Council Makes some Key Decisions

At Monday’s Council meeting, several contentious issues were decided – but first there were three delegations from citizens about stormwater fees and one about “sleeping cabins” for the homeless. Council approved a plan for the Albert Street Shelter, moved forward on the sleeping cabins, approved stormwater fees and quickly approved free downtown parking until January 1, 2023. Although the delegations strongly criticized the new stormwater fees, Council’s only concession was to review them after a year. Most debate is supposed to happen at the Committee of the Whole meeting a week earlier but Councillors did discuss at length what they heard from the delegations. However, in the end, Council mostly went with Staff recommendations. Along the way, there were things to learn.

Stormwater

There are basically two criticisms:

  1. No incentives or credits are offered for people to minimize run-offs
  2. The fees are not equitable since they do not allow for large properties of mostly grass with low run-off (e.g. cemeteries) nor are they different where properties simply have a ditch as a drain.

Mayor Cleveland pointed out that the measure was approved and effective July 1, 2022 (although it was not implemented – no-one was billed) and the new by-Law simply increases the rate, The increase is needed since the planned expenditure in 2023 is $1.6M compared with the $400K spent in 2022. All money raised by the new fee will be spent on stormwater management.

Bryan Lambert said that the new fee is “new money” and a “tax grab”. He pointed to a number of errors and anomalies in the report and by-law. Comments by Director Wills repeated that the new fee is “more equitable” but it seems that not everyone agrees.

Randy Barber suggested and other councillors agreed that an Ad Hoc committee could be formed to advise Council on how best to proceed. The idea is that any recommended changes would be made before the 2024 budget is set – apparently on March 1, 2024. Meanwhile, Council approved the fees recommended for 2023. There is more on this subject in this post here and the post when it was approved in June here.  I understand that starting 1 January 2023, the average residential taxpayer will be billed $72.38 per year – that’s $6.03 per month. It will be on your LUSI bill for electricity and water.

Albert Street Shelter

Originally described as a Transit shelter but also for putting on skates for the Rink and more recently as a warming room. It includes two washrooms that have been abused by drug users and has become a haven for homeless people and a crime and security problem. As reported here nearby resident Carol Leighton asked Council for some changes and Brent Larmer has now presented a plan to Council with both immediate and long term changes.

Brent reports that both Police and By-Law officers have responded to numerous calls to the Shelter, especially in the last few months. Council approved both his short term and Long-term plans.

Summary of Plans

Short term Summary

  • Rename the facility to “Albert St Washroom”
  • Offer controlled-access to the Albert St washroom during peak hours over the holidays (1 pm – 8 pm, December 20, 2022 – January 8, 2023). Parks staff will maintain the washrooms in a good state, and Bylaw staff will allow one user inside at a time (guardians with children and those requiring assistance excepted). One washroom will be available at a time.
  • Should a washroom user overstay a reasonable time such as 10-15 minutes, Bylaw and/or Police have process and procedures in place to remove individuals while respecting their rights and dignity.
  • After the holidays (January 9, 2023), staff will close the Albert St washrooms entirely since there are not the resources to staff the facility continuously.

Long Term Plan summary

  • The Albert St washrooms are no longer safe for the public to attend without security present.
  • As the 2023 budget will be considered by Council in January and February, staff will prepare service level options and physical building improvements to be considered at that time to maintain adequate service levels for the Albert St washrooms and other facilities.

Council approved Brent’s plan with the exception that one Porta-Pottie will be added when the washroom building is closed.

Northumberland Sleeping Cabin Collective

The group with the idea of providing a better alternative to tents is missing a fundamental requirement: somewhere to put them. As described in a previous post here, the volunteer group which is sponsored by the Green Wood Coalition, wants to build six 8 ft x 10 ft cabins in a 6 month pilot to house 10 to 12 individuals who are currently homeless. Delegation spokesperson Meghan Sheffield specifically asked Council to help with providing part of the Memorial Arena parking lot as the location. She requested that “Council identify any by-laws, permits and authorizations required”. But the process will not happen in the group’s time frame – it will need to go through the Planning Department like any other development. Mayor Cleveland remarked that this project was similar to a request from Habitat for Humanity. When asked for a time estimate, Director Anne Taylor Scott said that rezoning alone would take 3 months.

There were a couple of clarifications provided:

  • The village will be fenced and locked. All visitors will be required to sign in/out.
  • Access will be available to wrap-around services that address mental and physical well being, addiction counselling, and harm reduction.

Download the 37 page pdf provided by the Collective.

When asked what is the difference between this and Transition House, two answers were given: “don’t know” and “don’t help at all”. It’s not clear if the planned users of the cabins will want to abide by the rules of the village.

Councillor Darling, noting that this is a County responsibility, asked if the County had been asked for a location – he thought there was available space on Ontario Street. But Meghan said that she asked the County and they said they had no available space.

Council approved proceeding with the project 4-3 [corrected from original]. Miriam Mutton voted against [best I could see – along with Brian Darling and Randy Barber] and said that although she really cared about people, this was not sustainable and not a viable solution. (The full gallery were unhappy with this!)  Note that “proceeding” does not mean it will happen, it’s just that staff will go the next step which is an application to the planning department.

It was a long meeting with other decisions including free Downtown parking from now until January 1, improvements in Council meeting procedures to speed things up and ratification of decisions made at last week’s Committee of the Whole – including proceeding with work on the Waterfront as reported here.

Resources

Addendum – 21 Dec 2022, 4:45 pm

It appears that our new Mayor uses Social Media, specifically Facebook and Instagram, to pass along communication that he sees as important.  He has now done that (communicated) on the subject of what Council actually approved about cabins at their meeting on Monday.  I note that he’s not disputing what I have reported above but rather he’s concerned with misinformation on social media.

Here are the two links: 

Print Article: 

 

49 Comments
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Eastender
22 December 2022 2:31 pm

…..and I thought this Council would be different. I’ll never learn.
As if renaming a building would change it. As if Council would make decisions
based on citizens wants and desires. Oh well, one can only hope.

D R
22 December 2022 12:53 pm

re Stormwater Management Services Charge – I notice that for BY-LAW 091-2022 that the version I’ve been able to view references BY-LAW 48-2022 (that spells out some of the details about the charge) but I don’t see an attachment to the BY-LAW that lists the Fees or Rates. Item 1 on the BY-LAW 091-2022 reads – ” 1. THAT the rates listed in Schedule ‘A” attached hereto shall come into force and effect on January 1, 2023″ but I don’t see any attachments. Am I missing something or is the document not complete?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  D R
22 December 2022 3:03 pm

John previously listed the charges at https://www.cobourgblog.com/news-2022/water-rates-to-increase-plus-stormwater-charge These are identical to the charges recommended in the Watson report on stormwater management.

Bryan
Reply to  D R
22 December 2022 4:07 pm

DR,

A collection of Storm-Water documentation is available on the CTA’s website
( https://cobourgtaxpayers.ca ) under Resources\Finances\Storm Water Management

https://cobourgtaxpayers.ca/storm-water-management/

This includes:
048-2022, Storm-Water Charges
047-2022, Storm-Water Fees 2022
091-2022, Storm-Water Management Charge
Storm-Water Rates Forecast 2022-2032
Storm-Water Asset Management Plan (Watson Report)
Storm-Water Asset Management Presentation

Note that the 2022 rates are for Q4 2022 only. The 2023 rates are for a full year and are substantially more
(in the order of 725%)

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
Gerinator
Reply to  Bryan
23 December 2022 12:17 pm

Thanks Bryan.

Rob
21 December 2022 4:22 pm

Its predictable, albeit disappointing, that Cleveland was on this site self-promoting/campaigning during the election however hasn’t been back since. I appreciate that earlier today he posted a somewhat informative video on IG however more needs to be said. He spoke about compassion “from both sides”, he referenced that the sleeping cabin group would be treated as a developer and as such would be subject to the same “hoops to jump through.” This seems like a bit of a misdirection and not really aligned with the discussion heard in Council nor is it aligned with the request made by the sleeping cabin group. He fails to understand that while we can be compassionate, we can also be very concerned about ourselves, our families, our homes, our taxes, our property values, our community and ensuring that our Municipal leaders are representing those who elected them…If they agree to move the sleeping cabin project forward, they have failed the tax payers of Cobourg.

Kathyrn Krakenberg
Reply to  Rob
23 December 2022 1:57 pm

I agree. It’s a great idea but like many homeowners and taxpayers I want to know where this is going. And like many do not want it in my neighborhood after seeing what people on Chapel street and surrounding areas put up with and also concerned about the value of my property should they not be maintained and trashed like so many of the encampments have been as well as shelters that have been available. I also think they should have to jump through all of the same hoops as developers have to jump through and independent homeowner builds. All the same rules and regulations and codes should apply with regular inspections etc. Also consider room for cars as some homeless people may still have cars and parking during the winter is a big issue. I am compassionate and agree this is a great idea.

Perhaps the town should also look at tiny home subdivisions as well so young people can get into the market as well. Time to slow down with the massive insanely expensive subdivisions and apartment buildings and condos being built. Even tiny homes for seniors who can no longer maintain a full sized home. The units across from the St. Mary’s highschool are great except for the lack of garages. Subdivisions of that size as well without the ridiculous price tags, narrow streets and no garage. Sorry I’ve gotten a bit off topic but from cabins, to tiny homes, to places like by the school. A gradual progression from smallest stage to the next to help the homeless, help young and old wanting into the market or into smaller accomadations and then on to full sized reasonably priced homes with half decent width streets and accomadation for at least two vehicles off street.

Lucas Cleveland
Reply to  Rob
18 January 2023 1:30 pm

Rob I was on here once or twice during the election campaign explaining and clarifying.
Not taking the time to respond to every comment does not mean I’m not on here getting a read on the pulse of this community and learning from the people who follow this blog. If you have questions please ask. My door is open, I have email, my phone number is public and I’m always out and about in the community. If you or any of the other readers/commentors on this have any questions, want to provide suggestions or want any clarifications there is no more excuses about the Mayor not being accessible. Just reach out.

Its not part of the job of a mayor to read through a private blog comments and each individual taxpayer has a responsibility to contact their elected officials if they wish to express their concerns or ask questions or make recommendations.

In terms of compassion I am not missing anything. It was a request I made and every side has two perspectives and many of the comments against the collective are coming from those who may not articulate themselves appropriately and who often use vulgar and stereotypical inappropriate language.

Lucas Cleveland
Reply to  Lucas Cleveland
18 January 2023 1:31 pm

continued from above…

Comments like “if the project moves forward they have failed the tax payers of Cobourg” shows that perhaps you don’t realize that there are many tax payers who support this initiative and they say not supporting this project would be a failure to the tax payers of Cobourg. There is no such thing as a simple situation / solution here and often there are no real black and white issues or easy answers when it comes to social services in politics.

That is why I voted that this collective to be treated like any other developer. The Cobourg council isn’t here to deliver social services that are provided by the County such as affordable housing. This group of taxpayers has an idea, many developers and other groups (trinity, habitat, transition house) have ideas. It’s not the job of a council or of town staff to do the work required of developers or groups with ideas. It should not be this councils job to decide if their idea has any merit when there is no plan presented that meets appropriate approvals or due diligence. This should not be a political issue at this time. If the organizers can first meet all the stringent demands of a developer with town staff, if they can meet all the required building, planning, fire, community engagement, legal and safety issues it will only be at that time Council debates the plan

Dam_213
21 December 2022 12:27 pm

So we have a new mayor who ran on affordable housing but quickly moves to increase tax payers rates via a tax grab. Does my affordability not matter?

New to Cobourg
Reply to  Dam_213
21 December 2022 1:19 pm

I don’t believe our new Mayor ran on an affordable housing platform. Mayor Cleveland ran on transparency and integrity and accountability.

Dave
Reply to  New to Cobourg
21 December 2022 2:44 pm

So we shall see what we shall see. Transparency, Integrity and Accountability. Storm Run Off and rather cloudy policies on the Village. Objective – going forth with great leadership and training by staff he stated. Who apparently have put forth these policies which have been approved by the a bare majority of Council of which he was one.

Dam_213
Reply to  New to Cobourg
21 December 2022 6:12 pm

He most certainly did. Spoke of it many times in public. Describing how he himself was impacted by affordability, forcing him to move four times in six years. Funny how he has now made affording a house even further from his own grasp by adding 700-800 dollar increase to already over stretched families.

Sandpiper
21 December 2022 9:56 am

I do believe we have a Police Force hiding some where in Cobourg
They are consistently late to the Party when ever someone calls for help .
Another Robbery Last night seconds away from the police station .Not the 1 st
Yet the Police have not Offered any advice or Solutions that I can see to any of
these problems . This is the Town and Tax Payers Force isn’t it ???

Jade
Reply to  Sandpiper
22 December 2022 1:51 pm

It doesn’t help that the owners of the store took an hour to call police

Informed
Reply to  Sandpiper
25 December 2022 8:17 pm

Should all of the officers sit at the police station in case a robbery occurs across the street?

Small Town Lover
21 December 2022 9:42 am

So it appears the Town will be enabling the situation instead of dealing with the cause. No mention of trying to get them off the drugs or provide counselling. Throw up a few huts, guard the Albert Street washroom because it’s not safe. Well, where do you go in Cobourg that is safe? No Frills parking lot? No. Driving your vehicle on Division Street? No. Walking into a downtown convenience store? No.
Cobourg is slowly getting taken over by drugs and violence and the people responsible get a slap on the wrist and then go back to their old ways. Why? Because they can . The law abiding residents, the tax payers of Cobourg are not the priority apparently and if this continues they will stop going downtown all together. Its not safe and more businesses will shut their door for good because of that. Even yours Mayor Cleveland.

Pete M
Reply to  Small Town Lover
24 December 2022 5:13 pm

Small town lover
Numerous elected officials, municipal staff and various Business groups have tried to make the downtown better over the years. None has found that magic bullet of success.

In fact it appears to be worsening.

Given the ability to online shop and bank, what need is there for a majority of the residents to go downtown? Maybe a tattoo, some weed or second hand goods or to say a final farewell to a loved one or friend?

Informed
Reply to  Small Town Lover
25 December 2022 8:21 pm

enabling? That says it all for sure. This Town will be a s… h… soon enough. Maybe the County isn’t having anything to do with this tiny home development because they know better.

Kyle
Reply to  Small Town Lover
25 December 2022 9:29 pm

STL…Municipalities have ZERO control over courts. In fact a judge just let off a criminal caught with a loaded handgun near a school with NO JAIL TIME because they took into account they were the VICTIM of past racism based on where they were raised. They could put free counseling on every block and it would have no appreciable impact on the drug culture. Hate to be so negative but the reality is that a life in Canada is cheap and somewhat worthless based on what the actual penalties are for taking a life.

Jeffy
21 December 2022 9:34 am

The only solution to the Albert Street washroom is a backhoe.

Gerinator
Reply to  Jeffy
21 December 2022 8:38 pm

Given statement from Brent “After the holidays (January 9, 2023), staff will close the Albert St washrooms entirely since there are not the resources to staff the facility continuously.” it appears your ‘solution’ is appropriate. Again and again a minority negatively affect a resource available to a majority of people. No guard, no pooh.

Informed
Reply to  Jeffy
24 December 2022 1:01 pm

Or a backbone

Carol
21 December 2022 8:32 am

I watched the council meeting until the very end when our mayor announced that we are moving up in the world. No longer is the mayor levee on January 1 st in the afternoon but now January 3 in the evening. No longer egg salad sandwiches and the cobourg concert band ( they are too noisy) says the mayor and now we are having wine cheese etc and a jazz band. He stated that it was poorly attended in the last couple of years could that possibly have been because of covid? He is having the town crier maybe to blow his horn. I am truly disappointed.

mrs bigley
Reply to  Carol
21 December 2022 11:21 am

a good change – Jazz, wine and cheese – a true welcome for the year ahead – good idea

Pete M
Reply to  mrs bigley
22 December 2022 6:46 pm

What about those who might prefer some Morgan Wallen or Cole Swindell and some Whiteclaws???

Kevin
21 December 2022 8:15 am

Unlike some commenters I did not read the entire 37 page report, but I did read sections. Overall I’m impressed with the work that has gone into it. One possible problem I see is the “…communities will be substantially governed by the residents…” The residents are people in need for various reasons. Commenters have often used terms like homeless, mental illness, addicts to describe some of these people. Are these the type of people who will make good decisions about how the community is governed? Maybe they will, with the proper support. Condominium corporations have a board of directors but the day to day management is done by a management company (one that makes decisions in the best interest of the management company). A typical condo owner could be a retired person or couple who have had successful careers and want to downsize from living in a house. They have made good decisions in life. Yet, too often, there is not enough reserve fund to cover costs and a special levy is issued costing each unit owner thousands. Not all condos are happy places. At the municipal level new levies or increases to existing ones are used to cover management mistakes (storm water for example). At the provincial/federal levels taxes are increased or money is “magically” created using federal banks to pay for existing or new programs (2 years of all day kindergarten and subsidized daycare are relatively new. Is society better with the state caring for our children and 2 working parents to pay for the taxes to fund these programs?). In the long run it is tax payers who will pay one way or another. Remember Communism? The state told you where to live and work. In Russia, the state took control of successful farms resulting in mass… Read more »

Tucker
Reply to  Kevin
21 December 2022 4:29 pm

I disagree on how you think Condominium Corporations are run. The Board makes the decisions by holding a Board or Owners meeting, with the information supplied by the Management Company for the item/contract to be discussed. The Management Company gives their guidance and expertise, but the final decision is up to the Board. The contributions to the Reserve Fund are mandated by the Condominium Act of Ontario and the Corporation must make monthly contributions to that fund for future repairs and hopefully have funds available for a major unexpected repair. If they don’t, then they have been terribly mis-managed by previous or current Boards. Yes, I do agree on your point that “not all condos are happy places”. But that is mostly due to the owners/renters who refuse to abide by the Rules or Bylaws and think just because they own their Unit it gives them the right to do whatever they please. Sounds like to me that you are against Condos and may have had the unfortunate experience to have lived in one that was not well managed.

Cobourg taxpayer
21 December 2022 7:54 am

Regarding the Albert St Washroom closure on January 9 2023: what a terrible shame that the families and youth who used the building before and after skating can no longer do so. Where are the proponents now who demanded the shelter be used for the homeless and drug addicted during a storm?

Lois
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
21 December 2022 12:03 pm

Apparently there was no place else for them to go. I agree with you that it’s a terrible shame.

Dave
20 December 2022 11:01 pm

Too many unanswered questions to the community. “The village will be fenced and locked – all visitors to the community must sign in/out” No mention who the gatekeeper will be or the hours that person would be on duty.

How were the homeless people to inhabit selected and by whom? Who are the providers of the wrap around services? What about the community surrounding this facility should incidences begin to rise of neighbourhood incidents? People living near Transition House have had many complaints of abuses yet say little has been done.

As Social Services is also under the County and the County is also the provider for this type of housing why is the Town Council administering and funding this project?

As the storm water taxation both projects are lacking important fundamental information to residents about how these decisions were reached and who in the end is accountable in town government for costs. Having read the 37 page report on the Village I wish them luck however Tent City in Toronto – a fenced habitat of homeless had much the same self governance rules as the proposed Village. Removed now – bull dozed away. A live in hospital setting would be more appropriate for many.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave
Pete M
Reply to  Dave
21 December 2022 9:25 am

Dave,
You ask why not the County.
For years the Town and County have struggled in their governance relationship.

The Town wanting more independence from the County taking on and fulfilling County responsibilities within the Town.
The County willingly or unwillingly is letting the Town do it.

What we have is typical small Town politics. Politicians building their own kingdoms to increase their relevance and standing with their constituents.

In Cobourg’s case, the homelessness is something that everyone can see and plays
on people, whether you support or dont support the initiatives. This is a perfect issue for Town councillors to get involved in and increase their profiles, even though it is a County responsibility.

I believe the County allows it, so they can focus their social services resources elsewhere in the County-Brighton, Campbellford

Pete M
20 December 2022 7:44 pm

Not sure Albert Street Washroom was the best name.
Why not just call it the Privy???

Dave Chomitz
20 December 2022 5:58 pm

I wish I had an answer, but I think we needed more questions. I was surprised when the presenter was not asked once for clarification when she stated “we’re not asking for money”. It was disappointing to not see any councilors ask about costs not accounted for in the proposed budget. ie – Hydro, water and sewer hook up and removal for the kitchen and washroom cabins. Hydro hook up and removal for the 12 cabins – and the proposal is clearly for 12 cabins – although the speakers did not mention the number of cabins in their presentation. Nor question the self management / governance model they are proposing. Also, considering Staff seems to always look to other communities the size of Cobourg for a blueprint of what we should do … (they did it several times last night discussing sewer charges). No one asked why we are using the Peterborough and Kingston models. What are towns our size doing ? Do we have more homeless than others ? When they threw Transition House under the bus, to me it started to sound more like empire building than looking for ways for everyone to work together.

Merle Gingrich
Reply to  Dave Chomitz
21 December 2022 4:02 pm

Let’s go back to a suggestion that I made awhile back, set up living units in the COBOURG Memorial Arena. Heat, hydro washrooms all available , it’s oh so simple.
I hope that the new Mayor and new councillors read this again and THINK 🤔🤔

Dave Chomitz
Reply to  Merle Gingrich
21 December 2022 6:18 pm

I believe that at this time the Memorial arena is spoken for.

Bryan
Reply to  Dave Chomitz
21 December 2022 8:00 pm

DC,

Indeed.

As reported by Draper (July 7, 2022) 89.7FM (Sept 27, 2022) and Northumberland News (Oct 6 2022), the Town is negotiating with the Canadian Firefighters Museum to lease the memorial arena.

Draper’s report indicated that an ad-hoc committee recommended to Council that staff open negotiations with the CFFM for the use of the Memorial Arena. The second choice was Top Prize Events (wrestling promoter)

I found no further information on the state of the project.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
Rob
20 December 2022 3:12 pm

If you aren’t sure how the Tiny House community will work, read the details above re: Alberta Street Shelter. This is a glimpse into the future of the tiny home community – bathroom walls, sinks and toilets with blood splatter from shooting up, violence, a recent sexual assault, drug induced sudden deaths, etc… Thank you to Councilor Darling for pointing out the obvious, that this falls within the Country’s level of responsibility and we are absolving them of what they are meant to manage. I would like to know who voted in favour of this….

I’m sure the West Northumberland Curling Club is thrilled about the neighbourhood development project…likely to gain some new drop in members. It’ll also be great for visitors to the Firefighter museum.

Side note – Council couldn’t get any more creative than to rename the change-room at the Frink something more than the “Albert Street Washroom.” It was never intended to be the Albert Street (bus) Shelter, Albert Street Warming Centre or the Albert Street Washroom…its was built for skaters to put their skates on and keep their boots warm and dry and use the washroom as necessary.

Miriam Mutton
20 December 2022 2:22 pm

hi John, it was a Council vote of 4-3 on the matter concerning cabins. And your comment above about the potential reality of ‘proceeding’ is accurate. (my edit to clarify vote on the cabin matter.)

Last edited 1 month ago by Miriam Mutton
Wendy
Reply to  Miriam Mutton
20 December 2022 2:39 pm

Unfortunately the full view of councillors was not shown on the video so we were unable to see who voted for or against. The screen was of the amendment with councillors in a tiny window up in a corner. I believe this happened a few times when it came to voting for or against.

Cobourg taxpayer
20 December 2022 1:43 pm

I see after last night’s council meeting it is likely the cabins will go on the parking lot of the Memorial Arena. Estimates are there are 100 homeless people in Port Hope and Cobourg. These cabins in Cobourg will house 12. Are the cabins just for sleeping? Is drug/alcohol use allowed? What is the eligibility for these cabins? Is law enforcement allowed?
The CFD p. 9 in the NSCC report says cabin doors should swing outward. P. 20 says the doors will open inward whereas on the diagram on p. 22 it appears the doors swing outward. So what is it?
P. 16 of the NSCC report refers to Research and Evaluation of the Pilot. This is the part that particularly interests me: results. Apparently the Wraparound Evaluation Model has a common measurement tool which the NSCC will use. A quick google search of these terms results in NOTHING.
The appendix in the study refers to other related projects. As the Greenwoods Coalition is associated with these cabins I was hoping to read concrete results which presumably would be found in Case study 4 (refers to the Greenwood Tower Motels in Port Hope operated by the Greenwoods Coalition). While it is a very feel good story there are no concrete results. How many people have been housed there, for how long, were they successful in finding jobs, getting the resources they needed for mental health, drug/alcohol addictions? Where are they now? As the NSCC initiative is called a transitional cabin village presumably residents are transitioning to something. If the cabin project is to continue after 6 months these results are vital in determining success.

ben
20 December 2022 1:32 pm

 I understand that starting 1 January 2023, the average residential taxpayer will be billed $72.38 per year – that’s $6.03 per month. It will be on your LUSI bill for electricity and water.”

So when can we expect a report about the elimination of this line item in the budget and the consequent tax reduction in this department?

Bryan
Reply to  ben
20 December 2022 2:50 pm

Ben,
There is no line item in the budget. There is a department with operations and capital costs. The 2022 budget for this department was about $500K.
This question was asked several times at last week’s CoW and last night’s Council meeting. Dir Wills’ answer was that there would be no reduction in the levy due to the new SW fee.

ben
Reply to  Bryan
20 December 2022 6:59 pm

“Dir Wills’ answer was that there would be no reduction in the levy due to the new SW fee.”

Of course not Bryan the decrease in the removal of SW from the levy will be absorbed by the estimated 7% increase overall.

But to be true to the situation I would still want to know just how much money was saved in that department and also just because LUSI collects the money now will they transfer it to the Town?

Bryan
Reply to  ben
20 December 2022 10:01 pm

Ben,
7% increase overall? Increase in what, the levy? The 2023 budget hasn’t been presented yet. the 2022 SW budget was about $500K. The estimate for 2023 is $1.6M.

Dir Wills was asked several times by several people at the CoW and the Council meeting if the SW removal of the $500K SW costs would reduce the levy. She said no.

If you consider that the $500K is part of the $1.6M, there is a $1.1M increase, a bit more than a 4% increase in the levy.

As for collecting collecting and remitting the money, I believe that it will be handled the same as the water & sewer billings. LUSI will bill, collect the fees, and remit them to the Town.

In this context, LUSI is just an outsourced contractor.

ben
Reply to  Bryan
21 December 2022 7:30 am

7% – the Previous Budget Chief’s original estimate.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
20 December 2022 3:17 pm

There is considerable variation in lot sizes in Cobourg. A 1 acre residential lot will pay roughly 5 times the average stormwater charge or about $350 per year. The larger lot will likely contribute no more runoff than the average homeowner’s property due to the larger property being mostly lawn and garden which absorbs rain water.

This is certainly a tax grab! This new tax is expected to raise about $1.6M or 6% of the 2022 levy (total property taxes collected). Colour me doubtful that property taxes will decrease by 6%!

cornbread
Reply to  Ken Strauss
21 December 2022 8:48 am

That’s why I keep saying…Forget about the repairs to the Jetty. We ain’t got the money!