County Safety and Well Being Survey

Northumberland County has a mandate for community services such as Affordable Housing, Paramedics, the Golden Plough and income support (welfare) as well as county roads, garbage and economic development. To better understand what residents see as priorities for a range of such services, a survey was conducted from 25 June to 31 July.  Public surveys usually get few participants and this was no exception with only 143 responses received. Of these, 61 were Cobourg residents. Of the 143, 46 were over 59 years of age, 60 were 39 to 58 and 29 were 18 to 38. The results are interesting and will guide the County’s “Community Safety and Well-being Plan”. Major categories were “Personal Safety”, “Feelings about Crime”, and “Environment and Culture” – details… Read complete articleCounty Safety and Well Being Survey

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

GPL and Mason Homes Developments Approved

At Monday’s C.O.W. Council meeting, as well as the Coast Guard re-development, two other projects were also approved: the Golden Plough Lodge (GPL) and the 27 Townhomes by Mason Homes at 425 King East (pre-servicing and sub-division agreement).  Mr. Mason was there to suggest that a chain link fence would be better than a wooden one but was otherwise happy and thought that construction would start next Spring.  He said that chain link blends better with trees and lasts longer but neighbours wanted privacy and wood is better for that so wood will be used.  (See links below for the full Planning report and earlier articles).  The GPL project was first initiated in 2016 and residents should move in during… Read complete articleGPL and Mason Homes Developments Approved

County and Town Citizen Surveys

Over the summer, both the Town and the County surveyed citizens and asked them what they thought of their services and their cost.  Unfortunately, participation was poor.  The County’s survey was from July 10 to 31 and they got 54 responses; the Town’s started on August 10 and when KPMG reported to Council on August 24, they said there were only 122 responses as of August 18.  The Town’s survey was supposed to finish on Aug 24 but as of August 27 it was still active.  One reason for the municipalities to ask for input is that the pandemic will put a big strain on budgets so maybe services should be cut or should taxes get a big hike?  Although… Read complete articleCounty and Town Citizen Surveys

County Annual report – 2019

Northumberland County has now released their Annual Report – not just Financial but also a review of what they have been doing.  The County’s organization and budget are bigger than Cobourg’s ($112M compared to $50M) but they get less attention.  They look after Waste Collection and Management, County roads, Social Services (Welfare and the Golden Plough), Affordable Housing, Economic development and Tourism promotion, Paramedics (Ambulances), County Forests and Archives. You can  download the full 86 page report from the link below but I have summarized the highlights for you.  It’s hard not to compare the County report to what is done by Cobourg.  Unlike the County, Cobourg does not do an annual report but simply reports on finances and so… Read complete articleCounty Annual report – 2019

Affordable Housing gets Funding

For some time, the County has been planning an expansion of affordable housing at their Elgin Park development and on Thursday July 23, $5.7M funding for it was announced through the Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative (COCHI) – that’s a joint Federal/Provincial initiative.  The announcement was made by Steve Clark, (Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing) and Adam Vaughan (Federal MP & Parliamentary Secretary) – see photos below.  There are currently 18 units at the development in 9 duplexes and when complete there will be 40 units in 8 two storey buildings of 4 plexes and 6 plexes including a shared green space with a playground and recreational area.  The new money will fund 28 of the new units, all… Read complete articleAffordable Housing gets Funding

County to Improve Transparency with Committees

Cobourg has Advisory committees with citizen members with a mandate to recommend to Council what should be done on certain issues. At last count there were seven of these although there are additional Ad Hoc committees setup from time to time.  But until now the County has avoided any kind of body outside the Council itself.  Other than Council meetings, the only comparable meetings are departmental meetings which the Warden and Councillors can attend.  But these are not open to the Public and there is no citizen representation.  At the next County Council meeting on July 22nd, County staff are recommending a change in Governance that “provides (and is seen to provide) full transparency, accountability and openness”.  The major difference… Read complete articleCounty to Improve Transparency with Committees

Transition House moves out of School

When the Covid-19 crisis hit, Transition House, Northumberland’s shelter for the homeless (but located in Cobourg), wanted a place where there could be social distancing for staff and clients and their “house” could not do that. Simultaneously, the High School (Cobourg Collegiate Institute – CCI) closed for classes. So with the cooperation of the School Board and with help from MPP David Piccini, the school became an interim “Transition House”.  For details see link below. But with schools re-opening in September, this arrangement was not sustainable.  With the house empty, changes were able to be made to the House to make it suitable in a Covid-19 world, albeit with a limited capacity.  Transition House Executive Director Anne Newman has now… Read complete articleTransition House moves out of School