The KPMG Service delivery review in 2020 suggested that Cobourg should at least consider charging more and perhaps higher user fees. Parking fees were recently increased, Stormwater fees are being considered and Transit fares are going up but there are many others such as the Marina, CCC, Trailer Park, Concert Hall and many more (see list below). To find out what could be done differently, the Town has issued an RFP (Request for Proposal) for a consultant to do a “Comprehensive User Fee Study”. Existing fees will be reviewed and additional opportunities identified. Fees will be judged based on what other municipalities are charging plus the amount that can be justified based on the cost of providing the service. The RFP asks for the public to be consulted but leaves details up to the consultant.
The tender schedule specifies closing on June 28 but no expected award date is provided. The RFP asks that the report be provided in time for use in the 2023 budget process although that seems ambitious.
User Fee Categories – summary
- Building Standards, including non-building code fees
- Cobourg Community Centre
- Victoria Hall, Concert Hall
- Environmental Services
- Fire Services
- Legislative services, including licenses
- Waterfront, including Marina
- Trailer Park
- Engineering and public works
- Planning applications
- Special Events
- Tourism [presumably no more changes to waterfront parking fees]
- Transit [presumably no more changes]
- Municipal Buildings, including Victoria Hall and Cobourg Market Building.
- Town of Cobourg Holdings Inc, and its subsidiary companies
- Cobourg Downtown Business Improvement Area Board
- Cobourg Public Library Board
- Cobourg Police Services Board
- Building Code and Development Charge Fees
As well as reviewing fees, the consultant must consider strategies to address affordability including subsidized fees for low-income residents, seniors etc. The consultant is also to suggest methodologies for annual updates.
Below are links to related documents.
RFP documents (Download from Cobourg News Blog – once RFPs close, tender documents are removed from Town’s web site)
- Comprehensive User Fee Study RFP
- Annex A – Purchasing Policy
- Annex B: One file with relevant existing fee setting bylaws – but I have separated them out here for convenience – these By-Laws are not available on Town’s web site.
Reports by Cobourg News Blog
- Service Levels Review Final Report -16 November 2020 – includes Final Report by KPMG and the Presentation to Council
- Stormwater fees – 4 May 2022
- Transit Fares to Increase – 2 December 2021
- Major changes in Parking By-Law – 12 May 2022