Councillors with the City of Kenora are looking at a variety of projects to break ground in 2022, and are lining up their funding commitments from the provincial and federal governments.
In a Council meeting this week, councillors approved a $50,000 agreement with the KGS Group for new design work for upgrades at McLeod Park. The city plans to renovate and rehabilitate the park and Husky the Muskie after receiving funding through FedNor’s Tourism Relief Fund.
The fund states that projects must be completed by March of 2023, and councillor Sharon Smith notes she hopes designs can be finalized ahead of planned construction this spring. It’s the first step in the city’s redevelopment of the Harbourfront area, which could include 13 separate project areas.
The city adds that through additional workshop sessions with councillors and staff, the consulting team has identified opportunities to add new elements to McLeod Park. Those potential new elements weren’t detailed, but the city’s report says they’ll aim to create further attractions in the area.
Councillors also executed a $1.6 million agreement between the city and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, at a 50 per cent cost-share, for the delivery of detailed designs for upgrades behind the Kenora Recreation Centre.
Upgrades include an expansion to boat docking and more parking spaces, but preliminary work will include environmental assessments, design drawings, washroom upgrades and additional signage before crews build an additional boat launch, an extra 100 parking spaces and a new multi-season waterfront trail. The city’s hoping to break ground on the project this spring.
Another $1.6 million agreement was later approved between the city and the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry to provide funding for the Railway Street project. Work is expected to begin later this year.
When completed, Kenora’s revamped Railway Street is expected to include 1.5 metres of paved shoulders, sidewalks between 10th Avenue South and 16th Avenue South, new underground sewer, water and storm mains, street light replacements and a repaved road surface.
A $45,000 agreement was also reached with the city and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for the delivery of the Harbourtown Centre Streetscaping Project, which will include new streetlight wraps and banners. The city is contributing just under $10,000 through MAT taxes.
During his comments at the end of March 22’s Council meeting, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Kenora, Kyle Attanasio, wanted to highlight that these funding agreements are lessening the burden for local taxpayers.
“I just want to pause, celebrate and draw attention to something. We have 4 grant applications that we put in here. I just want to take the time to celebrate and acknowledge the work of our Senior Leadership Team and their crews.”
“That’s money that we’ve been able to bring back into the community. It’s going to go to some community, and the team has worked hard to bring that money to the City of Kenora so we can provide better services for the community, beautify our community and make sure that we’re taking care of core infrastructure.”
During the remainder of the Council meeting, the city voted to increase taxi rates by April 1 and approved a motion to increase tipping fees and the price of bag tags for the community by May 1.