At tonight’s Committee of the Whole Meeting, Jeremy Fowlie of the Cobourg Dragon Boat and Canoe Club (CDBCC) had a simple request – let us have our own space and let us move the mast racks out of our space into the Cobourg Yacht Club space. The mast racks are meant for big masts and are not suitable for storing our canoes and kayaks. But along the way he spoke of other problems – he said that the rules and requirements keep changing so it would be good if an MOU could be drawn up to spell out exactly what the rules are. Jeremy felt that although things had been previously agreed, suddenly he was told that he could no longer do certain things (e.g. use electricity) and he wanted the agreement in writing.
It turns out that although there may be some elements of fact in his assertions, it has recently come to the attention of staff – pointed out by Emergency Planner Shannon Murphy (photo above right) – that there are safety violations with the children’s classes and other activities. Details were not provided but Director Dean Hustwick said that the situation is really complicated and that we need to fully consider the health and safety issues. Reports are being prepared by Shannon and others that would better help with understanding.
In addition, it was said that for at least some of the time, the area being discussed was recently subject to floods (under a foot of water) so perhaps the area is not suitable for the CDBCC activities and should be moved. Another concern was that if thunderstorms are threatened, children would move into the Marina building but staff felt that the Marina building hallway was not the best place to conduct classes. The building has no “assembly” area.
Dean said that it was a much bigger issue than moving mast racks.
But Shannon said that despite the CDBCC cooperating, there were still serious outstanding issues and they expose the Town to risk (liability).
Emily then asked “Why did this all come up just when Jeremy made a presentation?” The vague responses implied that there was no connection.
Emily made a long motion that asked for an MOU to be developed and that the CDBCC should work to resolve the safety concerns with the implication that there would be no halting of canoe, kayak and Dragon boat activity or children’s classes in the meantime. The MOU would come to Council September 23.
Here is the Motion (final version):
WHEREAS at the Committee of the Whole on July 22, 2019, Council considered a delegation from Jeremy Fowlie, Cobourg Dragon Boat and Canoe Club (CDBCC), for information purposes;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council authorize the CDBCC to move the mast racks from the small compound to the Cobourg Yacht Club (CYC) compound where they can be utilized by the CYC (pending written agreement from the CYC); and
FURTHER THAT Council authorize the CDBCC to use the small compound exclusively year round and that Council endorse the club’s current activities and programs from that location; and
FURTHER THAT Council instruct staff to formalize the CDBCC’s current daily operations by drafting a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that includes:
- Extending the lease of the small compound from the current 6-months to 12-months per year, with the additional 6-months charged at the current rate;
- A description of the infrastructure permitted within the small compound to support the CDBCC’s activities and programs, including boat racks, electricity, storage and light shelter;
- Access to parking and the marina building for washrooms and use during inclement weather;
- Basic health and safety requirements; and
FURTHER THAT a member of Council be present during discussions between the CDBCC and Town representatives when drafting any terms and conditions for the CDBCC compound and programs; and
FURTHER THAT current CDBCC programs and activities are permitted to continue while the MOU is being drafted; and
FURTHER THAT the draft MOU be presented to Council for final approval by September 23, 2019.
Adam Bureau asked why was a Councillor requested to be present during discussions and Jeremy said that it was because previous unwritten agreements had been “forgotten”.
Finance Director Ian Davey was concerned with the risks if unsafe activities were to continue. CAO Stephen Peacock felt that the wording of the motion allowed staff to make sure that safety items were being addressed since it instructed staff to meet “basic health and safety requirements”.
After discussion, Emily’s motion passed 3-2 (Emily Chorley, Adam Bureau and Suzanne Séguin in favour; John Henderson did not vote; Aaron and Brian were against; Nicole Beatty was absent).