Council Updates – June 29

As well as their decision to keep the Beach closed at the June 29 meeting, Council decided on several other items and provided some interesting information on a range of subjects.  The meeting started with a long presentation by Police but their submitted report was not the same as the presentation to Council on June 29.  There were a lot of verbal details – you’ll have to listen to it, see links below.  There were three delegations – two wanting the beach closed (Gail Rayment and Paul Pagnuelo) and one about the replacement of water meters by Bryan Lambert which he withdrew since he said there would not be enough time in 10 minutes to make his case.  But the Agenda included some site plan applications and other major items.

Council Decisions

  • Three acres of land in the Lucas Point Business and Industrial Park approved to be sold to Coba Steel Inc. for $40,000 per acre.
  • Approval of a by-law to provide indemnification of the Town when the County takes ownership of Courthouse road.  Councillor Adam Bureau voted against this because he wanted the concerns of the Church on the Hill to be addressed first. (This issue is mentioned in the report about the Golden Plough project).
  • Accepting an Application for Approval of a Draft Plan of Subdivision at 377 William Street. The application proposes ten new 1½ storey freehold townhouse lots and four 1½ storey freehold semi-detached lots. The site has been vacant for many years – previously there was an automotive service station, which has since been removed, decontaminated and certified.  A public meeting is planned, probably in September and probably virtual.
  • Accepting an Application for Site Plan Approval – DePalma Drive Hotelmore details here – Public meeting has already been held in November 2019,
  • Accepting an Application for Approval of a Draft Plan of Subdivision ‘CTC’ Lands (West of Canadian Tire) – Vandyk – West Park Village.  A public meeting will be scheduled; Date TBD.  This project was originally proposed in 2013 with a public meeting in 2014.  But approval expired so a new application was required.
    There are two parts: Three stand-alone commercial  buildings on Elgin Street and a residential development with 62 townhouse dwelling units and 10 semi-detached dwelling units.
  • Approving Waterworks borrowing $2.3 million dollars for the completion of the Water Radio Frequency Meter Changeout/Renewal Project, for both the 4,000 remaining residential and the 309 commercial customers’ water meters.  This has been an ongoing contentious issue with the Cobourg Taxpayers Association fighting the expenditure.  Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin voted against this as did Councillor Emily Chorley.  Suzanne said this year was not the time for this expense given the likely hit to taxes by the Covid-19 crisis.  Councillor Darling pointed to significant extra revenue – including from waste water charges set as equal to water usage.
  • Approving Transit changes: reinstating Cobourg Transit Bus Route #2 to match the current Route #1 Transit Bus operating hours and extend Free Public Transit in the Town of Cobourg until August 31, 2020.  Details here.
  • Awarding a contract for Engineering work for the East Pier – this includes repair and enhancements as decided in October 2019 – more detail here
  • Instructing staff to proceed with preparing an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy for the Town of Cobourg.  The final policy is to be presented to Council for approval on December 7th, 2020.
  • Implement the closure of King Street on certain weekends in summer on a trial basis – as described here.

At each regular Council meeting, Councillors report on their responsibilities as coordinators.  This includes information reported earlier or elsewhere but some items are new.

Announcement highlights

  • Mayor John Henderson: The vacant CAO position has now been posted – Download here.  (The salary range is: $ 145,760- $ 170,520, organization chart is here.)  The application deadline is July 9.  A unified filming policy is being considered by the County.
  • Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin wants to set up a committee, including citizens, to discuss the beach and come up with a plan and parking fee for visitors.  She also wants a public discussion on the plans for using the building opposite the Cobourg High School (CCI) as a drug rehabilitation centre.
  • Nicole Beatty pointed out that “drug rehabilitation centre” is currently a permitted use for that building and simply requires a building permit which has not yet been issued..
  • Emily Chorley: The Marina is now open to transient boats and the Marina admin building will be open this week.  The campground is now open although washrooms are closed.  Port-a-potties have been provided instead.  The centennial pool should be open by July 6.  Opening the Splash pad is yet to be decided.  Some sports organizations are working on opening for some activities.  The CCC is waiting on Provincial direction before re-opening.   There are fewer summer students working in Community Services this year – normally 47 would be hired but there are only 19 this year. Emily commented: “And with the beach closed, staff have observed that the harbour, the headlands and the west beach have been very busy – so obviously this is something that staff and council will need to monitor.”
  • Adam Bureau:  The Farmers’ Market vendors now mostly take in-person orders although there are still some online orders.  They are hoping to move back to the oval soon.

The above is a summary – for additional details please view the video in the links below. (Highlight selection above was my choice – sorry if I omitted something).

Links

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GailR
3 July 2020 3:57 pm

And on the issue of water – it is rather ironic that the Town is now sending out its usual drought request to water Town trees on boulevards near you. Using, I assume, the water for which you are paying twice.

Kevin
Reply to  GailR
4 July 2020 6:22 am

Yes, you pay for the potable water coming in and the sewage going out. It is accepted that the sewage going out has the same volume. What is the alternative? Have meters to measure the waste water? Reduce the amount going out by a factor to try to estimate water used for watering outdoor plants (including town trees), washing cars or filling pools? It is not the cost difference between potable water and sewage consumption charges (sewage 12% higher than water in 2020) but the annual increase which far exceeds cost of living rates that we should be questioning. It has been happening for a number of years.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Kevin
4 July 2020 8:50 am

Port Hope water rates have been increasing by about 2% per year while Cobourg rates have been increasing by 9% each year. Why the huge difference?

GailR
Reply to  Kevin
4 July 2020 2:10 pm

The alternative is in the summer to charge the average winter water usage rate for sewage, and add a small percentage to cover such things as more showers being taken.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  GailR
4 July 2020 4:32 pm

Gail, that sounds like a very equitable suggestion. Perhaps a delegation to Council is in order! Of course it provides a good deal for snowbirds.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ken Strauss
GailR
Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 July 2020 8:11 pm

But I’ve just done one!

Leweez
Reply to  Kevin
4 July 2020 5:06 pm

One thing I notice is that we complain about the cost of water going above the cost of living but also complain saying municipal employees should not get a raise equal to the cost of living(2%).

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Leweez
4 July 2020 6:27 pm

Perhaps the problem is not the salaries of municipal employees but the ever increasing numbers of employees and consultants.

Leweez
Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 July 2020 6:40 pm

In speaking to everyday town employees, they tell me that they have more supervisors(non-union) and less actual co-workers. It is interesting to talk our Town workers, they seem honest and a pleasure to talk with.
My interactions anyway

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Leweez
4 July 2020 7:29 pm

I agree. Too many report writers and too few workers is a common problem in organizations that pay based on budget sizes and number supervised rather than performance.

Leweez
Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 July 2020 7:54 pm

Agreed, in talking to a Lakefront Utility crew, they said they had three union workers and three supervisors!,
I don’t think they would say that if it wasn’t true, as it could be verified

beach lover
2 July 2020 1:17 pm

What is the delay on opening the splash pad for the kids? Splash pads are open across the province and given the heat wave would be a welcome relief for local kids who live in apartments. Opening a splash pad wouldn’t attract crowds of people from the GTA who would be lounging closely together on the sand – the main concern that resulted in shutting Victoria Beach down.

GailR
2 July 2020 11:48 am

On the water meter issue. Bear in mind that the Town double dips on your water usage. It assumes that all the water that you draw from the Town system enters the sewer system and charges you accordingly. On a hot summer, which this one is shaping up to be, I use a lot of water in my garden and that goes nowhere near the sewage system.
However, to give LUSI its due – we had a phone call from them a couple of months ago saying that our water bill was running higher than usual and they suspected a leak in the house. Turned out that one of the toilets was continually running slightly.

Fact Checker
Reply to  GailR
2 July 2020 1:16 pm

Gail,

The Town water system is Waterworks, not LUSI which is just a hired contractor.
Yes, the sewer charge does double the “water” cost. The sewer fee actually has a small up-charge added. The sewer rate is 1.05 times the water rate. Large users (industry) can get a reduced sewer rate if the water is used as a product ingredient.

Leweez
Reply to  Fact Checker
2 July 2020 6:08 pm

Fact Checker, the employee who phoned Gail is an employee of LUSI,
give them credit where credit is due.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Leweez
2 July 2020 9:28 pm

Correct. I believe that Fact Checker’s point was that the caller worked for LUSI which is a contractor to the town. It was not a town (waterworks) employee.

Leweez
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 July 2020 10:09 pm

By your definition, there are no town waterworks employees?
if I am wrong, can you list some of them(by position?)

Fact Checker
Reply to  Leweez
2 July 2020 10:33 pm

Leweez,

It’s good to see that you continue to think seriously about these issues and ask good questions.
It’s difficult to watch the game and know who the players are without a program. Many companies are operations shells with no employees. They outsource their HR needs, either to a related company or a third party. In the case of LUI (electricity distribution) and Waterworks (water purification & distribution) HR needs are outsourced to Lakefront Utilities Services Inc.: LUSI, which also provides staff to run Cramahe’s water system and others.
LUI and LUSI are subsidiaries (owned by) of Holdco, which is owned by the Town of Cobourg (Cramahe has 1 share)
Waterworks is a Town of Cobourg business unit as are Northam, the Marina and the Victora Park Campground.The town owns all of the assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses of these and other business units (profit generating departments)
See https://www.lakefrontutilities.com/ for an explanation.

Last edited 1 month ago by Fact Checker
Leweez
Reply to  Fact Checker
3 July 2020 7:01 am

I must say, it is a bit confusing

Jones
2 July 2020 9:03 am

I always find it interesting when certain individuals and groups are so comfortable taking away other people’s freedom. When solutions to accommodate everyone are so satisfactory

Matt
Reply to  Jones
2 July 2020 10:53 am

And for the types who are so-inclined, the last few months have been like Christmas.

sandpiper
2 July 2020 8:48 am

And I thought Nichole Beatty had a back ground in Social Planning
this clearly shows her lack of sensible planning and concern for her constituents and children walking to the many schools around this property. from and with in
existing neighborhoods WHY this The town has held up the owners of this building for many yrs on more suitable requests such as a Conversion to Senior housing beyond reason

Genexer
Reply to  sandpiper
2 July 2020 9:08 am

Typical NIMBY narrow minded small town reaction. This would be a healing centre not a drug depot. Want one of those, you find plenty up hwy 45. Hopefully kids walking by get the message how addiction destroys lives. Show some compassion, Boomer. Nic b is a progressive, sensible member of council who’s volunteer efforts show she cares deeply about here community.

Leweez
Reply to  Genexer
2 July 2020 9:43 am

Good response Genexer, until you resorted to name calling

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Genexer
2 July 2020 10:31 am

NIMBY,Boomer,Progressive,Racist etc.
What new term of stereotyping is next from the enlightened ? 😊

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Genexer
2 July 2020 11:15 am

Genexer, most in Cobourg live here because of the small town perspective and safe neighbourhoods. We don’t want to change. For those who prefer “healing” centres, drugs, crime and other problems then the GTA is a good alternative to Cobourg.

Matt
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 July 2020 11:40 am

Are you honestly saying you haven’t noticed the severity of the drug problem we’ve already got in this town? You either have to be willfully ignoring it, or not recognizing what you’re looking at.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Matt
2 July 2020 12:42 pm

Of course I have noticed the problem! Please explain how adding a “healing centre” will cure the problem.

Matt
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 July 2020 1:14 pm

First-off I didn’t use that term. Second, I honestly don’t know enough about the proposed facility to say one way or the other, although I do know that a dry, in-patient treatment centre is more likely to lower drug activity in the area because of efforts taken to keep patients secure from it.

My point to you was that drugs and crime are already part of your “small town perspective,” so it doesn’t make much sense to call it a GTA problem.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Matt
2 July 2020 4:46 pm

I used Genexer’s term of “healing centre” since I assumed that you agreed with her that it was part of the solution. Apologies if you don’t think that a healing centre very close to a school is part of the solution.

Drugs are not just a GTA problem. However, based on news reports, many of our drug problems have a strong GTA connection.

Matt
Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 July 2020 8:23 am

For some drugs, of course there is a strong GTA connection. Others are more likely to be produced locally.

What difference does that make when it comes to solving the problem we’ve got right here, right now? It seems like you’re trying to frame it as simply, “not your problem.”

(And once again, I request you refrain from putting words in my mouth–especially when it’s so obviously done to build a strawman
for you to puff out your chest, roll up your sleeves and heroically chop down. It’s a cheap rhetorical trick that you use time and time again and it doesn’t come off looking nearly as good as you think it does).

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Matt
3 July 2020 12:22 pm

Matt, it seems to be more than a strawman argument. You didn’t say a word against having a “healing centre” near our schools. To clear the chaff from the wheat do you think that creating healing centres near schools is a bad idea idea?

Matt
Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 July 2020 1:38 pm

As I said above, depends on the treatment centre. A well-run, in-patient facility can have a positive effect on a community. If we’re talking about something more along the lines of an out-patient methadone clinic or safe-injection site, the proximity to the school is more of a concern.

I do find it somewhat ironic that you’ll rage against a treatment centre being located so close to a school but at the same time be so quick to slough off the high drug activity area those kids have to walk through to get to school as someone else’s imported problem.

How about we try to end this on a more constructive note–what would you propose as a better location for a drug treatment centre in Cobourg and why?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Matt
3 July 2020 7:11 pm

As you mentioned, having an out-patient centre near to families, kids and schools is a bad idea so that eliminates most anywhere in Cobourg. For an in-patient centre there is no good reason to have it near to Cobourg. As a self-confessed white middle class elderly male NIMBY, my preference would be not in Cobourg. Please explain why you think that either type of treatment facility should be located here.

Matt
Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 July 2020 9:26 pm

Because, whether or not it fits into your idyllic vision of it, this town or, “your backyard,” as you put it, has a rampant drug problem.

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  Matt
3 July 2020 11:26 pm

When our new police chief had a public meeting at Venture 13 to discuss local issues in Cobourg he said due to the extraordinary services provided for drug addicts in Cobourg other municipalities were sending their afflicted here. We live close to east high school were the addicts are currently housed and there are 2-3 police cars there every day. The idea of housing the addicted in a building across from the high school boggles the mind oh wait the police were at the high school regularly when it was open for students so they can do double duty!!??

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Matt
4 July 2020 8:45 am

Matt, could you please explain how a “healing centre” for non-Cobourg residents will solve a rampant drug problem in Cobourg?

Merry Mary
Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 July 2020 1:44 pm

Yet for years Cobourgians with addiction issues have had to go to Ottawa or to the GTA for treatment, (the GTA meaning Durham,Toronto, Halton, Peel and York).

Informed
Reply to  Matt
2 July 2020 1:54 pm

Every day. All I know is that before Transition House changed its policy and before that Cooling-warming station was opened at the Police Station,the issues in Town didnt seem as noticeable.

sandpiper
Reply to  Genexer
3 July 2020 8:34 am

Sorry to say you should run for Council Always sugar coating and skirting the issue at the same time . You need to go and see a couple of street level Rehab Wellness centers then go out and inspect a properly run facility like DeNovo Treatment centers
Actively employed people with problems Our Council ? Planning Dept always fail to
delve into the details as to what we are actually signing up for

Leweez
1 July 2020 10:12 pm

Hmm, not sure I like the new censorship on this blog🤔

Leweez
1 July 2020 10:01 pm

Good to see the water meter issue passed, aaand waiting for CTA tirade😀
sorry guys and gals of CTA, I couldn’t resist

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Leweez
2 July 2020 8:06 am

Would you care to explain why you support the meter replacement program without knowing how it will affect water rates?

Leweez
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 July 2020 8:09 am

I don’t support it, I was joking

sandpiper
Reply to  Leweez
2 July 2020 8:16 am

Councilor Darlings priorities are a little off perspective ====Mean while we are spending money on electronic meters and charging more for water & waste water but the Town has a severe lack of storm sewer and sanitary line capacity in many areas which stiffness developers that bring jobs and pay taxes and even more taxes on what they build . and I suppose we can lay off the water meter Guy now and save even more
I would prefer an old meter on my wall than a flood in my basement with a few more sources of jobs and income The new construction will also have new or old meters but they will stll contribute to the water bill either way

ben
Reply to  sandpiper
2 July 2020 3:52 pm

“Town has a severe lack of storm sewer and sanitary line capacity in many areas which stiffness developers that bring jobs and pay taxes and even more taxes on what they build”

If developers want sewers and sanitary then they should pay for them, why should existing taxpayers do the job for them. We will pay in the long run to maintain the infrastructure after it is built!

Leweez
Reply to  sandpiper
2 July 2020 8:18 pm

Just wondering if we lack sewer capacity, is that not town management’s fault? But we have plenty of drinking water capacity, that would be kudos to Lakefront Utilities?
Maybe you should be barking up the Town’s tree and not Lakefront?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Leweez
2 July 2020 9:38 pm

I suspect that the adequate drinking water supply is related to losing Kraft. Lakefront Utilities is the electrical distribution company and has nothing to do with water.

Leweez
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 July 2020 10:04 pm

Lakefront utility services management deals with water as well.
Ken you can call them LUI, LUSI, Holdco, whatever you want, but it is the same people running all of them.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Leweez
3 July 2020 8:04 am

Each of the companies that you mentioned has their own President and their own Board of Directors. All are paid from the public’s purse yet their salaries are secret. Why?

Leweez
Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 July 2020 8:10 am

Ken, you keep coming back to the secret salary issue, which was not the topic of our discussion.
would you agree with what I stated at 10:04 or no?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Leweez
4 July 2020 10:46 am

Yes, many of the same people are running these companies and they are paid a separate salary for every job. Secret salaries or not why do we tolerate the double and triple dipping?

Leweez
Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 July 2020 11:38 am

do we know the salaries of the people that run the Northam Industrial Park for the Town?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Leweez
4 July 2020 12:32 pm

I have no idea of Northam salaries. Without the deliberate obfuscation we would know if they earned more or less than $100K. Just like with all other town employees.

Leweez
Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 July 2020 4:48 pm

As they are not Town of Cobourg employees like Lakefront i guess they do not have to make salaries public

Fact Checker
Reply to  Leweez
4 July 2020 5:14 pm

Unlike Holdco/Lakefront, Northam is a Town of Cobourg business unit. If there were Northam employees that qualified for the Sunshine list, they would be listed. Lakefront employees are not Town employees

Leweez
Reply to  Fact Checker
4 July 2020 5:23 pm

Actually they are not Town employees

Fact Checker
Reply to  Leweez
4 July 2020 5:09 pm

I believe that Northam has one admin person (somewhat less than $100K) reporting to the CAO/CFO. A third party property management company looks after maintenance and operations

Leweez
Reply to  Fact Checker
4 July 2020 5:18 pm

I keep digging fact checker, there are two employees, but i have yet to find out who they are employed by

Fact Checker
Reply to  Leweez
5 July 2020 12:47 am

Leweez:
What is the job that they do? That may give a hint as to who they work for.
One is an admin person, works for the Town and reports to the CAO/CFO
What does the 2nd person do?

Leweez
Reply to  Fact Checker
5 July 2020 5:38 am

One person is the overseer of the park and one is her office assistant.
neither of which are Town employees

Fact Checker
Reply to  Leweez
5 July 2020 9:43 am

Leweez:
Your are correct. Both work for DMS Property Management.

This makes Waterworks very comparable to Northam. Both are:
Town business units
outsource their HR needs
earn a profit on their operations.

The differences are:
Waterworks operates on a non-profit model and uses the surplus (profit) to pay for capital repairs and additions
Northam works on a for-profit model. It pays for capital repairs and additions in addition to “giving” some of its profit to the Town.

Last edited 1 month ago by Fact Checker