Council Debates By-Law Enforcing Social Distancing

At a council meeting on April 27, a bylaw was introduced to increase enforcement of social distancing required for management of the Covid-19 pandemic in Cobourg.  But Adam Bureau moved that the By-Law be “tabled”.  His motion passed and the possible by-law was killed, at least for the time being.  But at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday June 1st, Aaron Burchat moved that this bylaw be “removed from the table” (resurrected!) and be put to a vote.  In a recorded vote, his motion passed 4-3 with Councillors Adam Bureau, Emily Chorley and Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin against.  But after extensive discussion, approval (or not) of the by-law was deferred to the June 22nd Committee of the Whole… Read complete articleCouncil Debates By-Law Enforcing Social Distancing

Beach Closed Until August 31

At a special Council meeting on Monday, Council passed a motion to close Victoria Park beach for the summer.  A fence will be erected on the sand with enough space left for a walkway parallel to the existing walkway – the extra space allows people to pass by each other with proper social distancing.  There was no provision for residents to access the beach – everyone will face the risk of a fine for trespassing [Fine $65].  There was considerable public interest and differences of opinion – Council heard 5 delegations and received 26 items of correspondence.  My count of these (see below) had 10 who wanted the Beach to stay open (as now – with limitations)  and 19 who… Read complete articleBeach Closed Until August 31

NHH Implements Virtual Visits

Visitors have been banned at Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) now for some time and although seemingly effective in fighting the pandemic it causes a lot of heartache for loved ones as well as those stuck in a hospital bed.  But if people in offices and at home can have virtual contact with others, why not in the Hospital?  It started as a trial with 50 participants but will now expand to all inpatients thanks to the donation of eight ipads by Grafton & Community Sports and Events Committee and an anonymous couple.  The technology used is Microsoft Teams and if you need help setting up your computer a member of NHH’s Virtual Visiting Team will be happy to work through… Read complete articleNHH Implements Virtual Visits

Major Projects Continue During Covid-19 Crisis

One department at the Town that is keeping busy is planning – there are about two dozen projects being reviewed – some major like the Golden Plough Lodge rebuild and some smaller like the new Coast Guard building on the East Pier.  There are also some that have left planning but are under construction like the Legion Condos on Hibernia which should be finished later this year.  Also on their plate are a review of Zoning ByLaws and hopefully some action on the Tannery property although that has had no action since 2018. Construction is now allowed subject to Social Distancing so these projects could well go ahead.  Some have stopped – there’s been no action on the Holiday Inn,… Read complete articleMajor Projects Continue During Covid-19 Crisis

Police and CTA Disagree on Beach opening

Last Friday, the Town of Cobourg announced that Parks and Beaches would be opened up for normal activities except for organized sports. Social distancing requirements and limits on groups larger than five would still be required.  It was not a council decision but was authorized by the Mayor.  Since then, we have had one weekend with only a few people on the beach with citizens and (presumably) visitors following the rules.  In fact in a Press Release, Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf thanked citizens for their good behaviour and provided photos as backup (see below).  But many do not agree with the decision and the Cobourg Tax Payers Association (CTA) have started an online petition asking for the beach to be… Read complete articlePolice and CTA Disagree on Beach opening

Farmers’ Market Opens

The rules set by the province on what is allowed are changing week by week – but under the rules in place at the time, the Cobourg’s Farmers’ Market adopted a “pre-order – pickup” protocol.  The first day for that was today, May 23rd.  There were 10 vendors participating out of 23 possible (food vendors) and over 40 total (all products).  Judging by the parcels waiting for pickup, some had significantly more customers than others.  Auxiliary Police were on hand to help ensure social distancing and entry only for those making a pickup.  It was a glorious Spring day but few people came and there was plenty of parking on Albert and across the road.  Organizers were hopeful that future… Read complete articleFarmers’ Market Opens

Beach and Parks to open in Cobourg starting May 23

Some will require a day or two more for Town staff to prepare but the Town is now following Provincial Guidelines and opening up the Beach and Parks as long as social distancing is maintained. The Provincial rules allow reopening of “Outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, off-leash dog areas and outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters”.  The Town is therefore opening tennis courts and pickleball courts although organized sports are still not allowed.  Still closed are outdoor playgrounds, play structures, outdoor splash pads, swimming pools and “all communal facilities intended to be used by persons using outdoor sports amenities”.  The beach will be open for “non-contact unorganized sports”, plus sun-bathing and presumably swimming, although non-family groups can be no… Read complete articleBeach and Parks to open in Cobourg starting May 23

Council Reviews Town’s Finances

At a special Council meeting on Thursday, Interim CAO /Treasurer Ian Davey presented his report on the Status of the Town’s Finances as impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.  It was not intended to be an exercise to revise the budget – the budget is unchanged – but instead was a report on what steps staff are taking to avoid a deficit.  However, some Councillors saw it as an opportunity to give direction to staff on what should NOT be spent given the shortfall in revenue of $1,561,000.  The charge was led by Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin and Councillor Emily Chorley but the remaining Councillors outvoted most of their proposals.  Ian Davey repeatedly said that the budget was approved and would… Read complete articleCouncil Reviews Town’s Finances