Town of Cobourg Council Approves 2024 Capital and Operating Budget

In Local

The Town of Cobourg would like to advise residents that Council has approved the 2024 Operating and Capital Budget with a levy of 30,944,896 which represents a 9.91% increase over the 2023 Operating Budget and an 8.06% net increase after allowing for New Assessment Growth.

The 2024 Budget process began in December 2023 with Council receiving community budget recommendations on December 11 followed by the receipt of the detailed divisional staff budget presentation on December 12 and 13. The divisional staff budget presentation outlined key operating and capital budget drivers, special projects and cost avoidance and savings initiatives. Community Engagement for the 2024 Budget launched on December 15 and results were presented to Council on January 9, 2024 prior to the detailed budget review session.

Budget Highlights:
• Hiring of a Sustainability Coordinator as recommended in the Town of Cobourg Integrated Community Sustainability Plan approved in 2023.

• New Customer Service position to be rolled out mid-year 2024.

• New auto extrication tools for the Cobourg Fire Department, replacing the previous set that is over 20 years old and is no longer reliable.

• Fleet electrification for the Building Department and installation of two electric charge stations. Projects 100% funded by the Building Department’s reserve fund with no impact to the levy.

• Traffic signal intersection upgrade and accessible pedestrian signals. Costs shared with Northumberland County for shared intersections.

• Bi-Annual Sidewalk Program – New sidewalks recommended for West side of Division Street from Veronica to Veronica, South side of University Ave W from Margaret to William, South side of Densmore Road from Division to Birchwood and North side of Elgin from D’Arcy to Conger.

• William Street Bridge Rehabilitation – bridge inspections identified components of the bridge to be in poor condition or in need of rehabilitation work to meet current standards and practice.

• Flashing beacons at King and College pedestrian crosswalk• A dedicated team of Cobourg volunteers are exploring current grant opportunities for public electric vehicle chargers. Council has approved a Capital budget of $120,000 should the grant application be successful.

• Return of Tourism Students for summer 2024

• Council focused on improving public accessibility and quality of low-barrier outdoor activities by paving pathways at Fitzhugh Shores, Tracey Park, and Peace Park. New outdoor sports facilities will be added with two new basketball projects, a new disc golf course, and an expansion of rugby facilities.

“This budget represents our commitment to progressive initiatives and exceptional service delivery while honoring the promises made to ensure we are not compromising the needs of future generations,” says Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty. As our community continues to rebuild following a pandemic while facing rising inflation, I am grateful for the collaboration by our members of Council who, following hours of deliberation, have passed a budget that will see us continue to build and maintain the infrastructure needed for our growing community as well
as the programs and services required by our residents.”

Community Engagement:
Prior to budget deliberations, the Town of Cobourg launched a community engagement project on EngageCobourg.ca to gain insight for Council on the programs and services residents value the most and what they feel requires additional funding and staff attention. Included in the survey were key budget items presented to Council.

Transit – Limited Fixed Route Service Approved:
Staff presented a Limited Fixed Route Service Pilot Project as an option for a one-year trial. The limited fixed route would operate in addition to the on-demand service and would require
an additional operating budget of $175,000. 47.8% of respondents indicated that they believed a Fixed Route Service Pilot Project is a valuable service for the Town of Cobourg.

Centennial Pool – Continued Operation for 2024 Approved:
63.2% (280 people) of respondents indicated that they believed the continued operation of the Centennial Pool, with an operating budget of $139,529 was a valuable service for the Town of Cobourg.
The final, approved Capital and Operating budgets will be uploaded to the Town’s municipal website, Cobourg.ca, in the coming weeks

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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