Woodlawn as Rehabilitation Centre

At tonight’s Committee of the Whole meeting of Cobourg Council, an application for a Zoning By-Law amendment was received from the new owners of the Woodlawn at 420 Division Street.  The property is currently zoned District Commercial and the new owners are applying to allow it to be used as a rehabilitation centre.  The company is Canadian Centre for Addictions which already has a location in Port Hope (see web site below). Although not required legally,  Cobourg’s policy is that re-zoning applications like this should include a public meeting so one will be held.  When asked when this might be, Director McGlashon suggested November 30 was likely.  In addition the applicant will likely also hold a virtual open House –… Read complete articleWoodlawn as Rehabilitation Centre

Council Meeting Software Upgraded

Since 2012, Cobourg has used software from iCompass to  organize council meetings and Town documents such as by-laws and minutes but new software from eSCRIBE will be used starting 26 October.  This has advantages in staff efficiencies and accuracy (see list of advantages below) but although the basic cost is lower by about $2K, when additional features are added, the cost increases from $11.6K per year to $19.6K per year.  In Brent’s recommendation to Council on 27 July, he listed 11 steps to create an Agenda with iCompass versus 5 for eSCRIBE.  Minutes are also quicker to prepare. All existing files – including bylaws back to 1972 – will be transferred to the new system and existing links to the… Read complete articleCouncil Meeting Software Upgraded

Technical problem at Council Meeting

Council meetings are now held in the Concert Hall in Victoria Hall  with a limited gallery.  Most now watch it from home via the Town’s You Tube site which has worked well so far – except tonight (Monday October 5).  Right from the start, there was no sound at the Committee of the Whole meeting.  The slides from the first two items on the Agenda were shown but there was no sound so no comments or questions were heard.  The first two items were presentations that would normally be on a blog post – but not yet!  Brent was introducing escribe which will be replacing iCompass as the Software managing Council meetings (stay tuned for a Post on this tomorrow)… Read complete articleTechnical problem at Council Meeting

Town and County want Input from Residents

Both the Town of Cobourg and Northumberland County are using online surveys to solicit input from residents.  Participation is not especially high but in this Covid-19 era, how else can input be obtained?  From my experience, live Town Hall meetings don’t have a great record of success anyway – typically 30-50 show up at Town meetings and around 10-15 at County meetings.  Does this mean the majority of citizens don’t care what is decided or do they have faith in councillors or perhaps Municipal staff?  The County use one day Zoom sessions as well as surveys while the Town uses “Bang the Table” software to do surveys lasting several weeks.  The topics covered range from how to design the East… Read complete articleTown and County want Input from Residents

VanDyk’s Site Plan up for re-Approval

Cobourg Council had a meeting on Tuesday to get public input on an application for site plan approval by Vandyk – West Park Village Ltd. for their property adjacent to Canadian Tire and between Elgin West and Carlisle.  The project for 62 Townhomes and 10 semi-detached homes started in 2014 but died after getting site plan approval – which has now expired.  But in the spring of 2018, Council gave pre-servicing approval (see link below) to construct the underground infrastructure and rough grading on the site and this has now been 90% completed. Homes were sold and it looked like the project was going ahead.  But now VanDyk is back seeking a fresh site plan approval with the original design.  But… Read complete articleVanDyk’s Site Plan up for re-Approval

Dean Hustwick leaves for CAO job in Brock

Brock Township announced on Tuesday Sept 29 that Cobourg’s Dean Hustwick is leaving his position as Director of Community Services and going to Brock Township as their CAO.  He will start in his new position on November 2.  Dean joined Cobourg’s staff on April 4, 2016 with his previous position being COO of Sport Alliance Ontario.  The announcement says that Dean is an accomplished and highly skilled leader with a reputation for transforming operations, driving innovation and improving organizational performance. Brock Township is located approx. on the east shoreline of Lake Simcoe with major Towns being Beaverton and Cannington.  Population in 2016 was 11,642. It is the smallest Township (by population) in Durham region. Dean is quoted as saying: “I… Read complete articleDean Hustwick leaves for CAO job in Brock

CIP Public Meeting

Launched at a public meeting on December 5, 2019, the Affordable and Rental Housing Community Improvement Plan provides a legal basis for the Town to subsidize housing.  On Monday September 28, another Public meeting (chaired by Nicole Beatty) explained to Council and the public what was being proposed and asked for public feedback.  The “in-person” audience was about a dozen but more would have watched proceedings via You-Tube streaming. Public meetings allow for citizens to support or oppose the idea but in this case, I counted seven presenters, all in favour.  Nobody objected although as Keith Oliver pointed out, this is only a framework or pathway.  Council has yet to approve it and allocate budget.  Although subsidized housing is a… Read complete articleCIP Public Meeting

Virtual Concert at the Cobourg Loft

You’ve heard of virtual concerts and seminars (webinars) where you watch at home on whatever screen size you have.  But you are missing out on the group experience where you are with others. In the Covid-19 era, you have to be socially separated but cinemas have been operating successfully in this fashion for a month or so. Michael Pepa moved to Cobourg from Toronto a few years back and brought with him his Les AMIS classical Concerts with world class performers. He was initially planning concerts in St. Peters but was stymied by their roof problem so he moved to the Cobourg Loft. A full program of concerts there was interrupted by the pandemic but he has found an innovative… Read complete articleVirtual Concert at the Cobourg Loft