County Plans Expansion of Affordable Housing

Northumberland County has the responsibility of providing affordable housing and currently owns and operates 344 social housing units.  But there is a problem, the waitlist for RGI (Rent Geared to Income) housing is currently “nearly 700 households … in Cobourg”.  A newly developed Affordable Housing Strategy points to 4 goals and 44 actions to solve the problem and will be presented at the County Council meeting on March 20.  Also at that meeting, Council will be asked to approve a project to add 22 units to the existing 18 at their current Elgin Street property.  These duplex houses are now 50 years old so it’s proposed to re-develop the complex into higher density.  Because of the need to rezone and… Read complete articleCounty Plans Expansion of Affordable Housing

County Wants Public Input for Strategic Plan

The County is asking the public to complete a survey to provide public input for their strategic plan for the years 2019 – 2023.  This is quite different to the process used by Cobourg Council – although it was open to the public, no advance input was solicited for the Cobourg version.  Instead, a draft plan will be available online at some point for comment (but not yet).  One immediate problem is that many people are not clear on all the responsibilities of the County.  Apart from pickup garbage, what do they actually do?  The survey asks what you like about Northumberland; what programs and services do you feel should be priority areas for focus, and why; what should be… Read complete articleCounty Wants Public Input for Strategic Plan

County Eliminates Bulky Waste Voucher

On Wednesday 30 January, the County announced that it had approved a budget within their guideline of 2.3% but to do that, they decided to eliminate the Bulky Waste Voucher program.  Each year at about this time, a voucher has been mailed to all Northumberland residences which allowed disposal of up to 100 kilograms of residential waste at no charge. This has a value of $11.50 and it’s estimated that this will save a total of $268,000 – or rather, the County will collect that much instead of providing the service free.  If my math is correct, that means they are now planning to collect up to $11.50 each from more than 23,000 people who would have used the vouchers… Read complete articleCounty Eliminates Bulky Waste Voucher

Submission to Host Indigenous Summer Games Withdrawn

In September 2018, County Council approved a joint submission with Alderville First Nation to host the 2019 Ontario Indigenous Summer Games.  Applications were submitted to the Aboriginal Sport & Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO) by the deadline date of September 28, 2018 and applicants were to be advised of their success (or otherwise) by November 2018.  But notifications have not happened – the ASWCO web site says: “The bid process is now closed, and the Ontario Indigenous Summer Games Bid Committee is currently in the process of conducting site visits and scoring communities on the bid matrix.”  So now the County and Alderville First Nation are withdrawing their application since there is now insufficient time to prepare.  The cost of… Read complete articleSubmission to Host Indigenous Summer Games Withdrawn

County Distributes Funding for Child Care

Northumberland County yesterday announced that they will be distributing funding from the Province to parents who use licensed child care.  If you used licensed centre-based or home-based child care for a child aged 4 and under, in the period between January 1 and October 31, 2018, you will get up to $4,000 in a refund.  The money is being distributed through the child care operators and refunds have already started.  The money is going only to those who used licensed child care operators so seems to recognize that these may be more expensive.  A statement by Northumberland County’s Community & Social Services Director Lisa Horne says: “This benefit will support families at a time of increasing financial need.  Northumberland County… Read complete articleCounty Distributes Funding for Child Care

First County Council Meeting with new Members

At the first meeting of the new Northumberland County Council on December 12, newly elected Mayors will be on board.  As well as Cobourg’s John Henderson, others on Council will be: William Cane (Hamilton – new),  Robert Crate (Trent Hills), John Logel (Alnwick-Haldimand), Mandy Martin (Cramahe – new), Brian Ostrander (Brighton – new), Robert Sanderson (Port Hope).  They will be asked to receive the budget for 2019 including the county’s levy increase – that’s a polite name for tax increase.  In addition to the 2019 budget, they will also see a 10 year Financial plan showing expected budgets to 2028.  The next County Council meeting will be on January 30 and it’s expected to get approved then – that’s months… Read complete articleFirst County Council Meeting with new Members

Homelessness in Northumberland County

At the recent Municipal Election, homelessness was a major issue with candidates being asked questions as to what they would do.  The prime responsibility for tackling the homelessness problem rests with the County and at the next County Council meeting on 21 November, a report will be presented on a survey taken during the week of April 16th – 20th, 2018 to measure the extent of homelessness in the County.  Although the survey probably did not include 100% of those experiencing homelessness, it is believed to be a good snapshot. During the “registry week”, volunteers were able to connect with 51 individuals and 10 families who were experiencing homelessness. That is, “people who are completely unsheltered, living in emergency shelter,… Read complete articleHomelessness in Northumberland County

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