City nets nearly $3M from gas tax fund
The city is to receive just less than $3 million from the Ontario’s gas tax funding program.
Provincial Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek announced Tuesday that 107 municipalities are to split $364 million in provincial funding based on the amount of gasoline sold in the province.
The funding — $2.99 million for Kingston — is to be used to expand or improve public transit systems.
“We are investing in public transit to make it a more convenient travel option and to attract more riders,” Yurek said in a statement. “More public transit will cut through gridlock and get people moving.”
Last year, Kingston received $2.3 million in provincial gas tax funding, which was an increase of more than $100,000 from the previous year.
A year ago, the previous Ontario government announced it would increase the amount of money municipalities receive from the provincial gas tax revenue.
Kingston has invested heavily in its transit system in recent years, including the addition of new express routes, buses, transit shelters and on-board cameras.
In addition to Kingston, Loyalist Township is to receive more than $172,000. Deseronto, Greater Napanee, Hastings County, and Tyendinaga are to share almost $194,000.
Gas tax amounts are based on a formula based on public transit ridership and municipal population. Municipalities must contribute financially to public transit and are eligible for funding if they start up fully accessible transit services.
Ash tree removal continues
The city continues its effort to remove ash trees from public spaces in an effort to combat the emerald ash borer.
Workers were in Lake Ontario Park on Thursday cutting down most of about 3,500 trees on public property that are susceptible to the invasive insect.
“This is part of our multi-year plan to remove city ash trees endangered by the emerald ash borer for the safety of residents who use city properties,” Troy Stubinski, public works operations manager, said in a news release. “These trees will be replaced with trees of a different species in the fall as the city works toward double its urban tree canopy by 2025.”
Some of the replacement trees will be planted in different locations to avoid existing infrastructure.
The city is trying to protect approximately 600 healthy ash trees with treatments of bioinsecticide, such as TreeAzin. The condition of those trees is to be assessed each year to determine if continued protection is warranted.
Property owners are responsible for the ash trees on their property
The emerald ash borer was detected in Kingston in 2013. The beetle kills ash trees over the course of two to six years.
The city is raising the parking rates in Sydenham and Williamsville districts, effective next week. (Elliot Ferguson/The Whig-Standard)
Parking rates to rise
Hourly parking rates for onstreet and municipal parking lots in Sydenham and Williamsville districts are set to increase next week.
As of Monday, Jan. 14, rates are to increase to $2 an hour in highdemand, on-street zones and $1.50 an hour for surface lots and lower-demand on-street zones.
Accessible parking rates in these areas will increase to $1.50 an hour.
“We continue to implement the rate changes identified in the 2016 parking rate review,” Marissa Mascaro, manager of parking services, said in a nws release. “The public parking system is required to be self-sustaining and this increase helps ensure that.”
More than 100 pay-and-display machines and more than 400 parking meters are to be updated beginning on Jan. 14, work that is expected to take about two weeks.
Public parking rates around Kingston Health Sciences Centre and Queen’s University will not increase because they were already raised in 2017.
Photo contest underway
The city is looking to its residents to help bolster its stock of photographs of local landmarks.
The city is inviting residents and visitors to submit their images in its Show Us Your Kingston photo contest.
This year’s theme is My Neighbourhood, and photographers are asked to include a brief description of their images.
Entrants can submit up to five photos.
The photos have to be submitted by Feb. 11, and images could be used in future city communications.
First prize includes two tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s Crystal in July at the Leon’s Centre. Second prize is a $100 Netflix gift card, and third place is a $50 Camera Kingston gift card.
A full contest description can be found on the city’s website.
A worker cuts down an ash tree in Lake Ontario Park as the city continues its battle against the emerald ash borer on Thursday.
The city is raising the parking rates in Sydenham and Williamsville districts, effective next week.