Water Park Decision to be made

At the last Committee of the Whole (C.O.W.) meeting on January 28, it was apparent that some councillors want to withdraw approval for the Water Park on Cobourg’s East Beach.  A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin and then passed by Council that asked for a staff report on financial implications, safety concerns and legal impacts.  At the next C.O.W. meeting on February 19, Director of Community Services Dean Hustwick will provide his 40 page report (plus appendices) which I will try to summarize – although it’s still long!  Dean’s report refers to the various Master plans, discusses public support, reviews the consequences of changing the previous Council’s decision, provides the sequence of events leading to the decision,… Read complete articleWater Park Decision to be made

Busy Opening Day for Market and Smør

According to Lucas Cleveland, Market and Smør is giving the Cobourg community what they asked for – a greengrocer focused on local, fresh food.  When they came to Cobourg and before they could open a store to do that, Lucas and Montana took over the beach canteen with the idea of providing healthier snacks.  Per their business principle of listening to their customers, they found that French Fries etc were wanted; so these were included in their offerings. For their new store, a survey told them that customers want “local” more than they want organic so “local” is the focus – although 20% of their product is certified organic. Lucas said that many local farmers grow organically but can’t afford… Read complete articleBusy Opening Day for Market and Smør

Council Plans New Direction

After a day and a half meeting to establish a new Strategic Plan, Council came up with a draft plan with a focus that is different to the last council.  There are new actions that emphasize social issues such as affordable housing while not forgetting hot issues like extra boat slips in the Marina.  The format of the plan is somewhat different with “Pillars” replacing “Objectives”.  To reflect the changes, a new Vision and Mission have been written.  Before being officially adopted, the draft Strategic Plan will be presented to the Public for comment and possible review but I am reporting on what was said in their meeting and providing some highlights. All councillors and senior staff participated and the… Read complete articleCouncil Plans New Direction

Affordable Rental Housing Developer asks for Council Support

At the recent Municipal election, there was a lot of talk about the need for affordable housing in Cobourg.  Council seems supportive but now Balder Corporation is asking for tangible support from the Town so they can get financing of almost $9M from CMHC.  They want to build a four storey 60 unit apartment block at 315-325 University Avenue West but to get financing, they have to obtain “concessions from any level of Government”.  Since the province is unlikely to be supportive, they are asking Cobourg.  It does not have to be a large amount – in fact they do not specify an amount but leave it to council to decide.  The subject will come up at the next Committee… Read complete articleAffordable Rental Housing Developer asks for Council Support

Northumberland Hub to shut down

On 27 November 2017, Northumberland Today shut down and left a big gap in local News coverage in Cobourg and Northumberland.  Although Northumberland News continued, it only publishes once a week so the rest of the week was left without any coverage.  So John Miller started a group to see what could be done.  The first step was a Town Hall meeting on 20 March 2018 which 160 people attended.  Since John was away, Rob Washburn stepped in to lead discussion.  Although it was apparent that most people wanted a restoration of a daily printed newspaper, it  was apparent that the only option was some form of online service.  Fifteen sites were identified as providing local news so the concept… Read complete articleNorthumberland Hub to shut down

Report on Downtown Vitalization to Date

The idea of Downtown Vitalization for Cobourg first started in 2011 with the first plan produced July 2013. It was intended to make Cobourg’s Downtown more vibrant and attractive with fewer closed stores.  The idea was that an upgrade of its appearance would increase the attractiveness of Downtown to both businesses and residents.  Over time, responsibility for the project moved from the Economic Development Advisory Committee to the Cobourg Downtown Coalition Advisory Committee (DCAC) and at the next Committee of the Whole Meeting on February 19, the DCAC will issue their “Final Report”.  Although the report is labelled “Final”, they recommend that the committee be “re-constituted by the Town for at least another four years”.  The report is a comprehensive… Read complete articleReport on Downtown Vitalization to Date

Police Budget for 2019

The Police Budget was presented to Council on February 7 and as measured by Cobourg’s Treasurer, the increase in spending for 2019 will be 1.42%.  Police Salaries make up a large part of the budget and they increased significantly more than that (details below) but the use of tiered Policing and better management kept the increase low.  One major factor was a savings starting in 2016 of $1.7M due to outsourcing of dispatch and 911 services to Owen Sound.  The Chief said that the cost of policing in Cobourg continues to be well below the provincial average. The other highlight of the meeting was the fast increase in income from “Corporate Services” – otherwise known as the service that does… Read complete articlePolice Budget for 2019

Cannnabis Facility update

The Cannabis facility occupying the old Kraft plant is owned and operated by FV Pharma Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of FSD Pharma Inc.   In March 2018, FV Pharma signed a joint venture with Auxly (originally Cannabis Wheaton) to provide finance to FV Pharma in return for streaming rights to 49.9% of the product that was grown in the facility – but this agreement has now been terminated.  It is not known what the financial penalty might be to FV Pharma.  Work on the expansion of the facility was supposed to be completed by December 2018 but has still not been completed.  Information is limited but it seems that FSD Pharma is in turmoil.  CEO Rupert Haynes has been “terminated”… Read complete articleCannnabis Facility update