KITCHENER, ONT. — The City of Kitchener, Ont.’s pandemic response was guided by the five community-identified goals of the city’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. Despite the pandemic, the city made progress on its strategic plan in 2020.
Some of the initiatives include organizing support calls for seniors to prevent isolation; transferring dozens of city services online; Ontario and Gaukel Streets were converted to provide people-friendly transportation options; continued investment in energy-efficiency retrofits for buildings and vehicles; and the city waived fees, enabled patio expansions and deferred property taxes.
Council also approved the Make it Kitchener 2.0 Economic Development strategy, the Cycling and Trails Master Plan and Housing for All strategy, which represents the completion of three major strategic objectives for the year.
The Cycling and Trails Master plan lays out a 10-year plan for connecting Kitchener’s bikeways and trails. Housing for All is a human rights-based Housing Strategy to help end homelessness and facilitate housing that people can afford across the housing continuum.
The new Make It Kitchener 2.0 economic development strategy is a 10-year vision to guide economic development and community initiatives and presents an innovative funding model through a new Economic Development Investment Fund that enables council to invest up to an additional $110 million over 10 years without relying on a tax rate increase, indicates a release.
“2020 has been a year unlike any other,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic in a statement. “While continuing to serve our community amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic, we also made significant progress on the city’s strategic priorities.”