In 2017, high water caused power to be cut off to boats moored at the Marina; this happened again in 2019. And if we are to believe that it’s at least partly caused by the new IJC plan 2014, it’s quite possible, even likely, that there will be high water again. Two delegations to Council at their Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday are asking for action on this – they point to a reduced number of boats coming to Cobourg and want the power situation to be fixed before the 2020 season. John King who says he represents boaters and has interviewed 100 of them on the subject is also critical of other aspects of Marina management – he points to safety and security issues with limited enforcement of rules on the docks – he says that marina rules are ignored by boaters and marina staff.
John King’s concerns with the Marina
- Legitimate complaints, not being addressed by marina management
- Lack of power in high water the most urgent issue. A Power Petition “Boaters Need Power” got 150 signatures supporting in 2 weeks
- With no power, there are no lights, no video cameras, no security personnel
- There are trip hazards…dock lines, power cords, loose dock boards etc.
- There are disputes on dock over generator noise, fumes
- There is limited enforcement of rules on docks….marina rules ignored by boaters and marina – “Wild West …..vigilante justice on the docks”.
- There are environmental risk issues: Gas cans left open, unsecured on docks, boats – generator noise, pollution.
The second delegation is by Torben Drewes – he has the same concern about power and quotes the number of visitor days at the Marina. He says that “as of August 21, 2019 the number of visitor-days in the Marina was 1,797, down from 2,667 visitor-days in 2018. Much of this decline was a direct result of the unavailability of power on the docks.” He is concerned that the consequent reduction in Marina revenue “impacts its ability to continue to maintain its first class reputation among boaters on Lake Ontario and to provide the attractive environment enjoyed by many locals and tourists. Fewer visiting boats also results in economic losses extending beyond the Marina to local businesses.” Torben does not mention other concerns with the Marina.
Another delegation on Tuesday (by Roger Magnan) mentions problems for visitors taking advantage of Cobourg’s great environment for fishing. Roger is from Ottawa and with his spouse has been coming to Cobourg to fish for 18 years. (I believe he means launching into the Harbour, not actually fishing in the harbour). He says that there are about “25 seasonal fishing boaters and … about 75 transient fishing boats that come in for 2 days to 2 weeks … with up to 40+ daily boats using the ramp. Some with seasonal passes, some freebees”.
Roger said that Quebec has increased fees and made fishing cost prohibitive for many, Port Hope is closed for fishing boats and camping, Port Darlington’s new ownership is tightening the regulations, and “Cobourg is free to low cost, very few regulations with practically no enforcement of those regulations”. Roger elaborated: “As the bylaw officer explained to me, all of the out of province vehicles are never ticketed….so free… There are no signs for overnight camping, hence we often see overnight camping in the parking area.” Because of the crowds, there is often a wait for the stainless steel fish cleaning table which is badly located (see full presentation at link below) and “due to the lack of supervision, some of the less scrupulous folks throw fish wastes in the city garbage bins. Some wastes are thrown back in the lake, often directly under the docks. B dock had repugnant smells for about a month.”
As an incentive to address his concerns, Roger includes a detailed spreadsheet showing the financial benefit from fishing boaters.
Roger recommends that the power situation be solved, “increase security and safety on the docks, ensure that there is no free fishing because this attracts less scrupulous fishing people and a financial loss to the city” add signs about regulations and enforce them and “have a larger more modern fish cleaning station protected from the elements.”
A third issue about the Marina to be raised by a delegation on Tuesday is by Mike Hubicki on behalf of the Cobourg Yacht club (Mike is the Club’s 2019 Commodore). He says that the “Cobourg Yacht Club is concerned that the Town Marina is proposing to cease its agreed-to participation in the lift out of boats this fall.” See link below for more on this and stay tuned for updates.
It should be noted that also at the September 3rd COW meeting, Council will be asked “to approve a contract (to) be awarded to Kirkland Engineering Ltd. in the amount of $4,800 to perform a condition assessment of the Cobourg Harbour and Cobourg Marina electrical system and to develop budget cost estimates for future upgrades to the system.” This would determine what would be needed to fix the “underwater” problem as well as upgrading from as little as 20 Amps per Dock to 50 amps and adding power to the west side of the “centre pier”. (I thought it was called the West pier although it is in the centre of the harbour.) The hope is that this work will be done in time to get the amount required into the 2020 budget.
- John King Presentation
- Torben Drewes delegation request form
- Roger Magnan Presentation
- Cobourg Council responds to Lake Level Flooding – About the IJC 2014 Plan – 25 June 2019
- Mike Hubicki delegation request form
- Marina Boat Lift-in – 28 April 2019
Addendum – Sept 4, 2019
Information from actual Council meeting.
- It has been confirmed that Marina Manager Paul Gauthier will be retiring soon. No specific date has been provided but the hiring process to replace him is well under way.
- When Mike Hubicki made his presentation, he quoted a memo from the Town that said it was not in the Town’s best interest to be doing boat lift-outs and that this was in effect for the 2019 Lift-outs. He called the withdrawal a “breach of trust” and asked for an extension of the time before this would be in effect until after the lift-ins of Spring 2020. Council subsequently agreed to maintain the status-quo until then. This would allow orderly negotiations next summer. [Update: This was ratified at the Regular Council Meeting on September 9.]
- Council asked and Paul Gauthier agreed that the contract to assess the work required and cost to upgrade the Marina electrical system will be completed in 6-8 weeks. The intent is that if possible, upgrades would be done in time for the 2020 season although if it’s too extensive, it would need to be phased in over several years.