City Council – Budget

Kingston City Council has approved the 2020 budget.

Council voted in favour of the budget following two nights of meeting to go over submissions.

The bottom line for property taxes is a 2.5 percent increase.  City staff says that translates to a 90 dollar increase for a home assessed at $319,000.

Some budget juggling saved the Kingston Police Mounted Unit.  Murney the horse will continue to patrol for another year in Kingston.

Councillors also debated a motion to give the Kingston Economic Development Corporation half of its budget request.  The proposal would mean it would only get the other half after it presents council with an economic development strategic plan and key performance indicators.  The motion was deferred and will be discussed again when council meets on December 17th.


Kingston Police – Mental Health

Kingston Police have developed a new team to better respond to mental health-related calls.

12 Kingston Police officers have received specialized mental health training and are now part of a special crisis response team along with mental health workers from Addiction and Mental Health Services of KFL&A.

They say the new unit should improve the force’s ability to work with people in crisis and connect them with help as needed.


Alert Test

Be prepared to here that emergency tone on your cell phone, radio and television this afternoon.

A test of Canada’s emergency broadcast system is set to take place at 2:55 this afternoon. The emergency alert system is used to raise the alarm about potentially life-threatening situations, including natural disasters and Amber Alerts.


Plastics – Great Lakes

An Ontario researcher says pollution from plastics is as much of an issue in the Great Lakes as it is in the world’s oceans.  Gail Krantzberg of McMaster University says microplastics have worked their way throughout the Great Lakes ecosystem, much as they have in the oceans. She says one solution would be for provinces to ban or restrict plastic bags in grocery stores.  Krantzberg’s research found plastic bags and sewage are the main sources of pollution in the Great Lakes.


New Hospital – LEED Silver

Kingston’s new hospital has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification.

Providence Care Hospital is being recognized for energy saving innovations including automated building control systems for things like lights and window blinds…low flow toilets and faucets and the use of large amounts of natural light to offset the need for artificial light during the day

Utilities Kingston says energy efficient initiatives at Providence Care have saved enough electricity to power 45 homes, and have saved emissions equal to 374 passenger cars, driven for a year!


Art Centre – Awards

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University has won two major awards from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.  The director of the Agnes, Jan Allen, received the Lifetime Achievement Award and an exhibition of art called “The Hold” was honored for Innovation.

The awards were handed out in Toronto on Monday.