Book Summer Ice Now

Kenora Recreation Centre is taking bookings for summer ice time at Keewatin Memorial Arena.

Time slots available from July 15 through August 31, 2019.

Check out the ice schedule availability at Keewatin Memorial Arena and call 807-467-2087 to reserve now!

 

Youth Reconciliation Council Looking for Members

Azhe-mino-gahbewewin / Reconciliation Kenora and the City of Kenora invite youth ages 18-29 to join the

YOUTH RECONCILIATION COUNCIL

PURPOSE of the Youth Reconciliation Council:
To bring Indigenous youth from Treaty 3 Territory and Non-Indigenous youth from Kenora to work together on reconciliation in our area where all peoples may thrive, and to build relationships with our future leaders to strengthen our communities.

April 27 – 28, 2019
Setting Context for Reconciliation in Kenora
Two-day Workshop
-First of three phases in the council formation
-Let’s look at the historical context and importance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.
-Hear testimonials from Indigenous people with lived experiences of colonialism, First Nation leadership, Metis Senators, and Elders, as well as non-Indigenous Kenora residents with experience in Indigenous issues.
-By examining a colonial and often racist past, it will provide a foundation of knowledge that will help us in building relationships for the future.

Participation in this first phase is not a commitment to sitting on the Youth Reconciliation Council.

We invite students, community members, and young professionals between the ages of 18-29 who want to work together to attend the Reconciliation in Kenora Context Setting workshop.

If this interests you, but you are nervous, we invite you to challenge yourself and come at least to the first phase workshop. This work will not always be easy, but it is necessary and will build meaningful bridges that our future generations can walk.

REGISTER HERE:
kenora.reconciliation@gmail.com
or Will Landon – willlandon15@hotmail.com

Join us!
Reconciliation in Kenora Context Setting Two-Day Workshop
When: Saturday, April 27  8:00 a.m. – 4:00 pm. and Sunday, April 28 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Location: Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre (931 Lakeview Drive)

**This workshop is an open forum, you may attend without registering.**

Youth Reconciliation Council Poster

 

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

A Conversation with Anhart Community Housing and BUILD Kenora

As a follow up to the Partnering for Housing Solutions session held in February and the Housing Forum hosted in November, the City of Kenora is inviting you to attend a presentation by Anhart Community Housing and BUILD Kenora on Thursday, March 14 at 8:30 a.m. in the Rotary Room at the Kenora Recreation Centre.

Please RSVP here: https://housingconvo.eventbrite.ca

Anhart Community Housing is a non-profit society dedicated to preventing homelessness, and focuses its efforts on people with household incomes of $8,000 to $40,000. Anhart Homes is a community contribution company that develops affordable rental and home ownership aimed at people with household incomes up to $80,000, returning profits to Anhart Community Housing to subsidize rents.

Learn about the new BUILD Kenora project. BUILD – an acronym for Building Urban Industries for Local Development – is a social enterprise non-profit contractor and a training program for people who face barriers to employment.

Letter from Service Line Warranties Canada is Not a Scam

Residents of Kenora are receiving letters from Service Line Warranties of Canada offering optional water and sewer service line insurance.  This program is in partnership with the City of Kenora and is NOT a scam. Questions about the program details should be directed to SLWC at www.slwofc.ca or call 1-866-922-9004.

This may answer some questions around the letter mailed out and optional program offered:

Why Did the City of Kenora Endorse This Program?
Many residents are not aware that buried water or sewer lines on their property are their responsibility. A broken or blocked water or sewer line can cost hundreds to repair or thousands if a replacement is necessary and many times residents are not prepared for this unexpected expense. Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC) not only works to educate residents but also provides a solution.

Why Did the City of Kenora Partner With A 3rd Party?
SLWC has been recognized as the trusted administrator of utility line plans endorsed by Local Authority Services (LAS). Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC) is an insurance company that works with the Local Authority Services (LAS), which was created by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).  They have been providing service line protection to residents across Canada since before 1996.  Many Cities today are using public/private partnerships and they have been successful in providing cost-effective services to citizens. Partnering with SLWC allows the City to have oversight of the program and ensure benefits for its residents.

Why is SLWC Using the City Logo?
SLWC’s partnership agreement with the City allows the company to use the logos in communications to indicate that there is a formal relationship in place and to let residents know that the offering is legitimate. All of the mailings SLWC sends to residents are first reviewed and approved by the City. All SLWC materials clearly state that the services the company offers are voluntary and that they are offered by SLWC, a private company that is separate from the City.

Can’t This Company Just Market On Their Own?
Unfortunately, the participation from customers is much lower without the trust instilled by the City’s brand. The City brand also conveys that the City is involved, overseeing the program, and choosing who will serve their residents best.

Do Residents Really Need This Coverage?
It is difficult to determine when a pipe may fail, with key contributors being the type of piping material, age of the service pipe, soil conditions and installation quality. Water line repairs can be costly–a replacement averages $2,500 nationally*–but the modest cost of an SLWC service plan is optional and up to the homeowner to decide based on their personal circumstances.
*Estimate based on national average repair costs within the SLWC network as of March 2018.

Do Residents Have to Enrol?
Residents are under no obligation to register for the program. It is optional, not mandatory.

What is the Cost to the City of Kenora for This Program?
There is NO cost to the City of Kenora. In fact, there is opportunity for the City of Kenora to earn 5% revenue on the number of residents who sign up for the warranty. The only costs borne by the City of Kenora was staff time to assist in preparing the mail out.

Did the City of Kenora Consider the Risks Involved?
Risk is considered with all decisions by the City of Kenora. The risk is minor for the City to partner with SLWC and endorse the warranty program for residents. The risk is mitigated by the full endorsement of LAS, and the City of Hamilton having just completed a three (3) year partnership, with a 97% homeowner satisfaction rate.

When Did the City Make the Decision to Engage with SLWC for This Program?
A report to Council was brought forward to the April 10, 2018 Committee of the Whole meeting and was approved by Council on April 17, 2018. The Agreement was signed for a three year term of marketing the program to Kenora residents.

What If I Have Questions or Concerns?
For more information, please contact Service Line Warranties Canada Customer Service directly at www.slwofc.ca or call 1-866-922-9004. The City of Kenora staff cannot answer questions about the details of the program.

Service Line Protection Available for City of Kenora Homeowners

City Approves Warranty Service Line Program

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

Service Line Protection Available for City of Kenora Homeowners

City of Kenora residents will receive an introductory letter from Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC) in partnership with the City of Kenora offering an optional water and sewer line warranty program. The information on the protection plan will arrive in mailboxes the week of February 4, 2019.

The City of Kenora approved offering this protection plan in May of 2018, and has since worked with SLWC to create a program that meets the needs of our residents. SLWC was selected as the provider of the residential service line protection due to their track record of providing quality service to homeowners around the Country and here in Ontario. The City of Kenora will not incur any expense related to this program; the cost of the program is borne entirely by SLWC.

Homeowners who purchase one of the optional service plans will receive financial protection against repair costs and facilitated repairs using local area licensed and approved contractors. Many homeowners are unaware that damage to the service lines on their property is their responsibility to repair. SLWC repair plans provide homeowners with an optional peace of mind solution so they can be better prepared in the event of these unexpected repairs.

The SLWC Service Line Warranty Program protects against damage to pipes on homeowners’ property. Repairs to these pipes are not covered by basic homeowners insurance or by the City of Kenora. If a customer’s line is in need of repair, a simple call to the SLWC 24-hour hotline will dispatch a local, licensed contractor familiar with local code. There are no service fees or deductibles. Many factors contribute to the life expectancy of a service line including the age, type of piping material, soil conditions and installation quality – all factors which are covered through the SLWC protection program. This program is voluntary for residents and provided at no cost to the City of Kenora and no public funds are used to promote or administer the program.

“Our service plans not only cover the cost of the repair, they also provide homeowners with reputable, local contractors who will do the best possible job,” said Tom Rusin, CEO of SLWC parent HomeServe USA. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the City of Kenora and look forward to the opportunity to provide the City of Kenora homeowners with the assistance they need when faced with a home repair emergency.”

More information about the program service plans from SLWC is available here: www.slwofc.ca.

About Service Line Warranties of Canada
Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC) is part of HomeServe USA Corp (HomeServe), a leading provider of home repair solutions serving over 3.5 million customers across the US and Canada. First launched in 2014, SLWC is the trusted source of utility line protection programs endorsed by the Local Authority Services. Together with HomeServe, SLWC is dedicated to supplying best-in-class repair plans and delivering superior customer service to consumers through over 475 leading city, municipal and utility partners across North America. The company is committed to customer service, ethical marketing practices and maintaining an A+ accredited rating with the Better Business Bureau. For questions about this service, or to enroll, please contact SLWC at 1-866-922-9004 or visit www.slwofc.ca.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Myles Meehan
HomeServe USA
Phone: 203-356-4259
Myles.Meehan@homeserveusa.com

Merrie Leininger
Hill+Knowlton Strategies for HomeServe USA
Phone: 775-846-0664
homeserve@hkstrategies.com

2019 ROMA Conference Draws Rural Leaders

2019 ROMA Conference Draws Rural Leaders
Focus on rural municipal priorities and needs

Kenora, ON – City of Kenora Councillors Chris VanWalleghem and Kirsi Ralko will join more than 1,000 rural municipal officials from across the province at the 2019 Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference in Toronto from January 27 to 29.

This will be ROMA’s third standalone conference and is expected to be the largest to date. Coming six months after the change in provincial government, the conference focuses on the pressing challenges and emerging opportunities facing rural communities in Ontario. The Premier, as well as leaders of the NDP, Liberal and Green Party are scheduled to speak.

In addition to the conference program, municipal staff and officials will take part in more than 400 municipal delegation meetings with provincial and federal ministries to discuss local need and priorities.

Key session topics include cannabis legalization, changes to labour laws and energy. There will also be sessions related to planning and economic development. Program information is available online at www.roma.on.ca. These province-wide matters have local implications for our community.

Key priorities for the City of Kenora include:

• Affordable Housing
This has long been identified as a need in Kenora, not only to affect homelessness but to attract workers and compensate for demographic trends. Although funding allocations to the Kenora District Services Board (KDSB) under the Investment in Affordable Housing Program have increased in recent years, it is still inadequate to address an ageing stock and demand driven by out-migration from communities in the north.

• Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) for Servicing Extensions
Currently, waste-water and storm sewer extension approvals are inconsistent with what is required of water servicing. An ECA can also take several months to obtain and is an expensive proposition and deterrent to developers as they will require additional engineering services. To facilitate development in an already challenging landscape, the City of Kenora is seeking that the ECA process for new waste-water and storm sewer connections be reformed.

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

ROMA takes pride in promoting, supporting and enhancing strong and effective rural governments. About 270 of Ontario’s 444 municipalities have populations of less than 10,000, while scores more are rural in character. The rural arm of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, ROMA advocates for policies and programs that will help build thriving rural Ontario communities.

For more information about ROMA or the 2019 Conference, contact:
Brian Lambie, ROMA Media Contact, 416-729-5425, mailto:lambie@redbrick.ca

Follow the conference on Twitter: @ROMA_Ont, Hashtag: #RuralMatters

Tourism Now Accepting Special Events Grant Applications

Special Events Grant Applications

Tourism Kenora is now accepting grant applications for Special Events Funding. Please contact Tourism Kenora at tourism@kenora.ca or stop at the Lake of the Woods Discovery Center for an application form. The deadline to submit an application is March 31st, 2019.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact Tourism at (807) 467-4637.

Tourism Grant Application 2019