The vote was delayed a month to give time for further public input and as a result, there were four delegations on the subject at Tuesday’s Council Meeting. Each project would have to come to Council for approval at the time it was intended to go ahead so most councillors felt that approving the plan did not mean they were approving each project. But the wording was contentious; Suzanne Séguin wanted to include words that specifically barred expanding the West Harbour even though such wording could later be over-ruled. Both public presenters and Councillors felt that the study was generally deemed to make good recommendations with the exception of expansion of boat slips into the West Harbour and buying a Travel Lift. Both these issues generated a lot of disagreement.
Issues raised by Delegations
See their full presentations in Links below
Colin Bromley – Cobourg Resident
- There were no discussions or recommendations regarding Ontario Lake Level fluctuations (The consultant later said that this was outside the scope of the study and they did not have expertise in this area)
- There was not sufficient information regarding necessary supporting information to fully understand the reasons for some recommendations – e.g. there is no costing of the lost opportunities at the Trailer Park
- Putting repair of Monk’s Cove as a low priority so that it is derelict for 13 years is “not appropriate”.
Jeremy Fowlie, Head Coach of Cobourg Dragon Boat and Canoe Club
Jeremy questioned the case for more slips and that there are other alternatives. He also wanted a proper survey done – e.g. a question on the ballot at a Council election (Town Clerk Brent Larmer said that it would be too late at this election but Gil suggested maybe it could be added in 2022).
Harold Wontorra, Cobourg Resident
Harold gave detailed reasons why the Boat Lift ranking should be #62 and not #4. He also said that a boat lift would make Cobourg the only Marina to have one without boat repair services.
Lisa Rundle, Spokesperson, Preserve Our Heritage Harbour (POHH)
Her only objection was to the “Expansion of the Marina into the West Harbour and the proposed acquisition of a Travel Lift” She pointed out that the November 22, 2016 Request for Proposal for the Waterfront User Needs did not mention revenue generation so how then did it become a standalone objective and the overriding feature of the consultant’s final report? She disagreed with the Director who said there was a: “clear understanding of what the majority of residents want for their waterfront”. She said: “Perhaps he can explain why the wishes of the majority of residents were completely ignored.” (Dean Hustwick later said that “Revenue generation was always one of the objectives”.) At right is a photo of a recent demonstration by POHH. More here.
Response to Objections
Both Director Dean Hustwick and the Consultant gave detailed reasons in response to the objections. Download Dean’s full 18 page memo below with detailed reasoning – but his top level comments were:
- The intent was never for Council to debate each recommendation
- A large number of people support the recommendations – Dean’s implication is that it’s only minorities who object.
- The definition of a harbour is that it’s a safe harbour for boats. ALL boats matter.
The consultant also said that the delegations represented a small minority of the community.
- He refuted many of the statements given by objectors (for details see the consultant’s presentation in links below)
- The majority of the public support maximizing the use of the harbour
- 100 slips is a 14% increase and not likely to cause conflicts e.g. between dragon boats and others
- Some of his comments about harbour space assumed more dredging.
Mayor Gil Brocanier commented that there are often two sides to decisions before council: the logical side and the emotional side. If there were a ballot at the 2022 election, voters could decide whether the marina should be taxpayer supported or should it be self-supporting.
In the end the motion to adopt the report was modified to include the requirement that “major recommended projects will require public consultation before final determination.” The motion passed six to one with Suzanne Séguin against. There was general agreement that because an action was in the report did NOT mean it was going to be implemented. Each project will be decided separately and would be subject to public scrutiny and input.
- Presentations to Council 3 July 2018 – Waterfront Study
- Dean Hustwick memo – Detailed Response to objections
- Consultant’s presentation of detailed response to objections
- Marathon Council Meeting Dominated by Waterfront Study – 5 June 2018 – includes links to Final report