Provincial Grant for Transition House.

At a special County Council meeting to authorize acceptance of a Provincial grant for $2,469,500, Warden and Brighton Mayor Brian Ostrander asked if the money was to be used to clean people out of the encampment. The answer is NO. The money is for capital costs to support conversion of the 310 Division property: that is, for upgrades and renovations. It is not to be used for purchase of the property – this was funded by County reserves. In any case, clearing the encampment is outside County jurisdiction. However, Rebecca Carman, Associate Director of Housing & Homelessness said that it is hoped that the 310 Division Street project would (this is my paraphrasing) be more attractive to folks currently unhoused… Read complete articleProvincial Grant for Transition House.

Are the Town and County using KPIs?

A KPI is a Key Performance Indicator and some commenters on this blog have questioned whether they are being used by Town and County staff.  As management guru Peter Drucker said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” But it seems that, scientist Lord Kelvin beat him to the punch and called out a similar principle even earlier: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. So KPIs are clearly important. Certainly in the last year or two, there is evidence that both the County and Town Staff are using KPIs. Further, the County has put a “KPI Performance Dashboard” online with 22 KPIs that measure performance. Of course measuring is just the first step – but from the measurement,… Read complete articleAre the Town and County using KPIs?

County decides to negotiate re 310 Division

In a letter to Cobourg’s Mayor, Northumberland County has requested their staff to “negotiate an Emergency Shelter Agreement” and to delay the March 28 implementation of the ECE bylaw.  At the County meeting on March 6, County Councillors expressed concern that if the bylaw were enforced as it stands, then the future of both Cornerstone and Transition house could be in jeopardy.  Mayor Cleveland said that an exemption would cover the concern re Cornerstone but the requirement for board members to be responsible for the behaviour of residents within a 500 metre radius – plus other requirements of the bylaw – could cause Transition house to not be viable.  The decision to negotiate appears to be what the Mayor was… Read complete articleCounty decides to negotiate re 310 Division

Marie Dressler Inducted into Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame

You’ve probably heard of Martin Short and Jim Carrey and if you live in Cobourg, you’ve probably heard of Cobourg born Marie Dressler.  The Marie Dressler Foundation operates a museum in Cobourg which honours Marie as one of three Oscar winning Canadian actresses from the thirties: that’s the Canadian Women in Film Museum in Dressler House.  In 2021, the Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame was started to “collect the stories and the memories of the funniest nation on the planet to preserve and promote our sense of humour.”  Since then, a number of Canadian comedians have been inducted and at an event in Hamilton on February 23, 2024, Marie Dressler was included.  The ceremony was attended by Rick Miller, Chair… Read complete articleMarie Dressler Inducted into Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame

Council Agrees to Fire Fighters Museum Lease

As reported on Cobourg blog (see Resources), the Town is working with the Fire Fighters Museum Board to lease the Memorial Arena as their new location.  In a repeat report at the Council meeting on 28 February, the lease was again discussed with a report by Director Geerts and a verbal presentation from the Fire Fighters’ board (speaker not identified).  One key point as made by Director Geerts, is that the lease looks like a good use of the Arena and “we don’t have a better idea for the Arena”.  If the Arena is not leased, the Town would still have the cost of operating an empty building.  One new issue debated was the board’s request for free rent for the… Read complete articleCouncil Agrees to Fire Fighters Museum Lease

February Council Update

The Council meeting on Wednesday February 28 was busy so my reporting will take a few days. There were decisions on 310 Division, the Firefighters’ museum and Parking, plus Miriam Mutton was really unhappy about the way an upgrade to Council Chamber was handled. Although Mayor Lucas Cleveland said he understood and appreciated her concern, he said she is one of seven and the others don’t agree. This post will cover Parking and Miriam’s concerns – the others will be covered in later reports. As well as these four items, Council covered 28 other items (by my count) including approval of seven sets of minutes and two closed session matters. I note that it now seems that closed sessions happen… Read complete articleFebruary Council Update

Trinity Affordable Housing Phase 2 re-organized

In 1990, Trinity Housing opened a 20 unit apartment building at 25 James Street East (corner of John Street) for low income tenants with Rent Geared to Income.  But around 2018, an expansion of 27 units was planned and Trinity Housing of Cobourg Phase 2 (THCP2) was formed. Like phase one, the expansion would be a not-for-profit corporation owned by Trinity Church.  In January 2019, they asked Cobourg Council for financial support but only a fraction of their ask was approved.  Early this year, the managing board decided that “this endeavour has proved to be more difficult than imagined. The many drawings, plans and studies required resulted in many upfront costs and the estimate for the cost of construction has… Read complete articleTrinity Affordable Housing Phase 2 re-organized

RFP Issued for Development of Old CDCI West Playing Fields

Officially known as 117 Durham Street, the Town bought the land in 2022 but it took until March 2023 before Council directed what should be done with it.  And now, an RFP has been issued on February 23 to call for development proposals. Although the “primary objective of the call for proposals is to recuperate costs from the purchase of the property” it is also hoped it will help “address the housing crisis”. Council directed that “the lands be a balanced mix of parkland, market and affordable residential units.” Some of the property is “designated as an Environmental Constraint Area” but “Guidance on the developable limit has been informed by an Environmental Impact Study completed in February 2024”. That is,… Read complete articleRFP Issued for Development of Old CDCI West Playing Fields

Town gives update on 310 Division

At the Council meeting on 31 January, Council asked staff to report back on the situation at 310 Division Street.  Brent Larmer has now written a 25 page report with considerable detail on what’s happening.  There are also 4 draft bylaws to be approved which would implement some of the changes recommended – notably amendments to the “nuisance” by-law to prohibit consumption of controlled or illegal substances in public places.  The report talks about Transition House and the ongoing discussions with the County about various aspects (but not yet with Transition House) .  As Brent says, although looking after homelessness people is the responsibility of the County, there is a large impact on the Town.  There is only one such… Read complete articleTown gives update on 310 Division

Cobourg Police Want New Facility

About a year ago, the County decided to look into the idea of a Northumberland Police Force to replace the current Policing by the OPP, Cobourg and Port Hope Police forces. At the time Cobourg’s Mayor Lucas Cleveland suggested that one possible transition would be to start with merging the Port Hope and Cobourg Police forces. Also around the same time, Cobourg Police issued an RFP to assess whether the current building needed to be changed. That study has now been completed and will be provided to the Police Board at their meeting on February 20.  The recommendation is that a new building should be built at a new location for approx. $34M – and that’s assuming there’s no amalgamation with… Read complete articleCobourg Police Want New Facility