Province Provides Grant to Cobourg for Downtown

Lou Rinaldi, MPP for Northumberland Quinte-West today announced that the Province will be “investing”  $40 million over three years in the Main Street Enhancement Fund.  Of this, $26M will be provided in 2018 for the Main Street Revitalization Initiative with $380,000 going to Lou’s Riding. Cobourg’s share is $52,509 while Port Hope gets $50,234 and Hamilton gets $45,312 (more detail in links below). These numbers are maximum amounts – no detail was provided on exactly what the conditions are for disbursement – presumably there will need to be a demonstration that the money was spent on relevant projects.  At the announcement, Mayor Gil Brocanier said that new initiatives on downtown vitalization will be coming.  Currently, work on downtown vitalization is the focus of the Business Attraction Marketing plan approved by Council in November 2017.  This is managed by the Downtown Coalition, the DBIA and Wendy Gibson, Cobourg’s Economic Development Officer.

l-r  Wendy Gibson - Ec. Dev.; Lou Rinaldi M.P.P.; Gil Brocanier - Mayor; Adam Bureau - DBIA Chair.
l-r Wendy Gibson – Ec. Dev.; Lou Rinaldi M.P.P.; Gil Brocanier – Mayor; Adam Bureau – DBIA Chair.

In the accompanying press release, Gil was quoted:

“The Town of Cobourg welcomes this new funding through the Main Street Revitalization Initiative which will greatly assist in moving our own Downtown Business Attraction plan forward in order to continue to attract residents and visitors, while also supporting our growing business community.”

The Province seems to have recognized the need for revitalization of the Downtown core in Rural communities (less than 100,000 population). They now provide help on setting up projects although no up-front detail or direction is provided on what those projects might be.  Their web page on their “Downtown Revitalization Program” is here. Cobourg has been working at vitalization since the summer of 2013 – it’s hard to see how Provincial involvement will make a difference.

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What'sUpDoc

It’s not a lot of money so why not use it to paint all the present shabby King Street wooden doors. Along with Rosemary’s suggestions, the result would be very upbeat. Hire summer students to do the painting.

cornbread

Let’s hope none of the Ontario taxpayer money that comes to Cobourg or any other town in this Liberal “Feel Good Program” winds up in capital improvements to some landlords property.

Tim

That’s exactly where it will end up — in the hands of landlords who can well afford to pay for their own improvements, but why do that when they can pick the taxpayers’ pocket enabled by the Town Council and Lou Rinaldi. What’sUpDoc has the only interesting suggestion. There is nothing like a fresh coat of paint to lift the spirits but I think experienced painters should wield the brushes.

perplexed

The few dollars we are about to receive won’t make a bit of difference
to the downtown Marketing a dead horse is just that , and our streets have been dead for
many years now , and most of the loyal visitors & shoppers of down town Cobourg are aware of that.
This down town does not have a chance Until we have people running the economic development and the downtown revitalization departments
that have been recently self employed in the last 15 yrs and actually run their own small business successfully for I would say —
a period of 7 to 10 yrs or longer , As well as survived all that a small business operation has to deal with
in a seasonal town ,
Pay cheque mentality of Council and various department heads will not prevail here and their track record has proven that .

Walter L. Luedtke

sort of like Donald Trump?

Biz Guy

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if these buy vote gifts were preceded by a discussion on the overall budget deficit projected as a result of such social giveaways. More attention should be given to how the next party in power will manage our tax dollars.

Jane

Hamilton gets $45,312? Lou’s riding includes Township of Hamilton, but that’s not on the linked list. Besides, Hamilton Township doesn’t have a downtown.

Ewok

Bewdley and Harwood have “main streets” I guess….

Bill Thompson

Bewdley must have something special as our PM ( sleeves rolled up) visited it …..Rhino’s Roadhouse reopening …photo op (portunity) ?

Susie-Q

I believe that visit was made shortly after he was elected PM. In my opinion, he was riding high with confidence going around to get his ego stroked. He loves the attention.

Susie-Q

I suppose this is part of the reason for Wynne’s visit to Cobourg during this past year? I have always wanted the businesses on King Street to succeed and have been concerned about the number of empty stores along the street. I do hope that this helps. However, I do hope that there are no strings attached and the provincial government isn’t expecting something in return (like increase development?).

Dubious

“It’s hard to see how Provincial involvement will make a difference.”

The money won’t make a difference to the downtown vitalization but it might improve Lou and Gil’s chances of re-election. Isn’t that the whole point of government largess using our tax dollars?

Rosemary Avery (hopeful)

l would suggest skipping the over zealous meter readers – cover them with a hat saying “marked Welcome” for the summer months – have the names of the stores placed across the sidewalk (from above) and replace the pots – with window boxes chuck full of red geraniums – the overall concept is a wow – having seen this concept in small town in U>S. On another note, a greeting isnt too big a price to pay when entering a store – come on – market yourself – have a vision and take a chance with change – it creates curiosity – also pop up stores and street cafes – lets be a wow town

condo owner

Love this suggestion

Mrs. Anonymous

Regarding the parking meters, Isn’t that backwards? There is demand in the summer, therefore you charge as you have a limited supply. In the winter it’s dead down there and you want to encourage people to come downtown and you have abundant supply of parking so why charge?

Sometimes the town gives free town bus service during big events where parking will be an issue, which also seems odd. Why don’t you charge when there is an actual demand for the service. Again seems, backward if you go with the basic supply and demand theory.

Wally Keeler

Other than the practicality of the free parking caps, I appreciate very much your ideas for enhancing the Downtown. Very simple and very doable and not a lot of $$$$$ to implement. Imaginative and creative ideas are the way to go, but most of the commentators on this blog lack that ability and so the empty stores reflect that fact.