Cobourg Council has released a schedule of seven meetings where the budget is developed and the public is invited – albeit virtual (see link below) – and the first one was held at 5:00 pm today. In introducing the meeting, Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin said that it would help Council decide on “Areas of Focus” – but she did say that this year the target would be a 1 to 2% increase. Suzanne then discussed the meeting schedule and this prompted Councillor Nicol Beatty to ask about how well the second meeting about Community Grants had been publicized. She pointed out that the web site still had year old information. Brent Larmer took responsibility for the oversight but said that interested people still found a way to make applications. The deadline for Community Grant applications as always was October 31 and this year 7 requests were received in time compared to 30 last year. Several of these requested “in-kind” donation of Victoria Hall space which raised the question as to when it will be open. There was no answer to this since it depends on the Province and their direction re the pandemic.
Last year, submissions on the budget were heard in September with four people making submissions complete with presentations (see link below). This year there were only two and they were in written form only with no presentations.
Here are summaries of what they suggested and links to their full submissions (in Links below).
Ted also submitted in 2019 – his photo at right is from that event.
Ted was concerned about the Marina budget:
During this homelessness and pandemic crisis in Cobourg, with many single moms struggling to find a place to live, as well as food, it’s hard for us to remember back when every dollar counts. Are we going to take money from them by using tax dollars to support the marina? This expensive, exclusive-use facility has less than 200 participants.
He listed money spent (and to be spent) on the Marina over the past and immediate future years and doubted that the reserve fund and future profit would cover costs. He pointed to “the push to spend extra millions on travelift for a hundred boaters used twice a year to lift 50 boats” and to Paul Gauthier’s 2015 report that “the Marina cannot afford a travelift”
Doesn’t council, in order to make an informed decision, deserve a professional / independent and up-to-date reserve fund study?
Terry Marrocco and 8 others
The concern was that Council should be planning and actively budgeting for more trees. The submission says:
For our long-term vision of Cobourg, do we see us enjoying green canopied streets or do we see solar paneled congregated dwellings, no tall trees, nor shade for greenery, residents would walk, cycle to go to community gardens and local parks? We must plan our budgets now to align with the vision we have for 5, 10, 20 years hence.
Rory Quigley’ gave a great report outlining need for accurate counting of trees in Cobourg. Now his plan must be costed to start getting bylaws and regulations and rest of first year of plan with all departments in order to get the Urban forest plan off the shelf and implemented economically in Cobourg.
The next budget meeting is for Community Grant Presentations on December 7 followed by a meeting on December 8 to hear submissions by six departments.
- Schedule of Council Public meetings – including budget meetings
- Few Citizen Inputs to Town’s 2020 Budget – 17 September 2019
- Urban Forest Management Plan Released – 21 July 2018
- Submission by Ted Williams
- Submission by Terry Marrocco and 8 others
- History of Cobourg Yacht Club