Article by John Campbell

Two major projects now underway in Cobourg are the first things to come to mind when Warden Bob Crate is asked about 2021.

One is the construction of the Golden Plough Lodge & Northumberland County Archives and Museum on Courthouse Road, a 203,000 square-foot facility that will contain 180 beds, 29 more than are in the existing long-term care home.
The $116 million three-storey facility, which won’t be completed until the fall of 2022, is being built with the help of funds provided by the federal and provincial governments.

The other project of consequence for area residents is the Elgin Park Redevelopment Project which will increase the number of subsidized and market rental housing units at the Elgin Street location from 18 to 40. Twenty-eight of the units will be subsidized; that’s 10 more than is currently offered on-site. They will be added to Northumberland County Housing Corporation’s existing stock of 344 units across the county.

Both projects are “very important” for the county’s future, Crate said.

The lodge was built in the 1950s and its replacement will be an “up-to-date facility which our residents deserve,” he said. “We did a good job with what we had to work with but this will be a vast improvement for our staff and for the residents.”

The county is “mandated by the province to supply a certain amount of housing” and the Elgin Park project will help Northumberland meet its obligations.

The county is “always looking for areas” where it can build a “mixture” of market rent and rent-geared-to-income units, Crate, “and we’re excited that we’re able to do this one.”

Also in the budget this year is additional consultation and design work that remains to be done on a new bridge in Campbellford. Construction isn’t likely to begin for another 18 months to two years, Crate said.

In other news, the county has instituted “a whole new structure” for its committees, he said.

Each member of county council chairs one of the six committees – community health; corporate support; economic development, tourism and planning; finance and audit; public works, and; social services – in addition to serving as a member of one other. Crate sits on all six committees.

Unlike previous years, members of the public and news media will be able to attend the meetings, virtually for now and in-person in future.

“People will be able to make presentations” for the first time, Crate said.

“We’re just trying to be more transparent. We want people to be involved and the way to do that is to make it easy for them to be part of these meetings,” so they can “bring forth their concerns,” he said.

The committees began holding morning and afternoon meetings last week and will continue to do so the first Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of each month.

To view committee agendas or to arrange to speak at a meeting, visit https://www.northumberland.ca/en/county-government/speaking-before-council.aspx.