Council Agrees to Open Outdoor Rink

With concerns about Covid-19 on everyone’s mind, Council briefly debated on Monday whether to open the Outdoor Rink in Rotary Park this winter.  They were presented with three options ranging from closing it to fully opening including the Transit shelter.  Instead they chose the middle option: “authorize municipal staff to open the outdoor rink as soon as weather permits, that signs be posted for social distancing rules and that the transit shelter remain closed for the 2020-2021 season;”  With the Transit Shelter closed, there was concern about washroom facilities and places to put on skates.  This concern would be resolved with porta-potties and six benches placed around the rink with social distancing. Porta-potties would require electricity to power warming cables to prevent water freezing in the normal handwashing stations.  Since this would be expensive, instead hand sanitizers will be provided.

Rink opening - December 2008
Rink opening – December 2008

In response to a question, Deputy Director of Community Services Teresa Behan said that the local Health Unit had not been consulted although the Town’s Emergency group had been.

In previous years the rink has proved popular and in summer the area is normally used for a shallow pond with a small central fountain.  The original proposal to create this “frink” (fountain, rink) created considerable debate with some suggesting that it should be located in the Trailer Park and others predicting it would not be popular.  It was opened 13 December 2008.

It’s particularly popular in December, particularly around Christmas if the ice is good.  The photo is from December 2008.

Given that most people in Cobourg observe social distancing, this will be a welcome touch of normalcy.

Link to Information Source

To see the video of this portion of the Committee of the Whole meeting, do one of the following:

  1. Go here then scroll to item 10.1.  Click the heading and the video at top right goes to that part of the meeting  OR
  2. Go to the full video here, Start the video then on the video progress bar, go to time 2:30:55

Addendum

At the Council Meeting on November 23, as expected, Council approved the Committee of the Whole motion to open the rink as described above. But before they did, Councillor Nicole Beatty asked about the possibility of a second location for a public skating surface – perhaps in the Trailer Park. Deputy Director of Community Services Teresa Behan said she would investigate and see what would be required. Councillor Brian Darling said that previous experience (perhaps 20 years ago) was that it had not been successful. It was hard to keep water in place, trees littered the surface and sun melted the ice.

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Liz Taylor
19 November 2020 11:58 pm

There have been two articles on reducing costs in the Town of Cobourg with many suggestions made here. I think the proposed Rotary Park skating rink a great idea providing hours of healthy recreation. However the proposals for yet a 2nd rink defeat the idea of cost reduction. Akin to people on a diet – lucky to have one dessert little alone two. Belt tightening has been proposed as necessary. You’re either for reduction that is said as necessary or opposed.

JimT
19 November 2020 1:12 pm

I would like to see total cost of operating the frink divided by number of users over the whole winter season = cost per skater. I suspect it would be eye-popping.

Rob
Reply to  JimT
19 November 2020 5:10 pm

JimT – hard to tell what side of the issue you sit on here, however I can tell you the number of people, young and not-so-young, that take advantage of the Frink might be eye-popping to some…huge numbers, nearly every day.

Gerinator
Reply to  Rob
19 November 2020 8:24 pm

Agreed Rob. Not a skater myself, I do enjoy just watching the skaters.

ben burd
Reply to  JimT
19 November 2020 9:40 pm

Why does everything you study have a price on it?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben burd
20 November 2020 8:41 am

Ben, without costs how do we know if we are getting value for our money? How else do we decide the best use for our taxes? Unlike the dreams of some, resident’s pockets are not unlimited.

Conor
Reply to  Ken Strauss
20 November 2020 9:42 am

It’s all about money isn’t it? Never mind peoples enjoyment at getting out from this Covid cloud and enjoying themselves. No No what does it cost? What about your taxes? My goodness take a break from costs. Maybe you could put a fence around it and charge “out of towners”. There is an idea isn’t it?

Dubious
Reply to  Conor
20 November 2020 12:47 pm

Great idea Conor and triple charge if from Whitby!

Informed
Reply to  Conor
20 November 2020 4:27 pm

Im sure Whitby has free public skating for you. No need to travel for you to save a nickel.

JimT
Reply to  ben burd
20 November 2020 4:19 pm

Former bookkeeper, accountant & systems analyst in the Big City.
Thank you for asking.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  JimT
20 November 2020 7:49 am

Who is going to attend the Frink day after day to count the number of users “over the whole winter season?” And how much will that cost just to satisfy your curiosity? Or are you volunteering?

JimT
Reply to  Wally Keeler
20 November 2020 2:39 pm

It’s not about curiosity, Wally (and others) it’s about value. Certainly, as others have noted, the frink provides R & R for participants and observers, too. You might call it a valuable part of our local culture.
Nonetheless, the question remains: how many individuals benefit from the costs involved, and how much does it cost per person for the town to provide that benefit?
Good management of any enterprise requires monitoring costs vs. benefit.

Last edited 5 days ago by JimT
Sandpiper
18 November 2020 4:16 pm

WONDER IF THE WOODLAWN REHAB WILL BE
using the Frink as part of the rehab integration regime
isn’t the rezoning meeting tonight ??

Rob
Reply to  Sandpiper
19 November 2020 10:27 am

Sandpiper – Physical activity and fitness can be an important component of recovery

Sandpiper
Reply to  Rob
20 November 2020 8:28 am

Yes but I like to know as a parent who my Kids at any age are skating with and their backgrounds
so I they are not from here I have to question if its ok to leave my kids on the ice for an hour or do I have to stand watch

Gerald Childs
Reply to  Sandpiper
20 November 2020 10:56 am

There is no way of telling who would be a Woodlawn client skating on the Frink unless they admitted to it or had a sign on their back. No method of knowing if anyone is a danger to our children. Would you leave your kids alone on the Frink at any time unless they are of an age where they would be capable of looking after themselves?

Rob
Reply to  Sandpiper
20 November 2020 3:52 pm

Sandpiper – I appreciate being concerned about your children but you’re connecting things that have no business being connected. You seem to be out of your depth a little bit. You do realize that within Cobourg and including residents of Cobourg, there are many forms of undesirable and even deviant behaviour taking place. I don’t have to detail it, I’m sure you can use your imagination. The alcoholic in treatment at the Woodlawn, is no more of a risk to your child than the alcoholic that stumbles out of Kelly’s on a given night (and there are plenty of those).

JimT
Reply to  Rob
20 November 2020 6:27 pm

I recall reading right here a while back a report that there was a busy market in illicit substances right there on 1st Street, if I’m not mistaken.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  JimT
21 November 2020 9:55 am

The new pot shops opening on King Street’s retail corridor will likely reduce the pressure of those crowds on 1st Street.

Leweez
Reply to  Rob
20 November 2020 7:07 pm

So Rob, what you are saying is that Kelly’s over serves it clients? And that Kelly’s is full of alcoholics?
Big allegations

Rob
Reply to  Leweez
23 November 2020 8:47 am

Hey Leweez – I’m not saying that Kelly’s is “full of alcoholics”, those are your words, but without a doubt there are alcoholics that patronize Kelly’s (and likely every bar in town) as well as the nearby LCBO. I can absolutely say that Kelly’s and others over server from time to time…not purposely but it happens and always has. If you are suggesting that I’m wrong, than you are either pulling my leg, intentionally trying to be contrary or significantly out of touch…. 🙂

SW Buyer
Reply to  Sandpiper
20 November 2020 4:14 pm

Sandpiper:
Why would you assume that the CCFA rehab clients would be allowed to roam about at all. And why the Frink? Its not as though its next door. You have created a concern that is totally unsupported. You have started a rumour, or in today’s terms created “fake news”.
Have you asked the CCFA if their clients are “allowed out”?
Perhaps you could research your “WONDERING” and get the facts before making your musing public.

Last edited 5 days ago by SW Buyer
Rob
18 November 2020 4:13 pm

Nice to see a bit of positive local news – I appreciate the Frink was controversial initially however it is something all residents should be proud of. A crisp winter evening down there is like something from a Norman Rockwell painting….

Now why couldn’t we create something like this (albeit smaller/simpler) in the trailer park during the winter?

https://www.patinageenforet.com/

MiriamM
Reply to  Rob
18 November 2020 6:09 pm

Do you mean try the idea again in the trailer park? I agree. A skating oval was installed on the road in the trailer park some years ago, the idea lead by then Town Councillor Johanne Loken. Now, with the growing popularity of outdoor skating, why not a second location at the waterfront.The overhead trees canopies could help reduce the amount of direct sunlight hitting the ice surface and causing melt on sunny days. I can also see festive lights glittering in the trees there. And, a yurt here and there where hot drinks and snacks could be served …

Frenchy
Reply to  MiriamM
18 November 2020 10:23 pm

Too bad Councillor Loken’s idea wasn’t pursued, a fantastic idea, even now. But, up against the “frink” and the “old boys” at the time.

Last edited 7 days ago by Frenchy
Sandpiper
Reply to  MiriamM
19 November 2020 7:55 am

Why not jam everything at the cold windy water front there are other community parks and areas that would enjoy something in their area as well . Like the community park in New Amhurst or by the YMCA Less traffic , more Parking and closer to home and children .

Paul Pagnuelo
Reply to  Sandpiper
19 November 2020 8:54 am

The Community Park in New Amherst doesn’t even have a swing. Not sure what useful purpose it serves.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Paul Pagnuelo
20 November 2020 8:24 am

It might get you out more

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Sandpiper
19 November 2020 1:17 pm

Perhaps they should check with the people in West Park and New Amherst. Currently the residents there have stated they do not want further development and are asking it be cancelled due to the fact they state roadways in and out are inadequate and they don’t want any more traffic in the area before a costly venture they may not be wanted is put in.

Ahewsonator
Reply to  Liz Taylor
21 November 2020 6:28 am

Sounds like the West Parkers and New Amhersters need a reality check. Isn’t it convenient that they (you?) live in a brand new development but would like said development to stop now that they have their place to live? To hell with anyone else now that I’ve got mine. I doubt people in the Ewing St area were thrilled when West Park/New Amherst were proposed, but there they are, sprawling along.

Last edited 5 days ago by Ahewsonator
Liz Taylor
Reply to  Ahewsonator
21 November 2020 10:39 am

Sorry, I don’t live there, wish I did! – just reporting from an article in the Northumberland News about a coalition against further development for those reasons Ahewsonator.

Beach walker
Reply to  MiriamM
19 November 2020 8:16 am

Excellent idea Miriam. I wish you were still on Council, you were always so creative.

Rob
Reply to  Beach walker
19 November 2020 9:43 am

Um…that was actually my idea 😉

MiriamM
Reply to  Beach walker
19 November 2020 3:19 pm

Thank you for your support, Beach Walker. A favourite piece of advice I received from the CAO at the time … do not get too far ahead of everyone else or you might be mistaken as the target. Hey Rob, I am happy to follow you on this idea of a skating oval 🙂

Informed
Reply to  MiriamM
19 November 2020 9:46 am

I can see lots of money to grade it so that half of the water isnt at the other end like last time.

MiriamM
Reply to  Informed
19 November 2020 3:07 pm

Good point. And timely. Council approved servicing upgrades to the campground/trailer park in 2019 and it is likely the road will have to be tidied up at least, possibly graded and resurfaced as part of the works.

Informed
Reply to  MiriamM
20 November 2020 12:30 pm

There is a reason we dont flood ball diamonds and tennis courts in the winter like they did here in the 70s and 80s. Winters are no longer consistently cold and many days it rains.

JimT
Reply to  Informed
20 November 2020 3:45 pm

You’re right about that. Last year we had four separate stretches in February of several consecutive days with daytime temperatures at or near +5°C.
Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!”

Conor
18 November 2020 3:44 pm

Wouldn’t want to be the electrician to install those cables.