Commercial Properties Update

Although the buying and selling of commercial properties such as stores and businesses is advertised to business people, residents may also be interested in what’s happening with new owners, new businesses, new construction and other related changes.  Real Estate agents don’t always make their listings public and certainly keep actual sell prices to themselves – I guess it helps with job security. The list below comes from the Internet but it’s not known if an omission means that something has sold or simply been removed from listings. There are two groups of properties tied to personalities:  1) the “John Lee” properties – that is, they were owned by him at one point but are now being sold off – these… Read complete articleCommercial Properties Update

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

Northumberland Ontario Health Team Announced

On June 6, 2019, the Provincial Connecting Care Act came into force.  This governs a complete revision to how Health Care is managed in Ontario. The biggest change for Northumberland will be that the role of LHINs will be much reduced and replaced by Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) which will be overseen by a new agency Ontario Health.  Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health announced the approval of the Northumberland Ontario Health Team.  The idea is that the OHTs will manage and ensure integration of all health services in a geographic area – in this case Northumberland.  Or as MPP David Piccini puts it in a Press Release: “Through an Ontario Health Team, patients will experience easier transitions… Read complete articleNorthumberland Ontario Health Team Announced

Plan to Preserve Natural Heritage

The County is working on a project to map the County’s Natural Heritage features.  The idea is to identify what should be preserved – things like woodlands, streams, wetlands and grasslands.  It’s called a Natural Heritage System Plan (NHS Plan) because they are all interconnected.  The requirement to have this kind of plan was specified by the Province some time ago.  On Monday December 2,  the second of a series of meetings was held to explain this to the Public and solicit feedback.  As usual, not a lot of people showed up – I counted 15 – and these seemed to be mostly concerned with issues not covered by the plan.  The consultants presenting the details said that they were… Read complete articlePlan to Preserve Natural Heritage

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

Mall Strip Plaza re-zoning approved

There were no objections at the Public meeting on Monday to the proposed minor rezoning required for a proposed new Strip Plaza on Mall property.  The developer is Trinity Development group with design by MHBC – both were represented at the meeting.  The new building would be at the corner adjacent to the Strathy road lights with its rear boundary on Elgin Street.  There will be provision for a banking institution, a drive through restaurant and four other retail stores.  The Developer is describing the space for a bank in neutral terms but the zoning at the mall allows only one “financial Institution” and since the Bank of Nova Scotia is currently in the Mall, while that is there, no… Read complete articleMall Strip Plaza re-zoning approved