ANNUAL REPORT 2019
FAST FACTS LAND & LIVING • 8,780 residents (2016) • 9.66 km2 area • 909.1 persons per km2 • 4,356 households (2016) • $165,000 median house price • 12.5 minute median commute time • Five elementary schools • Three secondary schools • Six child care centres • Five seniors residences CULTURE & BUILDING • Three museums: Heritage House Museum Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario Rideau Canal Visitor Centre • Two theatres: The Station Theatre Gallipeau Centre Theatre • Two National Historic Sites: Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario Bascule Bridge • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Rideau Canal • $1.5 million average construction (2019) • $172 million in development (2019)
CONTENTS Mayorâ€™s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Year in Picturess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Strategic Plan Progress . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Public Works . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Emergency Services (Fire) . . . . . . . . . . 9 Economic Development & Tourism 11 Community Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Corporate Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Financial Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
As we embark on a new decade and wonder what our world will look like in another ten years, I think it is important to understand where we have come from and the progress our community has made in recent years. A freshly-elected Smiths Falls Town Council reaffirmed our community’s strategic plan for the 2018-2022 term of office, committing to many priorities carried over from the previous term of council, but also establishing new objectives that have emerged over the past couple of years. While much of the previous four years was focused on fiscal prudence and following through with initiatives to ensure the municipality was operating as efficiently and effectively as possible, the current term of council will be focused on building upon that solid foundation and leveraging our successes for a more prosperous future. That means broader efforts to enhance the incredible quality of life enjoyed by the people of Smiths Falls, along with a greater emphasis on managing growth. The 2019-2022 Strategic Plan committed council to focus on housing, and specifically, affordable housing, quality of life for our residents, our transportation networks, waterfront development and placemaking, enhancing our tourism experiences and redevelopment of our town hall campus and adjacent properties.
Shawn Pankow Mayor
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Council’s commitment to developing policies and strategies that will lead to more affordable housing options for our residents led to the development of a Housing Task Force. This committee of council will present a coordinated and practical set of recommendations designed to guide council as it makes decisions to address the Town of Smiths Falls’ housing supply.
Thanks to the efforts of councils past, the people of Smiths Falls have long enjoyed a great quality of life. Numerous lifestyle improvement initiatives were concluded in 2019, including revitalized water fountains in Centennial Park, new recreation assets at Lower Reach Park, new pedestrian bridges and an in-water inflatable at Murphy Park, rehabilitated tennis and pickle ball courts. After completing phase one of the Municipal Complex renewal in 2018 the town has moved ahead with phase two, which will lead to major renovations in the areas occupied by our tax and finance department, former police station and fire hall. These improvements will enhance our ability to provide services to our stakeholders, reduce our energy costs and create a much more suitable working environment for our staff. The high level of construction at the Canopy Growth Corp. campus on Hershey Drive continued to keep our planning and building departments busy in 2019. Expansions to the footprint of the original Hershey factory and the addition of the new 180,000 square foot bottling facility has brought Canopy’s total investment in Smiths Falls to over $300 million. The value of construction projects in Smiths Falls was over $70 million last year and the construction of almost 40 new homes is indicative of the rising demand we are seeing across the housing sector. The town is currently working with developers on projects that will lead to the construction of hundreds of single-family homes and townhomes and hundreds more apartment units in the next few years.
Town staff have also been working on the conversion of our streetlights from older, energy-consuming conduction bulbs to the latest in LED technology. Once this conversion is complete, the energy and maintenance savings are forecasted to be $85,000 annually. This project will pay for itself within five years, and will help us meet the objectives we have committed to under the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program offered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). The rich industrial heritage of Smiths Falls helped create the impression that our town was one that wasn’t afraid of treading where others may have feared to venture. Our acceptance, and eventual adoption of a new emerging industry in Canada served as a major leap forward for our community. As much of the country still seems somewhat confused or reluctant about the legalization of cannabis, Smiths Falls is a testament that some very positive rewards can arise when minds are open to change. A decade ago, our community was struggling through a very difficult period of economic decline arising from unprecedented job loss. Today, our local economy has rebounded in ways we would never have thought possible. The town will continue to work on its infrastructure renewal and quality of life features in 2020; making this great place to live, work and play even better.
The long-awaited Beckwith Street redevelopment began last fall after the town was able to secure $2.1 million from the province under the Ministry of Transportation’s Connecting Links program. This funding, when combined with other federal and provincial grants, enabled the town to move ahead with this generational project that will redefine our downtown into a complete street, with a much more attractive and accessible environment that enables pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to share space in a much safer manner. SMITHS FALLS 2019 ANNUAL REPORT 2
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The final step in this process was the refinement of these action items and initiatives to create an action plan complete with targeted completion dates and performance measures.
PROGRESS The year 2019 marked the first full year of the new Council term and the recently elected Council made it an early priority to refresh the Strategic Plan. In January 2019, Council and senior staff held a strategy session to update the existing Strategic Plan, which expired at the end of 2018. Council and staff identified six draft strategic priorities, along with objectives and initiatives to focus on over the next four years. With the draft strategic priorities in hand, the next step was to generate valuable feedback from the community. Public feedback assists Council and staff in ensuring the strategic goals and direction for the Town over the next four years is representative of the public interest. Towards that end, public engagement efforts were launched in January to invite feedback from residents, taxpayers and businesses in Smiths Falls. The Town’s new community engagement tool, SpeakupSmithFalls was instrumental in generating feedback through online consultation. In addition, in-person consultation was sought at a public meeting and open house at the Smiths Falls Memorial Community Centre on March 7, where approximately 100 people were in attendance.
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The final draft Strategic Plan identifies more than 40 strategic initiatives targeted for completion by the end of 2022. A common theme emerged throughout this process, that of placemaking and the ways in which the Town could prioritize the support for this concept in Smiths Falls. Placemaking is a collaborative process that engages people in creating and sustaining public destinations at the heart of their community: the places where we recreate, shop, eat, gather, interact and most of all build the social and emotional ties that hold our community together. Project for Public Spaces (based in New York) founded the placemaking movement based on four principles of placemaking – activities and uses; access and linkages; comfort and image; and sociability. The strategic planning process yielded six strategic priorities and re-confirmed the long-term vision statement as follows: KEY STRATEGIC PRIORITIES:
• Housing - Support more diverse built housing stock with
accompanying infrastructure (high end to affordable). • Quality of Life - Invest in quality of life features, including activities, to attract and retain people. • Transportation Networks - To enable improved mobility by examining existing transportation networks both within Town and beyond in a way that supports employment and accessibility. • Waterfront Development & Placemaking - Enhance the waterfront experience for our residents and visitors by developing places that attract people. • Tourism - Attract visitors to expand the local economy. • Town Hall Campus & Square - To create an attractive public place where people come to socialize and interact with fellow members of the community while feeling a sense of civic pride. To preserve the heritage buildings that form the municipal campus while enhancing accessibility and customer impressions.
LONG TERM VISION Smiths Falls is a caring community that provides citizens with a superior quality of life through effective and innovative services. We have earned this reputation by realizing the following:
1. Diverse economy with strong business sector 2. Stronger financial position 3. Healthy community with “Quality of Life” services for residents
4. Infrastructure: Investments are keeping up with needs
5. Fully developed waterfront and downtown 6. Preservation and enhancement of heritage buildings and services
7. Viable commuter transportation services to the city (Ottawa)
8. Stronger and enhanced relationships with our municipal neighbours
9. Full industrial park with new manufacturers and small service industry
10. A growing population The new Strategic Plan was endorsed by Council in June. Council and staff quickly attacked the various initiatives with an early focus on:
• Forming the Housing Task Force • Expanding childcare services to meet the growing demand • Initiating Phase 2 of the downtown parking study • Installing pedestrian bridges to connect the walking trail on the north and south sides of the Rideau Canal • Developing the first Cannabis Tourism Strategy in North America • Beginning Phase 2 preservation work on the Town’s beautiful and historic Town Hall
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WORKS The Public Works and Utilities Department includes a staff complement of 30 full time staff and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of roads, bridges, sidewalks, public water and sewer systems, storm drainage, street lighting, tree maintenance, and waste and recycling programs. The Department also oversees various technical studies, construction for new development and municipal infrastructure renewal projects. The department operates Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and responds to requests for service during regular hours by calling 613283-4124 ext. 3302. The department is also accessible outside of those hours for emergencies relating to roads, water, or sewers by calling 613-284-1430.
BY THE NUMBERS IN 2019
• Operated and maintained 69 km of roadways • Operated and maintained more than 58 km of sewers • Prepared 29 Council reports • Operated and maintained 68 km of water mains • Operated and maintained six bridges. • Treated 2,300 ML of drinking water • Treated 3,700 ML of wastewater • Collected 2,550 tonnes of residential solid waste • Diverted 590 tonnes of recyclable material • Collected 420 tonnes of yard waste MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2019 Ontario Connecting Links Program: Received $2.1 million in provincial grant funding to support roadway, lighting and traffic signal upgrades on Beckwith Street between Chambers Street and Russell Street. Beckwith Street Reconstruction: Awarded a contract to Ottawa Greenbelt Construction Company for $7.9 million to advance the first phase of the downtown renewal on Beckwith Street. Streetlight Conversion Program: Initiated phase one of an LED streetlight conversion program to “field confirm” energy and maintenance savings opportunities that are forecasted at $85,000 annually. Sustainable Service Reviews: Completed round five and six of the Sustainable Service Reviews with $53,100 in operational savings and $89,800 in capital savings identified.
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LOOKING AHEAD TO 2020 The Public Works department will continue to monitor the first phase of reconstruction of Beckwith Street from Chambers Street to Russell Street. This $8.2 million project will include a revised street design including three lanes, parallel parking, new cycle tracks, decorative lighting, accessible traffic signals and a wider pedestrian sidewalk. Other key infrastructure investments below the surface will include water, sewer, and drainage improvements to improve service levels in the commercial core. In 2020, the Public Works department will also be moving forward with the first phase of a detailed design for the new elevated water tower proposed within the Townâ€™s industrial park.
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FIRE DEPARTMENT At a Glanceâ€Ś In 2019, Smiths Falls Fire Services responded to 247 emergencies. Fire Services In 2019 the Smiths Falls Fire Department continued to offer reliable and prompt fire and emergency services to residents of Smiths Falls. Over the course of the year, the department responded to an increase of 70 per cent in call volume. A significant fire at the Gallipeau Centre in May 2019 resulted in a dual response from both the Smiths Falls and Montague fire departments, and involved 25 Smiths Falls firefighters.
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Emergency Responses INCIDENT TYPE
Water Ice Rescue
Assistance to Police
Natural Gas Leak
Fire Dispatch MUNICIPALITY
Fire Inspection and Prevention
In 2019, the Smiths Falls Fire Department saw a decrease in low risk inspections, from 340 in 2018 to 154 in 2019. Low-risk inspections consisted of requests and complaints, business licenses, and home smoke or carbon monoxide checks. The department undertook 44 public education activities in 2019, an increase of 25 per cent. Low Risk
# of people instructed
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Smiths Falls’ Economic Development and Tourism Department works actively to attract investment opportunities to improve community business diversity, increase sector strength, increase housing availability, and have a positive impact on employment growth.
DEVELOPMENT Economic Development & Tourism Areas of Focus 1. Business Retention & Expansion 2. Investment Attraction 3. Tourism 4. Marketing & Communication 5. Partnership Development
The Economic Development department works with interested investors and potential businesses to provide support and encouragement, resources and networking to ensure that Smith Falls becomes their location of choice. The team works with local businesses to assist them in expanding and thriving, and local community groups to help create an inviting and welcoming community. A comprehensive economic development strategy works to proactively connect with existing businesses to understand and respond to their needs. Committing to develop the strength of existing businesses will ensure job growth – 80 per cent of new jobs come from existing businesses that choose to expand (Economic Developers of Alberta). The Town of Smiths Falls would like to attract visitors to stimulate the local economy, specifically the retail and restaurant business. As local businesses thrive, this increases the quality of life for residents. Smiths Falls is host to a vast array of events with focuses on healthy lifestyle, outdoor adventure, culture & heritage, and arts and entertainment. This event list is a vital asset to the town as each provides not only visitor attraction but community identity and engagement, community promotion and destination development. The Town is in a unique position of being at the centre of extensive media attention, and the opportunity exists to capitalize on that attention while it exists.
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New Developments Cannabis Tourism Strategy* • Supported the development and launch of one of Canada’s first Cannabis Tourism Strategies. Heritage Walking Tour* • Creating the Heritage Walking Tour of Smiths Falls • 12 tours completed for a total of ~100 participants RISE Yoga and Wellness • Launched a new health-centric event for Smiths Falls, the RISE Yoga and Wellness Festival BR+E • Participated in Lanark County’s Business Retention + Expansion Project • Interviewed 25 Smiths Falls businesses Experience Smiths Falls • Launched promotional campaign and marketing initiative • Included Experience Smiths Falls Facebook site, web page and hashtag • Social media growth: Instagram: 433%; Facebook 56% Tourism Website* • Created new tourism page connected to the Town of Smiths Falls’ website. Rideau Roundtable* • Supported the development of paddle tours in partnership with Rideau Roundtable On the Roll • Redeveloped On the Roll program • Provided funding for 55 events; distributed $25,000 *Initiative aligns with Town of Smiths Falls’ Strategic Plan
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PARTNERSHIP The Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) is comprised of one full time staff and one part time staff who advocate and develop programming intended to attract and retain newcomers to Smiths Falls. The project works under the direction of a council made up of community partners, including the public library, immigrant services, employment services, economic development, health unit, police, public school board, service Canada and other community programs. LIP staff help integrate newcomers into the community and support events and initiatives that promote diversity. Highlights for 2019 • 4 newsletters • Partnered for Creative Arts Fair Aug. 17, 2019 • Music Café every other Thursday • Welcomed 42 newcomers through Welcome Pass • Partnered with onTrac for Community BBQ June 28, 2019 • Newcomer Dinner April 12, 2019 • Sponsored Pride Parade Aug. 10, 2019
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ADVISORY CENTRE The Small Business Advisory Centre (SBAC) is an initiative of the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, in partnership with the Town of Smiths Falls and with additional funding support from the County of Lanark and Leeds Grenville. SBAC services Smiths Falls, Lanark County, and North Leeds, providing free guidance for entrepreneurs starting or expanding their operation, one on one counselling, direction with business plans, access to resource materials, events, seminars, and youth/entrepreneur programs. SBAC Outreach Outreach to municipalities in 2019: Second Wednesday in Perth, Lanark Highlands, Delta, Westport Third Wednesday in Carleton Place, Beckwith, Carleton Place and Merrickville Highlights for 2019 • 2019 Business Enquiries and Consultations: 2,000 + • Summer Company: 4 students (79 students since program inception) • Starter Company Plus: 2 intakes completed; third intake in progress (78 people since program inception) • Seminars and Events: 21 workshops, partnered in 2 conferences, 2 networking evening events
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The Community Services Department is responsible for overseeing all municipal facilities, parks and parkland, the library, childcare centre, museums, cemetery, building services, senior centre and County Shared services, as well as sponsoring municipally-run community events.
SERVICES Did you know? The Town of Smiths Falls operates the following municipal facilities: • Smiths Falls Memorial Community Centre • Smiths Falls Youth Arena • Gerry Lowe Outdoor Arena • Seniors Activity Building • Smiths Falls Public Library • Smiths Falls Early Years Centre
Community Arenas Smiths Falls is home to two arenas, one NHL sized (operating nine months of the year), with seating for 1,500 and one regulation-sized (operating seven months) arena, both with full community halls allowing for yearround programming and activities on ice, halls and floor surfaces. An indoor walking course sees over 100 people of all different ages visit every day, with approximately 45,000 visiting in 2019. Smiths Falls is home to a variety of hockey leagues, two Junior hockey teams, hosts a number of hockey tournament, and overall has well over 5,000 users during a season. Public skating and shinny hockey sees 25,000 users annually. Special events are hosted at the arenas each year, with over 20,000 participants attending annually. These events include: • Winter Carnival • Hall of Fame Ceremonies • Community Volunteer Appreciation • Job Fairs • Strolling with Babies • Skating with Strollers
Available Hours - Used 2012-2020 Major Users Hours Hours Used 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
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3357 46% 2436 39%
2663 39% 2891 48%
Child Development Centre In December of 2019 the Town expanded our child care space by reopening the Thurber Street Child Development Centre. The location was renovated and opened with financial support from the federal and provincial governments through Lanark County Children’s Services in order to help meet the demand from our growing community. The Town of Smiths Falls’ Child Development Centre provides care to over 140 families, including toddler, preschool and school aged care. The Town of Smiths Falls provides subsidized space for those in need through a partnership agreement with Lanark County and Leeds and Grenville to help make care more affordable for working families and parents/guardians in school. The Child Development Centre participates in a number of community events such as Canada Day, Mom-toMom sale, Christmas Angel Trees, and Kia sponsored Halloween activities, among others. Parks & Parkland Smiths Falls is home to over 114 acres of parkland in use during the summer months hosting regular baseball, soccer, football, and t-ball activities, as well as tennis, bocce ball, and numerous leagues operating daily in season. The Town boasts six tennis courts that were resurfaced in 2019 and include options for Tennis and Pickleball, a skateboard park, outdoor basketball, beach volleyball and playgrounds. In 2019, our parks underwent some significant renovations and additions to include new Bocce Ball courts, outdoor fitness equipment, new recreational docks, a new river crossing with pedestrian bridges, renovation of the fountains in Centennial Park, an exciting inflatable at the Murphy Park waterfront and renovated entrances to Victoria, Lower Reach and the Civitan ball diamonds. A splash pad at Lower Reach Park, swimming area, and public mooring space provided visitors with summer recreation options. Our parks hosted numerous events in 2019, including: • Canada Day activities • Rideau Paddlefest • Movies in the Park • An antique car show • Spirit of the Drum Powwow • Smiths Falls’ Triathlon • Highland on the Rideau SMITHS FALLS 2019 ANNUAL REPORT 16
Energy Efficiencies Projects As part of our commitment to helping the environment the Town planted 48 new trees with trunks of at least 60mm to help build out Town’s tree canopy. The result is part of an energy efficiency plan that saw the Town save over $100,000 per year in energy costs and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 140 tons. Town Hall Renovations: Phase 2 of our renovation of our Town Hall complex was launched in the Fall of 2019 and is scheduled to be completed in the early summer of 2020. The renovations will provide a new face for a welcoming and open customer service area for the public as well as more efficient operating space for Town administration and Fire Department staff. Town Council Chambers’ entrance received a desperately needed new entry door that will be followed by an inside renovation project as the final phase of the Town Hall complex renovation to take place in the near future. Phase one of the Town Hall renovations opened in July of 2018 with the completion of the Tourism and Economic Development Centre. The Centre houses the Town of Smiths Falls’ Tourism and Economic Development unit as well as the Smiths Falls Chamber of Commerce and DBA offices.
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Hillcrest Cemetery The Hillcrest Cemetery was purchased by the Town of Smiths Falls in 1869 to establish a publicly owned non-denominational cemetery for the community. The cemetery currently offers interment services, plot sales, maintenance of the grounds and some monument repair. The cemetery covers 37.8 acres and the current land usage is 13.4 acres or approximately 35% of available space. We have 13,128 interments and an estimated minimum 12,000 markers. In 2019 there were 79 interments at the cemetery. Heritage House Museum The Heritage House Museum is located in a restored Victorian dwelling circa 1867 and features eight period rooms furnished to depict the lifestyle of the mill owner who once resided there. It includes two galleries, traveling exhibitions, tours, garden and picnic area, Victorian teas and socials, wedding ceremonies, special events, art shows, and educational programs. The museum also holds the Lanark County Genealogical Society Reference Library. In 2019, the Heritage House Museum had more than 5,500 visitors, an increase of 36 per cent. The museum also saw participation of 1,647 visitors for outreach events (festivals, trade shows etc.).
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The Town’s Corporate Services Department focuses primarily on corporate-wide support services, based on specialized knowledge, legislation, best practices, and technology to serve both taxpayers as well as internal staff.
SERVICES Corporate Services The Corporate Services Department is made up of a variety of services:
• Treasury/Finance • Clerk’s Office • Payroll/Human Resources • Information Technology • Planning Services • Building Services • Bylaw Enforcement Major Accomplishments 2019
• Full implementation of new asset management software, CityWide • Approval of Strategic Asset Management Policy
Clerk’s Office The Clerk’s Office and staff provide corporate, customer and statutory services to the public, other departments and external agencies. A few of the key activities include:
• Operating according to statutory requirements • Providing legislative support to Council and Committees
• Preparing Agendas, Minutes, By-laws, Policies and Agreements and related corporate documents
• Commissioning documents, issue marriage licenses, conduct civil ceremonies, issue burial permits • Recording Council and Committee proceedings and maintain the official records of the Municipality • Responding to requests for access to municipal records received under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act • Conducting municipal and school board elections • Providing animal licensing, municipal lottery licensing program and business licensing • Providing by-law enforcement
Clerk’s Office Statistics 2019 LICENSING Business Licences Issued 33 Cat Tags 12 Dog Tags 158 Death Registrations 207 Marriage Licences 66 Break-Open Ticket Licences 4* Media Bingo 1 Raffle 7 Regular Bingo 5 *Organizations are now permitted to hold a five-year licence and add boxes when necessary.
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Freedom of Information Requests Completed 11 Reports Presented to Council 159 By-laws passed 104 Resolutions passed 78 Council Meetings Held 30 Committee of the Whole Meetings Held 40 Clerk’s Office Highlights 2019 • Housing Strategy Launched the Housing Task Force to assist the Town in developing a Housing Strategy. • Service Sustainability Completed Service Sustainability reviews for land use planning services and corporate administration. • Accessibility Created an Accessibility Advisory Committee. • Strategic Plan Completed a new strategic plan for the term of Council featuring six key priorities. • Physician Recruitment Re-constituted the Physician Recruitment Task Force. • Policy Creation Passed a corporate advertising, sponsorship and donations policy
Building Department 2019 Highlights: 110 permits issued (12 were issued for Tweed) $76,997,700 in Construction Value $992,273.20 in Permit Fees Major Projects • A new build of a bottling facility as well as many other additions/renovations by Tweed • Renovations at 275 Brockville St. which included Boston Pizza • Park View Homes finished off new builds on Harold St. and Wood Ave. • Began new construction of row houses on Ferrara Dr. (which consisted of seven blocks containing 29 units) • Expansion of Otis Properties at 123 Lombard St. to support new tenants • Construction of a new Starbucks • Extensive renovations at Canadian Tire • Completed renovation of the Old Post Office on Russell St. • Commercial renovations for Bowie’s Bar and Boom Town Restaurant SMITHS FALLS 2019 ANNUAL REPORT 20
Planning Services Planning Services is responsible for helping the community establish and implement its long-range community development plan and vision. Community planning promotes the goals of economic prosperity, community vitality, environmental responsibility and enriched cultural identity in a way that reflects the community while respecting provincial policy. Planning services are based on a system that is open, accessible, timely, efficient, coordinated and accountable. The department is responsible for development review and process under the Planning Act; the development and administration of land use related policies and bylaws; administration of the Community Improvement Plan and support for the programs and initiatives of the Municipal Heritage Committee. The recent growth and development pressures seen in Smiths Falls have been welcomed by staff and provide a great opportunity to work with the public, developers and Council to shape the development of our Town into the future. The planning process is governed by the Province’s Planning Act and it is the Town’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law which are the daily tools used to promote attractive and sustainable development while limiting negative impacts on people, neighbors and the environment. Planning Applications Consent, Part Lot Control, Cash in Lieu etc. 5 Minor Variance 7 Zoning Bylaw Amendment 6 Official Plan Amendment 1 Plan of Subdivision 1 Site Plan Approvals and Amendments 12 Community Improvement Plan 3 (applications approved)
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Major projects that obtained planning approval in 2019 include:
• Site Plan approval for Tweed Bottling Plant (99 Lorne St). • Site Plan approval for Rideau Plaza redevelopment (58-62 Lombard Street).
• Site Plan approval for several blocks of Parkview Homes Townhouses.
• Site Plan approval for Otis commercial development (including Starbucks) (123 Lombard Street).
• Zoning and Official Plan approval for future residential development at Collegiate Court (2 Gould Street). • Zoning and provisional Site Plan approval for Heritage Commons apartment complex (260 Brockville Street). • Zoning Approval for Kevlar Developments Townhouses (Ferrara Drive). • Zoning Approval for future Broadview Nursing Home development (off Pearl Street).
Other Accomplishments: • Recruitment and hiring of Planning Coordinator, Mary Remmig in July 2019 (new position) to provide administrative support for all planning services. • Downtown Parking Management and Regulations Study launched for public consultation in October 2019. • Council awarded $28,027.36 in Community Improvement Plan funds to businesses in the downtown core. • 2019 Heritage Symposium. • Successfully hosted a mobile workshop as part of the 2019 Canadian Institute of Planners conference. • Various Heritage Pedestals installed throughout Town. Treasury/Finance The Finance/Treasury Department is responsible for the handling of the financial affairs of the Town and ensuring the overall financial well-being of the Town of Smiths Falls. To achieve these goals, the Finance/Treasury Department operates within a variety of policies and procedures which adhere to the requirements of the federal and provincial governments and the Council of the Town of Smiths Falls.
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Treasury/Finance Services Activities • Prepares and compiles annual departmental budgets in conjunction with department heads • Budget monitoring • Long-term financial planning • Investment management • Develops policies to improve overall operation of data management • Ensures compliance with a variety of legislated reporting requirements • Internal financial reporting • Coordination of all audit functions • Corporate bank liaison • Capital financing • Custodian of all financial assets of the Town • Provides financial information, analysis and guidance to Council, the public and municipal departments regarding financial matters • Property tax billing and collection including tax registrations • Utility billing and collection • General accounts receivable, billing and collection • General accounts payable • Supervision of accounting and internal controls for all departments • Front line reception/revenue collection Municipal Budget Each year the Municipality passes an annual budget that consists of two parts: an operating budget which includes all the expenditures required to deliver the day-to-day Municipal services and the expected revenue (i.e. user fees, permits, etc.); and a capital budget which includes one-time expenditures for major projects or infrastructure whether new or existing (i.e. roads, sidewalks, bridges, etc.). Budget discussions typically begin in the early fall with multiple meetings and wrap up in the new year with the approval of a by-law adopting a budget for that calendar year.
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Asset Management Plan As of Sept. 19, 2016, Council approved an Asset Management Plan for the long-term maintenance of the Town’s capital assets. The plan will assist staff and Council in making future decisions regarding the Town’s infrastructure. It will be reviewed by staff and Council on a yearly basis. Long Term Financial Sustainability Plan As of Sept. 19, 2016, Council approved a Long-Term Financial Sustainability Plan (LTFSP). The plan will provide direction to both Council and staff on expenditures and long-term debt levels, reserve allocations and taxation requirements to 2035. The LTFSP is required to address the backlog of capital replacement and rehabilitation needs of the Municipality. In the absence of upper level government funding, Council must provide adequate investments in infrastructure to ensure the safety of our residents and protect the sustainability of the Municipality’s capital assets into the future. The LTFSP is used as financial tool to bring together various plans (i.e. Strategic Plan & Asset Management Plan, etc.) to provide a sustainable solution for funding the future needs of the municipality. This plan is instrumental when preparing the preliminary budget, and specifically the draft capital budget. The following is a brief outline of the activities in 2019: Property Tax Collection 2019 Tax Certificates Issued 338 Vacancy Rebates Processed 16 (2018) Final Tax Bills Mailed 3,472 Interim Tax Bills Mailed 1,935 Total Taxes Billed $16,219,630.91 Past Due Notices Sent 3,384 Tax Arrears Certificates Registered 1 Tax Extension Agreements 1 Property Ownership Changes 387 Water Billing Commercial $1,286,009.19 Residential $3,323,753.19 (note this doesn’t include billing for December 2019) Montague $63,404.28 *In 2019 we transferred a total of 318 properties to taxes for water arrears for a grand total of $271,341.19. Water Hold back letters 64 Collection Notices sent out 450 Accounts Payable Cheque payments processed 1007 EFT 2642 PAP 1482 Total AP transactions 9339 SMITHS FALLS 2019 ANNUAL REPORT 24
FINANCE Five Year Financial Review (Unaudited Totals) December 31
Population (Statistics Canada)
Number of Household (MPAC)
Taxable Assessment (000's) Residential and farm
Commercial and Industrial Total Commercial, industrial as % of assessment
111,899 688,331 16.26%
110,750 670,305 16.52%
119,203 668,124 17.84%
128,432 681,214 18.85%
128,587 655,267 19.62%
126,760 630,407 20.11%
Rates of Taxation Residential > for general municipal purposes > for school board purpose
Total Multi-Residential (total)
0.161000 1.819916 3.478832
> Government transfers
> Fees and service charges
> percentage of current levy (<10%) * Taxes Transferred (000's) School Boards Revenues (000's) > Taxation and payments in lieu
> Revenues related to capital assets Total
Expenditures (000's) > Operations > Amortization Net Financial Assets (Net Debt) > % of Operating Revenue (>20%) *
> % of Taxation and User Charges (>50%) *
Long Term Debt 25 SMITHS FALLS 2019 ANNUAL REPORT > Net long term debt (000's)
> Long term debt charges (000's)
> Government transfers
> Fees and service charges
> Taxation and payments in lieu
> Revenues related to capital assets Total Expenditures (000's) > Operations > Amortization Net Financial Assets (Net Debt) > % of Operating Revenue (>20%) *
> % of Taxation and User Charges (>50%) *
> Long term debt charges (000's)
> Total annual repayment limit (000's)
> Long term debt per household
Long Term Debt > Net long term debt (000's)
Debt Charges (000's) > Water and sewer rate supported > Tax-supported Total
Municipal Equity (000's) > Surplus and Reserves
> Invested in capital assets
> Equity in Smiths Falls Hydro-Electric 39
> Asset consumption ratio
> Reserves as % of operating expenses (>20%) *
> Long term debt to tangible capital assets
> Capital reserves to accumulated amortization
> Debt charges to total operating revenue (<5%) *
> Total operating revenue to taxable assessment
> Working capital to operating expenses (>10%) *
Generation Co. Ltd.
Financial Indicators Sustainability > Financial assets to liabilities > Financial assets to liabilities excluding long term debt
Vulnerability > Operating government transfers to operating revenue > Total government transfers to total revenues
* Represents the Provincial Low Risk Indicator (Note: All dollar amounts are in thousands of dollars) SMITHS FALLS 2019 ANNUAL REPORT 26
27 SMITHS FALLS 2019 ANNUAL REPORT
“A decade ago,
our community was struggling through a very difficult period of economic decline arising from unprecedented job loss. Today, our local economy has rebounded in ways we would never have thought possible. We have risen from a community with too many job seekers and too few employment opportunities to one experiencing labour shortages and focusing on workforce development. We are a community on the rise.” – Mayor Shawn Pankow
SMITHS FALLS 2019 ANNUAL REPORT 28