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.

City Looking for Assistance to Recover Heritage Art Pieces

The City of Kenora is asking for the public’s assistance in recovering the heritage art pieces that were once displayed on the Norman Bay Bridge.

When the Norman Bay Bridge was constructed in 1948, there were Indigenous figures made from metal rods posted on the stone pillars at each entrance. When the bridge underwent reconstruction, the four figures were taken down and put into storage. Since then, the heritage artworks have gone missing without a trace of their whereabouts. The last two pieces disappeared in September 2016. These artworks have significant importance to our heritage and our reconciliation with our Indigenous community.

In an effort to find the heritage pieces, the City of Kenora is declaring November as amnesty month for the anonymous return of the metal art pieces. The art pieces may be dropped off at the City of Kenora Operations Building, 60 Fourteenth Street North front entrance; no questions asked.

“We hope someone will do the right thing, and return the artwork to the City without worry about prosecution or penalty,” says Mayor Dave Canfield. If the pieces are returned, the City would like to see a permanent display of the Indigenous figures to honour their significance to the community and our Treaty 3 partners.

Norman Bay Bridge Image

Norman Bay Bridge Indigenous Figure Heritage Artwork

Norman Bay Bridge Aerial Photo

Norman Bay Bridge Aerial View

Photos courtesy of the Lake of the Woods Museum

Fire Prevention Week October 7 -13, 2018

Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.
Fire Prevention Week runs from October 7 -13, 2018

City of Kenora Fire and Emergency Services is urging Kenora residents to LOOK, LISTEN and LEARN about fire safety during this year’s Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme of Fire Prevention Week, which runs from October 7-13, 2018, is “LOOK. LISTEN. LEARN. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.”

The theme focuses on three fundamental actions people can take to be fire-safe:
1. LOOK for potential fire hazards around your home. Take action to prevent fire from starting:
• Always stay in the kitchen while cooking. If you must leave, turn off the stove.
• Encourage smokers to smoke outside. Always extinguish cigarettes in large, deep ashtrays that cannot be knocked over.
• Check electrical cords for damage such as fraying or nicks. A damaged cord can expose wires and result in a potential shock or fire hazard.

2. LISTEN for the smoke alarms in an emergency. Make sure everyone knows the sound of the smoke alarms and can hear them in an emergency. Early detection of fire provided by smoke alarms gives you the extra seconds you need to get out safely.

3. LEARN two ways out of every room. Practice a home fire escape plan with everyone in your home before a fire starts so you and your family can get out quickly.

“Everyone has a responsibility to protect their family and home from fire. Prevention is always the best course of action. Identify potential fire hazards in your home and take action to make sure a fire doesn’t start,” says Fire Chief Todd Skene.

Only working smoke alarms give you the early notification of fire and the time you and your family need to safely escape. Many fatal fires occur at night when everyone is asleep, so early warning is crucial to survival. Fire and smoke move faster than you. There’s no time to figure out how to escape your home AFTER a fire starts. Practice a home fire escape plan BEFORE there’s a fire so you can get out safely.

City of Kenora Delegation Brings Northern Ontario Perspective to AMO Conference

City of Kenora Delegation Brings Northern Ontario Perspective to AMO Conference August 19 – 22

Mayor Canfield and Members of Council will join about 1,900 participants at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s (AMO) 2018 Conference in Ottawa from August 19 to 22.

For more than a century, Ontario’s largest municipal conference has brought together municipal, provincial and federal officials to work collectively to overcome municipal challenges and plan for the future.

Ontario’s Premier, Minister of Municipal Affairs, and the three party leaders are featured speakers and several additional provincial ministers will participate in the conference.

The annual conference is a chance for municipal officials to discuss and move forward on shared challenges, to learn, and to create new opportunities that can benefit their communities. In addition to the conference program, municipal staff and officials will take part in municipal delegation meetings with provincial and federal ministries. Mayor Canfield, along with City Councillors Dan Reynard, Rory McMillan, Mort Goss and Special Projects and Research Officer, Adam Smith will be meeting with elected officials from the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Key session topics include cannabis legalization, trade, indigenous relations, climate change and disaster preparedness, waste diversion, ambulance dispatch, emerging technologies and Smart Cities, the 2018 municipal election, rural economic development, and much more. Program information is available online at www.amo.on.ca.

This is the first opportunity to have Northern Ontario issues heard by the new Premier of Ontario and his Minister Cabinet. The City of Kenora delegation is particularly interested in advocating on issues such as:
• Affordable Housing
• Community Health-Care
• Policing Costs
• Fire Protection and Prevention Act
• Downtown Revitalization
• Twinning the Kenora Recreation Centre
• Highway 17 Expansion
• Connecting Links Funding
• Maintenance Standards

During the conference, interviews with Mayor Canfield can be accommodated by e-mailing dcanfield@kenora.ca.

Conference news releases, fact sheets and presentations from a number of key speakers will be posted on AMO’s website throughout the duration of the conference at www.amo.on.ca.

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

For more information about AMO or the 2018 Conference, contact:
Brian Lambie, AMO Media Contact, 416-729-5425, lambie@redbrick.ca
Follow the conference on Twitter: @AMOPolicy, Hashtag: #AMOConf18

Council Approves 2017 Audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the City of Kenora

Council Approves 2017 Audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the City of Kenora

Today Council approves the 2017 Audited Consolidated Financial Statements. The City received an unqualified audit report and is financially stable.

The 2017 financial statements continue to reflect the healthy financial position currently enjoyed by the City of Kenora. The City continues to work to improve the current infrastructure deficit while maintaining an appropriate balance between services and property tax rates.

Highlights from the consolidated balance sheet include:

  • Cash and temporary investments on hand as at December 31, 2017 totalled $37 million;
  • Investment in government business enterprises totalled $9.9 million;
  • The Kenora Citizens’ Prosperity Trust Fund balance was $32.8 million at the end of 2017 on the consolidated balance sheet. The Trust Fund in fact has $41 million in investments. The difference arises because the City issued debentures to the Trust Fund to finance seven capital projects. The Canadian generally accepted accounting principles dictate that the Trust Fund be consolidated in the City of Kenora’s financial statements. As a result the investment in the Trust Fund and the corresponding debenture debt in the City are eliminated on consolidation. The debenture balance at year end is $8.2 million.
  • This Trust Fund was created in 2008 to safeguard the net proceeds from the sale of the KMTS Entities. The intent was to ensure there would be no impact to property taxes as a result of this sale. In order to offset lost net revenues as a result of the sale of the KMTS Entities, the City requires an annual return of $1.1 million in income from the Trust Fund. Any erosion of the balance of the Trust Fund will result in an additional burden on City taxpayers.
  • The balance of the City’s reserves and reserve funds was $30.2 million at the end of 2017.
  • The City’s accumulated surplus totals $228.1 million, (see tangible capital assets discussion below)

The City is required to include tangible capital assets in its accumulated surplus total. Therefore, the City’s statements include things like roads, bridges, water and wastewater networks, and City facilities and equipment to name just a few. The offsetting net investment in these assets is shown as a surplus on the City’s balance sheet. The City’s surplus includes the Tangible Capital Assets recorded at cost less accumulated amortization. At the end of 2017, the investment in capital assets included in the City’s surplus is $154.7 million.

The City is also pleased to present the consolidated audited financial statements as part of its Annual Report. This report will be available to the public for viewing along with the Auditors report on August 15th 2018, both on the City’s website, as well as at the front desk at City Hall and the Library. This report has been developed to provide users with some additional information about the City in conjunction with the consolidated audited financial statements.

Jonathon Ranger, Deputy Treasurer (807) 467-2010
jranger@kenora

 

Weekly Household Hazardous Waste Depot Now Accepts Unsafe Baby Products

The Kenora Transfer Station opened the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) depot today for its third season.

In addition to the lengthy list of hazardous substances accepted at the depot free of charge, the depot will also accept unsafe, damaged, or expired baby products. We have partnered with Safe Communities Kenora to create a regular drop off for these baby items. Safe Communities Kenora has hosted an annual one day roundup event for unsafe baby items as part of Safe Kids Week for a number of years. “We partnered with the City of Kenora to collect and dispose of old, damaged and unwanted items at no cost to residents dropping off the items,” says Maria Bagdonas, Co-Chair of Safe Communities Kenora. “Having unsafe baby products added to the list of items that can be disposed of on scheduled Household Hazardous Waste Days means that there is a smaller chance that old, damaged or recalled products will find their way into the second hand market. It is an organized and convenient way to get rid of items and to be sure they are destroyed so they can’t be reused or repurposed.”

Products such as baby walkers, cribs, car seats (infant, convertible, booster), playpens, strollers, baby gates, baby bath seats, or high chairs are now on the list of acceptable items.

The once-a-week free service collected over 40 tons of hazardous waste in Kenora in the first two seasons, a significant amount of waste diverted from the landfill. “We want to thank our residents for taking the time to dispose of toxic substances safely and properly,” says Mukesh Pokharel, Environmental Services Division Lead. “We are expecting a busier depot now that we have added baby item disposal as well.”

The HHW depot, located inside the Transfer Station, is open each Thursday from 9 am to 2 pm until September 27, 2018.

For more on what can be disposed at the specialize depot, visit Kenora.ca/ Recycling & Waste, download the free Recycle Coach app, or call 807-467-2980.

City Signs Land Swap Agreement With WNHAC

The City Kenora has finalized an agreement for a land swap with Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’Iyewigamig (WNHAC) in the area of Chipman Street and First Street South.

The land swap is a strategic move in the long term planning of the City’s vision for our downtown. A portion of the parcel of land purchased by the City in January 2017 from Plaza Retail REIT, has been traded for a similar sized parcel owned by WNHAC where the Kenwood Hotel once stood. Each party exchanged a sum of $125,000 plus HST in the property transaction, essentially being no cost for the property swap.

With the City of Kenora’s purchase of the former mall property for parking and future development potential, an opportunity emerged to access a larger, rectangular lot that could better accommodate the new WNHAC building, current parking requirements, and future expansion potential. “The City has been very supportive of our efforts,” said WNHAC Executive Director, Anita Cameron.

Megan Dokuchie, the City’s Economic Development Officer states “This is an exciting and strategic land swap which places the City in a solid position to consider future redevelopment and realignment of our downtown area. As we continue to work hard towards the redevelopment in our downtown, this area could see positive improvements to traffic and pedestrian flow, promoting a flourishing downtown area”.

The land swap supports the next phase of downtown revitalization, including the proposed realignment of First Street South through the former Shoppers Mall property that was purchased by the City last year, and provides the opportunity for further enhancement of our downtown and Harbourtown Centre. Funding opportunities are currently being pursued by administration and long term realignment visions are being finalized.

The City of Kenora has submitted funding applications to the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) for Downtown Revitalization Phase IV.

Council Approves 2018 Operating Budget

Today Council approves the 2018 Operating Budget. The 2018 Capital Budget was approved on February 20. The budget includes a number of critical projects initiated by staff, council and community input.

Some of the more significant impacts the City faced in 2018 included:

  • Loss of Provincial funding of $322K
  • Increased requests from Mandated External Organizations totalling $102K
  • Combined net wage impacts of $267K
  • Continued need to work to address the City’s significant infrastructure deficit

Major capital projects planned for 2018 include:

  • Aerial Fire Truck ($1.2 million)
  • Art Centre ($4 million)
  • Seventh Avenue South Bridge ($2 million)
  • Transit Bus ($.51 million)
  • Handi Transit Bus ($.13 million)

Other projects of interest in the 2018 budget include:

  • Dufrense Island North Entrance Construction expected to be completed in 2018
  • The City has seen several new signs in 2018 as it continues with its Wayfinding Implementation projects

Overall financial highlights of the approved 2018 budget include:

  • $53.8 million in combined operating, capital, non-capital special projects / unusual spending and reserve appropriations, broken out as follows: $30.1 million in operating expenses; $1.8 million in reserve appropriations; $19.6 million in capital expenses; and $2.3 million in non-capital special projects / unusual spending
  • Combined this represents $25.4 million in net tax levy requirement

The 2018 reassessment resulted in an increase in the residential tax base of 5.7%. Of this, 4.9% related to increased values on existing homes, with the balance of the increase resulting from new construction.

Council knew it had to make every effort to help reduce the impact of these assessment increases on the average homeowner. Therefore, again in 2018, 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.

Today’s budget represents a 2.6% 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 property with no changes (changes such as a new garage or an addition), on average, the assessment rose by 5.25% but the municipal property tax rate decreased by 2.6%. A property worth $166,750 in 2017 would have paid $2,390.49 in municipal taxes. In 2018, this same property, on average, is assessed at $175,500 and will pay $2,442.97 in taxes. This is a $52.48 dollar increase for the year.

We on Council believe that this budget, in conjunction with the strong financial management by City Council over recent years, will continue to maintain the City’s financial strength and stability.

We would like to recognize the time and efforts made by City staff and management, who worked so diligently in partnership with Council, towards developing a budget that maintains services and strengthens Kenora.

Jon Ranger, Budget/Special Projects Officer (807) 467-2010
jranger@kenora.ca
www.kenora.ca