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Kawartha Lakes deliberates 2022 capital budget

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: Kawartha Lakes councillors deliberated their 2022 proposed capital budget, during a meeting on Tuesday, November 30th.

Despite starting out in the deferred projects list, Ward 8 Councillor Tracy Richardson was able to have several projects at the Manvers Arena added to the budget, including; the parking lot resurfacing and lighting upgrades project ($245,000), Universal Accessible Washroom installation ($175,000), and exterior doors replacement ($41,000).

“We’ve committed to this community and this arena facility,” Mayor Andy Letham stated. “Out of all of our arena facilities, this is the community group [which] has taken this over and done some good work. I think it would be prudent for this Council to show we are supporting the work they’re doing.”

Councillor Richardson stressed the importance of rewarding community groups for good work.

“We just need to address issues. This group, this community, has come together, and they’ve done a new facelift for the building to give it a nice aesthetic look,” she explained. “For me, I feel like this community has given a lot, they’re dedicated, [and] they’re going to continue to fundraise.”

Council also decided to provide financial support to the Summit Wellness Centre project in Coboconk, in order to keep it moving forward. “The Summit Wellness Centre will be a legacy project for this term of Council. This is a milestone moment [which] will have a large impact for the north and will continue to serve the community for years to come,” Mayor Letham said in a statement. “The phenomenal work done by this group, to get to this point, is outstanding, and we need to do our part to recognize that and continue to support the project as best as we can.”

Ward 5 Councillor Pat Dunn tried to have the design for a Colborne Street Bridge over Scugog River, estimated to cost $400,000, removed from the budget.

“If we start down this road, we’re committing our next councils to a further expenditure of $12 million, and we really haven’t had much of a discussion on it,” he said. “The next argument will be ‘we just spent $400,000 doing a design; of course, we’re going to build a bridge.’ That’s the way councils; governments, seem to go.”

However, Mayor Letham said this expenditure is necessary to move the project forward in the future.

“We keep putting this off, and at some point, we’re going to have to make a commitment here,” he stressed.

Ward 7 Councillor Pat O’Reilly pointed out, with future developments planned near the area, there is going to be a need for a bridge. Councillor Dunn’s motion later failed to see enough support around the council table to pass. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

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