Update from Holdco – 2024

On June 13, a special Council meeting was called to hear the annual report by Holdco.  This is the organization that manages Cobourg’s Electricity and Water. I find it complicated but let me try to explain:  Holdco has two subsidiaries: Lakefront Utilities Inc. (LUI) which manages electricity and Lakefront Utility Services Inc. (LUSI) which manages water and some fibre Optics used for the Town’s Internet.  LUI owns the electric infrastructure but LUSI hires and manages all employees so the public deals with LUSI. So when Holdco reported on their year, there were actually four reports (more below). HOLDCO is owned by the Town so officially reports to Council but like the Police, they have a board with a Town representative: Mayor Lucas Cleveland…. Read complete articleUpdate from Holdco – 2024

New Schedule for Zoning By-Law Review

For more than 10 years, the Town has been working on a review of the Zoning by-law 85-2003. This was originally passed in 2003 and would be expected to be reviewed once the 2010 Official plan was approved – this was late and finally happened in 2017. The review is being done by consultant Meridian Planning but they need the Town’s planning department and Council to review and agree to changes. According to a presentation by Meridian President Nick McDonald at last night’s Council meeting, there have been nine versions created so far.  Recently, delays have been caused by staff problems in the planning department (Rob Franklin away because of illness and Director Anne Taylor-Scott left the job suddenly) but… Read complete articleNew Schedule for Zoning By-Law Review

Message from the Mayor

Mayor Lucas Cleveland today announced a “Change in Office Hours”. He says that his “business partner at The Market & Smør announced that she will be moving on to new work opportunities. I will therefore be returning to the Market part-time for the next few months to manage the transition until a new team structure is up and running.” He provides no further personal details but his move to being a part-time Mayor is unusual.  Lucas does not give a time frame for how long this situation will be in place but he talks of “several months” and seems to be eager to get into business mode again.  His announcement talks about great things happening downtown with stores and residential… Read complete articleMessage from the Mayor

Cobourg asks Province to comply with By-Laws at Brookside

The encampment at Brookside seems to be growing with cars, boats and trailers now parked alongside the tents and the Province has done nothing to enforce Cobourg’s by-laws on the property.  But now, Mayor Cleveland has written to the Province asking that “they take the necessary steps to become compliant with all municipal by-laws and regulations within the jurisdiction of the Town of Cobourg for the property at 390 King Street East, the former Brookside Youth Centre Property.”  According to an announcement from the Town, the Letter from Mayor Cleveland “addresses the health and safety of the property, lack of maintenance and adherence to community standards.”  The announcement explains the legal reasons that mean that Cobourg’s “Municipal Law Enforcement Department… Read complete articleCobourg asks Province to comply with By-Laws at Brookside

New Taxi and Uber By-Law

Taxis have long been debated in Council – concerns have been long wait times, no provision for Uber, no accessible taxis and from Taxi owners, that fares are too low. In September of 2023, a draft by-law was submitted to Council which would regulate all similar services collectively called “Vehicles for Hire”; that is, Taxis, Transportation Network Companies – (T.N.C.  e.g. Uber or Lyft), Limousines and Designated Drivers. A Survey of cab owners and the public provided some feedback and at the April 24 Council meeting, the new bylaw was passed.  But Kelly Paton, owner of Cobourg Cab, predicted an influx of drivers in the first 6 months resulting in job losses and possible closure altogether (of taxi companies). Then in… Read complete articleNew Taxi and Uber By-Law

Council Asked to Apologize

At the Strategic Priorities and Policy Standing Committee meeting on April 2, there was a long discussion on the Community Grants process.  Towards the end of debate, Mayor Cleveland moved an amendment to a motion which would deny any grants to “either Green Wood Coalition or Moms Stop the Harm for the remainder of this term of Council.”  The amendment was supported by Councillors Mutton and Darling but not by other Councillors so it failed. Further, after the main motion passed without this amendment, Miriam spoke passionately about the issue. She said that these organizations “harm people”.  At tonight’s Council meeting, Missy McLean presented on behalf of Moms Stop the Harm and described the goals of that organization which she… Read complete articleCouncil Asked to Apologize

Downtown Parking Study says no Garage needed

With the 2014 downtown parking study needing to be updated, a new study was commissioned in 2023 and its results will be provided to council at their regular meeting on April 24. One recommendation that I find surprising was that no new parking garage is recommended on Covert Street or anywhere else.  The report passes the buck to Council to make some key decisions and there are some recommended strategies (that’s how consultants describe “actions”).  The good news is that no large expenditures are recommended for the next 10 years; that is, except for a suggestion that it would be good to buy the privately owned parking lots on Second Street and Albert Street, which are currently leased to the… Read complete articleDowntown Parking Study says no Garage needed

First quarter 2024 Financial Report

It’s refreshing to see a timely report on budget performance. At the April Council meeting, Finance Director Adam Giddings will provide a report on the Operating and Capital actual expenditures in Q1 compared to the amounts budgeted. The report is comprehensive with a breakdown by department and includes comments as to why there are variances. The first thing to notice is that spending in Q1 is 22% below the amount planned – a good portion of that is because many planned hirings have not yet happened plus there have been some unplanned resignations.  But it’s not all because of that and although there is considerable detail in the report, some items are not explained – see the full report and/or… Read complete articleFirst quarter 2024 Financial Report

Police Force Expansion Linked to Possible New Building

At the Community Protection and Economic Development Standing Committee meeting on April 3rd, there was a motion made to “get the ball rolling” on the Police request for a new building. As reported earlier, Police believe that they have outgrown their existing building on King Street and recommend a new building at a new location for approx. $34M. The Standing committee members (Mayor Cleveland, Aaron Burchat, Adam Bureau) all agreed that this would be a long term project and that it should be considered simultaneously with the possible expansion of the Force or a merger. Mayor Cleveland emphasized that he was NOT suggesting switching services to the OPP but perhaps there should be a West Northumberland or County Police Force…. Read complete articlePolice Force Expansion Linked to Possible New Building