At the Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on 26 September, three major reports on Staff actions will be presented as well as five reports on Policies and other actions. Reports on these by Cobourg News blog will follow in the coming days but advance notice on some key items seems called for. The reports are listed below and it must be said that it’s good that Staff, led by CAO Tracey Vaughan, are providing these updates to Council and the public. Some things that are happening and highlighted by these reports (notably the Service Delivery Report) are: Reduced spending on Tourism, $1M per year increase in Parking Revenue, the new Asset Management plan and review which will point to higher costs than currently budgeted.
Tracey has promised these reports regularly although since this is the last CoW meeting before a new term, Council is not expected to actually do anything as a result of the reports. These are mostly just status reports with no Council actions requested or required.
Notable Information from Reports
- Although it was mentioned when approved, parking revenue will increase by $1M per year and this will be assigned to resolving parking concerns when owners of existing parking lots proceed with their development plans. That is, the $1M will be put into reserve funds for future parking infrastructure.
- The Review of Storm Water assets (pipes, pumps etc) showed that $1.6M per year is required while only $400K is budgeted. At the same time as the budget is increased, collection of the cost will be added to water bills instead of taken from general taxation. This approach was approved in June 2022 and effective July 2022 but will hit business more than residential properties (see link in Resources). However, asset management will also be implemented for “parks, buildings, facilities, fleet, IT equipment, parking infrastructure, streetlights, traffic lights, etc”. This is scheduled for completion by 2025 and could uncover more deficiencies. Asset management is mandated by the Province and means that Town Staff and Councils will be made aware of how much future maintenance will cost so there will hopefully enough money put into reserves to pay for this.
- KPMG reported that the Town was under-staffed – although it was described in terms of “staffing levels”. This means that for service levels to be as Staff believe citizens want, 11 more staff are to be hired by 2024 – many have already been hired.
List of Reports at 26 Sept CoW
- Service Delivery Report by CAO – Quarterly Review
- 2022 Organizational Review Update Report by CAO
- 2022 Strategic Plan Report by CAO
- Non-Union Compensation – Salary Structure – by HR Manager
- Volunteer Management Policy – Update by HR Manager and Director, Community Services
- Electronic Monitoring of Employees Policy by Grant and Policy Writer
- Flag Raising and Proclamation Policy by Grant and Policy Writer
- 2022 Grant Update by Grant and Policy Writer
There are also a large number of other matters before Council at this CoW. The next News Blog report will be about a delay in Harbour repairs. Later I will provide more details on some of the above reports. Stay tuned.
- Major Changes in Parking By-Law – 12 May 2022
- Parking Update – 21 May 2022 – some tweaks to the details
- Staff report to Council on Additional Parking Passes – 13 June 2022
- Official ByLaw – 030-2022
- Cobourg Internet Parking Page – my attempt to make the parking rules easier to understand
Reports on Storm Water change
- Cobourg to increase Stormwater charge – 16 November 2021 Consultant’s report and recommendation
- Council approves new stormwater fee – 23 June 2022 – lots of details. This is now in effect but the cost to most residents will be small.