Community Grants Policy

The Policy for Community Grants was set some time ago – see Resources below – but at the budget meetings in February 2023, Council passed a motion to review the Policy to at least make the process more efficient and possibly do away with community grants altogether. Specifically, a motion was passed directing staff to explore options and report back by June 2023. If you look at the video of the Feb 9 meeting, this motion is passed at around the 1:17 mark but it’s not recorded in the minutes. I reported this motion and the list of approved grants in a Post on February 10 titled “Last Year for Community Grants?”. Applications for the 2024 grants are now being… Read complete articleCommunity Grants Policy

Province to Provide Additional Funding for Housing

On Friday, MPP David Piccini announced that the Province would provide Northumberland County with an additional $2M towards their Homelessness Prevention Program.  Mayor Lucas Cleveland and all Cobourg Councillors were at the announcement as were representatives from County staff and other County Townships.  Police Chief VandeGraaf was also in attendance.  David Piccini and Warden Mandy Martin were the only speakers. David said that the increased funding would help end the housing supply crisis and help end homelessness and that the Province remains a committed Partner. Mandy expressed her gratitude to the Province – she said that the investment comes at a critical time and she looks forward to continuing cooperation from all levels of Government.  Mandy spoke about the County’s… Read complete articleProvince to Provide Additional Funding for Housing

Public Input Wanted on CDCI West Playing Field

The other contentious item considered at Monday’s CoW Council Meeting was what to do with the now dormant land that used to be the CDCI West playing field. As reported in an earlier post, staff offered two options: A) keep as a park or B) mixed park and affordable housing. Discussion started when Councillor Burchat suggested a partnership with the County on the affordable housing aspect but Councillors seemed unsure about what the public wanted. Mayor Cleveland added a third option when he said that Williams Academy offered to buy the property for use as a football park for their school now occupying the old CDCI West building. It was also not agreed that the Town of Cobourg’s definition of… Read complete articlePublic Input Wanted on CDCI West Playing Field

Council Rejects Sleeping Cabins Idea

There was a full gallery Monday night to hear Council debate what to do about the proposed Sleeping Cabins idea.  First came three delegations: 1) Alastair McKeating of Northumberland Sleeping Cabin Collective (NSCC) reported on engagement and governance as previously reported here; 2) Keith Oliver spoke about how the discussion was becoming chaotic; and 3) Anita Turek spoke on behalf of neighbours to the proposed location.  The debate was long but in the end, Council was decisive and came up with a plan although not what was wanted by Green Wood, Missy McLean or NSCC.  Mayor Lucas Cleveland was clear on his position with a statement that is reported below – although this was interrupted from the gallery.  In general,… Read complete articleCouncil Rejects Sleeping Cabins Idea

Sleeping Cabin Engagement and Governance Report

At Council’s 28 February Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, Council were asked to approve that Sleeping Cabins could be put in the parking lot of the Memorial Arena on Furnace Street. Concerned about public approval and how these would be managed, Council asked the organizers to report back at the April 3rd CoW meeting on their public engagement and their governance. To comply with this, the Northumberland Sleeping Cabin Collective (NSCC) will be presenting their 33 page report at that CoW meeting. No surprise, it is strongly supportive of the proposal and reads as a professional report selling the idea. The report lists community and stakeholder engagements and the results of a survey indicating support and includes a description… Read complete articleSleeping Cabin Engagement and Governance Report

Sleeping Cabins – update

At Cobourg Council’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on Tuesday 21 February, there were seven delegations about the proposal to put “Sleeping Cabins” in the parking lot of the Memorial Arena on Furnace Street.  Six were in favour and one presented a petition of 36 nearby residents who were against the idea.  Not all of those in favour were from Cobourg – Rob Horgan was originally from Durham but said he “needed a place to go” and even the representative from the “Northumberland Sleeping Cabin Collective” (NSCC), Alastair McKeating, was from Port Hope.  Several people spoke emotionally about how homelessness was bad and in fact was a crisis.  They were short on what to do about the crisis other… Read complete articleSleeping Cabins – update

Affordable and Rental CIP for 2022

In the summer of 2022, applications were opened for Cobourg’s Community Improvement Plan which is intended to “help stimulate the provision of affordable and rental housing in the community”.  The deadline for applications was 30 September 2022 with the announced budget being $125,000 although unused amounts are carried forward.  At the Committee of the Whole Meeting on 21 February, 2023, the committee reviewing applications will provide their recommendations to Council.  All six applicants are to be approved for a total of $108,627.  Details of the awards (assuming recommendations are approved) are listed below.  The committee also recommends that the same committee members work on the 2023 CIP which is anticipated to be approved in the 2023 budget. (List of Committee members… Read complete articleAffordable and Rental CIP for 2022

More Public Input on Budget

Council held a special meeting on Monday, 23 January, to accept public input on the budget. As well as receiving the report about the online survey per my previous report, there was a presentation by Johnny Percolides wanting a second dog park (at Donegan Park) and presentations from Community groups requesting a grant. The total requested is $87K but unlike previous years, no target total has been announced. Last year’s total was $30K but some previous years were $50K. No decisions were made at Monday’s meeting but there were 14 presentations plus 4 others who did not make a presentation. I sorted the applications based on whether they were new for 2023 and whether they made a presentation. For those… Read complete articleMore Public Input on Budget

Predictions for 2023 – Opinion

At this time of year, I like to look ahead and try to predict what will happen in the new year.  But first let’s see how I did last year. In 2021 I had four categories: Politics, Covid-19, Town and the Economy.  In Politics I predicted the Provincial election result but missed by predicting Emily Chorley would run again. I was right that the Cultural Plan would be ignored.  With Covid-19, I was mostly right but I thought we would still be mandated to wear masks indoors.  For Town activities, I was mostly right although I thought that the Province would have made a decision on Brookside by now.  I correctly predicted no action on Sidbrook, the Tannery property, the Park… Read complete articlePredictions for 2023 – Opinion

Merry Christmas from Cobourg News Blog

It looks like we are now in a “Post-Covid” era. Enough people are sufficiently vaccinated – or have caught the bug and recovered so are close to immune – that most activities are getting close to normal. Cinemas and theatres are operating although not quite at normal schedules (see Rainbow’s schedule) and most people (although not all) are leaving masks at home. Although this time of year is when cases of respiratory diseases increase, it is also a “time of good cheer”.  As I said last year at this time: “it’s a time when we put any animosities behind us, any differences are not important – what’s important is that we are all special and deserve happiness despite any problems… Read complete articleMerry Christmas from Cobourg News Blog

Council Makes some Key Decisions

At Monday’s Council meeting, several contentious issues were decided – but first there were three delegations from citizens about stormwater fees and one about “sleeping cabins” for the homeless. Council approved a plan for the Albert Street Shelter, moved forward on the sleeping cabins, approved stormwater fees and quickly approved free downtown parking until January 1, 2023. Although the delegations strongly criticized the new stormwater fees, Council’s only concession was to review them after a year. Most debate is supposed to happen at the Committee of the Whole meeting a week earlier but Councillors did discuss at length what they heard from the delegations. However, in the end, Council mostly went with Staff recommendations. Along the way, there were things… Read complete articleCouncil Makes some Key Decisions