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Kawartha Lakes council sees “catch up year” capital budget

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes is taking a different approach to the 2021 municipal capital budget.

At a meeting on Thursday, November 12th, Kawartha Lakes councillors got their first look at the proposed 2021 tax-supported capital budget. CAO Ron Taylor called 2021 a “catch up year”, with the city getting “back to those committed projects we wanted to finish and complete this year” while also “accelerating or continuing to move forward on our capital investments, which this council has stated as a high priority year over year.”

The 2021 budget includes $27.3 million in new projects. Projects, which had been deferred due to the pandemic, but are carrying over into the 2021 budget, are valued at about $25 million. This leads to a total 2021 capital program of about $52 million.

Spending proposed on new projects is considerably lower in this budget than in past budgets, due to the number of projects carrying over from this year into 2021.

“To work within staff and financial resource constraints, and in order to accommodate the considerable carryover of capital projects deferred or delayed from 2020, staff scaled down the proposed 2021 Tax-Supported Capital Budget to 60 percent of the normal amount of capital investment,” read a report from city finance staff.

The city is targeting a three per cent tax levy increase in 2021.

“That number [will] be finalized when the operating budget is adopted, ”Adam Found, Kawartha Lakes’ Manager of Corporate Assets, explained.

The capital budget is scheduled to be deliberated by Kawartha Lakes council on Tuesday, December 1st.

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