Seniors’ Programs moving from Market Building

Currently, there are five seniors’ programs that operate out of the Market Building (see list below) but effective January 6 they will operate at the Cobourg Community Centre (CCC) at the same times.  Staff are working with members currently using the Market Building to assist with transfer of supplies, card tables etc.  There will also be a “Welcome Reception” on December 19 at 10 am at the CCC. The reason given is that when the CCC was originally built in 2011, “the intention was to house all seniors’ programs in this new state of the art facility. While a few programs have remained at the Market Building, during our 2020 budget deliberations it has been decided to move those programs… Read complete articleSeniors’ Programs moving from Market Building

Draft Budget for 2020 Available for Comment

You have to give Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin credit – the initial budget requests by staff were well over her 1.9% target but the draft budget being presented for approval is very close to the target.  I also appreciate the clarity in the numbers – a great job by Treasurer Ian Davey. You have to look at the numbers closely – actual expenditures excluding Police are 4.4% higher but an increase in expected revenue brings that down to 3.8%.  Then add the Police budget of $6.3M with a small 1.09% increase and include $240K of additional tax revenue because of Town growth (more taxable properties) and the total Operating budget proposed for 2020 comes to $24,262,417 or 2% over the… Read complete articleDraft Budget for 2020 Available for Comment

New Cobourg Council Completes First Year

At the last Council meeting in 2019 on Monday December 2, several councillors mentioned that it was the anniversary of their inauguration so it seems appropriate to review highlights of their achievements in 2019.  There were of course a number of minor items and a number of contentious items – but only certain ones will be remembered.  If you are looking for a theme, I’d suggest there is now more concern for the environment, affordable housing and transparency.  All the new Councillors made their presence felt but it’s difficult to label them with what they favour – not to mention politically risky. The world of Cobourg was of course not just what happened at Council – see the list of… Read complete articleNew Cobourg Council Completes First Year

Affordable Housing CIP Public Meeting

Towns are not legally permitted to financially support private (that is, for profit) companies unless they are meeting a  community need AND it’s covered by a “Community Improvement Plan” (CIP).  So far in Cobourg, we have two CIPs: the Tannery District CIP and the Downtown Vitalization CIP.  On December 5, a third CIP project was launched with an open house.  Held in the Citizen’s Forum at Victoria Hall, more than 30 people came to learn about the new Plan for Affordable and Rental Housing and provide feedback to the consultants hired to develop the plan.  The intent is to define ways to assist the recently released Northumberland County Affordable Housing Strategy (AHS) as well as promoting sustainable, accessible economic development. … Read complete articleAffordable Housing CIP Public Meeting

Cobourg and Social Services

The County has prime responsibility for providing social services and that includes affordable housing.  At Monday’s Council meeting, Christine Pacini of SHS Consulting presented a report on the County’s Affordable Housing strategy as it affected Cobourg.  She provided definitions of what is considered affordable and how incentives can help. She briefly mentioned the County’s current project on Elgin Street (see link below) and supported the Town’s plan to provide incentives via a Town Wide Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for affordable housing.  This will be launched at a public meeting on December 5 – details below.  At the same meeting, Kristina Nairn of the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) asked that Council consider being certified as a “living… Read complete articleCobourg and Social Services

Police Budget – 2020

The good news is that the Police budget request is $6.27M for an increase of 1.09%.  The bad news is that the Town is legally only allowed to take it or leave it with no line by line veto allowed.  That also means that the submitted budget will stand unlike the other departments whose budgets will be scrutinized closely and chopped to get the overall total down to the 1.9% target.  But there’s more good news: the Business Services department is doing well and is not only self-sustaining but contributes to reserves used for Police Capital purchases, $2.9M expected in 2020.  Chief Paul Vandegraaf also spoke about his “pivot” to evidence based policing: that is, measuring results and directing effort… Read complete articlePolice Budget – 2020

Community Services Budget Request

On Thursday, 28 November, the Community Services Division made their requests to council for their 2020 budget – but before they started, Sheila McCoy, President of the Cobourg Art Club, asked that the Division focus more on Arts and Culture.  Sheila made the case that they pay little attention to Arts and Culture and this is supported by the job title and description of their planned new hire.  The title “Manager of Recreation and Culture” emphasizes Recreation over Arts and Culture and the job qualifications barely mention Culture or Arts.  See the links below for Sheila’s presentation and info on the new Manager position.  Community Services Director Dean Hustwick  asked for a net increase of $643K or 8.6% over 2019’s… Read complete articleCommunity Services Budget Request

Banning Bottled Water

In March 2019, Petra Hartwig and Gigi Ludorf-Weaver (see photo below) made a presentation to Council expressing concerns about the environmental impact of the sale of bottled water. Their concerns seemed to include the exorbitant profits made from corporations selling Municipal water, the quality of the water being sold and the environmental impact. However, there was little mention of the proliferation of empty plastic water bottles. (See the report below on their presentation in March for more on their concerns).  Staff was asked to report back and they came up with some recommendations which council endorsed.  Basically, it was decided that subject to input from the public, the Town will phase out the sale of bottled water at Municipal facilities… Read complete articleBanning Bottled Water