Future Nagle Road Interchange

At some future and undecided date, the 401 from Cobourg to Colborne will be widened to 6 lanes and even further in the future, it will become 8 lanes.  The MTO has started an environmental assessment and related preliminary design for this stretch of road.  Also at some future unknown date, Cobourg will need another interchange in the East End and has identified Nagle Road as the location.  Given that the MTO was already doing the work for the nearby road, Cobourg can save money long term by piggy-backing the Nagle Road study on the bigger one so that’s what they did.  The Public Information Centre (PIC) for both studies was held last Wednesday (Sept 18) at the Cobourg Lions’… Read complete articleFuture Nagle Road Interchange

Official Opening of Affordable Rental Housing on Munroe Street

At a ceremony yesterday, 31 new apartments at 86 Munroe Street were declared available for rent.  But prospective renters were not waiting for the official opening – there were 100 applications received for the 31 units and several have already moved in.  The project was conceived and is owned by “Affordable Housing Solutions Corporation” but is funded with help from the Federal Government, Provincial Government, Northumberland County and the Town of Cobourg although details of the funding split were not released.  There are 27 one-bedroom units and 4 two-bedroom units of which 5 are accessible units.  The building has a shared amenity room and a laundry facility for all residents. The apartments rent for approximately 80 per cent of the… Read complete articleOfficial Opening of Affordable Rental Housing on Munroe Street

Public Input on County Budget

After really bad public participation in County budget open houses in 2017 and 2018 (approx. 11 and 5 attendees respectively), this year the County elected to go online only.  The results of 374 responses were presented to County Council at their meeting on August 28.  Go to Links below to download the complete report – this post gives highlights.  Charts showing top issues are provided and other concerns are summarized. See also the three links to comments pages – it seems that people get quite vocal when they are offered a chance to give anonymous comments. The first two questions were revealing – 53% were not at all familiar with the process the County uses to develop their budget and… Read complete articlePublic Input on County Budget

New Recycling Programs Postponed

Northumberland County has advised that “Due to unforeseen circumstances, the collection contractor will not be able to offer the new programs starting in September as originally planned.”  This is especially important for the green bins – do not use the new green bin for food waste until December 2nd, 2019.  Instead you can continue to use a maximum of three garbage (black) bags instead of the new 2 bag limit.  However, you should use the new Blue and Grey boxes although their contents will initially go into the trucks together.  Meanwhile, using the boxes means fewer plastic bags in the waste system. Delivery of bins and boxes continues: All Green Bins are anticipated to be delivered by the end of… Read complete articleNew Recycling Programs Postponed

County Releases 2018 Financial Report

At their recent Council meeting, Northumberland County released their Financial report for 2018. The report for this year has a format similar to previous reports – with the same problems:  the report includes details of where the County is, who the players are, what was achieved and what’s planned for 2019 but most of it is detail which I would guess is of little interest to most taxpayers.  The report says very little about Capital projects and a lot about operational items which no doubt keep staff busy.  CAO Jennifer Moore seems to be making good progress in increasing efficiency and wants to improve transparency but I think taxpayers are mostly interested in what services are provided for the taxes paid.  On… Read complete articleCounty Releases 2018 Financial Report

Student Entrepreneur Summer program – 2019

Entrepreneurship in Northumberland is alive and well – seven students were at Staples this morning where they explained what their start-up businesses were about.  Funded by the Province to the tune of $3000 for each student and organized by the County’s Business and Entrepreneurship centre, Manager Rob Day said that 142 summer businesses have been started since 2001.  The idea is that some individuals like the idea of being an entrepreneur and may well be good at it, but lack experience or financing.  The program provides first hand knowledge on what’s needed to succeed – or at least point them in the right direction.  As well as cash, the program helps them with their business plan and assesses the viability… Read complete articleStudent Entrepreneur Summer program – 2019

County Holds the Line on Tax Increase

County taxes for 2020 are a bigger problem than usual.  The Province has reduced the amount of money they plan to transfer to Municipalities and the County estimates that they will need to find an extra $1.4M in revenue because of that.  That would mean an additional 2.5% increase in the levy. Inflation for capital projects is best measured by the Non-residential Construction Price Index which is currently running at more than 5% – that is, higher than CPI (1.9% excluding gas).  So because of inflation, the total operating and capital budget would require a 2.8% increase in the levy. However, staff plan to find efficiencies of 1% so the planned net increase in the total budget (because of inflation)… Read complete articleCounty Holds the Line on Tax Increase

County Stops Roundup Use in 2019

At a special County Council meeting on Friday June 7, County Council voted to discontinue the use of Roundup for vegetation control along County road guide rails and within the County Forest, for 2019.  A delegation by Faye McFarlane, Tom Shea, and Bruce Bellaire, Volunteers with Blue Dot Northumberland, made the case that the arguments used to win the Monsanto court case in California apply and that Roundup use should cease.  Staff argued that Health Canada and all pesticide regulators said it was OK but nevertheless deferred a decision to Council.  It seems that scientists don’t all agree – besides it’s become a political hot potato. Most vegetation control currently uses mowers “and other forms of preventive maintenance” so Roundup… Read complete articleCounty Stops Roundup Use in 2019