Citizen Expresses Dismay at 310 Division Street Delay

In City Hall

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Northumberland County council surprise delegation – had to move to hear it

Northumberland County is hopeful of opening its prospective homeless shelter at 310 Division St., Cobourg, by August, county council’s Social Services Committee heard at its June meeting.

The information came as the result of what might be termed a surprise delegation. The meeting had moved on well past that point when a man out of the handful of people in the gallery suddenly requested one – the committee had to make a motion to hear it. But in the end, Brad Crawford was a man of few words.

“I was told 310 Division St. was bought because it needed no work and was ready to go, and it was supposed to open in March,” Crawford pointed out.

“Here it is June, and it’s still not open. As a taxpayer, I would like to know what’s going on with that.”

“The building had most of the features we needed for a shelter, but there was still some work that need to be done,” Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Moore replied.

As a seniors’ retirement residence, the configuration of rooms-with-bathrooms was very suitable, Moore said,

“Many rooms just needed a coat of paint and a few touch-ups.”

External renovations were required, as the existing configuration “doesn’t quite meet today’s standards.”

What was envisioned as a warming room will now be a 24/7 drop-in centre, so those modifications are required. And a few things are required from a building-code perspective, such as upgrading security features and some fencing upgrades.

The 10 top-floor units are seen as an opportunity to offer transitional housing, so kitchenettes will need to be installed.

Though they had expected what she termed, “a fairly quick turn-around, there will have to be some procedural issues we have had to walk through, and we continue to work through those with the Town of Cobourg.”

Negotiating this partnership is taking longer than originally expected, but they’re hoping for a late-summer opening – possibly in August.

“Okay – our tax dollars at work,” Crawford said dismissively.

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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