Council Decision Requested on old CDCI Property

In September 2022, the Town announced that they would be buying the old CDCI West playing field on Durham Street.  The purchase price was $2M and the deal closed in December 2022. At the Committee of the Whole meeting on April 3, staff will ask Council which of two options should they proceed with: 1) Keep all of it as parkland or 2) sell part of it to a developer on condition of including affordable housing.  In either case, changes to the Official plan are not required but residential housing would require re-zoning. The 2013 Parks Master plan would favour a park but the 2016 Downtown Master plan would favour the mixed plan. To help with a decision, staff spelled… Read complete articleCouncil Decision Requested on old CDCI Property

County Selling Material Recovery Facility

In 2019, Doug Ford’s Provincial Government decided to transfer responsibility for waste recycling from Municipal Governments to the companies that produced the waste. This would save municipalities the cost plus give the producers of the waste an incentive to minimize it in the first place.  The timeline for Northumberland is for it to be fully in effect on January 1, 2024.  There are two parts to this: 1. Transferring management and ownership of the Material Recovery Facility in Grafton away from the County and 2. Transferring blue and grey box pickup to a new organization.  The County has now announced part one: the County has accepted a conditional offer from Emterra Environmental to purchase the Material Recovery Facility in Grafton…. Read complete articleCounty Selling Material Recovery Facility

Sleeping Cabin Engagement and Governance Report

At Council’s 28 February Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, Council were asked to approve that Sleeping Cabins could be put in the parking lot of the Memorial Arena on Furnace Street. Concerned about public approval and how these would be managed, Council asked the organizers to report back at the April 3rd CoW meeting on their public engagement and their governance. To comply with this, the Northumberland Sleeping Cabin Collective (NSCC) will be presenting their 33 page report at that CoW meeting. No surprise, it is strongly supportive of the proposal and reads as a professional report selling the idea. The report lists community and stakeholder engagements and the results of a survey indicating support and includes a description… Read complete articleSleeping Cabin Engagement and Governance Report

Will Police Heed the Plea?

At least one business in Cobourg is concerned about “a heightened public perception of compromised safety and security in Downtown Cobourg, especially after dark”. Ken Prue, of Loft Productions, has emailed the Mayor and the Police Chief with concerns that his patrons will not feel safe at night – especially when leaving shows at Victoria Hall.  Will this be the beginning of the end of a vibrant downtown Cobourg?  Ken says: “The current controversy over the issue of un-sanctioned overdose prevention sites (OPS) has become a sensitive issue and members of the public are speaking out against what is perceived as a ‘laissez faire’ attitude by Council and Police that is creating public risk.”  It is certainly getting a lot of… Read complete articleWill Police Heed the Plea?

Council Acts on Report of Safe Injection Site

At the Regular Council meeting on Monday night – March 20 – Mayor Cleveland introduced a “Notice of Motion” to say that Council does not endorse the unsanctioned Overdose Prevention site proposed for Cobourg.  (See Resources below for link to report by Pete Fisher).  This usually means that it would be introduced at a subsequent Council meeting but Council passed a suspension of rules of Order that meant it could be dealt with and passed immediately.  Mayor Cleveland, with support from Council and CAO Tracey Vaughan made it clear they had not been consulted and only heard about it from the media plus citizen communication – at the same time as everyone else.  See the full wording of the motion… Read complete articleCouncil Acts on Report of Safe Injection Site

Letter from a Downtown Business re Safety Concerns

Mary Ito, owner of the Northumberland Dental Hygiene Clinic located near the corner of King and Division downtown has sent a letter to the Police Board expressing concern about “unsheltered” people near her business.  The letter is scheduled to be made public at the Police Board meeting on Tuesday 21 March with the staff recommendation that it be received for information.  Mary is not the first person to be concerned about the perceived danger from homeless people in this area – that is, along Division from the Esplanade to north of King and both directions along King as well as West on Albert to the bus shelter.  I have heard reports of bank ATM lobbies on King being locked after… Read complete articleLetter from a Downtown Business re Safety Concerns

Long Debate on Balder CIP

At Monday’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, Councillors debated whether to approve awarding Balder Corporation the CIP amounts promised for their development. The concern (as pointed out in a previous Post) was that the number of affordable units per the County/Town definition was only 4 compared to the original 15 (20% of 71). The developers made a presentation to Council that included the fact that they were persuaded by Mayor Henderson to change their original plans for a retirement home to be a rental project with a promise of Council support. Their presentation plus subsequent Council discussion lasted 84 minutes. Staff also made it clear that even with no affordable units, the requirements for the CIP would be met. According… Read complete articleLong Debate on Balder CIP

Cobourg Entertainment Scene Update

One of the ways Cobourg’s Community Centre can recover costs is to hold major concerts. With 2500 seats, they can stage big names – like upcoming Country and Western star Chris Janson who will come to Cobourg June 15. Last year, one of Canada’s big name bands – Blue Rodeo – was also here. Tickets for the Chris Janson event are around $100 and will go on sale shortly. Getting the word out in Cobourg requires an effort – there are web sites, newsletters, posters in shop windows and social media. Various attempts have been made to consolidate entertainment calendars but people generally won’t look online for something if they don’t already know it’s there. I try to help but… Read complete articleCobourg Entertainment Scene Update

Fewer Affordable Units at Balder Development

At the next CoW Council meeting on March 13, Council will be asked to formally approve CIP grants and loans to Balder corporation despite the fact that there are only 4 affordable units instead of the 15 originally planned.  The project on University Ave West (near William St.) has 71 rental units and is now almost fully rented.  According to advertising by Balder (see graphic in resources below), rents start at $1,540 per month for studios with one-bedroom apartments starting at $1,595 (utilities included).   These rents are higher than initially planned “in response to increased costs associated with the development”. However, according to a report by Cobourg Staff, there are four one-bedroom units which meet the affordable definition used by… Read complete articleFewer Affordable Units at Balder Development

The Total Tax Bill for 2023

Earlier today, there was a Letter to the Editor from Dennis Nabieszko of the Cobourg Taxpayers Association about the true tax increase this year. The extra is the stormwater charge which was previously included in the tax bill from the Town but will now be included on your Electricity/ water/ sewer bill from Lakefront. So far this year, I have received two such invoices with no sign of the stormwater fee so I called LUSI.   They said that there will be a new line item on invoices when the details are sorted out.  LUSI is simply administering the bills and will pass the amount collected to the Town.  This idea was first approved earlier in 2022 and the subject has… Read complete articleThe Total Tax Bill for 2023

Police Review and other Concerns

There were several contentious items brought to the regular Council meeting on Monday, 27 February. Apart from the budget and Councillor remuneration issues previously reported, there was also a major issue raised in correspondence from the Police board plus there were motions about 1) the action in response to the delegations on homelessness, 2) extending the sunshine list to the Library and 3) approval of affordable Housing CIP grants. In 3 of these 4, the vote was divided – more details follow. There were 13 items of correspondence which also had to be dealt with. It’s now clear that this council is quite divided: as commenter Informed says: “The Mayor might not be my favourite person but I certainly didn’t… Read complete articlePolice Review and other Concerns