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Kawartha Lakes draft budgets presented to council

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: City of Kawartha Lakes councillors were presented with the 2023 draft municipal budgets, at the council’s last December meeting.

The proposed operating, capital and special projects budgets combined equal $325 million.

There are $56.6 million in proposed capital expenditures. This includes about $26 million for road projects, over $6 million for landfills, $4.8 million for city facilities, about $2.4 million for parks and cemeteries and $15.6 million for fleet and equipment expenditures. There are also airport and Information Technology (IT) investments in the budget.

“This is basically what we should be spending, each year, without accounting for inflation, which is what we should spend on tax-supported capital,” Adam Found, Kawartha Lakes’ manager of corporate assets, told councillors at the meeting.

Ward 1 Councillor Emmett Yeo questioned how the Ontario government’s Bill 23 would affect the budget.

“The plan is, staff will update council on Bill 23 on January 10th,” Mr. Found responded.

Ward 4 Councillor Dan Joyce asked how much the city has spent on roads in previous years.

“Before we had a long-term financial plan, and before we had, what I would say is, an adequate asset management plan, probably that $26 million figure would’ve been more like $10 million, $15 million at best. So, you can see there’s been a huge shift in our focus when it comes to capital expenditures,” Mr. Found stated.

The 2023 proposed special projects budget includes $2.16 million in expenditures. Studies and plans make up the largest portion of this budget, at $790,000. IT and software improvements and potential Ontario Land Tribunal Appeals funding are also in this budget.

The proposed operating budget includes $236.5 million in expenses. In this budget, there is a proposal for a three percent tax levy increase.

CAO Ron Taylor explained the full budget process would begin this month.

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