Cobourg GO Bus Pilot to Continue

For at least 18 years, there have been people wanting the GO Bus or train to extend service from Oshawa to Port Hope or Cobourg. Last year, the County started a pilot program with two interconnected bus routes – a “Durham” route from Cobourg to Oshawa and a “Northumberland” Route picking up in Campbellford, Brighton and Colborne. The idea was to test if there was in fact enough demand for it to be viable – 20% of operating cost would need to be recovered from fares. After one year of the pilot/trial service, the Northumberland route will be discontinued on November 30 since there were only 513 tickets sold for the approx. 3650 trips (10 trips per day for a year). The Durham route… Read complete articleCobourg GO Bus Pilot to Continue

County Releases Strategic Plan for 2023-2027

I did not know the County had a strategic plan nor was I aware that they were producing a new one.  But there is a 2019 – 2023 Strategic Plan on their web site as well as the new one. The document is 28 pages with about half devoted to describing the county and the second half to text describing goals. The goals are divided into 5 “pillars” or categories and although Key Performance Indicators are promised, it will be early 2024 before we know what they are and see progress reports using them. There are no specific cost goals or even goals with numbers  – I would use the term “Motherhood” to describe the goals.  (That is, feel good goals as… Read complete articleCounty Releases Strategic Plan for 2023-2027

County Acts to Evict Campers at 600 William

At a special meeting on September 5, County Council heard detailed reports from Staff on the illegal encampment on the County property at 600 William street. The location is not a public park and houses several County departments, notably the paramedics and their ambulances.  Council heard reports from Staff that emphasized the negative impact on their staff and the work that was being done to offer services to the campers. One key point was made that the campers have a hierarchy – that is, one unnamed individual wants all communication to go through him and therefore makes it difficult to have direct communication with individuals needing help. In some cases, individuals have agreed to accept help but have then been persuaded to… Read complete articleCounty Acts to Evict Campers at 600 William

Council Acts on Encampments

At the regular Council meeting on Monday 21 August, a last minute addition to the Agenda was debated.  Brent Larmer worked through his vacation to write a By-Law that modified the Parks By-Law (022-2016) to essentially do two things: 1) enhance the clauses about enforcement and 2) delegate primary responsibility for looking after the homeless to the County – specifically, the county will decide if a permit should be issued for camping on Parks (or Town land). (The West Beach encampment is on Town property). Such a permit (just one) will only be issued in an emergency – that is, because there is no suitable place for campers to go.  So the Town will now enforce their Bylaws and the… Read complete articleCouncil Acts on Encampments

No visible action by Police, Town or County on Homeless

Editor’s note: Shortly after this article was posted, the Town and County issued a statement – see update below. It’s been several days since the Town deemed the encampment by homeless people on the West Beach to be illegal and they decided to do nothing.  Since then drug dealers have tried to sell them drugs and fired shots (well, just one) causing a Police presence but still no word from any of the parties responsible.  There are several news items on Today’s Northumberland and a large number of comments by the public on this blog and the Town’s Facebook page.  I’m certain that councillors are getting deluged with emails from the Public but there’s been no reporting to the public… Read complete articleNo visible action by Police, Town or County on Homeless

County Promoting Bicycle Tourism

There are two cycling clubs that have Cobourg addresses but there are also cyclists from out of town who like to tour the County.  To assist all cyclists in Northumberland, the County is launching a pilot project and installing “Bike Repair Stations” in five locations.  Why now?  Because June 3 is “World Bicycle Day”!  Each repair station includes “a full set of tools for cyclists to make any needed adjustments or any unexpected repairs, to help keep rolling along”.  The most common problem is a flat tire so a pump is provided – a manually operated one.  Also provided are commonly required tools.  Because of the risk of tools being stolen, they are tethered with “chain or coated aircraft cable”. … Read complete articleCounty Promoting Bicycle Tourism

Province to Provide Additional Funding for Housing

On Friday, MPP David Piccini announced that the Province would provide Northumberland County with an additional $2M towards their Homelessness Prevention Program.  Mayor Lucas Cleveland and all Cobourg Councillors were at the announcement as were representatives from County staff and other County Townships.  Police Chief VandeGraaf was also in attendance.  David Piccini and Warden Mandy Martin were the only speakers. David said that the increased funding would help end the housing supply crisis and help end homelessness and that the Province remains a committed Partner. Mandy expressed her gratitude to the Province – she said that the investment comes at a critical time and she looks forward to continuing cooperation from all levels of Government.  Mandy spoke about the County’s… Read complete articleProvince to Provide Additional Funding for Housing

County Strategic Plan Survey

It’s not just Cobourg who is developing a Strategic Plan for the next term of Council – Northumberland County is now seeking resident input.  It’s notable that the County is approaching creation of its plan differently – they are starting with a survey instead of Cobourg’s approach of asking for comments on a draft plan.  The survey has only three questions and they are very general – see below.  Compare this approach to Cobourg’s (as outlined in an earlier Post), and Port Hope’s which asks for an update on their 2019-2022 plan and Brighton who are holding four public meetings where residents help create their plan.  But residents of Cobourg are also in Northumberland County so this is a survey… Read complete articleCounty Strategic Plan Survey

County Selling Material Recovery Facility

In 2019, Doug Ford’s Provincial Government decided to transfer responsibility for waste recycling from Municipal Governments to the companies that produced the waste. This would save municipalities the cost plus give the producers of the waste an incentive to minimize it in the first place.  The timeline for Northumberland is for it to be fully in effect on January 1, 2024.  There are two parts to this: 1. Transferring management and ownership of the Material Recovery Facility in Grafton away from the County and 2. Transferring blue and grey box pickup to a new organization.  The County has now announced part one: the County has accepted a conditional offer from Emterra Environmental to purchase the Material Recovery Facility in Grafton…. Read complete articleCounty Selling Material Recovery Facility

County looking at Northumberland Police Force

At the County Council Meeting on 25 January, Brighton Mayor Brian Ostrander made a  motion to “approve a budget of $75,000 to retain a consultant to update the 2007 ‘Policing Study Final Report for Northumberland County’, in order to investigate opportunities for a consolidated police service in Northumberland County.”  His motion was seconded by Cobourg Mayor Lucas Cleveland and passed with the support of Port Hope Mayor Olena Hankivsky and Alnwick/Haldimand Township Mayor John Logel.  In an interview, Lucas said that there are increasing problems with officers being on long term disability because of PTSD and that Cobourg Police are having difficulty with recruiting and that a larger Police force would make it easier to resolve this.  Mayor Cleveland sees… Read complete articleCounty looking at Northumberland Police Force