Planning and Development Projects – January 2021

There are a good number of projects happening in Cobourg, some residential and some commercial, and Councillor Nicole Beatty (file photo below) occasionally gives a comprehensive report of what the Planning Department has on its plate.  One of these occasions was tonight’s regular Council meetings.  Highlights of her report are provided below or you can download her full report. Since it’s an update, there’s not a lot of detail on most projects but you can get more detail by following the links embedded or listed below. Major projects include the work at the Mall, the development by Mason Homes at 425 King Street East and affordable housing projects. There’s also info on Downtown projects and a Heritage project.  Some have… Read complete articlePlanning and Development Projects – January 2021

Predictions for 2021 – Opinion

Predictions by their nature are not facts – they are really opinions.  I made no predictions this time last year for 2020 and the predictions for 2019 posted a year earlier got about 8 right out of 12.  So take the predictions below with a grain of salt – except for death and taxes, the future is never certain. To predict what’s going to happen, the only facts you can rely on are what has happened up till now. So based on what I’ve seen in 2020, I think that in 2021 we can expect: Covid-19 Cobourg will go back to Yellow zone January 23 Most people in Cobourg will be able to get a vaccine shot by July. Most… Read complete articlePredictions for 2021 – Opinion

Popular Topics in 2020

One of the advantages of an online format with an active community of commenters is that the interest in articles can be measured – both by the number of comments but also by the number of views.  I can’t imagine anyone disputing that 2020 was an unusual year with the biggest local topic being the impact of the virus.  For Cobourg that translated into how many visitors would we get on our beaches.  But there was also a lot of interest in some other things. For example: Changes at the Mall, the Cannabis factory shutting down, Starbucks coming to Cobourg, Woodlawn as a Rehabilitation centre and more. Below is a list of the most popular posts as measured by views… Read complete articlePopular Topics in 2020

Draft Capital Budget for 2021

Cobourg’s Capital budget is used to pay for items that produce or repair assets.  The source of the money is indicated in the budget and is mostly not a direct charge to the taxpayer – instead, money comes from reserves (money put aside for the purpose), grants from the Provincial and Federal Governments, bank loans and other miscellaneous sources.  The totals of these sources is not provided in the budget but can be determined by adding all the numbers – so I did that.  See table below.  The other interesting thing to know about the Capital budget is what it will be spent on.  Many items are routine like vehicle replacements but others are Town improvements.  Major and significant projects… Read complete articleDraft Capital Budget for 2021

Town’s Draft 2021 Operational Budget now online

In this “in-between” time when there is not much news, I think we can afford the time to look at what the Council and staff have proposed as a budget for the coming year.  Unlike the wish lists that were submitted earlier, the draft Operating and Capital budgets that were put online on December 22 seem intended to be realistic.  Also unlike the wish lists, complete details have been provided (well almost).  Omitted are personnel details although it would have been good if “head counts” were included so we can see if more or fewer people are employed.  But sufficient detail is provided that sensible comments on the budget can be made – for example you can comment using the… Read complete articleTown’s Draft 2021 Operational Budget now online

Merry Christmas from Cobourg News Blog

A year ago we had a “normal” Christmas and nobody imagined that 2020 would be such a disaster. But we now have light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines coming so even though Christmas for many will mean smaller family gatherings, we humans are a resourceful lot and we’ll still find a way to feel good at Christmas time. Alma and I are planning to join two others in our “bubble” at a Christmas lunch at a local restaurant and we have already had a small family Christmas lunch (two other family members).  I know that some kind souls are offering to do similar things with individuals who live on their own.  In the odd times I have… Read complete articleMerry Christmas from Cobourg News Blog

Outdoor Rink gets New Rules

With the Provincial lockdown in force starting Boxing day, at a special meeting today Council voted to implement new rules for the Outdoor Rink.  Staff presented three options: 1) continue with no change, 2) add new rules or 3) close the Rink.  The new rules will mean registering in advance for one of 8 daily one hour time slots which will allow only 10 at a time.  The area will be fenced and skaters will be screened and expected to wear a mask and keep 2 meters away from each other.  Any spectators (e.g. parents of small children) will be counted as part of the 10 even if not skating. Fencing and registering is needed because with the previous system,… Read complete articleOutdoor Rink gets New Rules

Cobourg’s Christmas Festivities

The Town of Cobourg has announced what they are doing for the Christmas season – let me expand on that and list what’s happening (and not) this Christmas.  First, you have to see the lights in Victoria Park.  Because they are limited to just the South section, there are more lights per square foot (or is it cubic foot?) so they are truly impressive – I’d say they are the best in some years.  Skating is now available in Rotary Park although the transit shelter will be closed – instead you will be able to change your skates at the benches scattered around the rink. Capacity limit was set to 25 skaters – but is now 10.  It’s open between… Read complete articleCobourg’s Christmas Festivities

Last Council Meeting for 2020

Council’s regular meeting on December 14 covered a lot of ground and it was followed by two budget submissions meetings.  Earlier posts covered some issues but not all – this post will attempt to partially fill the gap.  Topics covered in the regular meeting included a decision to terminate an agreement with the County on Economic development, an update on Brookside and a planned demolition of downtown buildings to permit a future development.  Then Tuesday’s budget meeting included discussion of micro-transit as covered previously but also several other interesting projects.  These included re-construction of Albert Street, downtown street lights, replacing parking meters with “pay and display” downtown and renovating the West Beach boardwalk.  Both meetings also included other more routine… Read complete articleLast Council Meeting for 2020

Third Council meeting on Budget Requests

On Thursday, 17 December, Deputy Director of Community Services Teresa Behan presented her proposed budget for 2021 and included significant budget cuts to make up for expected reduced revenue in 2021.  Because of Covid-19, assumptions were made about when activity would return to normal.  The budget assumed the Beach would reopen, that the Concert Hall would stay closed, the CCC would have drastic reduction is usage – especially in the first half of the year – the Waterfront Festival would not happen (Canada Day not determined), the Sandcastle Festival would be virtual and promotion of Tourism would be reduced.  Teresa suggested how the loss of revenue could be mitigated with deferred hiring and other reductions in cost.  Her presentation (see… Read complete articleThird Council meeting on Budget Requests

Town Considering Trial of Micro-Transit

At the Council meeting on Monday and at the Budget meeting on Tuesday, Council were briefed on a proposal by Director of Public Works Laurie Wills to conduct a trial of a possible Micro-Transit system in Cobourg.  It would use full–size buses for the trial since the Town already owns these but if successful, new buses would be smaller and would possibly use hybrid technology.  The idea is that instead of a fixed route, buses would be effectively on-call with routes determined by software and based on demand. The advantages of a micro-transit systems are many: lower cost per rider, pickup locations closer to home, improved accessibility, far less wait times, faster and more direct trips, higher vehicle utilization, and… Read complete articleTown Considering Trial of Micro-Transit