Kenora Hydro Electric Corporation is providing free block heater timers this holiday season

KENORA, ON, NOVEMBER 3, 2017 –Kenora Hydro Electric Corporation Ltd. is giving an early holiday gift for those looking to save on energy and their electricity bill over the winter months. Today, the utility announced its Block Heater Timer program. The new initiative offers a free block heater timer to Kenora Hydro customers, to help them save energy while plugging in their vehicles.

“Winter can be hard on your vehicle and your electricity bill. Kenora Hydro Electric Corporation encourages families and home owners to be energy conscious and through this program we aim to provide a new solution to help you save energy and dollars on your electricity bill and avoid that chilly trip out to your vehicle to go plug it in, first thing in the morning or late at night,” says, Dave Sinclair, President & CEO, Kenora Hydro Electric Corporation Ltd.

A block heater timer can reduce energy consumption and save program participants up to $25 a year on winter bills. There are also several benefits for your vehicle. Jason Ramage, Service Manager at Done-Rite Tire & Auto explains that a block heater keeps your engine warm. “It helps protect several parts and components of your vehicle and makes it easier to get it started, so a timer is very useful. You don’t need to have your vehicle plugged in all day long; that is one of the biggest misconceptions for vehicle owners during the winter months. A service technician would recommend plugging in your vehicle four hours before you need to go somewhere, and you only need to use your block heater when the temperature drops to -15°C.”

The new Save on Energy Block Heater Timer program is a pilot project originating in Northwestern Ontario. It is also being offered by local electricity utilities in Atikokan, Fort Frances and Sioux Lookout.

To receive a free block heater timer, simply make an appointment by calling 1-888-855-3106 or by email at BHTPilot@greensaver.org. An Energy Advisor will come to your home to install the block heater timer all free of charge.

Media Contact: Amanda Bay T – (807) 767-4443 Ext #223/ C – (807) 628-7109/ E – amanda@firedogpr.com

Hydro Block Heater poster

 

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.

For more information contact: Kenora Fire and Emergency Services, 807-467-2090

Kenora District Mutual Fire Aid Association Receives Grant from Union Gas

The Kenora District Mutual Fire Aid Association is pleased to announce that they have received a grant for $2,500.00 from Union Gas. This grant will be used to purchase a Sparky the Fire Dog costume for our regional fire prevention programs and will be housed in the our Kenora District Fire Safety trailer. Union Gas is currently a partner of the Fire Safety trailer and Sparky will be a valued fire prevention tool available for use by 14 fire departments across the region.

Union Gas continues to be a valued partner with fire departments across North Western Ontario providing natural gas training and assisting fire departments in delivering important fire prevention messaging.

The Kenora District Mutual Fire Aid Association is very grateful for this Union Gas donation and looks forward to expanding its partnership.

Union Gas

Union Gas Manager Duane Harris and Kenora Fire Chief Todd Skene.

City Declares Waste Reduction Week

We are committed toward environmental sustainability.

The City of Kenora is committed to conserving resources, protecting the environment and educating our community.

We recognize the generation of solid waste and the needless waste of water and energy resources as a global environmental problem. We also appreciate the richness and beauty of our diverse world and the importance of working toward ecological sustainability by conserving resources and curbing wasteful practices.

The City of Kenora encourages the public to engage in Waste Reduction Week theme days – Monday: Circular Economy, Tuesday: Textiles, Wednesday: celebrating Champion and Innovators, Thursday: Plastics, Friday: Food Waste, Saturday and Sunday: Swap, Share, Repair.  Learn more about each theme day and what you can do to reduce waste at www.wrwcanada.com.

During Waste Reduction Week, share your photos and activities on social media, using #WasteReductionWeek to show the rest of the country how Kenora is reducing waste in our homes, at our work places, and our community!

We are proud to declare October 16-22, 2017 as Waste Reduction Week in Kenora.

Waste Reduction Week Theme Days October 16 – 22, 2017

 

Kenora Aquatics Centre Reopens

The City of Kenora is pleased to advise the public that the Kenora Aquatics Centre will reopen the pool area effective today, October 11, 2017.

Over the long weekend the pool deck contractor was in to address the issues the City had concerns with. On Tuesday October 10th, final testing took place and the City is satisfied that both dry and wet surfaces of the pool deck scored very safe on a scale established by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) & American Society of Testing and Materials, which has the most stringent standards.

Staff has worked very hard to ensure the safety of the public when using the pool. With extensive cleaning to remove buildup on the deck, minor repairs made and the slip test conducted, staff is confident the pool deck is safe for use.

The City reminds the public that any wet surface poses a risk of slipping and encourages all users to use common sense while using the pool. As this is a new pool deck, it is important to remember that the feeling will be significantly different and our old one and we ask everyone to use extra caution and follow the rules outlined in the area.

“Public and staff safety has been our number one concern through this process and we undertook the necessary measures to ensure the deck is delivered to the public in an adequate and safe state” states Community and Development Services Manager Matt Boscariol.

The City apologizes to the public for this inconvenience and thanks everyone for their patience. We are pleased to have the aquatics centre reopen today.

Fire Prevention Week October 8 – 14, 2017

Every Second Counts! Plan 2 Ways Out!
Practice Your Home Fire Escape Plan During Fire Prevention Week

The City of Kenora Fire and Emergency Services is urging families in Kenora and the surrounding area to practice their home fire escape plan as part of Fire Prevention Week.  This year’s theme of Fire Prevention Week, which runs from October 8-14, 2017, is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

“Fire and smoke move faster than you,” said Fire Chief Todd Skene. “There’s no time to figure out how to escape your home AFTER a fire starts. Practice an escape plan BEFORE there’s a fire so you can get out safely.”

In a fire, you may have just seconds to safely escape your home. Be prepared in advance with these simple steps for home fire escape planning:

• Assess the needs of everyone in your home
Identify anyone who requires assistance to get out of the home safely, such as small children or older adults.

• Make sure that you have working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas
Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm.

• Identify all possible exits (doors and windows) and make sure they work
Know two ways out of all areas, if possible.

• Everyone must know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds
Assign someone to help those who need assistance.
Identify a safe meeting place outside.
Call the fire department from outside the home – from a neighbour’s home or a cell phone.

• Practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year
Have everyone participate.
Make changes to your plan if necessary.

Kenora Fire and Emergency Services can assist anyone in building their Home Fire Escape Plan. 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 Fire Prevention Week.

For more information contact:
Kenora Fire and Emergency Services
807-467-2090

Council Approves 2016 Audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the City of Kenora

Today, Council approved the 2016 Audited Consolidated Financial Statements. The City received a clean audit report and is financially stable.

The 2016 financial statements continue to reflect the healthy financial position currently enjoyed by the City of Kenora. The City continues to work to recover from the economic impacts that have affected us so significantly over the past couple years and has taken steps towards addressing the current infrastructure deficit.

Highlights from the consolidated balance sheet include:

  • Cash and temporary investments on hand as at December 31, 2016 totalled $35.1 million;
  • Investment in government business enterprises totalled $9.8 million;
  • The Kenora Citizens’ Prosperity Trust Fund balance was $33.4 million at the end of 2016 on the consolidated balance sheet. The Trust Fund in fact has $41.6 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 $30.1 million at the end of 2016.
  • The City’s accumulated surplus totals $226.7 million, (see tangible capital assets discussion below)

There was a significant change to the City’s financial statements in 2009. As of 2009, municipalities were required to implement tangible capital assets. As a result, the City’s statements now reflect assets never before included – 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.

As a result of the Tangible Capital Asset implementation, the City’s surplus now includes the Tangible Capital Assets recorded at cost less accumulated amortization. At the end of 2016 the investment in capital assets included in the City’s surplus is $152.6 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, both on the City’s website (Finances and Budgets), 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.

2016 Annual Report and Financial Statements Media Release

Kenora Recreation Centre Receives Grant For AquaMat Fitness Program

June 12, 2017

Kenora, ON – A grant through the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund program has been awarded to the Kenora Recreation Centre to purchase twelve AquaMats.

The addition of the new and innovative AquaMats will enhance the current water fitness program at our aquatic centre by offering up to five additional classes per week. Our team of Certified Instructors plan to teach classes in HIIT, Yoga, Pilates and Running on the floating platforms, expanding the variety of low impact fitness classes. The fitness schedule will be released in the fall of 2017 for those interested in the new classes.

The City of Kenora and the Kenora Recreation Centre would like to thank the Government of Ontario, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for this support and the opportunity to build physical literacy as the foundation for lifelong activity. The Kenora Recreation Centre looks forward to expanding our local fitness services which will promote and strengthen the sport and recreation sector in Kenora.

Crystal Stokes, Aquatic Facilitator
807-467-2594 cstokes@kenora.ca

City Introduces iCemetery App

 

A Convenient Way to Search for Loved Ones at LOW Cemetery

KENORA, ON – The City of Kenora is pleased to introduce a new convenient way to search for loved ones buried at the Lake of the Woods Cemetery. iCemetery is a free app by Stone Orchard Software developed for the public to easily look up site identification or grave addresses.

iCemetery can be downloaded for free to smart phones and devices from the App Store, or Google Play. Once downloaded, iCemetery is very easy to use. The first name and last name of the deceased are matched with our cemetery records to supply the grave address. At the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, the grave address will either be in the Roman Catholic Cemetery or the Lake of the Woods Cemetery. In the Roman Catholic Cemetery, the rows begin in the south, with the graves numbered west to east. In the Lake of Woods Cemetery, the rows begin in the west, with plots (4 graves) numbered south to north. An example of an address is 26E-36-2, which means Row 26E, Plot 36, Grave 2. The iCemetery database includes all interments up to the end of 2016 and will continue to be updated. Adding an interactive map which will guide people directly to the grave is the next step planned in making this tool more meaningful.

“The City of Kenora is leading the way in Ontario towards making cemetery records more accessible to the public by using current technologies and our iCemetery app”, says Ken Munday, Director of Operations with Stone Orchard.

James Tkachyk, Parks and facilities Division Lead says he is pleased with how easy iCemetery is to use and how customer service is improved with this self-serve tool. A QR code developed with Stone Orchard Software is displayed at the Cemetery to scan for immediate downloading of the app. While iCemetery allows people to search for a grave any day at any time, Cemetery Office staff are still available to assist with searches during regular office hours.

About Stone Orchard Software –
Stone Orchard develops software solutions based on the distinct needs of Cemeteries, Crematoriums, and Funeral homes to meet their needs effectively including consideration of different sizes and budgets. In 2010, Stone Orchard released new software, completely redesigned and rewritten, using the latest programming techniques, and taking advantage of the latest computer hardware. Stone Orchard Software is growing rapidly by providing premier record management solutions to Cemeteries, Crematoriums, and Funeral Homes around the world. Stone Orchard continues to focus on developing the best software possible to meet the unique needs of the profession and complying with government legislation and regulations.

kenora.ca-2017-screenshot

Kenora.ca Re-launch

Kenora, ON – The City of Kenora is excited to share its new website featuring a brand new look with an elegant new design and user-friendly navigation options.

Kenora.ca’s new vibrant home page allows users to choose where to go next within Visiting, Living, Government, Business, Getting Active and What’s New sections. The goal of the new design was to make the City’s site cleaner and simpler, as well as refocus the content on City services and core functions for all stakeholders all while meeting and exceeding the current website Accessibility Standards.

Kenora.ca was redesigned as a community portal in 2012 with North America’s Premier Boating Destination branding at the centre of the website initiative. A thorough review of content was carried out over the last several months with City staff contributing to edits and suggestions for new information with a strong focus on the quality and accessibility of the content provided.

Website statistics were analyzed to discover the most popular explored pages along with inquiries made by the public for information they are interested in on our site. From this research, new information has been added, such as snow removal schedule and maps, accessibility information, age-friendly community, volunteer firefighter recruitment, common by-laws for residents, disruptions and closures, and citizenship awards have all been added.

New features include

  • Look Ahead Navigation – to reduce the number of clicks to explore the site
  • Social media pull-out
  • Latest news ticker
  • Department contacts on each page
  • Website feedback form
  • Responsive Functionality for compatibility with all browsers and mobile devices
  • Signup for alerts & news
  • Improved City event calendar
  • Font size adjustment option

Visitors to the new site can stay informed with the latest City of Kenora news through the new what’s new blog. The blog will contain richer online content such as press releases, featured events and public notices. Going forward the website will be updated with new or revised content as needed to keep our residents, visitors, staff and other stakeholders informed of City policies, programs and services. A powerful search tool is planned to be added before the end of 2017.

We invite everyone to explore the new site and share comments through the Feedback button which will stay active for the next few months.

 

Aaron Affleck, Inteleck Web Design & Development
807-407-5426 | aaron@inteleck.com | www.inteleck.com

 

Kerri Holder, Communications Clerk
807-467-2191 | kholder@kenora.ca

 

City Purchases Mall Property

Kenora, ON – The City of Kenora has reached an agreement with Plaza Retail REIT to purchase just over 2.2 acres of vacant lands on the former Kenora Shoppers Mall property.

This is a strategic piece of property located in the heart of the City that is important to acquire for future use. It is a strategic opportunity to guide the City’s short and long term goals, to build upon the foundations of the Harbourtown Centre, and to support the potential future development within our downtown. In the short term, the City intends to make parking available on this property and plans are underway for the spring to have the property configured for short term and long term parking.

“It is the role of Council to strategically plan for the City to include the priorities and projects that will place Kenora in a stronger position in the future. Council feels this strategic property purchase will place us in a positive position for future planning in the downtown area” states Mayor Dave Canfield.

Plaza’s Chief Operating Officer, Jamie Petrie, added “Plaza is pleased to have concluded this transaction with the City of Kenora. The lands, made up largely of the former Zellers store which was demolished earlier this year, were considered surplus to our shopping centre and this sale provides us with additional capital to continue to invest in the redevelopment of this asset.”

The property purchase is $481,771.88 plus HST and will come from the Future Land Development Reserve Fund.

Heather Kasprick, City Clerk/Communications Lead
807-467-2295
hkasprick@kenora.ca

Thunder Bay Hydro and Kenora Hydro Set to Explore Merge

Thunder Bay, ON – Today, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Thunder Bay Hydro Electricity Distribution Inc. (Thunder Bay Hydro) and Kenora Hydro Electric Corporation Ltd. (Kenora Hydro) has been signed to authorize the exploration of a merger between the two utilities.

“The current technological and regulatory environment offers both opportunities for and challenges to local electricity distribution companies that might be better addressed through an integration of resources,” says Dave Sinclair, President and CEO of Kenora Hydro. “Our two utilities have already worked together in areas such as conservation, back office support and the acquisition of Smart Meter Technology. We share common values and have agreed on some vital common objectives as we explore the possibility of a merger.”

“A number of Ontario LDC’s are currently exploring or undertaking consolidation in order to achieve economies of scale and enhance their capability to serve customers in an industry that continues to become more complex,” points out Robert Mace, President and CEO of Thunder Bay Hydro. “As this complexity continues, larger, better resourced utilities will be better positioned to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of our customers.”

The two utilities will now begin a process of analyzing the potential advantages and feasibility of how their customers, municipal shareholders and other stakeholders might benefit through such a merger. This analysis will include consultation with customers and shareholders in both Kenora and Thunder Bay.

A copy of the MOU will be made available on the websites of both utilities.
Ultimately any recommendation resulting from this analysis to merge the utilities will require the approval of both the Corporation of the City of Kenora and the Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay, who are the municipal shareholders of each company.

Kenora Hydro has 14 employees who are dedicated to the delivery of electricity to its 5,600 customers in the City of Kenora, Ontario. Thunder Bay Hydro has 130 employees who service electrical distribution to over 50,000 customers in the City of Thunder Bay.

Both Local Distribution Companies are located in Northwestern Ontario and are owned by their respective municipalities.

For More Information –
Thunder Bay Hydro
Eileen Dias, Communications and Events Coordinator
Thunder Bay Hydro 807-343-1141

Kenora Hydro
Dave Sinclair, President and CEO
Kenora Hydro Electric Corporation Ltd. 807-467-2075

Backgrounder
Objectives of Merge
The Memorandum of Understanding between Thunder Bay Hydro and Kenora Hydro authorizes the evaluation of whether or not to merge the two municipally owned electricity distribution companies. It includes the following objectives of such a merge:

  •  A merged company will continue to be owned by the Municipal Shareholders.
  • The merge would create a Northwestern Ontario based entity with local accountability and ownership. The entity will maintain a physical presence in each of the Parties’ service territories.
  • The merge should create opportunities for efficiencies through economies of scale, innovation for the benefit of ratepayers, and competitive advantages in all relevant service territories, while sharing best practices across all facets of the business.
  • That Municipal Shareholder value would be maximized now and in the future and that all such shareholders are treated fairly, while preserving asset value.
  • The Parties would ensure that the OEB’s “no harm” to ratepayers test is met.
  • Customer service levels would need to meet or exceed existing customer service levels of each Party.
  • Existing employees would be treated fairly and may benefit from increased employment opportunities.
  • The Parties would ensure that the existing focus on employee and public safety is maintained or enhanced.
  • The economic development and social and environmental needs of each community  would continue to be served.

The full text of the Memorandum of Understanding will be made available through each utility’s website.