Cobourg Issuing RFP for User Fee Study

The KPMG Service delivery review in 2020 suggested that Cobourg should at least consider charging more and perhaps higher user fees.  Parking fees were recently increased, Stormwater fees are being considered and Transit fares are going up but there are many others such as the Marina, CCC, Trailer Park, Concert Hall and many more (see list below).  To find out what could be done differently, the Town has issued an RFP (Request for Proposal) for a consultant to do a “Comprehensive User Fee Study”.  Existing fees will be reviewed and additional opportunities identified.  Fees will be judged based on what other municipalities are charging plus the amount that can be justified based on the cost of providing the service.  The RFP asks for the public to be consulted but leaves details up to the consultant.

The tender schedule specifies closing on June 28 but no expected award date is provided.  The RFP asks that the report be provided in time for use in the 2023 budget process although that seems ambitious.

User Fee Categories – summary

  • Building Standards, including non-building code fees
  • Cobourg Community Centre
  • Victoria Hall, Concert Hall
  • Environmental Services
  • Finance
  • Fire Services
  • Legislative services, including licenses
  • GIS
  • Waterfront, including Marina
  • Trailer Park
  • Engineering and public works
  • Parks
  • Planning applications
  • Special Events
  • Tourism [presumably no more changes to waterfront parking fees]
  • Transit [presumably no more changes]
  • Municipal Buildings, including Victoria Hall and Cobourg Market Building.

Specifically excluded

  • Town of Cobourg Holdings Inc, and its subsidiary companies
  • Cobourg Downtown Business Improvement Area Board
  • Cobourg Public Library Board
  • Cobourg Police Services Board
  • Building Code and Development Charge Fees

As well as reviewing fees, the consultant must consider strategies to address affordability including subsidized fees for low-income residents, seniors etc.  The consultant is also to suggest methodologies for annual updates.

Below are links to related documents.


RFP documents (Download from Cobourg News Blog – once RFPs close, tender documents are removed from Town’s web site)

Reports by Cobourg News Blog

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Cobourg taxpayer
2 years ago

Oh my god does the town of Cobourg not have enough staff to research this????? Another consultant? How about get rid of all staff and only use consultants?

2 years ago

So, after some serious thought I believe I found some revenue through user fees.

Dog licensing fees through dog tags, ditto cats.
Daily Beach tags for residents and non-residents.
Bicycle tags.
Street parking fees, for those who don’t have drives.
Second home owner fees (erm…..taxes on second homes in Cobourg).
User Fees AirBnB and the like.
User Fees on undeveloped properties in town.
Congestion fees on vehicles using major streets in town.
Gas-powered mower user fees.

Last edited 2 years ago by Eastender
SW Buyer
Reply to  Eastender
2 years ago

Here are some more:
Loud motorcycle fee
Loud truck/car (muffler/straight pipes) fee
Loud music (motorcycle/car/truck/bicycle)
Mask littering
Council member speaking longer than one minute without saying anything useful and on point.
Council member napping while Council is in session

Reply to  Eastender
2 years ago

I sure hope this was intended to be sarcasm….

Reply to  Eastender
2 years ago

I’m surprised they haven’t considered sidewalk user fees. You buy a monthly pass that allows you to walk on town-owned sidewalks. Why should pedestrians get away without paying their share?

2 years ago

We forget who is running the show
a retired educator with a Pension thats indexed to the cost of living and has never
had the experience if long term self employment or retiring on your savings .

Reply to  Sandpiper
2 years ago

Will we see your hat in the ring come election time?

Reply to  Sandpiper
2 years ago

You just ooze with jealously over those with defined benefit pensions. So sad. He doesn’t run the show he and six other members of council make all decisions. Its about decisions in our lives and his led him to a pension why is that wrong.

Gerry Wentzell
Reply to  Sandpiper
2 years ago

well said and totally agree!!

2 years ago

Hmmmm……Municipal Election coming up.

2 years ago

In the grasps of a global recession, interests rate continuing to climb, gas prices skyrocketing, food costs impacting everyone, additional carbon pricing coming, no sense of what fall Covid-19 might look like yet, most young people completely priced out of home ownership, most employers struggling to find adequate workers, supply chain issues creating world wide shortages on important goods, etc, etc, etc…and our elected officials want to kick around how they can find additional ways to reach into the wallets of residents and visitors?!? You just increased parking! What on earth is wrong with you people…I’m not suggesting this topic shouldn’t be considered at some point in the future, but read the #$@% room.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rob
John L. Hill
2 years ago

It will be interesting to see which municipal politician will vote to spend more money on a consultant to find more ways to add fees in times of rising gas and grocery costs. I expect the only ones to support this proposal are the ones not expecting to be re-elected.

2 years ago

Specifically Excluded items area why are they not included
a couple of these areas are the big expense items that seem to be out of control .

I do believe using comparable communities of same size is important to get a
better picture of what’s really out there . Ie Port Perry , Bobcaygeon , Bracebridge & Huntsville
are all exceptional growth communities of similar population . With thieving self sustaining down town cores . They also have much lower property Tax rates that are more evenly based .

2 years ago

what the Hell does consultant to do a “Comprehensive User Fee Study”. Cost? is that not why  councilors are elected to do?

Reply to  greengrass
2 years ago

no it isn’t.

2 years ago

I’d like the town to do a study on how to reduce operating costs and fix process gaps before they do a study on user fees.

Reply to  Mary
2 years ago

Your comment prompted me to look up “process gaps” and the result
was very enlightening:

14 Examples of Process Gaps – Simplicable Guide

Reading that list sure took me back to my days at the office, many years ago.

Last edited 2 years ago by JimT
Ken Strauss
2 years ago

Why not recommend marina, trailer park and special event fees to maximize profit (not costs and not what other towns charge)? Why exclude development charges which are one of the town’s best tools to control sprawl?

2 years ago

“Fees will be judged based on what other municipalities are charging plus the amount that can be justified based on the cost of providing the service.” 

My two cents worth:

  • Why should the taxpayers be gouged with user-fees based on what other neighbouring Municipalities charge? That idea would not be a true user fee,
  • The Municipality is not in the business of profit generation but should be asking us to pay the actual cost of providing the service.
  • The idea of user-fees is a move away from Universal Taxation.
  • When assessing the need for user-fees we should first have a study what should be included.
  • The article does include an exemption list but what was that based on and who decided what should be in or out?

Last edited 2 years ago by ben