At the regular Council meeting on Monday, MPP David Piccini reported on what was happening with a number of Provincial programs and how they affected Cobourg. As shown on the recently approved budget, the Province provides close to $1M of Cobourg’s revenue – much of that is jointly with the Federal Government which provides another $1.6M. The big items are Cobourg’s request for funding for Harbour repairs plus the ongoing hope of funding for the Victoria Square Project which has been on hold for a few years pending such funding. David also reported on a number of smaller grants plus he spoke briefly about the Provincial Project to improve MPAC which provides all property assessments in the Province – these are used in deciding how much tax each property in billed for.
OCIF – Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund
This year, Cobourg will be getting $638,141 which is up 55% on the last two years. This is intended to be used for roads and bridges and in fact will be used for the Mathew Street reconstruction. David emphasized the predictability of this fund which implies we’ll get more next year!
Municipal Modernization Funding
For service delivery reviews.
An application was accepted for a joint effort with other Northumberland County municipalities to review how the efficiency of Fire Services could be improved.
ICIP – Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (shared with federal Government)
CCR – Community, Culture and Recreation Stream
Note re Transit Stream: The Province has selected 350 projects and forwarded them to the Federal Government but they have not yet announced recipients. Cobourg has requested funding for a replacement Transit bus from this stream.
Cobourg submitted two applications – one for the Victoria Square Project (total project cost $1.65M) and the other to repair the Harbour’s North Wall, East Wall, West Breakwater and East Breakwater (total project cost ~$10.6M) – the total requested by Cobourg was $12.25M. There were 1100 requests for projects across Canada – the most in the program’s history. Cobourg was the only municipality to submit two requests and since not all can be approved, it’s unlikely we will get approval for both our asks. Decisions on who will get the grants are expected “as early as summer”.
Security and Prisoner Transportation Grant
To offset some of the costs of Court Security and Transportation. This year Cobourg will receive $72,028.
ROMA Rural Ontario Municipal Association
The Northumberland Community Para-Medicine program has been approved.
Property Assessment – MPAC
Improvements are planned in accuracy, transparency and stability. The process will include inputs from the public.
In a separate announcement, the province is proposing to have a single list for voters for Provincial and Municipal elections instead of using a list from MPAC for Municipal elections. The list would be managed by Elections Ontario. The change requires legislation which has not yet passed.
Hopefully, Cobourg will be awarded the larger amount of the ICIP requests since it’s more urgent and would avoid local taxes having to cover the big capital expenditure on the Harbour in 2021.
- Piccini’s Presentation on You-Tube (may be removed in 3 months)
- Video on You-Tube about the Voctoria Square Project