Stormwater Fee not Fair for Some Taxpayers

A year ago, Council agreed to change the method used to collect the tax required to operate Cobourg’s Stormwater system.  Instead of it being included in the regular tax bill, it would be added to the Hydro/water bill issued by LUSI.  Further, the tax would now be called a “charge” and would vary depending on a formula intended to correspond to usage – except that the formula has a major flaw. The thought was that stormwater run-off would depend on the type of property and its area but it did not consider properties that made no usage of stormwater services such as acreages.  As a result, some properties have been billed charges that are simply not appropriate.  To make the… Read complete articleStormwater Fee not Fair for Some Taxpayers

Town to Now Start Billing Stormwater Fee

In November 2021, a consultant reported to Council that not enough money was being spent on stormwater management.  The new asset management plan makes it clear how much should be spent so in future, we can be assured that drains, pumps and storage areas will be properly funded.  This led to a discussion as to how the money should be collected and council approved a new method: instead of the cost being included in taxes, there would be a fee in the same way that water supply and sewer management is funded.  The fee would depend on the type of property and the area it covers – this approximates to the actual cost for each property although there is one… Read complete articleTown to Now Start Billing Stormwater Fee

EV Charging stations on Municipal Parking Lots

Cobourg Council have been discussing the provision of chargers for electric vehicles at least since 2021 and once again it was on the Agenda at Monday’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting.  Randy Curtis of the EV Society gave a presentation and said there are vendors who would be willing to install and operate charging stations in Cobourg at no cost to the Town or taxpayer.  That’s because revenue and grants would pay for their costs.  There are details to be worked out – exactly how many (16?) and where, and which company to work with – Randy suggested an Ad Hoc Committee be formed to decide these in time for this year’s budget deliberations.  Cost consideration would be potential… Read complete articleEV Charging stations on Municipal Parking Lots

ICSP Approved

The Integrated Community Sustainability Plan was something Council decided was needed once they declared a “Climate Emergency” – which they did in December 2019. Canada’s contribution to global warming is said to be ~2% and based on population, that makes Cobourg’s contribution .001%.  However, local environmentalists are keen for Cobourg to do its part and by showing leadership maybe the rest of the world will follow.  So in early 2022, work started on creating the ICSP and it was given final approval by Council at their regular meeting on July 3, 2023.  So what exactly is it?  It’s a top-level plan that is intended to guide and direct actions by staff on what to do to make life in Cobourg sustainable… Read complete articleICSP Approved

Town helps Citizens who lost Power in Storm

What a storm! We were unfortunate enough to lose power for over 28 hours (2:30 pm Friday to 7:00 pm Saturday) but Alma reminded me that many were worse off e.g. truckers or anyone stranded on the 401 and of course the workers out fixing the breaks. But it’s no fun when computers are down and for a while a network connection on my phone was intermittent (more on this in Appendix below). These days, if your phone doesn’t work, you can’t access status reports or helpful advice – just when you need it most. Your phone could also run out of battery – but in my case I have a very large backup battery which I used to recharge my… Read complete articleTown helps Citizens who lost Power in Storm

Transition to All Electric Vehicles

On 12 October 2021, Council approved the formation of an Ad Hoc Committee to look at how the Town could transition to zero emission vehicles.  It would be a sub-committee of the Transportation Advisory Committee. It took until 16 May 2022 for the terms of reference to be approved and then the committee presented their report to Council on 3 October 2022. Chair Randy Curtis presented a summary of the 50 page report including recommendations.  The committee looked at hybrids, hydrogen powered and battery electric vehicles (BEV) and decided on BEVs. The committee’s decision was based on cost and lifetime greenhouse gas emissions. The report also addresses many of the concerns about BEVs such as recycling batteries, resource limitations and impact on the… Read complete articleTransition to All Electric Vehicles

Town has Purchased Surplus School Land

When the two high Schools in Cobourg amalgamated, the land for a playing field in the West End of Town was no longer being used. (See below for more detail on location). It was therefore likely that the School Board would eventually sell the land but there is a process that they must follow that means that 15 or more entities – including the Town of Cobourg – must be notified first. They did that in 2021 (see the Timeline below) although prior to that they formalized the right-of-way provided for the Boardwalk. Negotiations between the Town (Council) and School board were held in closed session to ensure confidential negotiations.  On September 20, 2022, the School board accepted the Town’s… Read complete articleTown has Purchased Surplus School Land

Cobourg Confirms Urban Status

At the Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on June 20,  Aliyyah Phady made a delegation to Council asking that she be allowed to continue keeping 3 Miniature Bantam chickens in her back yard at 304 Tweed Street despite the Town’s By-Laws prohibiting this.  She said the 7 year old chickens had only a little time left to live.  Staff has already extended the time to comply by 30 days.  Council asked staff to report and provide options and this was done at the CoW meeting on July 11.  Option 1 was to give a further extension, Option 2 was to change the By-Law to allow chickens and Option 3 was the status quo.  Also at the same July 11… Read complete articleCobourg Confirms Urban Status

Special Council Meeting on Homelessness

At the last Regular Council meeting, a delegation by 7 people, who said they were homeless residents of Cobourg, asked Council to immediately suspend enforcement of by-Laws prohibiting camping and otherwise living in Cobourg’s Parks by people who are otherwise homeless.  Councillors were reluctant to take any action until responsible authorities such as the County, Police, the District Health Unit and By-Law officers were consulted.  The delegation asked that they also be consulted.  The time frame for suspension would be until all the homeless people were provided with homes.  In the end, Staff were asked to provide a comprehensive report in time to be presented at a Council meeting specially called to consider this plus a motion by Councillor Beatty… Read complete articleSpecial Council Meeting on Homelessness