Bridge Art Pieces Survey Results

Community Supports Public Display

The City of Kenora is pleased to share the results of the recent bridge art pieces survey which was launched as a follow up to the Community Conversation open house that was held on March 20, 2019.

This survey provided an additional opportunity for the public to share their thoughts about the future placement of the returned art pieces. The survey and the Community Conversation were necessary fact-finding steps to know if there was a desire to explore the future of the art pieces further. Overall, the results have shown support for a permanent display of the figures.

The online survey prompted 554 responses over three weeks, from March 20 to April 10, 2019. The survey asked six specific questions to gauge how people felt about the art pieces, if the pieces should be displayed, and how important the figures are to Kenora’s heritage. The data showed an overwhelming 94% of respondents support having the pieces displayed publically, and 91% of the respondents feel the pieces are significant to our community’s history.

Given the positive feedback, the next steps will involve reviewing the hundreds of comments received in the survey and to arrange further consultation with Indigenous Elders.

We are pleased with the number of respondents and the honesty in the comments received. Having this feedback will guide respectful decision-making as we move forward.

Quick Facts:
• 554 responses
• 54% (296) feel the art pices are an extremely important part of our history and 37% (171) feel the pieces are very important
• 94% (512) feel the art pices should be publically displayed

City Looking for Assistance to Recover Heritage Art Pieces

Heritage Art Pieces Returned Overnight – UPDATED

Council Approves 2019 Tax Rates

Today, May 21, 2019, Council approves the 2019 Tax Rates for the City of Kenora. The 2019 Capital Budget was approved on December 18, 2018 and the Operating Budget on March 19, 2019.

The 2019 assessment resulted in an increase in the residential tax base of 5.2%. Of this, 4.7% related to increased values on existing homes, with the balance of the increase resulting from new construction.

It was acknowledged that there were many budget challenges to overcome in 2019. Council knew it had to make every effort to help reduce the impact of these assessment increases on the average homeowner. Therefore, again in 2019, Council elected to use Revenue Neutral Tax Ratios. This is a tax tool that maintains the tax burden by class, regardless of where the assessments rose the most. This was done to avoid shifting more of the tax burden onto the residential ratepayers. Also in 2019 the Vacant Unit Rebates for any partial vacancies or building portions have been eliminated and the tax reductions for vacant land, units, and excess land have been reduced to 15% for the commercial, and industrial property classes.

Today’s budget represents a 0.9% decrease in the City’s residential municipal tax rate. Because of the change in assessments, some homeowners will see their tax bills increase and some homeowners will see their tax bills decrease.

What does this mean for the average homeowner? For a typical property with no changes (changes such as a new garage or an addition), the assessment rose by 4.7% but the municipal property tax rate decreased by 0.9%. A property worth $171,000 in 2018 would have paid $2,089.63 in municipal taxes. In 2019, this same property, on average, is assessed at $179,500 and will pay $2,173.85 in taxes. This is an $84.22 dollar increase from the prior year. These amounts are for municipal taxes only and do not include the education taxes.

“Development of the 2019 budget was a challenging one for Council and our taxpayers are always at the forefront of views when determining the impacts of establishing the tax rates. Council gave close consideration to all projects and evaluated the necessities of each level of service and strategies. Council will continue to maintain the City’s financial strength through strong fiscal management and grow our community within our strategic vision.” states Mayor Daniel Reynard.

Jon Ranger, Deputy Treasurer
807-467-2010
jranger@kenora.ca

Property Taxes

HotSpot Parking Launches in Kenora

Pay-by-phone parking has come to Kenora. Local residents are now able to benefit from HotSpot Parking’s mobile-based pay-by-phone parking solution.

HotSpot Parking, a Canadian company, officially launched its product in Kenora today. Today’s announcement marks a continuation of the company’s Ontario expansion.

“At HotSpot, we’ve mastered providing commuters in mid-sized cities with convenient, affordable parking solutions from their smartphone,” said Phillip Curley, HotSpot CEO. “We’re very excited about bringing our affordable, high-quality service to the people of Kenora. Our goal is to make an often-confusing parking world a little more navigable – and more affordable!”

Through its pay-for-membership model, HotSpot’s mobile app offers users convenient parking solutions including:

• Remote parking top-ups so users no longer have to run back to the meter;
• Access to all metered parking in Kenora; and
• Consistent service throughout the City.

One of HotSpot’s most popular features is its easy refund for unused parking hours. That means if parkers don’t use all of the time allotted to them, they can be credited for that time and apply it to future parking solutions, making HotSpot a major money-saver.

“We are thrilled to partner with HotSpot to bring their pay-by-phone parking app to Kenora. We encourage residents and visitors to download the app to experience the convenience and benefits of this innovative service,” said Heather Lajeunesse, Enforcement Division Lead for the City of Kenora. “Most of us do everything from our phone, and now parking customers will be able pay electronically and monitor their parking time without returning to their vehicles. While coins are still accepted for parking throughout the City, this option will reduce the number of coins people have to carry around as well as the amount of work it takes to gather and roll coin.”

Curley says HotSpot hopes to bring more innovative products to Kenora residents in the months to come.

 

 

Kenora Fire and Emergency Services Urges Residents to Build 72 Hour Emergency Kit

Emergency Preparedness Week May 5 – 11, 2019

Emergency Preparedness Week May 5 – 11, 2019 is a Canada wide campaign to increase awareness of individual and family preparedness. If a major emergency happens in our community, it may take emergency services some time to reach you. You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours.

The City of Kenora Fire and Emergency Services urges residents of Kenora to know the risks, make a plan, build a 72 Hour Emergency Kit for their home, and sign up for Kenora Alerts. We all need to be prepared.

A basic emergency kit includes:
• WATER – at least two litres of water per person per day; include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order
• FOOD that won’t spoil; such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace food and water once a year)
• manual can-opener
• crank, battery-powered flashlight and extra batteries (replace batteries once a year)
• crank, battery-powered radio and extra batteries or weather radio
• first aid kit and other medical supplies
• extra keys to your car and house
• some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones
• a copy of your emergency plan and contact information
• if applicable, other items such as prescription medication, infant formula, equipment for people with disabilities, or food, water and medication for your pets or service animal

For assistance with building an emergency kit, contact Fire Station One at 807-467-2090. Stop by the City of Kenora booth at the Home and Leisure Show May 3 – 5, 2019 for your chance to win a starter 72 Hour Emergency Kit.

Go to Kenora.ca to register for Kenora Alerts to ensure you will be informed if there is an emergency.

 

City Joins the Reconciliation Board of Kenora

City Forms Partnership on Youth Reconciliation
March 19, 2019

Today, the City joins the Reconciliation Board of Kenora that works towards the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action at the local level.

This is a monumental project which develops partnerships between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous individuals in the Kenora area. This council is intended to be a joint venture between the sovereign nations surrounding Kenora, Metis Nation and the City of Kenora.
Councillor Kirsi Ralko and Adam Smith, Development Services Strategist, will join the Board as Kenora representatives to the Local Youth Council of the Youth Committee of Reconciliation. Further, as part of the partnership, the City will be advertising for 12-14 additional community members interested in participating in the Youth Reconciliation in Kenora Phase 1 process – Setting Context with the intent that the number of Non-Indigenous members would parallel the Indigenous Members.

Mayor Reynard is proud of this project which aligns with our Strategic Plan “Focusing on Our People”, including building and strengthening working relations with our Indigenous Partners, together with a commitment to identify opportunities within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations that will further strengthen relationships with our Indigenous Partners are fundamental tenants of the City’s strategic plan. “It is an exciting time in the City and reconciliation with our Indigenous partners and especially our youth will continue to be at the forefront of our progression as a community”, states Mayor Reynard.

Heather Pihulak, City Clerk/Communications Lead
(807) 467-295
hpihulak@kenora.ca

2019 Operating Budget Approved

Council Approves 2019 Operating Budget
March 19, 2019

Today Council approves the 2019 Operating Budget. The 2019 Capital Budget was approved on December 18, 2018. The budget includes a number of critical projects initiated by staff, Council and community input.

As the 2019 draft budget was being prepared, it became very apparent that it would be one of the most challenging budgets in many years for both Council and Administration.

The most frustrating part of this budget is the over $ 650,000 in increases are primarily increases that are beyond our control as they are driven by external organizations. These are things such as our policing costs, social services costs and loss of provincial annualized funding.
The Senior Leadership team met on several occasions to review departmental budgets closely and to search for areas where we could reduce costs to offset the large uncontrollable impacts to the 2019 budget. Any area where administration felt could be reduced was addressed and it still left the draft budget to Council in a significant tax increase position. Council closely reviewed options for further operating cost savings and made difficult decisions to avoid a significant tax increase. This unfortunately meant that service levels and staffing impacts to the organization were directed under very close consideration. They considered all other budget areas, however, these changes were necessary to reduce the deeper impact on the tax increase for 2019.

Some of the more significant impacts the City faced in 2019 included:

  • Loss of Provincial funding of $124K
  • Increased policing costs of $406K
  • Increased requests from other mandated External Organizations totalling $135K
  • Additional Art Centre Operating Costs of $115K

Major capital projects planned for 2019 include:

  • First Street Development ($7.7 million)
  • Coker Bailey Bridge ($1.5 million)
  • Street Lighting Electrical Distribution Upgrade ($.2 million)

Other projects of interest in the 2019 budget include:

  • The Lake of the Woods Art Centre construction is expected to be completed in 2019
  •  The Rotary Splash Park is expected to be completed in 2019
  • With the funds secured, the Pickleball Club expects the court resurfacing to be completed in the summer of 2019.

Overall financial highlights of the approved 2019 budget include:

  • $48.1 million in combined operating, capital, non-capital special projects / unusual spending and reserve appropriations, broken out as follows:
    • $30.6 million in operating expenses;
    • $1.8 million in reserve appropriations;
    • $13.6 million in capital expenses; and
    • $2.1 million in non-capital special projects / unusual spending
  • Combined this represents $26.3 million in net tax levy requirement

Council directed service level reductions and user fee increases to reduce the budget impacts. Some direct impacts include:

  • Elimination of the Fitness Consultant position at the Kenora Recreation Centre
  • Elimination of one By-Law Enforcement Officer position
  • Elimination of two positions at City Hall Customer Service Area
  • City Hall Reception to be moved to an automated answering system
  • Increase of user fees at the Recreation Centre and City Hall
  • Saturday parking to be enforced

“This budget was a particularly difficult one for Council. There were tough decisions that had to be made and finding the balance between meeting the demands and expectations of the public for day to day services and keeping the strategic vision for moving our community forward is always a struggle, especially this budget year. While some service levels are being impacted, we believe that this budget, in conjunction with the strong financial management by City Council and the Senior Leadership Team over recent years, will continue to maintain the City’s financial strength and stability.” states Mayor Daniel Reynard.

Jon Ranger, Deputy Treasurer
(807) 467-2010
jranger@kenora.ca

Finances & Budgets

City and Central Community Club Volunteers Announce Plans for New Central Community Club

Central Community Club Volunteers, in partnership with the City of Kenora, have solidified the drawings for the new Central Community Club building.

In the summer of 2018 the former Community Club building was demolished as it was beyond repair and in need of replacement. Community volunteers along with generous local contracting businesses demolished and removed the building and prepared the site for the new build.

The Community Club volunteers have worked hard to develop designs for a new building that is functional and will meet the needs of the community. As this initiative is community driven, volunteers have moved the process along as quickly as possible, however, it was not possible to have the preparation work done which includes soil compaction testing in the remainder of the building season once the building was demolished.

Volunteers are in the final stages of preparing for the new build and will be seeking community support for additional funding to complete the build. While the City has committed $100,000 to the new building, and some of our generous community clubs have also funded the project, additional funds will be required for the building to become a reality.

This project is evidence of the passion our residents have for our community and the generosity of the businesses and volunteers. These partnerships continue to move our community forward and make Kenora a great place to live. The City thanks our hard working volunteers who have given so much of their time to this project and look forward to the new build in the spring of 2019!

Tim Gosnell, Central Community Club Volunteer (807) 464-2006
Jeff VanWalleghem, Central Community Club Volunteer (807) 464-0375
Heather Pihulak, City Clerk/Communications Lead (807) 467-2295  hpihulak@kenora.ca

Fire Safety Over the Holidays

Cooking, Smoking, and Alcohol – A Dangerous Mix

With the holiday season upon us, we are entering one of the most festive times of the year. But it can also be a deadly time of the year.

City of Kenora Fire and Emergency Services urges everyone to include fire safety in all holiday celebrations. This includes paying special attention when cooking during the holidays, and to drink responsibly. Provincial statistics reveal that careless cooking is the number one cause of fires and the second leading cause of fatal fires.

“The hustle and bustle of the holidays can dramatically increase your risk of having a fire,” says Fire Chief Todd Skene. “All too often, these fires are started by unattended cooking and in many cases alcohol is involved. We want everyone to be fire safe and fully enjoy the holidays.”

Smoking is another leading cause of fires during the holiday season. “Make sure smokers extinguish cigarettes in large deep ashtrays – not in plant pots which may contain peat moss or shredded bark that can easily ignite,” continued Fire Chief Skene. “Ashes should be emptied in a metal container – not the garbage can – and put outside.”

City of Kenora Fire and Emergency Services also reminds everyone about the law requiring working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. Take a few minutes to test your smoke alarms and make sure everyone in the home knows exactly what to do if the smoke alarms sound in an emergency. Develop and practice a home escape plan with everyone in the home.

Enjoy a fire safe holiday season by following these tips:

• Stay in the kitchen when cooking. Cooking is a major cause of home fires, so don’t leave the kitchen if there’s something cooking on the stove. If a pot catches fire, don’t try to move it. Cover the pot with a lid to smother the flames and turn off the burner.
• Keep things that can burn such as cooking utensils and paper towels a safe distance from the stove as they can easily ignite if they are too close.
• Keep an eye on any drinkers in your household and make sure all cigarettes are properly extinguished and the stove is off before going to bed.
• Cigarettes can smoulder among upholstered items for hours before igniting. Check sofas and chairs for cigarettes that may have fallen between the cushions. Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers.
• Drink responsibly. Excessive alcohol consumption is a contributing factor in many residential fires.
• Install and maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas of the home. Smoke alarms also are required on every storey. Failure to comply with the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements can result in a ticket for $360 or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for corporations.
• Develop and practice a home escape plan with everyone in the home.

If you have questions about fire safety or require any help with smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, please contact Fire and Emergency Services at 807-467-2090 or drop by Station One, 100 Fourteenth Street North, Kenora.

Todd Skene, Fire Chief/Emergency Management Coordinator
807-467-2107
tskene@kenora.ca

City of Kenora Ranked Top in Water Taste Test and Water Treatment Knowledge

The City of Kenora is proud to announce the Water and Wastewater Division, including Treatment Plants, earned top honours in two categories at a regional water quality conference recently.

Three City of Kenora Operators from the Water and Wastewater Division and Treatment Plants attended the annual Northwestern Ontario Water and Wastewater Conference (NWOWWC) in Thunder Bay in October. The NWOWWC offers education and training for water and wastewater professionals to ensure they are up to date on issues impacting safe treatment of water and wastewater.

Each year during the Conference a blind taste test of treated water samples is held. Municipalities from across the Northwest region bring a water sample to enter the esteemed competition. This year the City of Kenora submitted a sample of our drinking water and won first place in the blind taste test. As the winner, the City of Kenora received $500 from ALS towards our lab testing services. ALS is the lab used to test water quality for the City of Kenora.

Another tradition at the Conference is the Operators Challenge. Our three operators won the Operators Challenge, where they beat operators from other communities answering water and wastewater related questions.

The Water and Wastewater Division is very proud of its staff and their knowledge of the water service provided to the residents of Kenora. They are diligent in updating their skills and understanding of the Provincial policies that must be followed.

“Winning the best tasting water test in Northwestern Ontario is an honour and a testament to our well trained staff. Not only is our water the best tasting, but more importantly, the public can be confident that the water they drink and consume every day is safe.” says Mayor Canfield.

Kenora Business Partners Win National Marketing Awards

Choose Kenora Campaign Recognized

The Kenora Business Partners are proud to announce that the Choose Kenora Youth Retention and Attraction Campaign has won three national marketing awards from the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC). The awards were presented in New Brunswick in September as a part of the EDAC annual conference.

EDAC is Canada’s national association of economic development professionals, with coast-to-coast membership of nearly 1,000. Awards are presented for excellence in promoting their communities and furthering their economic development priorities.

The Choose Kenora Youth Retention and Attraction Campaign won awards in two categories: 1) advertising campaign 2) promotional video. In addition, they received a third award for the video production as an EDAC Cup Contender – the best marketing submission from across Canada for that budget category.

The Choose Kenora Advertising campaign focused on providing potential entrepreneurs, businesses and young professionals with current data and information about the community. The project is intended to facilitate business growth and development through the attraction of new residents, workers and businesses in the community as well as encourage youth from Kenora to stay, work and live. Key components of the advertising campaign were the creation of a logo, a short video, formal still images of young professionals, an informational booklet, social media pages, and the creation of a website. Marketing materials have been distributed and shared with employers and employment agencies in the community. The target audience for this campaign was professionals and entrepreneurs aged 35 and younger.

The Choose Kenora video, meanwhile, focused on personal and professional testimonials from young professionals living and working in Kenora. To date, the video component has 25,000 views on Facebook and has been shared over 750 times. The response to the video and the featured candidates has been very positive and featured in local and regional media.

The Choose Kenora advertising campaign was developed in partnership with Fifth Hammer Marketing Group. The video production was created by Upriver Media Inc.  Fifth Hammer Marketing Group and Upriver Media Inc. are Kenora owned and operated small businesses.

The Kenora Business Partners group consists of the Lake of the Woods Development Commission/City of Kenora, Lake of the Woods Business Incentive Corporation, Kenora and District Chamber of Commerce, Harbourtown BIZ, and the Northwest Business Centre. The Kenora Young Professionals Network also partnered on this project. The project was supported by the Province of Ontario Rural Economic Development Program.

Choose Kenora Links
Choose Kenora Advertising Campaign
Choose Kenora Promotional Video

Kenora Business Partners

Kenora Business Partners (L to R): Mike Newton – Fifth Hammer Marketing Group, Kelly Smith – Kenora and District Chamber of Commerce, Casey Pyykka – Kenora Young Professionals Network, Allyson McTaggart – Lake of the Woods Business Incentive Corporation, Corey Jones – City of Kenora, Megan Dokuchie – City of Kenora, Matt Kennedy – Upriver Media, Sam Smith – Kenora and District Chamber of Commerce, Mike Greaves – Fifth Hammer Marketing Group, Allyson Pele – Northwest Business Centre

 

Megan Dokuchie, Economic Development Officer
mdokuchie@kenora.ca 807-467-2127

Heritage Art Pieces Returned Overnight – UPDATED

UPDATED NOVEMBER 1, 2018

We are speechless. The second set of art pieces have been returned.

Thank you Kenora and community for sharing the posts and getting the word out.

We received a call this afternoon saying the two were at Anicinabe Park. We picked them up shortly after the call.

Many have asked…yes we will be displaying them again. Stay tuned for announcements!

Heritage Art Pieces Returned Overnight

The City of Kenora is excited to announce two of the four art pieces were returned overnight.

Thank you Kenora! You shared it, you spread the word and – we are in awe of the power of our community! Two of the figures were returned overnight!!

We received a call at City Hall this morning that two of the figures were leaning up against the A & W ball field fence. We immediately sent over a truck to pick them up and they are now in safe storage in a City facility.

This is amazing! We are truly grateful and amazed by the community support for their safe return. The details do not matter. It only matters that we now have two of the four figures and a huge thank you goes out to the public for helping to recover the figures. We had hoped the power of social media and our local media partners would work but we had no idea how quickly the word would spread and how important they truly were to our community! The significance of the pieces for our community shows in the quick response.

To the person or persons who had the art work – thank you for doing the right thing. We are celebrating and will wait to see if the other two appear. In the meantime, we have some plans to make for their permanent display which recognizes the significance they hold to our heritage!

WE CELEBRATE YOU KENORA! You make us proud!

Norman Bay Bridge Art Pieces Returned

 

 

 

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week November 1 – 7

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week November 1 – 7
Beat the Silent Killer: Prevent CO in Your Home

Ontario’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week runs from November 1-7, and the City of Kenora Fire and Emergency Services reminds you to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) in your home by getting all fuel-burning appliances inspected annually.

“In Ontario, more than 65% of injuries and deaths from CO occur in the home,” said Kenora Fire Chief Todd Skene. “We want to make sure everyone is safe from CO. Get all fuel-burning appliances inspected by a registered contractor.” Visit COSafety.ca to find a registered contractor near you.

The City of Kenora Fire and Emergency Services also reminds you to install CO alarms in your home if you have a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage. Fuel-burning appliances can include furnaces, hot water heaters, gas or wood fireplaces, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators, barbeques, stoves and vehicles.

“You must have a working CO alarm adjacent to each sleeping area of the home if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage,” said Chief Skene. “For added protection, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every storey of the home according to manufacturer’s instructions.”

If you live in a condo or apartment building with a service room, CO alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area of all homes above, below and beside the service room. In condo or apartment buildings that have a garage, CO alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area of all homes above, below and beside the garage.

What is CO?
CO is known as the silent killer because it is an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas that can be deadly.

CO is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances and devices such as furnaces, gas or wood fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves, barbeques, portable fuel-burning heaters and generators and vehicles.
Prevent CO in your home:
• Ensure fuel-burning appliances, chimneys and vents are cleaned and inspected annually. Visit COSafety.ca to find a registered contractor near you.
• Check that all outside appliance vents are not blocked.
• Gas and charcoal barbeques should only be used outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Never use barbeques inside garages, even if the garage doors are open.
• Portable fuel-burning generators should only be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from windows, doors, vents and other building openings.
• Ensure all portable fuel-burning heaters are vented properly, according to manufacturer’s instructions.
• Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
• Open the flu before using a fireplace for adequate ventilation.
• Never run a vehicle or other fuelled engine or motor inside a garage, even if the garage doors are open. Always remove a vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it.

Know the symptoms of CO:
Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.
If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.
If your CO alarm sounds, and no one is suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing, or the alarm has reached its “end-of-life” before calling 9-1-1.

Know the sound of your CO alarm:
Your CO alarm sounds different than your smoke alarm. Test both alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds.
Don’t be confused by the sound of your CO alarm’s low-battery warning. Follow your CO alarm manufacturer’s instructions so you know the difference between the low-battery warning, the “end-of-life” warning, and the alarm alerting you to the presence of CO in your home.

If you have any questions or require any help please contact us at 467-2090 or drop by Station One, 100 Fourteenth Street North, during CO Awareness Week.