City nets nearly $3M from gas tax fund

Kingston Whig-Standard - - NEWS - EL­LIOT FER­GU­SON THE WHIG-STAN­DARD

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.

EL­LIOT FER­GU­SON/THE WHIG-STAN­DARD

A worker cuts down an ash tree in Lake On­tario Park as the city con­tin­ues its bat­tle against the emer­ald ash borer on Thursday.

EL­LIOT FER­GU­SON/THE WHIG-STAN­DARD

The city is rais­ing the park­ing rates in Sy­den­ham and Wil­liamsville dis­tricts, ef­fec­tive next week.

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