. Staff will be available to answer any questions. Council will be deliberating the 2021 Budget at this meeting.
Any member of the public (or group) who would like to speak to Council about a matter that impacts the 2021 Budget can do so in one of three ways:
For more information about the 2021 Budget, visit www.kawarthalakes.ca/budget
Council and Staff are working to ensure the 2021 budget will address the priorities and current needs of the municipality amid the many pressures and uncertainties of the continuing pandemic.
Do you have a question about the 2021 Budget? Now is your chance to Jump In to the conversation.
There will be a Special Council Meeting on the municipality’s 2021 Budget on Tuesday January 26, 2021 at 6pm. Jennifer Stover, Director of Corporate Services, will provide an overview of the following:
Get involved by posting your questions under the Questions tab. A summary of public questions will be addressed in the presentation.
The meeting will be live streamed on the municipality’s YouTube Channel. Be sure to tune in!
June 9, 2020
October 6, 2020
November 12, 2020
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at 6pm
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 9am
Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 1pm