KAWARTHA LAKES: The 2018 operating budget for the City of Kawartha Lakes has officially been approved. This will set the base for the next decade, as next year’s budget is the first one adopted under the new 10 year financial plan.
According to the City, ‘it marks a turning point in the way the municipality plans for the future, and takes into account many factors that will impact sustainability, including the long term costs to maintain aging city assets. The priority is to preserve the long term financial health of the municipality, while providing predictability and affordability for residents.’
In 2017, an increase of 3.25 per cent in tax was required so that the City could properly operate with $107,766,256 million in 2018.
“There were many pressures on the budget this year, including additional winter control costs, investment in enhanced road maintenance and rising WSIB premiums. I’m pleased to report, a reduction of $440,000 in funding, requested from the Kawartha Lakes Haliburton Housing Corporation, assisted in lessening the pressures,” stated Ron Taylor, Chief Administrative Officer.
Over the next ten years, the City says it will eliminate $30 million in infrastructure debt, stabilize taxes and replenish capital reserves. In fact, during 2018 alone, Kawartha Lakes City Council decided to put $2 million into reserves, including capital needs, emergencies and to ‘leverage any opportunities that arise over the year, such as new government grants.’
“Council is following the course that we’ve charted under the 10 year financial plan. This is very exciting because we’ve done exactly what we set out to do. We’ve researched, strategized, and come up with a smart plan. And we’re sticking to the plan. This means residents can rest assured that the City will see tangible improvements to what they value most: good roads, community safety, arenas, parks, libraries, a healthy environment and access to over 200 different services; all while paying reasonable taxes. It’s a tall order, but we’re on track,” said Mayor Andy Letham.
Final budget documents will be available on the City’s website, on January 12th, 2018, at www.kawarthalakes.ca/budget.