Mayor’s Levee – 2023

Mayor Lucas Cleveland has already made some changes – the New Year’s Levee moved from noon January first to 5:00 pm January 3 and featured a solo musician instead of the Concert band.  Refreshments also changed from sandwiches and Christmas cake to cheese, crackers and slices of meat.  Although Mandy Robinson the Town crier was there, the poet laureate Jessica Outram, was not. Unlike previous years, the speech by Lucas was short and consisted of acknowledgements and thank you’s to people who had contributed to the event but also to people who had worked hard during the recent storm.  Although there are no official estimates available, the crowd appeared to be over 100 and similar in size to attendance at… Read complete articleMayor’s Levee – 2023

It’s a Girl!

Why is all news negative?  Well it’s not – some news is “feel-good”.  With the new year, it’s a chance to start with some good news – in this case, for one happy couple and the Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH).  Some Hospitals have a tradition (including NHH) to announce the first baby of the new year and for 2023, it’s Hazel Mae, born to Angela and Bruno Gelao of Port Hope – well actually to Angela but father Bruno gets some of the credit (see photo below).  The Hospital’s announcement said: Hazel “weighed 6 pounds and 11.2 ounces (3,035 grams) at birth. Hazel, who carries her maternal grandmother’s name as her middle name, is warmly welcomed by older sister Nevaeh… Read complete articleIt’s a Girl!

Predictions for 2023 – Opinion

At this time of year, I like to look ahead and try to predict what will happen in the new year.  But first let’s see how I did last year. In 2021 I had four categories: Politics, Covid-19, Town and the Economy.  In Politics I predicted the Provincial election result but missed by predicting Emily Chorley would run again. I was right that the Cultural Plan would be ignored.  With Covid-19, I was mostly right but I thought we would still be mandated to wear masks indoors.  For Town activities, I was mostly right although I thought that the Province would have made a decision on Brookside by now.  I correctly predicted no action on Sidbrook, the Tannery property, the Park… Read complete articlePredictions for 2023 – Opinion

Town helps Citizens who lost Power in Storm

What a storm! We were unfortunate enough to lose power for over 28 hours (2:30 pm Friday to 7:00 pm Saturday) but Alma reminded me that many were worse off e.g. truckers or anyone stranded on the 401 and of course the workers out fixing the breaks. But it’s no fun when computers are down and for a while a network connection on my phone was intermittent (more on this in Appendix below). These days, if your phone doesn’t work, you can’t access status reports or helpful advice – just when you need it most. Your phone could also run out of battery – but in my case I have a very large backup battery which I used to recharge my… Read complete articleTown helps Citizens who lost Power in Storm

Merry Christmas from Cobourg News Blog

It looks like we are now in a “Post-Covid” era. Enough people are sufficiently vaccinated – or have caught the bug and recovered so are close to immune – that most activities are getting close to normal. Cinemas and theatres are operating although not quite at normal schedules (see Rainbow’s schedule) and most people (although not all) are leaving masks at home. Although this time of year is when cases of respiratory diseases increase, it is also a “time of good cheer”.  As I said last year at this time: “it’s a time when we put any animosities behind us, any differences are not important – what’s important is that we are all special and deserve happiness despite any problems… Read complete articleMerry Christmas from Cobourg News Blog

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… Read complete articleCouncil Makes some Key Decisions

Cabins Proposed to Help Homelessness

There has been a lot of talk recently about homelessness and affordable housing and citizens are trying to find ways to help.  The Northumberland Sleeping Cabins Collective has announced that they are hoping to raise enough money to build 6 cabins to accommodate perhaps 10-12 individuals.  Not all details are available nor problems solved but the immediate goal is to raise the money to provide a better solution for some homeless people.  A cabin can be built for $5000 although that’s just sleeping quarters – more detail is provided below.  Kitchen and washroom facilities would be provided with separate buildings and shared.  It is hoped to find a location in each of Port Hope and Cobourg although so far there… Read complete articleCabins Proposed to Help Homelessness

Harbour repairs moving ahead slowly

The 2022 budget included provision for work to start on repairing the harbour breakwaters and walls but when tenders were called for phase one, the lowest bid was “far over budget” ($7M vs a budget of $5M).  Staff then re-tendered for just part of Phase one (the East wall) but “delays of the Coast Guard building reconstruction project on the East Pier would significantly impact the east wall repair project” so at the recent Committee of the Whole council meeting, another adjustment of the sequence was recommended by staff. The new plan is to repair the West Breakwater first using the approved Phase one budget of $4.9M.   But Director Geerts said that a decision to proceed was needed now or… Read complete articleHarbour repairs moving ahead slowly

Busy First Council Meeting in New Term

In the first Committee of the Whole Council meeting with the new Council, questions by the Mayor and Councillors raised some key issues.  In a delegation, Carol Leighton said that the Albert Street Transit Shelter is occupied by drug users; in another delegation, Dave Tunstead said that “free” downtown parking is not free; both Mayor Lucas Cleveland and Councillor Miriam Mutton asked about the new stormwater fee; the Mayor asked about costs for the Harbour so profitability could be determined and Director Geerts wanted immediate approval to start on Harbour repairs with a new estimated total cost of $15M to $20M.  Council also dealt with several other issues – a busy meeting. I will attempt to cover some of them… Read complete articleBusy First Council Meeting in New Term

Cobourg Harbour Usage Higher in 2022

According to a report to be provided by Cobourg Community Services Staff at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, both the Marina and the Campground (previously called Trailer Park) had successful years.  There is a long waiting list for seasonal slips – that seems to mean that Cobourg does not have to have a full-service Marina to be popular.  That is, we don’t need a travel lift.  Staff report that there is no desire to expand.  Both Marina and Campground split between seasonal and transient users although the Campground is gradually moving to more transients since it’s more profitable – the six remaining seasonals will be changed to transient “as they are relinquished”. The budget for the harbour… Read complete articleCobourg Harbour Usage Higher in 2022

Water Rates to increase – plus Stormwater Charge

Starting January 2023, the charge for water and wastewater will increase by an amount said to cover the cost.  In addition, in January, the cost of supplying stormwater drains will be charged directly to properties instead of being recovered by taxes.  Both these changes were previously approved by Council but now by-laws are needed to implement them and Council will be asked to do that at the December 12 Committee of the Whole meeting (COW – Governance has not yet changed).  Water rates will increase 7.2%, wastewater rates will increase 4.6% so that the average residential customer will pay an extra $48.82 per year for a total $884.90 per year. Charging directly for stormwater is a significant change and was… Read complete articleWater Rates to increase – plus Stormwater Charge