Managing Crowds at Cobourg’s Beaches

Cobourg residents and Councillors have expressed concern about managing the crowds attracted to Cobourg’s beaches – this has been a special concern with the onset of the pandemic but even in normal times, beach crowds can be a problem.  To address this, the Town created a survey and asked the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) to generate recommendations on “how the municipality can manage the popularity of Victoria Park Beach.” Survey results were published in March (see link below to Cobourg News Blog report) – and with the help of Community Services Staff, the PRAC have now published their recommendations and will ask the next Committee of the Whole to accept them.  It’s quite comprehensive but being recommendations and not… Read complete articleManaging Crowds at Cobourg’s Beaches

Next Step of Re-opening will be Earlier

The Province originally said that Ontario would move into Step 3 of re-opening once 70 to 80% of adults had received one dose of vaccine and 25% had received two.  Now that 77% of people 12 and over have received one dose and 50% have received two doses – that threshold has been met already.  Also required were a lower ICU occupancy rate and generally a low new case rate and these have also happened. The numbers for our region (HKPR) are not quite that good but may well be soon.  Given the good results, the Province has announced that we will move into Step 3 five days earlier on July 16 (at 12:01 am) and has released detailed regulations… Read complete articleNext Step of Re-opening will be Earlier

Cobourg House Prices Steady

In June, house prices in Cobourg stayed close to their record highs – despite talk of a housing price bubble which would suggest a drop.  According to the Northumberland Hills Association of Realtors, the average sale price of a house in the area in June was $849,437.  (Note that Northumberland Hills includes Port Hope, Hamilton and Cramahe as well as Cobourg).  Only 130 units were sold in the area, down 14.5% from June 2020 although this volume  is 12.1% above the five-year average.  Year to date, home sales totaled a record 749 units – this is up by 36.4% from the same period in 2020.  The graph below compares the trend with prices in the GTA and it’s clear that… Read complete articleCobourg House Prices Steady

Installing more EV chargers in Cobourg

At the June 21 Committee of the Whole (CoW) Council Meeting, the Sustainability & Climate Emergency Advisory Committee (SCEAC) recommended that Council proceed with installing eight Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargers at three locations in Town to take advantage of a $40K grant from Natural Resources Canada.  However, Councillors were concerned that they did not have enough information on who would use the stations and ongoing costs to the Town.  Brent Larmer advised that David Kuhnke, (representing EV owners in Cobourg) would be presenting at the next regular Council meeting on 28 June, so Council decided to defer a decision pending his input and a report from Staff.  David’s presentation did not answer all the questions so a decision has not… Read complete articleInstalling more EV chargers in Cobourg

Cobourg Considering Regulating Airbnb

At Monday’s Council meeting, concerns about Airbnb rentals were raised by correspondence from Cobourg resident Anne-Marie Jackson; she complained about problems from an Airbnb establishment on Blake Street (which is within walking distance of Downtown).  Anne-Marie said that “We have seen a notable increase in transient visitors, an increase in on-street parking – often 4-5 vehicles at a time – parties with loud and disruptive guests, documented drug and criminal activity, and as a result, increased police activity.  Further “During documented criminal activity, drug activity and noise complaints where police were called, residents have made attempts to contact (the owner) to address their concerns through the Airbnb ‘Contact Your Neighbour’ portal, but the attempts have gone unanswered. Complaints submitted to Airbnb,… Read complete articleCobourg Considering Regulating Airbnb

Council said to be Acting Outside its Jurisdiction

At the Committee of the Whole (CoW) Council meeting on June 21, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (EDIAC) recommended to Council that they send a letter of support of Bill C-6 to the Federal Government.  This bill would make conversion therapy a crime. (Conversion therapy tries to negate someone’s desire to change sex identification). Councillor Beatty had moved the motion at the Advisory Committee and promoted the idea at the CoW meeting.  Councillor Chorley had reservations about supporting the motion since it is outside Council’s jurisdiction but supported other activities of the committee that are within the municipality’s jurisdiction.  The CoW vote was in favour 5-1 (see wording of motion below) – Councillor Emily Chorley abstained and Deputy… Read complete articleCouncil said to be Acting Outside its Jurisdiction

There’s Progress in Highway of Heroes Tree Planting

In October 2018, Cobourg Volunteers participated in planting some of the 117,000 trees that will remember the 117,000 Canadians who have “died for freedom” since confederation (see link below).  The 117,000 trees will be planted on the Highway of Heroes right of way and another 1.8 million trees will be planted nearby but not on the right of way.  You might have thought that this initiative would be dropped but no, it has continued.  This Spring, more than 98,000 new trees have been planted across Northumberland County in honour of Canadian veterans, thanks to the combined efforts of the Highway of Heroes (HOH) Tree Campaign and Forests Ontario. These newly planted seedlings are adding to an existing green monument along… Read complete articleThere’s Progress in Highway of Heroes Tree Planting

Cobourg Police Launch Survey

As part of their Strategic Planning Process, Cobourg Police are asking Cobourg Citizens to complete a comprehensive survey – see link below.  It’s being done by an outside company (Lansdowne Consulting Group) and you could win a $150 gift card for one of our local Cobourg restaurants.  I have already completed the survey myself and it’s quite long. The questions basically ask what you think of their capabilities, attitudes and performance. As their email launching the survey puts it: “The purpose of this consultation is to gather feedback on the delivery of services provided by the Cobourg Police Service and to help us set priorities for the next three years.”  You can find the link on their web site and… Read complete articleCobourg Police Launch Survey

Health Coalitions Survey LTC workers

Three groups have teamed up to survey Long Term Care workers to uncover deficiencies.  Using the results, they are now lobbying the Provincial Government to make improvements.  Their Press Conference on Tuesday, June 22 was on Zoom and recorded on Facebook with the video plus full survey results available via Links below.  This report will focus on their key findings and recommendations.  Their survey shows that the big problem is staffing which was a problem pre-Covid but is now worse.  The group believe that Government promises to increase the number of beds are both insufficient and unrealistic.  They also want a focus on public facilities and not “for-profit” homes.  To be clear, they are not talking about Retirement Homes but… Read complete articleHealth Coalitions Survey LTC workers

Goals of Organization Review

One of the early actions of Cobourg’s new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Tracey Vaughan, was to hire a consultant to provide an Organization Review.  She has said she hopes that this will help with efforts to improve efficiency.  At Monday’s Committee of the Whole Meeting, Oscar Poloni from KPMG presented Council with a description of what exactly he hoped to achieve.  It would address the earlier KPMG report on a Service Delivery review and would align with Council’s direction to staff (via the Strategic Plan including its update – see links below).  One question Oscar asked (but got no immediate answer) was whether the Town wanted to organize around priorities instead of the more usual and current organization based on… Read complete articleGoals of Organization Review