At tonight’s Council Committee of the Whole meeting, Barry Johnson from Northumberland 89.7 FM made a presentation asking for approval of a Community Grant – their original request was denied at the budget review meeting – see “Budget for 2018” link below. He gave considerable detail and asked for $2,995 but $2,500 was approved. Miriam Mutton made a presentation as a citizen and objected to the spending of taxpayer money on the Kerr Street “layby” (see link below); the YMCA “agreement” was deferred until after the YMCA Board had met on the subject (no date set); the Floating Playground was discussed and the RFP was approved to be issued. Also announced was a replacement for Bryan Baxter – he was chair of the Cobourg Police Services Board but died recently.
FM 98.7 Summer Concerts
Barry Johnson, Northumberland 89.7 Special Event Manager, made a presentation to Council asking for approval of a grant to support their 8 summer concerts. This will be their fourth year – Barry made the case that:
- Northumberland 89.7 FM is volunteer based and not-for-profit. Income is from sponsors, donations and advertising.
- They broadcast local musicians
- The coverage extends from Newcastle to Brighton and north to the other side of Rice Lake
- There are 8 concerts on Wednesdays from July 4 to August 29 – they are free and are from 7:00pm to 8:30pm. Local and regional performers are featured.
- Attendance in 2017 was an average of 125/concert over 7 concerts (one was cancelled because of rain). In 2015 – average was 25 to 35.
- Eleven musicians have applied to date for 2018 – some who are inexperienced and with a limited repertoire will be paired will more experienced performers.
- Up till now the musician groups have not been paid (although individuals may have) but nearby municipalities spend up to $500 to $1000 per evening (These are Belleville, Brighton, Colborne, Port Hope). Payment will be required in 2018.
- The Station’s budget for the 2018 concerts is $6,570 of which $3,600 is for payment to performers (plus they get free advertising)
Barry asked for $2,995 but Suzanne Séguin made a motion to provide 8 x $125 as an in kind donation of the bandshell fee plus a $1500 grant for a total of $2,500. Forrest asked could they take up a collection at Concerts. The motion was approved (Forrest voted against) and the amount was subsequently added to the final approved 2018 budget.
Miriam Mutton and Kerr Street
Miriam made a detailed presentation asking why was the Kerr Street layby a high priority? Why was it in the 2018 budget? What other Community improvement Projects should also be done and why this one now? She pointed out that there was in fact space for the residents to provide 3 and perhaps 4 parking spaces for each resident and that accessibility issues for private dwellings are not a Town responsibility. Council agreed that it needed more study and said that being in the budget did not necessarily mean it would happen (although the resolution was not crystal clear to me).
This idea (see link below) was discussed and it was clarified by Director Dean Hustwick that:
- 80% of survey respondents said that Tourism was important. 80% also said that visitors should pay more of the cost of facilities.
- The playground would be operated by a contractor who would pay some sort of fee to the Town
- No other jurisdictions have raised any concerns with similar facilities
- The location has not been finalized but it seems that the water must be a certain depth and the location should be far enough out to minimize wave disruption.
YMCA decision deferred
Suzanne Séguin said that the YMCA board had not met to consider the Memorandum of Understanding so moved that the agreement by Council be deferred until they had met. No date was mentioned.
Police Board Chair
With the passing of Bryan Baxter, a new member was required. There were 10 applications but “one stood out” – Dean Pepper. He had previously served on the Board and had also been a Councillor. Margaret Godawa has been named as chair for the remainder of this term.
Following the Committee of the Whole Meeting, Council held a special regular Council meeting specially to pass the 2018 budget. In summary, these are the key final Budget numbers:
|Environmental Operating (Sewer)||-$1,573,349 (surplus to reserves)|
|Environmental Capital (Sewer)||$925,000|
Mayor Gil Brocanier noted that the Environmental and Water budgets were “Full cost recovery” – that is they are completely self-sufficient and separate and do not affect tax rates. Presumably the profits help pay for past and/or future expenses per their long term plans. All budgets were passed and are now in effect.
The Police budget is included in the Town’s budget.
The Operating budget is $2,500 higher than originally published because of the additional money allocated to 89.7FM
The final Town of Cobourg Operating budget increase for 2018 is 2.3%. This will result in an increase in the tax levy of 1.6% – the rest comes from “assessment growth” – that is, more people to tax. What it means is, IF (a big IF) your MPAC valuation changes by the same percentage as the average valuation change for the Town, then your tax bill will go up by 1.6% from 2017.
- Budget for 2018 – 19 Jan 2018
- Last Council Meeting of 2017 – 11 December 2017
- Ongoing Battle to get Parking on Kerr Street – 4 Dec 2017 (see above item – it was approved for the budget)
- Final Report on YMCA merger with CCC – 21 January 2018
- First idea from Waterfront Study (Floating Playground) – 23 January 2018
- Full presentation by 89.7 FM