Cobourg Council gets update from the County

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 cost of $70.2M.

Glenn Dees and Jennifer Moore
Glenn Dees and Jennifer Moore

But that’s not the biggest capital cost over next 10 years, and it’s not even the Campbellford Bridge  which will cost $16.6M; instead it’s Roads Projects at $127.7M.  Another major Capital expense is Social Housing: $7.3M over the next 10 years.  See the Budget Info-graphic in the link below for more.

Jennifer and Glenn spelled out the County’s achievements in 2018 and plans for 2019.  One notable item we’ll all notice is the introduction of Dual Stream recycling (paper and other) and a separate collection of organic waste.  This is scheduled for September 1st as explained in this post.

And a point made by Glenn was that unlike many other counties, Northumberland is a “full service Municipality”.  For example, Peterborough does not provide services for waste, Social Services or Long Term Care but Northumberland does.

The best part of the presentation was the section on “Fast Facts” that was not actually presented to Council.  See the links below for complete information.  I find it difficult to really understand what the County does so their presentation was helpful.

From the presentation – especially the Fast Facts – we get a list of functions and how much of the budget they use. (Click to enlarge graphic)

County - Percent of budget by function
County – Percent of budget by function

Here is more detail on the top five:

Community & Social Services

Program delivery in employment, financial and homelessness supports, services for children, youth and seniors, social and affordable housing and food security.

344 County owned social housing units, 447 Non-profit housing units subsidy administration, 136 Households rent supplement/allowance, 83 New affordable housing units, 1,300 approx. Ontario Works recipients (adults & children), 1.4M pounds of food distributed by Food 4 All Warehouse, 652 Children supported Child Care fee subsidy program, 7 Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres.


Road and bridge rehabilitation, winter control, maintenance of roads, tree/brush removal, fleet management, roadside safety, storm water management.

70 Vehicles, 45 Pieces of large equipment, 503 Kilometers of roadways, 12 – 15 Kilometers paved annually vs service level target of 20+, 175 Kilometers bike lanes / paved shoulders, 5,000 Traffic signs, 36 Traffic signals, 63 Street lights, 45 Bridges, 68 Culverts over 3 meters, 4 Roads Depots.

Golden Plough Lodge

Resident care in accommodation, hospitality and health services for legislatively operating a municipal long-term care home.

151 Residents, 70,000 Lbs. of laundry, 4,000 approx. annual maintenance requests, 165,000+ Meals -Dietary Services, Housekeeping Services, Recreation Programs, Activation Programs, Social Programs, Spiritual Programs, Administration, 200+ Full and part-time staff, 24/7 Staffing operation, Clinical Nursing Care, Personal Care; assistance with activities of daily living, Health Professionals’ Services; therapeutic, social work and pharmaceutical, Physician Services, Case Management; assessment care planning, scheduling, conferencing and documentation.

Recycling & Waste

Landfill and waste transfer station operations, curbside collection of garbage, recycling and leaf/yard waste, household hazardous and e-waste disposal, recycling processing.

1 operational landfill site, 6 closed landfill sites perpetual care and environmental oversight, 2 waste transfer stations, 1 material recycling plant, 30 pieces of mobile equipment, 39,000+ curbside waste collection stops per week, 46,286 tonnes of waste managed, 27,383 tonnes of waste landfilled, 15,955 tonnes processed at Material recycling facility, 18,903 tonnes of waste diverted.


Provides for land ambulance deployment, emergency medical care, patient transportation, ambulance and equipment maintenance, medical supplies inventory management, patient documentation.

12,200 Approx. annual emergency calls with patient transport, 25,200 Approx. annual total ambulance call volume, 60+ Approx. 80% of calls for population aged 60+, Aging demographic will impact call volumes, 104 Full and part-time paramedics, 24/7 Staffing operation, 401 coverage area includes a significant stretch of Highway 401, 2,000 km2 of land mass area served, 13 Ambulances, 4 Emergency Response vehicles, 6 bases.

Jennifer and Glenn will be repeating this presentation at all the other Councils in the County.

As mentioned in an earlier post, the County’s tax levy for 2019 will be a two per cent base increase plus a dedicated infrastructure Levy of 0.3 per cent for a total of 2.3%.  I would describe the 0.3% as a catch up for Capital projects.


Download from Town of Cobourg portal

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Walter L. Luedtke
4 years ago

Ontario rural municipalities got one-time, big bucks in provincial grants.
According to an announcement last week, Peterborough-Kawartha municipalities will receive $3,783,351 to improve service delivery.
Anybody know what our riding is getting?

Bill Prawecki
4 years ago

Forgot to mention that it would be great for Cobourg to post similar facts and figures to better understand where our taxes are going to.

Bill Prawecki
4 years ago

Great summary with great facts to better understand the costs and facilities. Interesting observation that 80% of ambulance calls made by folks over 60.