A friendly agreement or a colossal giveaway?
In the 80s a series of discussions took place between the Town of Cobourg and the Municipality of Hamilton Township. The subject was amalgamation of the two entities. Needless to say it never happened, for a variety of reasons. One of the results of the failure to agree was the policy from both Cobourg and Hamilton Twp not to extend municipal services across the border. Call it spiteful, mean or just retribution it has stood for over thirty years.
Now, very soon, an agreement will be made between the municipalities to break that policy. In Cobourg sharp eyed observers will have sniffed something about this a couple of months ago when an agenda item, for a closed session, was noticed and also when an application was made by the Pentecostal Camp to extend water services.
Now in a news story in CobourgNow an online publication; read it here, it was revealed that an agreement has been reached. WHY haven’t we in Cobourg been notified of this. WHY is it that we have overturned longstanding policy in secret. WHY cannot Cobourg citizens be trusted with this discussion in the open. WHEN are we going to be told about this.
Why is this so important to Cobourgers? Another bit of history – the farm field between Workman Road South and the Pentecostal Camp has been for sale for many, many years. Now there is a SOLD sign on it. Was this land purchased using inside information about the water/sewer extension? Because if it was then the cost of extending the water/sewage lines just became more valuable and Cobourg should cash in but will they? In Hamilton Township this is being touted as a no cost item as the developer will pay all the costs. But the cost to Cobourg is more than services. After all just how many houses will be built on this land? And remember the taxes will flow to Hamilton Township.
In 1985, after the election of a new Council the first order of business was to deal with the atrocious situation that residents in the Brook Rd and Coverdale subdivisions were faced with – overloaded septic systems. That cost millions to fix. It is not inconceivable to imagine that with rural building standards the same thing couldn’t happen again in the new planned areas.
But will taxpayers in Cobourg ever get to discuss this giveaway and impediment to further amalgamation, if wanted. Cobourg, unless it charges a premium for the water/sewage, will never gain from this deal – why are we doing it? Why are we using precious sewer capacity to service outsiders. Is Hamilton Township going to pay a fee for this capacity? How will Cobourg profit from this?
The bottom line is that Hamilton Twp is laughing all the way to the Bank and Cobourg, given the lack of public information to date is looking like a benevolent Uncle being taken to the cleaners by Slick Willy.