Municipal

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Time to crack down on sidewalk clearing during winter in West Northumberland

As the freezing rain turns the driveway into a skating rink this Boxing Day, it is a reminder of the dangerous side of winter. It is a time when going out to retrieve the newspaper is more an act of bravery and skill than one might think. Snow removal is a touchy subject. Ask anyone who drives or walks, and you can evoke an instant tirade about the lack of clear roads and sidewalks. But nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

In fact, there are a myriad of bylaws from shoveling sidewalks, to clearing emergency exits, where to place your garbage, as well as where you can park. Continue Reading →

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Councillor supports midway on east pier following test results

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By Robert Washburn

The  east pier should be good to go for the Waterfront Festival midway this upcoming Canada Day weekend, says the politician responsible for raising public safety concerns two weeks ago. Councillor John Henderson said he is happy about the results from special tests done June 15 by a Whitby-based company to provide the location of holes inside the east pier known as voids. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Infrastructure workshop provides best lessons at municipal convention, says mayor

By Robert Washburn

While roads and sewers are not sexy topics in municipal politics, Cobourg Mayor Gil Brocanier says it cannot be ignored when it comes to how taxes are spent. So, it should be no surprise to know Brocanier spent a portion of  his time at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference in Halifax attending a workshop of municipal infrastructure. “People don’t realize how important this is to a place like Cobourg,” he said. The mayor went on to explain how a local developer compared Cobourg to other municipalities where he builds projects. The poor roads meant it was more difficult to sell the new homes compared to Cobourg, where the roads are in better shape, he said. Continue Reading →

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Candidates need a budget plan and stick to it

The legacy of provincial and federal downloading of costs on to local municipalities was brought back into the spotlight recently as Port Hope council debated acquisition of its harbour. Resident/developer John Floyd and Deputy Mayor Jeff Lees complained about the long-term costs of taking over the town’s harbour, saying there are cost of repair and upgrading, leaving taxpayers on the hook for many years to come. Meanwhile, the federal government has been waiting for more than a decade for the town to take over full responsibility after it decided this was no longer the federal government’s job. A deal was reached in 2008 where the town paid out $300,000 and made a commitment to dredge. But with plans going forward for the East Marina project with 250 slips as part of the Waterfront Master Plan, the town is committed to spending about half-a-million dollars from its reserves to get underway. Continue Reading →

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