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Web Site Updates
10-26-2016 - 2016 Town Financial Spend Still Not Available
10-25-2016 - Update on the Fall boat lift
10-24-2016 - Photos of how boats currently lifted
10-19-2016 - Updated for CTA submission to OEB
10-16-2016 - CTA Opposes Taxpayers paying $645,000 for a Travel Lift
10-16-2016 - CTA Supports Local Businesses but not free handouts
09-10-2016 - CTA Asks Council to Reject PMP Implementation Phase One
09-07-2016 - CTA responds to Mayor's Transit letter
09-02-2016 - Paul Pagnuelo on "Week in Review" on OEB hearing
09-02-2016 - Mayor responds to CTA Transit letter
08-31-2016 - CTA Transit letter
08-27-2016 - Update on OEB hearings
07-22-2016 - Bryan Lambert on "Week in Review" on CTA registering as intervenor
07-20-2016 - Added 2015 FIR
07-20-2016 - CTA intevenes in electricity rate increase
07-08-2016 - First Half 2016 Town Spending
06-21-2016 - Added Cobourg 2015 Financial Reports
06-21-2016 - Added 2015 Cobourg Financial Statements
06-21-2016 - Added Cobourg Water System Financial Plan 2016 - 2021
06-14-2016 - Council used common sense and rejected this expenditure
06-10-2016 - CTA Urges Council to Reject Hiring Consultant
The CTA is completely volunteer run with no paid staff, no funding from government or special interests. Donations will be used to pay for Freedom of Information requests, our website and other expenses to help everyone enjoy our Feel Good Town with less government waste and lower taxes.
We appreciate cheques as they avoid the 2.9% Paypal service charge. They can be sent to:
Cobourg Taxpayers Association
24 Pebble Beach Dr.
Cobourg ON K9A 2C5
The CTA wrote to Deputy Mayor Henderson and Council several months ago to ask how our town was doing financially with respect to the budget. We wanted to know if we were on track or whether we were over budget. We were disappointed because we were not given the actual spend numbers.
Lydia Smith asked the question again at the public budget submission meeting on October 12th. Still no reply. Still no actuals.
10/24/2016 UPDATE: Photos of how the current boat lift is done can be found here: PHOTOS
A total of 38 boats were lifted out of the water this fall. The crane comes from Belleville and the Land-Tug from Trenton. The Belleville Yacht Club and the Whitby Marina both use the same system...rent a crane and a yard trailer.
Claims are made that Cobourg needs a Travel Lift to be competitive with other marinas such as Belleville, Newcastle and Whitby. The major differences are: Newcastle and Belleville are privately owned, and all three have boat works that provide much of the Travel Lift usage. The Whitby Marina lifts about 400 boats per season. Cobourg lifts about 40 boats per season.
The new 360+ slip marina at Trenton has neither a Travel Lift or winter storage.
The Cobourg Taxpayers Association (CTA) is opposed to the expenditure of $645,000 ($45K for the design and construction of the Travel Lift well plus $600,000 for the actual Travel Lift). Taxpayers should not be subsidizing 45 boaters.
Bryan Lambert presented his analysis of the proposed Travel Lift as a concerned Cobourg resident and taxpayer. He presented the financial numbers on how non‐viable and financially irresponsible this expenditure is. Here are some of the key highlights:
- The Travel Lift cost alone is $600,000. A 3% 10‐year loan costs $5,794/month, $69,528/year.
- Assuming operating cost for wages, insurance, maintenance, and fuel is $15,000/year.
- Therefore $84,500/year is needed to service the 10 year loan.
- On the revenue side, based on rates in Whitby, lift in and out for a 35 foot boat is $550.
- 154 boats would be needed to generate the $84,500 needed to service a 10 year loan.
- In the spring of 2016, 45 boats were lifted out of the water.
- Assuming 45 boats, the launch/haul‐out fee would have to be $1,878/boat to service the 10 year loan.
The full presentation can be found here: Budget Consultation Meeting
Dennis Nabieszko submitted the following as a private citizen:
Please don't approve the Travel Lift as a budget item.
In talking with my neighbours, friends, and local businesses, there was not one person that supported the purchase of a Travel Lift. This is a significant expenditure and cost to local taxpayers, especially to those on fixed incomes. One of the arguments for this purchase is the safety of the current method using volunteers. If that is the case, professionals should be used and the boaters should be paying for it. This Travel Lift only benefits a few well off people and not the retiree or the single mother struggling to make ends meet.
The entire email can be found here: Do not Approve the Travel Lift
You too can make a difference and show your opposition by emailing or calling the Mayor or Councillors. Contact information can be found here.
Paul Pagnuelo presented at the October 12, 2016 Town's Budget Public Input meeting, on behalf of the Cobourg Taxpayers Association (CTA), its opposition to the Community Improvement Program (CIP) and its future Community Improvement Venture Initiative (CIVI). Some of the key highlights are:
- Enhancements to private property should be the responsibility of the building owner. The Town should not be in the business of funding grants or loans to private enterprise.
- It is unfair to non-participating businesses in the downtown area and elsewhere in Town.
- Unfair to taxpayers that public money is being used to benefit a select few in the private sector and increase their wealth through property improvements instead of being directed to basic infrastructure or other capital projects.
- No true measurements on how CIP has affected vacancy rates, new tenants staying, or increase in sales or number of employees.
- There appears to be no credit analysis of the borrower by a qualified lender being conducted that we are aware of.
The CTA recommends that Council discontinue the CIP program. Any consideration of replacing it sometime in the future with a CIVI program, a CIP on steroids, should not be entertained
The CTA supports local businesses and wants to see a sustainable, vibrant economy not just downtown but throughout all of Cobourg. Handing out free public money as an incentive to select businesses will not accomplish that goal and is counterproductive. The success of Downtown Vitalization is not dependent on government handouts
The full presentation can be found here: CTA Pre-Budget Submission - CIP
We thought you might like to know about a couple of town meetings next week. Council is looking for citizen feedback. Both meetings are on Wednesday October 12.
The Town budget meeting is at 2:30 pm at Victoria Hall (a couple of CTA directors will be making submissions).
The Parks and Recreation Strategy is at 7:00 pm at the Cobourg Community Centre. The goal of this project is to have a long-term strategy to be used as a guide in developing recreational programs to enhance the diversity of opportunities afforded to residents and visitors of the Town of Cobourg.
We hope to see you there.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
10/19/2016 Update: CTA requests OEB to refinance their $7,000,000 demand note at rates of between 2.4% and 3.09%. to benefit Lakefront Utilities & its customers
October 17, 2016 CTA submission
09/02/2016 Update: John Hill talks to Paul Pagnuelo (CTA) & Ceiran Bishop (OEB) on Lakefront Utilities application for a rate increase. Podcast of the broadcast below at end of article
08/27/2016 Update: Lakefront Utilities repsonses to CTA questions, and follow up questions/responses:
August 5, 2016 response from Lakefront Utilities
August 21, 2016 follow up questions by CTA
August 25, 2016 follow up response from Lakefront Utilities
7/22/2016 Update: Bryan Lambert was on "Week in Review" discussing CTA registering as an intervenor. Podcast of the broadcast below at end of article.
In June, the Cobourg Taxpayers Association (CTA) applied to be a designated intervenor in the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) hearings with regards to Lakefront Utilities seeking approval for changes to the rates charged for electricity distribution, to be effective January 1, 2017. Lakefront Utilities Inc. (Lakefront Utilities) filed a complete cost of service application with the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) on April 29, 2016 under section 78 of the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, S.O. 1998, c. 15, (Schedule B), seeking approval for changes to the rates that Lakefront Utilities charges for electricity distribution, effective January 1, 2017.
A Notice of Hearing (Notice) was issued on June 6, 2016. Each of the CTA, Energy Probe Research Foundation (Energy Probe) and the Vulnerable Energy Consumers Coalition (VECC) applied for intervenor status.
The CTA, Energy Probe and VECC were approved as intervenors.
Intervenors are interested groups or individuals who participate actively in the proceeding either by submitting evidence, arguments or interrogatories (written questions) or by cross-examining a witness or witnesses at an oral hearing. These provide a forum for individuals or groups of individuals who may be affected by the Board's rulings to express their views to the Board and to participate meaningfully in the Board's decision-making process.
This effort will help us to remove the shroud of secrecy from Holdco’s dealings.
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Week in Review - John Hill talks to Paul Pagnuelo (CTA) & Ceiran Bishop (OEB) on Lakefront Utilities application for a rate increase.
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