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Tuesday, 13 December 2016 21:11

CKL cuts lake-management funding

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By Pat Warren

            Kawartha Lakes council voted Dec. 6 to remove $300,000 for implementation of lake-management plans from the 2017 budget. They did however keep $150,000 for finishing the plans of the northern lakes

            Many councillors said they wanted to take a pause and regroup for 2017 while the plans are

finishing up. Management plans have already been completed for Balsam, Cameron and Sturgeon Lakes, and the Pigeon Lake plan is almost done. Others are in the works for smaller lakes like Canal, Mitchell, Four-Mile, Head and Shadow lakes.

            Councillors also asked whether the city could continue with implementation of the plans the following year? Staff told council no in-house staff has the time and expertise for implementing the plan.

            Ward 5 Councillor Stephen Strangway later told The Kawartha Promoter the implementation portions of the plans are crucial to maintain momentum. He also pointed out that numerous volunteers who participated in forming the plans—those on the Community Advisory Panel—have given many hours to the process.

            “They will be very disappointed,” he said. “As I am.”

            Stangway further questioned whether Kawartha Conservation might lose the partnership funding that would help to move the actions in the plans.

            Some implementation has already begun over the last few years, including:

• A major shoreline rehabilitation project at Fenelon’s Garnet Graham Park, funded by a federal fisheries department grant;

• Farm stewardship projects amounting to $400,000, funded by OMAFRA;

• New science and research about lake conditions by Colleges and Universities;

• Urban storm water work funded by Environment Canada; and

• A myriad of shoreline naturalization projects.

            The councillors who voted to cut lake management funding were: Gord Miller, Pat Dunn, John Pollard, Brian Junkin, Emmett Yeo, Andrew Veale, Gerard Jilesen, Pat O’Reilly, Gord James, Isaac Breadner and Mayor Andy Letham.

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