In 2021, the Capital budget was $8.4M and the proposed Capital budget for 2022 is $15.2M. The increase is mostly because of heavy expenditure on repairing the waterfront but a large number of smaller projects are also proposed. Many of the smaller projects are of interest but others are routine and expected so not included in my list below. A full list would have 62 projects. Financing is provided by multiple sources: direct from the tax levy ($185K), reserves ($3.9M), grants ($1.9M), debentures ($8.2M) and other (the balance). Debentures add to long term debt – for 2022, the “long term debt charge” is $350K compared to $650K in 2021. So although a lot of money is being spent on Capital projects in 2022, the impact on the tax levy is minimal. There is no estimate of what it might be in future years if interest rates go up.
So what are the significant projects? Here are my choices:
Significant Projects in 2022
|Harbour Rehabilitation||$4,985,000||Note 1|
|Blake, Victoria, Burke Reconstruction||$2,700,000|
|Sanitary Sewer – 2 projects||$1,430,000|
|Replace Boardwalk at West Beach||$1,060,000|
|Kerr Street (Wilkins Gate-New Amherst)||$746,000|
|Bi-Annual Pavement Resurfacing||$600,000|
|Ongoing Street Light Replacement Program||$355,000|
|Replace Fire Truck||$300,000|
|Two small Transit Buses||$240,000|
|Victoria Park Canteen Conversion||$165,000||Note 2|
|Upgrade to Pay & Display at Waterfront||$150,000||Note 3|
|Wayfinding Signs||$150,000||Note 4|
|Victoria Hall Maintenance – 5 projects||$146,000|
|Multi-Use Trails – 4 projects||$135,000|
|Marina Electrical System Upgrade||$100,000|
|Information Technology – 3 projects||$85,000|
|Playspace Equipment replacement – Westwood Park||$60,000|
|Brook Road North – Paved Shoulders||$50,000|
|Marina Security Access Gates||$40,000|
|Water Bottle Filling Stations in Parks – 2||$20,000|
Note 1. Harbour Project
2022 (probably September Start)
North Harbour Basin Wall – $2,535,000
East Harbour Basin Wall – $1,525,000
Fuel Dock Basin Wall – $825,000
Centre Pier – $100,000
East Breakwater – $2,275,000
West Breakwater Repair – $1,270,000
West Breakwater Rehab – $4,225,000
Note that the East Pier Rehabilitation work is not recommended to be completed until after the East Breakwater work has been completed since construction vehicles will be traveling along the east pier in order to repair the breakwater. This means that the entry in the draft budget of $3.6M for the East pier in 2022 is incorrect – it should be 2023 – so the total 2022 Capital budget is $3.6M less than the draft budget shows. Similarly, the amount of new long term debt by debenture for 2022 is also $3.6M lower. The numbers in the lead paragraph above reflect this reality. The upgrade of the East Pier is separate to the rehabilitation work and will be several million more and happen in about 2024.
Council were not clear on what the planned timeline would be and asked for more information (also I’m not quite clear!). Staff are planning a public information session in January 2022. This will include information on disruption at the waterfront during the work in late 2022 including road and parking lot closures.
Note 2 Building is to be converted to a family washroom and changing room facility as well as a utility and event headquarters room. The Canteen is to be replaced by food trucks.
Note 3 Higher fees are planned for the waterfront area so the original parking meters would not be sufficient to accept the amount of coin necessary for people to visit the area for long periods of time. So Pay & Display would be required in most locations.
Note 4 Design and install two additional community map/event boards in the downtown waterfront area. Redesign and replace “Cobourg” signs on eastbound and westbound 401. Seek partnerships with community / business organizations. Wayfinding Signs to be “maintenance free”.
Despite the marathon Council sessions or perhaps because of them, this year marks the first time in my memory that Council is on track to approve a budget before the year starts. That will be a big achievement by itself.
Town of Cobourg Budget Presentation Documents
Town of Cobourg web site links
- Draft Operating Budget for 2022
- Draft Capital Budget for 2022 – note incorrect inclusion of East Pier rehabilitation work in 2022.
- Escribe Meeting list – link to calendar; also useful to click “upcoming”.
Previous Cobourg News Blog Posts.
- Draft Capital Budget for 2021 – 28 December 2020 – this budget was approved.
- Budget meeting Part 3 – 24 January 2021 – report on meeting when 2021 budget was finally approved.