Last Monday’s Cobourg Council meeting saw Northumberland County report on their 2018 accomplishments and their approved 2019 budget. CAO Jennifer Moore and Director of Finance/Treasurer Glenn Dees made the information understandable with some simple graphics and bullet points. For example, of the total budget of $123 Million, taxes supply only $56.2M, grants and subsidies $39.2M and garbage fees $6M. Most of the tax money gets spent on roads ($17.9M) with social services second at $9.5M although the total spent on social services is $28.7M – the rest mostly comes from the Province. The Golden Plough lodge is a major part of the County’s operational and Capital costs – it will be rebuilt over the next few years at a total… Read complete articleCobourg Council gets update from the County
About 80 people came to the CCC for the “Launch Event” for the Cultural Plan being conducted by Consultant MDB Insight. After a good natured introduction by Councillor Adam Bureau, MDB Insight’s Executive VP Lauren Miller gave a 20 minute summary of what the Cultural Plan is and what it hopes to achieve. The current status is that 1) a Background report has been issued (see Links below) which identified over 400 cultural assets; 2) Cultural Mapping has been done and 3) Telephone and online surveys have been completed. In the second part of the meeting, citizens were asked to give feedback on what they wanted. They did this in workshop style and a representative from each of the 12… Read complete articleFirst Public Meeting on Cultural Plan
At Monday’s Council meeting Petra Hartwig and Gigi Ludorf-Weaver asked Council to do three things: 1) declare that water and sanitation services are fundamental human rights, 2) ban bottled water in municipal facilities and municipal events and 3) install outside water bottle filling stations strategically placed around the Town. Councillor Nicole Beatty showed support by drinking from a flask and Mayor John Henderson pointed out that Victoria Hall had already replaced two drinking fountains with bottle filling stations. Petra and Gigi were primarily representing the Blue Communities Organization but were also representing the Northumberland Chapter of the Council of Canadians, Sustainable Cobourg and Blue Dot. Petra and Gigi pointed to the enormous profits made by water bottlers who anyway often… Read complete articleShould water bottles be banned?
Northumberland County has the responsibility of providing affordable housing and currently owns and operates 344 social housing units. But there is a problem, the waitlist for RGI (Rent Geared to Income) housing is currently “nearly 700 households … in Cobourg”. A newly developed Affordable Housing Strategy points to 4 goals and 44 actions to solve the problem and will be presented at the County Council meeting on March 20. Also at that meeting, Council will be asked to approve a project to add 22 units to the existing 18 at their current Elgin Street property. These duplex houses are now 50 years old so it’s proposed to re-develop the complex into higher density. Because of the need to rezone and… Read complete articleCounty Plans Expansion of Affordable Housing
During the last municipal election campaign, councillors heard that there was a lot of support for affordable housing. Responding to this, the Town’s budget now has a line item of $250,000 to support housing even though it’s really a county responsibility. There are two ways people provide housing for themselves: renting and buying a house, and both are a concern. The rental vacancy rate in Cobourg is 0.3% and the average price of a home in Cobourg is now $455,000, up from $300,000 just four years ago. According to the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, “affordable” rents must be no more than 80% of average market rents. In Northumberland in 2018, the average rent for a two bedroom… Read complete articleHousing in Cobourg, 2019
After a long meeting, Council approved the budget for 2019 with an increase in overall spending of 4%. But because of growth in the Town (more properties paying taxes), the increase in your taxes will be 2%. So if your property had an MPAC valuation increase the same as the average for the Town, the Town’s portion of your taxes will increase by 2% from last year. But in the process of managing the budget, Councillors made some decisions – or maybe they were more like statements – about priorities and direction. Some issues were covered under the heading Community Grants as reported yesterday (e.g. AGN, Santa Parade) but also discussed were IT (Information Technology) planning, Accessible Transit, Affordable Housing,… Read complete articleBudget Approved for 2019
At the 2019 Town of Cobourg Budget approval meeting tonight, a number of key decisions were made, including who would get Community Grants. The budget initially suggested was $45,000 but with a total of more than $77,000 requested, that meant there would be some disappointments. Each grant was subject to an individual motion and this task fell upon Councillor Adam Bureau. Most of his recommendations were routinely approved although many got less than they asked for. There was a long discussion about the Santa Parade – the initial recommendation to give to the committee was $3,000 compared to their requested $10,000. But Mayor John Henderson convinced everyone to up that to $5,000. Paul Pagnuelo (from the gallery using an allowed… Read complete articleCommunity Grants Approved
The entrepreneur who started the idea of using the old Kraft factory as a cannabis grow factory has now left the company. Thomas Fairfull has been replaced as President of FV Pharma and is leaving the company. Last October, he sold his shares in the parent company FSD Pharma for $8.5M (see links below for source) so he may be happy with the arrangement. He sold his FSD Pharma shares at $0.64 which is more than they are currently priced at ($0.20). The new President is Sara May, Ph.D. who was previously responsible for quality assurance at FV Pharma. The announcement follows the termination of the joint venture between Auxly Cannabis Group and FSD Pharma which Fairfull had helped setup. … Read complete articleMore changes at Cobourg’s Cannabis Facility