Report on Municipal Land for Affordable Housing

When the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for Affordable Housing was approved by Council in November 2020, Council added a requirement for “staff to put together an inventory of potential municipal owned surplus lands, buildings and/or facilities by March 22, 2021”.  This was done but then Staff recommended that an Ad Hoc committee be formed “to undertake a shortlist exercise and formalize an implementation plan moving forward.”  This committee’s report will be provided at the Committee of the Whole Council meeting on 15 November; they will provide a list of five priority sites and three secondary priority locations.  Few could be called surplus – in fact the three secondary sites are public parks.  The committee recommends further public consultation and staff… Read complete articleReport on Municipal Land for Affordable Housing

AGN MOU, Lease and Budget

The relationship between the Art Gallery of Northumberland (AGN) and the Town of Cobourg has not always been happy nor well defined since the AGN was established in 1960.  The AGN occupies all of the third floor of the West Wing of Victoria Hall plus some storage locations on the second floor and the basement for a total floor area of 3,299 square feet.  Up until recently, they have been charged $45,000 per year for rent but then granted that money in each year’s budget.  Each year they also submit a request for about $170K more towards their budget of about $300K.  The process of coming to an agreement has not been well defined so at the next Committee of… Read complete articleAGN MOU, Lease and Budget

County Agrees to Hospital Tax

Part of the County’s tax revenue for 2022 will go to County Hospitals – Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) and Campbellford Memorial Hospital (CMH).  As reported earlier (see Links below), the two Hospitals’ fund-raising Foundations originally asked for $1M per year for 10 years and after pushback, lowered that to 1% of the County Levy.  As well as regular Council Meetings, the County held two special meetings to consider the request with the latest one being at 9:30 am this morning (Thursday November 4). Each Councillor made their position known and their reasoning and it was soon clear that although a majority favoured some kind of support, it was not to the level requested.  In the end a recorded vote was… Read complete articleCounty Agrees to Hospital Tax

Once Again CCC to Host Vaccination Clinic

At Monday’s regular Council meeting, Council agreed to allow the Cobourg Community Centre (CCC) to be used as a vaccination clinic from November 5 to March 31, 2022. The HKPR District Health Unit expects that in the next week or so, two groups will be authorized for Vaccination: 1) third (booster) shots for those over 70 and Health Care workers and 2) young children.  For Northumberland alone, there are 11,000 in the first group and 5,000 in the second.  It’s hoped that these would be vaccinated before the end of the year – people in the first group already double vaccinated would be eligible 6 months after their second shot.  Vaccinations would be by appointments managed by the Provincial portal… Read complete articleOnce Again CCC to Host Vaccination Clinic

Update on Organization Review

Tonight, October 28, Council had a special Committee of the Whole meeting to review the Organization changes proposed by the CAO, Tracey Vaughan.  It was preceded by a two hour closed session to discuss a subject that was not disclosed although there was talk of “Cost Savings”.  The general impression I got from the meeting was that Councillors were generally accepting the recommendations with no major objections.  In fact, Councillor Emily Chorley asked that since the By-Law Enforcement manager, the Grant Writer and the additional Building Official were all cost neutral, why not hire them sooner than July 1?  Councillor Brian Darling made a motion to that effect which passed.  Council then discussed each new position and this provided some… Read complete articleUpdate on Organization Review

Cobourg’s Santa Parade will now be at Night

If you have been following other Cobourg News Sources, you’ll already know that at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Council decided to stage a Santa Parade this year after all.  But it will be quite different from other years.  The reason for the change from the earlier decision (which was to cancel and instead have Santa Tour the Town), was because MPP Piccini told the Mayor that the Province would announce today (Wednesday) that all crowd size limits would be lifted for both Remembrance Day and Santa Parades.  The Province’s announcement has not yet come so details such as the exact route have also not yet been announced.  But the date is different – it will be on December… Read complete articleCobourg’s Santa Parade will now be at Night

Special Council Meeting to discuss Organization Review

At the Committee of the Whole (CoW) Meeting on Monday, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Tracey Vaughan provided her recommendations for implementing the changes and additions proposed by consultant KPMG.  As mentioned in a previous post, these changes would cost around $1M and are major changes in structure and ways of working.  Tracey delivered her detailed report in time for Monday’s CoW meeting and for 2022 budget deliberations but despite a closed session meeting before the CoW meeting, Council were not ready to discuss it and voted to defer discussion to two more meetings on Thursday October 28: a closed session meeting at 4:00 pm and an open session at 6:00 pm.  My quick look at the published draft budget seems… Read complete articleSpecial Council Meeting to discuss Organization Review

County Council Considering Large Grants to Hospitals

On June 7, 2021 the two County Hospitals – Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) and Campbellford Memorial Hospital (CMH) – asked County Council to grant them $1M annually for 10 years.  It would be divided 75% to NHH and 25% to CMH.  A special meeting was convened on September 29 to discuss the request but County Council asked for more information.  The next step was that the Hospitals made a revised proposal on October 7 which changed the request to 1% of the County levy annually over an 8 year period.  This is estimated to be a minimum of $5.9M.  The money would be used for capital equipment and not for operations or interest.  There is no mandate from the Province… Read complete articleCounty Council Considering Large Grants to Hospitals

Licensing Airbnb in Cobourg

At the Council meeting on June 28, 2021, Cobourg resident Anne-Marie Jackson complained about problems from an Airbnb establishment on Blake Street.  She had concerns about parking, parties with loud and disruptive guests, drug and criminal activity  (and as a result, increased police activity) and noise. Complaints to Airbnb went unanswered.  She also included a petition from 35 residents.  As a result, Council directed staff to investigate regulating Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) and present their report at the November 15 Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting.  The Agenda for the October 25 CoW meeting includes this report – it’s early!  Staff reviewed the options and recommend both a revision of the Zoning By-Law and the establishment of a requirement to license… Read complete articleLicensing Airbnb in Cobourg

Re-zoning for Treatment Centres

In July 2020, an application was made to convert the old Medical centre at 316 King East (opposite the High School) for use as a live-in rehabilitation centre. Because of its proximity to the school and because zoning for this use was not clear, a decision was deferred until zoning could be reviewed.  Meridian Planning consultants were hired to do that review and they made a presentation to Council in July this year – see the link below.  Before the new by-law is drafted and presented to Council for approval, a Public meeting was scheduled for October 18.  Only two individuals asked questions at that meeting and both were concerned with the implication that the people using the centres were… Read complete articleRe-zoning for Treatment Centres