Should water bottles be banned?

At Monday’s Council meeting Petra Hartwig and Gigi Ludorf-Weaver asked Council to do three things: 1) declare that water and sanitation services are fundamental human rights, 2) ban bottled water in municipal facilities and municipal events and 3) install outside water bottle filling stations strategically placed around the Town. Councillor Nicole Beatty showed support by drinking from a flask and Mayor John Henderson pointed out that Victoria Hall had already replaced two drinking fountains with bottle filling stations. Petra and Gigi were primarily representing the Blue Communities Organization but were also representing the Northumberland Chapter of the Council of Canadians, Sustainable Cobourg and Blue Dot.  Petra and Gigi pointed to the enormous profits made by water bottlers who anyway often… Read complete articleShould water bottles be banned?

Housing in Cobourg, 2019

During the last municipal election campaign, councillors heard that there was a lot of support for affordable housing.  Responding to this, the Town’s budget now has a line item of $250,000 to support housing even though it’s really a county responsibility.  There are two ways people provide housing for themselves: renting and buying a house, and both are a concern.  The rental vacancy rate in Cobourg is 0.3% and the average price of a home in Cobourg is now $455,000, up from $300,000 just four years ago.  According to the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, “affordable” rents must be no more than 80% of average market rents.  In Northumberland in 2018, the average rent for a two bedroom… Read complete articleHousing in Cobourg, 2019

Budget Approved for 2019

After a  long meeting, Council approved the budget for 2019 with an increase in overall spending of 4%. But because of growth in the Town (more properties paying taxes), the increase in your taxes will be 2%.  So if your property had an MPAC valuation increase the same as the average for the Town, the Town’s portion of your taxes will increase by 2% from last year.  But in the process of managing the budget, Councillors made some decisions – or maybe they were more like statements – about priorities and direction.  Some issues were covered under the heading Community Grants as reported yesterday (e.g. AGN, Santa Parade) but also discussed were IT (Information Technology) planning, Accessible Transit, Affordable Housing,… Read complete articleBudget Approved for 2019

Community Grants Approved

At the 2019 Town of Cobourg Budget approval meeting tonight, a number of key decisions were made, including who would get Community Grants.  The budget initially suggested was $45,000 but with a total of more than $77,000 requested, that meant there would be some disappointments.  Each grant was subject to an individual motion and this task fell upon Councillor Adam Bureau.  Most of his recommendations were routinely approved although many got less than they asked for.  There was a long discussion about the Santa Parade – the initial recommendation to give to the committee was $3,000 compared to their requested $10,000.  But Mayor John Henderson convinced everyone to up that to $5,000.  Paul Pagnuelo (from the gallery using an allowed… Read complete articleCommunity Grants Approved

Lions not funding 2019 Santa Parade

According to Andrew Hall who is on Cobourg’s Santa Parade organizing committee, he is not aware of any funding from the Lions club for this year’s Santa Parade.  This is a change from previous years and is why the committee is asking for a $10,000 community grant.  Andrew explained this in a presentation to Council at Monday’s meeting.  The organizing committee consists of all volunteers and gets a regular contribution of $3500 from the DBIA but with no contribution from Lions and only a few hundred dollars from sponsors, they will not be able to cover their usual costs of $9 to $10K.  The budget for 2019 with the grant and DBIA’s $3500 would be higher than previous years but… Read complete articleLions not funding 2019 Santa Parade

Can the Town of Cobourg Communicate better?

Currently the Town communicates to citizens using the remaining newspaper, the Town website, social media (including You-Tube) and email – and communications manager Ashley Purdy wants to know how it can be done better.  A new survey with 10 questions is now available until Friday, March 29, 2019 (see link below).  Questions start by asking how you currently get news and go on to ask for suggestions on what can be done to do better.  The focus is on what the Town does: Planning, Town managed events and Venture 13 but there is no suggestion that the Town should provide information on what other organizations are doing even though the Town promotes Tourism and visitors are interested in events managed… Read complete articleCan the Town of Cobourg Communicate better?

CIP Update and Plan for 2019

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday 11 March, staff will report on the results of the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2018 and the planned process for 2019.  As mentioned in the report, the CIP has been implemented since 2016 in response to a 2013 survey where Cobourg residents expressed concern about the “poor appearance of building exteriors, back lanes and parking lots”.  The Downtown Cobourg Vitalization CIP is a collection of 8 incentive programs providing grants or loans for some of the cost of improvements.  The cost to the Town consists of grant dollars, plus loan admin and interest costs, and when compared to the applicants’ contribution, this produces leverage ratios which were 3:1 in 2016,… Read complete articleCIP Update and Plan for 2019

Les AMIS to make Cobourg a Beacon for the High Arts

In 2014, after “35 Terrific years in Toronto”, classical composer and artistic director Michael Pepa moved to Cobourg bringing his concerts with top performers with him.  Since then he has produced a number of concerts with some of Canada’s top violinists, cellists and pianists.  Initially planned to be in St Peter’s Church, the Concerts moved to the Loft when repairs were required for St Peter’s roof.  So far, one concert has been in Victoria Hall but the word is getting out and the Loft may not be big enough to stage future concerts so more may be coming to Victoria Hall.  The concerts are called Les AMIS concerts and their program plus more about them can be found on the… Read complete articleLes AMIS to make Cobourg a Beacon for the High Arts