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Kawartha Lakes Council faces real challenges with 2016 Budget

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October 6, 2015 - Earlier this year Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham said it was apparent the City simply couldn’t afford all of the assets it currently maintains. It was that realization that prompted the largest ever review of all City operations, services and service levels.

On Tuesday afternoon Council got a stark reminder of the challenges ahead as CAO Ron Taylor delivered a brief but sobering overview of the City’s fiscal realities heading into the 2016 Operating and Capital budget deliberations.

“We have been hearing for months now about many of the budget pressures leading to a more than $10 million anticipated shortfall for 2016,” explained Mr. Taylor. “As budget deliberations edge closer many of those pressures are becoming much more apparent.”

Based on current budget estimates the City is looking at a projected 12.59% tax pressure.

“On the positive side all staff has worked diligently to bring forward recommendations that maintains previous year operating expenditure. The result is only 0.11% of the nearly 13% projected pressure in on the operating side,” said Mr. Taylor. “On the uncontrollable side OPP increases represent 3.08% and Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) decreases represent another 1.08%.”

Due to the number of City assets and the overall aging infrastructure supported and maintained by the City there is a need to increase tax support for Capital projects by a projected 7.57%.

“We can’t continue to pay for all of the assets we have,” said Mayor Letham. “We have used reserves to offset large tax increases in the past and those reserves no longer exist. We have reached a point where we either need to reduce the number of assets we have or increase taxes or debt to pay for them all.”

Council will hold a special meeting on October 22 to go over the proposed 2016 Operating and Capital budgets.

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For more information please contact:

John Chambers
Communications Officer
jchambers@city.kawarthalakes.on.ca
705-324-9411 Ext. 1355

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