Shutdown affects Rink and Transit

Just like the general public in Ontario, Cobourg Councillors are confused when it comes to interpreting the rules of the latest Provincial shutdown that apply to such things as the outdoor rink and the Transit system.  Town Clerk Brent Larmer said that until he gets the official Regulations from the Province, he cannot give clear advice – that is, he can’t say what the “rules” are.  He hopes to get those regulations no later than when they go into effect which is midnight Wednesday January 13.  Because of the confusion CAO Tracey Vaughan asked for direction from a specially convened emergency session of Council held at 6:00 pm on the 13th.  In the end, all that could be decided was… Read complete articleShutdown affects Rink and Transit

Planning and Development Projects – January 2021

There are a good number of projects happening in Cobourg, some residential and some commercial, and Councillor Nicole Beatty (file photo below) occasionally gives a comprehensive report of what the Planning Department has on its plate.  One of these occasions was tonight’s regular Council meetings.  Highlights of her report are provided below or you can download her full report. Since it’s an update, there’s not a lot of detail on most projects but you can get more detail by following the links embedded or listed below. Major projects include the work at the Mall, the development by Mason Homes at 425 King Street East and affordable housing projects. There’s also info on Downtown projects and a Heritage project.  Some have… Read complete articlePlanning and Development Projects – January 2021

Water Charges to Increase

At last Monday’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting, Sean-Michael Stephen, manager at Watson and Associates Economists Ltd., presented his report containing recommendations for rates for water and waste water (that is “sewer”) for the next 5 years as well as a forecast to 2030.  Although there were questions from Councillors, the recommendations were approved and will be formally put in place at next Monday’s regular Council meeting.  Over the last 5 years, rates have increased by 5.3% per year and will increase by 5.9% per year over the next 5 years.  The increases are needed to fund the “long term capital needs of the systems by 2030, providing for the sustainable replacement of infrastructure and ongoing operation and maintenance… Read complete articleWater Charges to Increase

Parking and Transit back to normal – almost

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, Cobourg Council voted to start collecting parking fees downtown once the Provincial lockdown is over – currently scheduled for January 23.  They also voted to start collecting Transit fares and resume normal hours January 26.  With free parking, staff have observed that many spaces that would otherwise be used by shoppers are likely occupied by “people who have continued to work in the downtown area or are residents of the residential units above the many storefronts”.  Although parking is free, other restrictions are still being enforced – these include tickets for parking in “no-parking” areas or in front of Fire Hydrants etc.  For Transit, a significant issue is the continued closure… Read complete articleParking and Transit back to normal – almost

Council Asked to Approve Land Sale

A growing business wants to come to Cobourg – Brock Street Brewery wants to buy four acres in Lucas Point Industrial Park to build a canning plant.  It will can ready to drink vodka soda’s and gin cocktails and possibly also its current beer product.  Based in Whitby, they were founded in April 2015 and have been growing fast. Subject to approval of their building plans by Cobourg’s Planning Department, they want to initially build a 12,000 sq. ft. packaging facility that would be staffed by 25 to 35 employees.  They expect a year later to expand in phases 2 and 3 by 18,000 sq. ft. then add two more buildings of 25,000 sq. ft. and 10,000 sq. ft. which… Read complete articleCouncil Asked to Approve Land Sale

Annual Review by Mayor Henderson

On New Year’s Day in most years, the Mayor, Council and senior staff welcome citizens to a Levee event at Victoria Hall where everyone can mingle. But this year, the event was virtual although it featured the usual players: The Concert Band of Cobourg, Town Crier Mandy Robinson, Poet Laureate Jessica Outram and Mayor John Henderson. The main event was the Mayor’s review of the highlights of 2020 – and there were quite a number.  John listed them grouped by Department with accompanying photos. The resulting video on You-Tube was “premiered” at noon on New Year’s day with about two dozen people watching it live.  Others can now watch it on the Town’s You-Tube site or embedded below. Although John and the video production… Read complete articleAnnual Review by Mayor Henderson

Draft Capital Budget for 2021

Cobourg’s Capital budget is used to pay for items that produce or repair assets.  The source of the money is indicated in the budget and is mostly not a direct charge to the taxpayer – instead, money comes from reserves (money put aside for the purpose), grants from the Provincial and Federal Governments, bank loans and other miscellaneous sources.  The totals of these sources is not provided in the budget but can be determined by adding all the numbers – so I did that.  See table below.  The other interesting thing to know about the Capital budget is what it will be spent on.  Many items are routine like vehicle replacements but others are Town improvements.  Major and significant projects… Read complete articleDraft Capital Budget for 2021

Town’s Draft 2021 Operational Budget now online

In this “in-between” time when there is not much news, I think we can afford the time to look at what the Council and staff have proposed as a budget for the coming year.  Unlike the wish lists that were submitted earlier, the draft Operating and Capital budgets that were put online on December 22 seem intended to be realistic.  Also unlike the wish lists, complete details have been provided (well almost).  Omitted are personnel details although it would have been good if “head counts” were included so we can see if more or fewer people are employed.  But sufficient detail is provided that sensible comments on the budget can be made – for example you can comment using the… Read complete articleTown’s Draft 2021 Operational Budget now online