The Municipality of Chatham-Kent has shared its annual report.
The annual report is a complete report on the activities of a company during the previous year and aims to inform the Council and the citizens about the activities of the Municipality.
Annual reports provide public access to reporting mechanisms and help meet the information needs of local governments and the public by promoting a better understanding of municipal responsibilities and priorities.
“The philosophy behind the annual report is that providing citizens with better information leads to better citizen engagement and transparency. This principle implicitly implies that greater accountability will lead to the promotion of better services and the continuous improvement of service delivery, as well as improving taxpayer awareness and knowledge of municipal services,” said Amy Wilcox, Manager, Corporate Initiatives.
In keeping with the principle that municipalities are accountable to the public, the annual report is another way to communicate progress to council and the community.
“Reporting transparency has become crucial for public sector organizations. More than ever, municipalities must ensure that their activities add value and strive to achieve the goals set out in the CK 2035 plan and the priorities of the term of council. The annual report provides the municipality with the opportunity to report on the progress of these priorities and the opportunity to share non-financial information with council and the community,” Wilcox wrote.
Recently retired chief administrative officer Don Shropshire said the crisis at Wheatley had brought uncertainty, but Chatham-Kent had remained resilient.
“These are major issues, and they have been handled with professionalism and compassion by our municipal staff and members of our community. That’s what we expect from Chatham-Kent. We rise to meet the challenges and take care of our neighbours,” he said.
Shropshire added that the municipality has tackled important issues and emerged stronger and better positioned for the future.
He highlighted an aggressive and affordable housing plan with a focus on ameliorating the mental health crisis and poverty in the community, which are at the forefront of the action plan. He added that Chatham-Kent is also working hard to address climate change issues.
“While much remains to be done, residents of Chatham-Kent have consistently demonstrated their ability to come together to tackle tough issues. By working together, I am confident we can overcome these challenges,” Shropshire said.
The annual report is divided into several categories.
The report highlighted economic prosperity and showed that Chatham-Kent helped 164 new Chatham-Kent entrepreneurs with start-up support and provided 794 business consultations to help Chatham-Kent business owners thrive. They also posted 700 Chatham-Kent jobs on the new CK Jobs website and sold 18 acres for business development in Bloomfield Business Park.
Currently, the unemployment rate in Chatham-Kent is at 7.3%. After taxes, the median household income is $50,070 and the post-secondary education completion rate is 54%.
Regarding a healthy and safe community, the report says that CK helped 331 children in 223 families with emergency child care due to the pandemic, it introduced 17 new accessible low-floor Ride CK buses with audio/visual stops and security cameras and helped park people on-site at Wheatley 24/7 for seven months after a gas leak was detected downtown.
Meanwhile, CK’s non-violent crime severity index is higher. It is currently at 79, up from a year earlier of 74. Ontario’s Non-Violent Crime Severity Index sits at 55.
The report also indicates that 3,570 children live in a low-income situation and that 376 people received emergency housing. Additionally, 164,015 vaccines were administered by Chatham-Kent Public Health.
In terms of people and culture, CK welcomed 2,188 new library cardholders and 84,930 patrons to 11 Chatham-Kent Public Library branches. Libraries received feedback from over 400 people on the Chatham-Kent Public Library’s ‘Let’s Talk CK Libraries’ survey which started a conversation about the library’s past, present and future role in a community.
During this time, 247 children participated in various recreational activities and programs thanks to funding of $119,665 from ALL For Kids.
The Environment and Sustainability section of the annual report shows that CK held its first “Household Hazardous Waste Days” to help residents safely and properly dispose of hazardous waste and also continued work on the action plan against climate change for Chatham-Kent.
The report shows that CK has 168 kilometers of walking trails (trails in parks and trails), up from 147 the previous year. Less waste is also generated. The report shows that 18,900 tons of waste were produced, compared to 30,818 in 2002.
In addition, 55,798 trees were planted in partnership with the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, and 14 km of road was recycled using the Cold In-Place method, which recycles 100% of the existing road, eliminating the transporting new materials and reusing the existing. asphalt pavement.
In terms of financial sustainability, the debt stock (total debt stock as a percentage of revenue generated in Chatham-Kent) stands at 22.4%.
The Open and Transparent Government Reporting section shows that CK processed 52,452 transactions and assisted 10,480 walk-in people at Service Ontario offices. Additionally, CK also hosted 41 projects on Let’s TalkChatham-Kent with 1,249 residents signing up for the first time to participate in the online community engagement tool.
There were 2,650,655 visits to the municipal website (46.5% were mobile users) and 278,711 services were provided to residents by customer service.
The average Chatham-Kent household paid $3,060 in property taxes to municipal services in 2021.
“The $3,060 goes a long way toward providing the services our community needs,” the report read.
Regarding the infrastructure improvements seen in 2021, the report states that 5,553 square meters of sidewalks were replaced, while 4,311 square meters of new sidewalks were installed and 920 additional tripping hazards were repaired. 66 additional traffic lights were repaired and 977 km of road axis were painted.
Meanwhile, according to Fire Chief Chris Case, there were no fire fatalities in 2021.
“I’m proud that no one in Chatham-Kent lost their life in a fire in 2021, and in fact injuries have been reduced,” he said.
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