Key decisions of Council is a summary of major discussion items presented at Kitchener City Council meetings. It is circulated immediately following each meeting. Please refer to the minutes for an official record of the meeting.

Contributions of community volunteer groups recognized with Long Services Awards

This evening, Council recognized 10 volunteer-led groups, including minor sports groups and neighbourhood associations, with Long Service awards honouring their many years of service and outstanding contributions to the Kitchener community. Minor sports groups that were recognized include: Top Spin Table Tennis Club of KW, Waterloo Region Minor Football Association, Tsuruoka Karate Club, The Region of Waterloo Swim Club, K-W Water Polo Club, Kitchener Minor Girls’ Softball Association, and the Conestoga Sailing Club. Mill Courtland, Kingsdale, and Doon Pioneer Park Neighbourhood Associations were also recognized for their many years of service. In total, this year’s recipients have contributed a combined 385 years of service to the City of Kitchener.

New terms approved for Brownfield Financial Incentive Program

Council approved a change to the Brownfield Financial Incentive Program, which provides financial support for developers who are redeveloping vacant, underutilized and abandoned brownfield properties. Through the program, developers will continue to be reimbursed for up to 100 per cent of eligible remediation costs, although the existing 10 per cent allowance for indirect costs will be discontinued. The approved change brings Kitchener’s program into alignment with the Region and other area municipalities and will take effect as of Monday, Nov. 22. Applications that are currently under review by the program will be eligible for consideration under the terms of the former program, however, applications received after Nov. 22 will be subject to the new terms.

Public art sculpture at McLennan Park to be removed

Council has approved staff recommendations to remove – or deaccession - the art sculpture, “Moments,” at McLennan Park. The sculpture has sustained significant damage since its installation in 2011. Considering the risk to public safety and the very high cost of repair, staff have been given approval to proceed with a plan to remove the artwork from the park. The recommendation was supported through consultation with industry experts and city staff, as well as the City’s Public Art Working Group and Arts & Culture Advisory Committee. The City will work to keep the artwork in the public sphere. Staff have amended the City’s public art policy to include a deaccession clause to address situations where this action may be warranted in the future.

Council endorses new user fee schedule for 2022 budget

As part of the annual budget process, Council endorsed a new user fee schedule for 2022, with the majority of fees increasing between 1.5 and 2 per cent. User fees will make up approximately 10 per cent of all tax-supported revenues in 2022, which is consistent with the previous budget year. Fees and charges are used by municipalities as an alternative to fully funding various programs and services through property taxes and are typically applied to programs and services that customers have a choice to use. By adjusting user fees and charges, the City can mitigate increasing property tax above the rate of inflation.

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