Town helps Citizens who lost Power in Storm

What a storm! We were unfortunate enough to lose power for over 28 hours (2:30 pm Friday to 7:00 pm Saturday) but Alma reminded me that many were worse off e.g. truckers or anyone stranded on the 401 and of course the workers out fixing the breaks. But it’s no fun when computers are down and for a while a network connection on my phone was intermittent (more on this in Appendix below). These days, if your phone doesn’t work, you can’t access status reports or helpful advice – just when you need it most. Your phone could also run out of battery – but in my case I have a very large backup battery which I used to recharge my… Read complete articleTown helps Citizens who lost Power in Storm

Transition to All Electric Vehicles

On 12 October 2021, Council approved the formation of an Ad Hoc Committee to look at how the Town could transition to zero emission vehicles.  It would be a sub-committee of the Transportation Advisory Committee. It took until 16 May 2022 for the terms of reference to be approved and then the committee presented their report to Council on 3 October 2022. Chair Randy Curtis presented a summary of the 50 page report including recommendations.  The committee looked at hybrids, hydrogen powered and battery electric vehicles (BEV) and decided on BEVs. The committee’s decision was based on cost and lifetime greenhouse gas emissions. The report also addresses many of the concerns about BEVs such as recycling batteries, resource limitations and impact on the… Read complete articleTransition to All Electric Vehicles

Town has Purchased Surplus School Land

When the two high Schools in Cobourg amalgamated, the land for a playing field in the West End of Town was no longer being used. (See below for more detail on location). It was therefore likely that the School Board would eventually sell the land but there is a process that they must follow that means that 15 or more entities – including the Town of Cobourg – must be notified first. They did that in 2021 (see the Timeline below) although prior to that they formalized the right-of-way provided for the Boardwalk. Negotiations between the Town (Council) and School board were held in closed session to ensure confidential negotiations.  On September 20, 2022, the School board accepted the Town’s… Read complete articleTown has Purchased Surplus School Land

Cobourg Confirms Urban Status

At the Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on June 20,  Aliyyah Phady made a delegation to Council asking that she be allowed to continue keeping 3 Miniature Bantam chickens in her back yard at 304 Tweed Street despite the Town’s By-Laws prohibiting this.  She said the 7 year old chickens had only a little time left to live.  Staff has already extended the time to comply by 30 days.  Council asked staff to report and provide options and this was done at the CoW meeting on July 11.  Option 1 was to give a further extension, Option 2 was to change the By-Law to allow chickens and Option 3 was the status quo.  Also at the same July 11… Read complete articleCobourg Confirms Urban Status

Special Council Meeting on Homelessness

At the last Regular Council meeting, a delegation by 7 people, who said they were homeless residents of Cobourg, asked Council to immediately suspend enforcement of by-Laws prohibiting camping and otherwise living in Cobourg’s Parks by people who are otherwise homeless.  Councillors were reluctant to take any action until responsible authorities such as the County, Police, the District Health Unit and By-Law officers were consulted.  The delegation asked that they also be consulted.  The time frame for suspension would be until all the homeless people were provided with homes.  In the end, Staff were asked to provide a comprehensive report in time to be presented at a Council meeting specially called to consider this plus a motion by Councillor Beatty… Read complete articleSpecial Council Meeting on Homelessness

Council Approves New Stormwater Fee

Cobourg Staff have recommended that the cost of stormwater management be handled differently.  At the same time, they have been developing an asset management plan that determined how much money will be required in future to provide good stormwater management.   At the CoW meeting on June 20, Council was asked to approve the change.  They were told that significant additional money would be required and that if there were no changes, the average taxpayer would pay $150 per year instead of the $37 currently budgeted (buried in their tax bill).  If the proposed stormwater fee were to be implemented, residential taxpayers would instead pay $75 – no longer in their tax bill but instead in a new bill – similar… Read complete articleCouncil Approves New Stormwater Fee

Proposal for Anti-Idling By-Law

In September 2021, Council asked staff to investigate the idea of limiting idling for vehicles in the Town and at the CoW meeting on June 20, staff will present such a draft bylaw for approval.  Staff also suggest an initial education campaign.  The case for an anti-idling by-law is to reduce Green House gasses and improve air quality.  There are many exceptions such as hot or cold weather (details below), Transit, police and more and enforcement would be difficult.  As staff point out, the enforcement officer would have to watch a vehicle and time the duration of idling – although it’s suggested that the maximum idling permitted be only 2 minutes (and not 3 or 5 minutes as in other… Read complete articleProposal for Anti-Idling By-Law

Electric Vehicle Event at the Mall

If you were at the Mall today (Saturday, May 28) you might have wondered what was happening in the Parking Lot – it was the “Electric Vehicle and Sustainability Event”.  Many electric vehicles were there ranging from KIAs to Teslas to the new Ford Mustang recently acquired by the Police.  The event was jointly staged by the EV Society (Northumberland Chapter) and Sustainable Cobourg and was opened by Mayor John Henderson.  You could take a test drive of one of four electric vehicles provided by “PlugnDrive” and many owners had their cars open for inspection or you could sit in them.  There was not a big crowd but I spotted several people in earnest conversations with owners – a good… Read complete articleElectric Vehicle Event at the Mall

West Headland Recommendations

Since 2017 there have been heated discussions in Cobourg about the West Headland – probably now to be called Waterfront Nature Park. It got mixed up with unpopular plans to expand the Marina into the West Harbour and it’s a natural separation for the natural West Beach. It started with a concern that its official name – Langevin Pier – was no longer acceptable (dare I say not “woke”?).  See the Resources below for more but the short version is that Langevin was an advocate for the residential school system.  But what to name it instead?  Alderville Chief Mowat was not concerned so eventually the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) were asked to decide.  Along the way, there was… Read complete articleWest Headland Recommendations

Cobourg’s Earth Day – 2022

Earth Day was April 22 but Cobourg celebrated it at its Ecology Garden on April 23.  A ceremony attended by around 80 people brought together a diverse group of people who felt a spiritual connection to the Earth.  First to make a statement were indigenous people but also represented were Christians, a Jewish representative and an interfaith group covering probably all religions. I did not hear the word “God” mentioned but instead “creator” – no one seemed offended.  Young children (from the S.O.N.G. group) participated with a couple of songs and Council was represented by Mayor John Henderson and Councillor Adam Bureau.  After the initial “song”, the indigenous representative (Susan Siwick) allowed all present to participate in a ritual smudging… Read complete articleCobourg’s Earth Day – 2022

Update on Program to Mitigate Marina Pollution

Many of the big news items these days are about the Environment: electric cars, energy issues, unusual weather, climate change and pollution.  Enough people in the Town spoke up about this that the Town declared a Climate Emergency and established an advisory Committee.  Major projects are under way to decide what Cobourg can do on this issue but meanwhile action was taken on an issue mentioned less often: Pollution.  One pollution issue of particular concern is plastic waste in water bodies such as Oceans and Lake Ontario.  In October 2020, in conjunction with “Pollution Probe”, Cobourg installed a Seabin (and some LittaTraps) – see report in Links below.  And it’s still in operation!  At the next CoW meeting on 19… Read complete articleUpdate on Program to Mitigate Marina Pollution