Golden Plough Build to go to Next Stage

At their next meeting, County Council will be asked to approve the award of a $3M contract to Salter Pilon Architecture Inc. for architectural and engineering services for the rebuild of the Golden Plough Lodge (GPL).  Construction costs for the project have been estimated at $49.0M but there is a possibility that the project will be expanded from 151 to 180 beds.  In that case, the estimated total of $82.5M includes not just construction costs and the additional beds but also all other associated costs such as professional services, land/property value, approval/permits, insurance and applicable taxes.  Of this, approx. $35M would come from the Province and the rest from our taxes spread over 25 years.  The expansion from 151 to… Read complete articleGolden Plough Build to go to Next Stage

Concerns about High Lake levels Occurring Again

A delegation to County Council on April 18 will ask Council to have emergency plans for the possibility that flooding from high water levels on Lake Ontario could happen again.  This may be aggravated by the recently implemented Plan 2014 which allows extreme lake levels to be 2.4 inches higher than previously.  The issue affects property owners in both the U.S. and Canada who have a Lake Ontario waterfront so they have formed a group called United Shoreline Ontario. The presentation talks at length about Plan 2014 and implies that it was a bad decision but the reason for it was to allow for greater variation in lake levels to help coastal wetlands.  The level in Lake Ontario is managed… Read complete articleConcerns about High Lake levels Occurring Again

County Report to Cobourg Council

At last Monday’s council meeting, Northumberland County CAO Jennifer Moore and Treasurer Glenn Dees presented the annual County Financial report.  They listed accomplishments, talked about upcoming priorities and gave a good summary of the county budget with highlights (see link below for the full presentation).  The financial summary was simpler and easier to understand than previously provided.  Major Projects for the next 10 years were listed, allocation of tax dollars was spelled out and the split in sources of funding was shown.  In reporting on waste management, Jennifer said work was being done in preparation for the introduction in 2019 of collection of a third type of waste – garbage that could be composted.  Details are still being worked out… Read complete articleCounty Report to Cobourg Council

Public Meeting – Vacant Property Tax Rebate

As reported last December, the county is looking at changing the tax system so that vacant stores do not get a rebate on their taxes.  A required part of that process is that public meetings must be held to allow communication to and from affected people.  The required meeting was held on Wednesday March 21 at the County building – only a few people turned up.   At a presentation, County treasurer Glenn Dees explained some of the details.  The change is now possible because legislation passed in early 2017 allowed municipalities to “opt-out” of the rebate program or make other changes.  Of those who requested a change in 2017, 21 of 25 eliminated them immediately of phased them out.  Another… Read complete articlePublic Meeting – Vacant Property Tax Rebate

Homelessness Plan for Northumberland

Until recently, Transition House provided housing for people in Northumberland who were in emergency situations – or otherwise simply homeless.  But on December 5, 2017 a client assaulted a worker and caused “considerable structural damage” to the premises so it was closed December 22 – supposedly temporarily.  The County is responsible for social services so they organized alternative emergency shelter – I understand in conjunction with the Salvation Army, Cobourg Police and others.  News is sparse – seemingly because of a decision to not provide information to the media – but separately the County is now making public their plans to provide a new Emergency Shelter System. In mid 2017 a consultant was hired to review housing the homeless so… Read complete articleHomelessness Plan for Northumberland

County Reduces Tax on Apartments

Taxes for both the Town and the County are spread amongst classes (categories) using ratios.  Residential has a base of 1.0, so if a class has a ratio less than 1.0, then for a given valuation, taxes will be less.  As an example, the farm ratio is 0.25 so valuations of farms will be 4 times that of a residence for the same tax. But “multi-residential” was previously set at 2.2160 and “industrial” class was set at 2.6300 so their taxes were more than double for the same valuations. However, both multi-residential and industrial were deemed to be too high so will now be lowered to 2.0000 and 2.4800 respectively for 2018 taxes.  This means that taxes for multi-residential will… Read complete articleCounty Reduces Tax on Apartments

MTO Reports to County on 401 in Winter

At the County Council meeting on January 24, MTO made a presentation that described traffic, accidents, closures, snow clearing, maintenance goals and construction projects.  It generally covered the Eastern Region which extends from Port Hope through Northumberland to the Quebec border.  The MTO does not get much publicity so I have listed below the highlights of the presentation as they affect Northumberland.  But they do try to keep us informed with their kiosks at ONRoute service Stations, using a Twitter account and various web sites.  Kathryn Moore from the Ministry of Transportation made the presentation.  The photo shown below was originally captioned as being in Toronto – but I’m not sure which highway it is nor even if it’s MOT… Read complete articleMTO Reports to County on 401 in Winter

Fundraising launched for new Northumberland Hospice

In May 2017, Northumberland Community Care announced that a new Facility would be built locally to care for those needing “End of Life Care” (see link below).  The timing was because the Provincial Government announced that they would pay $315,000 annually towards operating costs – enough for 3 of the 6 beds planned. On 22 September 2017, it was announced that Ontario Street in Hamilton Township had been selected as the site and on November 29, the fundraising was officially launched.  The $7 million to be raised will cover the cost of building plus the remainder of operating costs not covered by M.O.H. for the first three years.  At the fundraising launch, campaign co-chairs Gord and Patti Ley said that… Read complete articleFundraising launched for new Northumberland Hospice