Committee of the Whole Meeting - Feb. 12/19
By Kirk Winter
A number of items for discussion and debate were brought to the attention of Council on February 12 at their Committee of the Whole meeting.
While no final votes were taken to resolve any of the issues discussed, the goal of the meeting was to listen, learn and forward concerns to the appropriate City department or a future council meeting.
Request for a Long-term Lease Extension - Steve Wilkins – Wilky’s Marina
Mr. Wilkins runs a small marina in Thurstonia. He has entered into a long-term lease request discussion with the City real estate department, and City officials have recommended the long-term lease be approved only when Mr. Wilkins has removed the in-ground fuel tank that currently sits under the City waterfront property that he rents.
Wilkins wants to keep the in-ground tank, fearing that an above-ground tank will be prone to vehicle collisions and dangerous vandalism. Wilkins wants the City to waive the tank removal as he says the cost for removal would likely bankrupt his small marina. Wilkins says the tank is inspected twice a year and poses no hazard to any property or people.
Deputy Mayor Elmslie wanted to know from Wilkins about insuring the currently existing tank, and discovered that Wilkins' costs to insure were exorbitant. The tank remains only because of the cost to remove it, and the fact that lakeside gas gives him a leg up on much of his competition, generating additional business for the marina.
Elmslie wanted to know if there would be a chance in the future of Wilkins getting out of the gas business, and the owner said it was certainly possible.
Councillor Yeo wanted to know with the tank on City property was it a City liability? The owner didn’t know. The City’s solicitor said that a confidential report was coming that would detail the City’s understanding of tank ownership and liability.
Councillor Ashmore asked Wilkins about any damage done from the twister that struck Thurstonia in April. Wilkins shared that between the repairs for which he was responsible from the storm, and the docks that require repair from significant ice damage every winter, his business is in a perilous state, and the gas tank removal cost would likely push him over the edge.
Council accepted Wilkins’ report for further discussion and clarification from the City solicitor.
Kawartha Lakes Sport and Recreation Council Update - Gary Pearson
Mr. Pearson shared with Council that his group is the umbrella organization for 50 different sport stakeholder groups in CKL. Their goal is to ensure that best practices are implemented to provide different demographics in the City with access to healthy activities.
Pearson said that currently three demographics are being underserved in CKL: children, youth and seniors.
With the help and guidance of the Sport and Recreation Council, three local groups have been awarded thousands of dollars in government grants, and these groups included:
CKL Boys and Girls Club - $162,000
Ontario Early Years Centre - $66,000
Kawartha Cycling Club - $69,000
The Council is particularly proud of its Active Again program that is being rolled out in Fenelon Falls this winter and spring. Local seniors will have the opportunity to improve their fitness by participating in cycling, curling, Nordic pole walking, yoga, pickle ball and adaptive “walking” rugby.
Pearson hopes the Council can grow this program to other areas of the City, and believes that by 2025 “all people should have the opportunity to be as active as they would like to be.”
Councillor O’Reilly wanted to know more about the Fenelon program rollout, and where the grant money was coming from. Pearson shared that funding for the Fenelon experiment was coming from a provincial government fund to improve access to sport in rural areas.
CKL Branding Project – Cheri Davidson
In March 2016, the City began a program to better market themselves. The goals were to improve City websites, expand and improve media relations, and particularly focus on a better use of social media to sell the City brand.
Davidson said they are quite satisfied where they are on that front today with new City, Tourism and Library websites and social media up 89 percent over 2017.
The next step for the three-person City Communications department is to reshape the CKL brand moving forward.
The current CKL logo was created in 2001 as a reaction to amalgamation. In 2014, the brand was refreshed with the dropping of “City” from the logo to better reflect the reality of our area, and to avoid lingering hard feelings over the 2001 amalgamation.
Davidson said that all City stakeholders, including permanent residents, summer residents and representatives from the business communities will be consulted..
Davidson asked Council if they wanted the branding to be kept inhouse and spearheaded by volunteer committees, or farmed out to a professional consulting firm. Overwhelmingly the Councilors preferred the local option.
Councillors Seymour-Fagan and O’Reilly spoke to the need for a total makeover that would create a “real community identity.” Councillor Ashmore hoped that this time around a choice would be made that didn’t cause confusion with visitors wondering whether the Kawarthas were located here or in Peterborough.
Ashmore also suggested significant signage once the new logo was selected at the 35/115 exit on the 401 and the 35 exit from the115 to advertise what the City has to offer those looking to explore.
A conservative costing of the rebranding process was set at $450,000 – $80,000 was for the design of the rebranded logo that will be completed in 2019, $75,000 for new City uniforms that will be issued in 2020, $25,000 for new letterhead and business cards that will also come into circulation in 2020 and $270,000 for new signage across the City.
Council expressed their unanimous support, and Davidson hopes community engagement will start very soon.
Kawartha Lakes Housing – Minden
The City accepted a report detailing the second phase of the Parkside Street housing complex in Minden.
Phase One is already complete with 12 units occupied. An additional 21 units are to be built at the cost of $4.5 million with occupancy for 2020.
Kawartha Lakes Housing – Fenelon Falls
A second report was accepted detailing the project being built at 106 Murray Street in Fenelon Falls. This $6.5 million project looks to add 30 new units to the City’s stock of geared-to-income housing with occupancy for 2021.
Civic Marriage Solemnization
Council accepted a report from staff recommending that the City provide civil marriage services. The City Clerk and two Deputy Clerks will provide services during regular business hours, with the possibility of evening and weekend services being available with staff working flex-time to provide those after-hours opportunities.
Sales of surplus property at Elgin Park and Logie Street
There was much discussion about this issue, led by Councillor Dunn, who wanted to make sure that the CKL received maximum profit when these excess parklands are sold off. With some work, the two properties could provide 10 prime town building sites.
Councillors Dunn and Yeo suggested that the properties be assessed for auction as residential or commercial lots rather than vacant parkland, and that they go to public auction rather than just be offered to their immediate neighbours for sale.
Council accepted those recommendations.
Dock at 25 Hazel Street
Council agreed that a $150 fee for an existing dock and $150 fee for an existing boathouse were appropriate for this property. Staff expressed a concern about the condition of the boathouse, and the possibility that it may soon collapse and cause a costly future clean up.