Pilot Project for Recycling glass

Starting September 25th and continuing until the end of February, 2019, two groups of 100 homes in the East end of Cobourg will participate in a pilot project to determine the parameters and viability of recycling glass in separate bins.  Yellow bins will be issued to these homes and they will be asked to use them for the bottles or jars now put in with other recyclables. This is separate and additional to the planned twin bins for recyclables and separate collection of organic waste planned to be implemented 1 Sept 2019 (see link below).  The pilot project is required so that the Waste Management people at the County can learn just what the volume would be and whether it is… Read complete articlePilot Project for Recycling glass

County Councillors to Get Pay Increase

With an election due in October, Cobourg Council recently went through a long process to review Council Salaries but finally decided to reject the Ad Hoc Committee recommendations and approved significant increases.  Now the County is recommending increases too.  They have not appointed a citizen committee but instead Staff are making recommendations at the County Council meeting on July 18 and the increases will be substantial.  Since the county councillors are in fact the Mayors of each of the constituent municipalities, the total salary for Cobourg’s Mayor will be significantly higher in 2019 than in 2018.  Other provisions of the proposed new bylaw include an annual CPI adjustment, an increase in allowed expenses for conferences and an implementation of the… Read complete articleCounty Councillors to Get Pay Increase

Changes coming to re-cycling in 2019

Effective September 1, 2019, the County intends to make major changes to its recycling and waste collection program.  Instead of one type of recyclable waste, there will be two: paper and containers. In addition, organic waste will be collected separately. Residents will be given blue, grey and green boxes.  It will get complicated so expect a major educational program.  The motivation for the dual-stream recycling is the cost of recycling when it’s contaminated with non-recyclable material.  Currently in Northumberland County, contamination of recyclables is around 20-25% – with dual stream, it can go as low as 3%.  Because of this contamination, the price paid for recycled paper has dropped from $100 per metric ton to $5 per metric ton. The… Read complete articleChanges coming to re-cycling in 2019

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