Last Council meeting of 2017

The last Council meeting of 2017 had no major decisions; we did not see the long-awaited waterfront study, the YMCA merger with the CCC is still up in the air and there were no contentious decisions made.  All C.O.W. decisions were implemented without debate except as noted below. But there was a fuss made over Lorraine Brace on the occasion of her retirement as Town Clerk.  This month the Town service to be highlighted will be Lorraine’s responsibility, Legislative Services.  Lorraine spoke about that as the first Agenda item (see below).  Gil Brocanier then made an emotional speech about how he admired her professionalism, helpful attitude and warm smile and wished her a happy retirement.  Later, all the councillors echoed… Read complete articleLast Council meeting of 2017

DBIA Upbeat at AGM

The Board of Cobourg’s Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) reported to their members last night at their Annual General Meeting (AGM).  There were about a dozen members (downtown business owners) in the audience and although they had some concerns, it seemed that the DBIA is in better shape than a year ago.  The board was new at the start of 2017 (see link below to access list of members) and stable.  There were no resignations or criticism of board members. In fact, Council representative Deputy Mayor John Henderson said that the board was “Cobourg’s most improved committee” and that he had “never seen so much cooperation between the Town and the DBIA”.  Mayor Gil Brocanier, who was in the audience,… Read complete articleDBIA Upbeat at AGM

Preserving History Captured by Northumberland Today

Wally Keeler has written a letter to Council asking that they demand that Torstar and Postmedia restore access to the stories of our community no longer available due to their recent closure of 33 newspapers – including Northumberland Today (which has a history going back to 1831).  It will be on the Agenda at Monday’s council meeting. The Library or the Archives or even the Newspaper’s new owner will surely have hard copies for future historians to peruse but Wally’s focus is on the web site and the lost links from Facebook pages and the lost articles posted by local organizations.  Wally is quite eloquent in his plea for support from the Town. He writes: Ever since news went digital… Read complete articlePreserving History Captured by Northumberland Today

Benefit of Sport Tourism to Cobourg in 2017

At the last Committee of the Whole Meeting, Dean Hustwick, Director of Recreation and Culture reported on four major Sporting Events that were hosted in Cobourg and that provided Cobourg with significant economic benefits.  Dean said that the report is a collaborative effort involving several members of his team – both Community Services Manager Chris Elliott and Sports and Events Coordinator Ashley Haynes spoke on the subject.  Chris made it clear that he would continue to look for revenue opportunities and make sure they were then Marketed successfully.   Ashley said that the participants in the 2017 events were strongly encouraged to go out into the community and she knew that they did in fact visit the beach and restaurants –… Read complete articleBenefit of Sport Tourism to Cobourg in 2017

Ongoing Battle to get Parking on Kerr Street

Residents of a Townhouse condo development at the far west end of Kerr Street are unhappy with the Town and with their developer (see links below to earlier reports).  Their homes are on Kerr Street but they are not allowed to park in front because Kerr street is designated as a future major arterial road.  (They are allowed right now but will eventually be barred).  The developer designed their houses with a rear lane and rear garages with a second parking spot in the rear.  But because of a slope they were not told about, access from the garages requires stairs and therefore is not compatible with the limitations of many of the mostly older residents. The residents feel that… Read complete articleOngoing Battle to get Parking on Kerr Street

Fundraising launched for new Northumberland Hospice

In May 2017, Northumberland Community Care announced that a new Facility would be built locally to care for those needing “End of Life Care” (see link below).  The timing was because the Provincial Government announced that they would pay $315,000 annually towards operating costs – enough for 3 of the 6 beds planned. On 22 September 2017, it was announced that Ontario Street in Hamilton Township had been selected as the site and on November 29, the fundraising was officially launched.  The $7 million to be raised will cover the cost of building plus the remainder of operating costs not covered by M.O.H. for the first three years.  At the fundraising launch, campaign co-chairs Gord and Patti Ley said that… Read complete articleFundraising launched for new Northumberland Hospice

Cobourg Budget Performance to End of Q3

At the Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, Treasurer Ian Davey will present a report on spending in the first three quarters of 2017 compared to budget.  Council directed in a motion on May 29 that these reports be posted on the Town’s web site but they can only be found in the Town’s Portal, not the main web site.  Details on both the Operating Budget and the Capital Budget are provided – the operating budget is looking OK but very little of the Capital budget has been spent so far this year.  Below are highlights of both – note that the “Revenue” reported is not tax revenue but could be called “other revenue”. Operating Budget Summary –… Read complete articleCobourg Budget Performance to End of Q3

Northam Industrial Park Mortgage Almost Paid Off

In December, 2002 the Town purchased Northam industrial park for $13.7M, took out a 15year $14M mortgage and took possession in March, 2003. The site is 121 acres and has 17 industrial buildings which cover more than 836,000 sq. ft.  Since then, although over $13M has been spent on Capital improvements, the mortgage has been paid down and $5M has been paid to the town by way of dividends.  The good news is that in March 2018 the mortgage will be fully paid up and the annual dividend from the park will increase by about $1.25M per year ($940K in 2017).  Over the 14 years, the annual dividend has paid for a variety of things – including long term debt,… Read complete articleNortham Industrial Park Mortgage Almost Paid Off

Venture 13 Tenders come in Lower than Estimate

The Venture 13 project to house several entities in Cobourg was approved by Council in May 2017 and a progress report was presented on 20 November 2017 (details at links below).  Tenders were issued for the work on October 24 with a closing date of November 16 – later extended to November 29.  The construction costs for part 1 and 2 of the project were estimated at $1,263,534 for part 1 and $657,635 for part 2 for a total of $1,921,169.  But the lowest cost tender from Dalren Ltd. was $1,520,000 for both part 1 and part 2 – this tender was “found to be complete and the contractor is known to the Town as a contractor that carries out good… Read complete articleVenture 13 Tenders come in Lower than Estimate

Updated Rules for Events in Parks

At a meeting on Tuesday Nov 28, the Town announced revised rules for applications to hold outdoor events – e.g. the Rib Fest, Wine and Ale in the Park, etc.  Fire safety rules were enhanced and existing rules will be more strictly enforced.  Deputy Chief Paul Vandegraaf said that they will deploy more officers to enforce rules such as liquor infractions but that Special Constables will be mostly used for this purpose. There are currently 12 Special Constables but this number will increase to 15 shortly. Bylaw enforcement officers and Fire Department Officers will also be deployed. It seems that some requirements that have been in place for some time have not been enforced but they now will be. For… Read complete articleUpdated Rules for Events in Parks