On Monday, Premier Ford announced stage 2 re-opening for the region that includes Cobourg (see previous post) and on Monday night there was also a Council meeting. Mayor John Henderson made it clear that he was not ready to act on the changes because the Provincial “regulations” had not yet been issued although they were expected within 48 hours. But there were decisions to be made as requested by Community Services. These included re-opening the Trailer Park (now called a campground), opening the Centennial Pool, allowing transient boaters and more. But in the end, decisions were made plus Adam Bureau proposed encouraging restaurants to provide patio service in line with Provincial direction. It was clear however, that the ECG (Emergency Control Group) would be deciding many issues although Community services Director Dean Hustwick wanted Council to indicate if they felt strongly about anything – no doubt remembering how the beach closing was handled.
There was no organized action (e.g. a motion) that provided direction but some issues seem to have been decided – although this may get changed at any time:
- The Pool will be re-opened subject to availability of lifeguards as hired by the YMCA – many summer students already have jobs.
- The Campground will be re-opened subject to availability of sufficient staff and subject to the ECG agreeing that the “base camp” is no longer needed. But the earliest date for opening would likely be early July.
- The Marina will re-open June 12 including accepting Transients although these would likely be assigned a separate dock. There will be a lift-in on June 13. Staff noted that the Town cannot refuse a boater anchorage or access to safety when in distress or during inclement weather. Transient boaters may also need fuel and/or repairs, which must also be accommodated.
- The Farmer’s market now accepts onsite orders as well as online orders. Also non-food vendors are allowed.
- The splash pad will likely re-open.
- The Canteen will not open
- Beach washrooms will not re-open – but Porta-Potties are being provided.
Most of these “decisions” were by default – Provincial rulings will be followed by Community Services staff with no specific input from Council – although Suzanne and John wanted to wait for a bit.
Officially decided – motions passed
- Free Parking Town wide will continue until June 30 (Downtown will be free to August 31)
- Free Transit will also continue until June 30.
Social distancing will still be required and frequent sterilizing is required.
Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin was not willing to agree to everything – she wanted to see the staff report on the beach re-opening promised for the June 22 meeting and she wanted more debate and public engagement.
Councillor Adam Bureau introduced a Notice of Motion – that’s a motion that will be debated at a future Council meeting. The wording had to be revised given the changes from the Province but in essence Adam wanted to make it easier for Restaurants throughout the Town to provide service to outdoor patios per Provincial guidelines. His original idea was to allow 2 parking spaces to be used in front of restaurants and cafes but that would not apply to many outside the Downtown area – so he’s now less specific.
Adam’s Notice of Motion
Subject: Restaurant, Pubs and Coffee shops Patio Extensions
Final (revised) text:
WHEREAS the Provincial Government has shut down Restaurants, Pubs and Coffee shops for inside seating and only open tor takeout; and
WHEREAS this will be very hard for them to be successful and employ staff and could possibly see our Restaurants, Pubs and Coffee shops close; and
WHEREAS this Council can show we support all businesses in Cobourg and this is one way Council can assist local businesses;
FURTHER THAT Staff streamline the Outdoor Patio Permit Process and issue Permits in an expedited manner; and
FURTHER THAT Council direct staff to come back with a report, regarding Council’s direction to allow for Restaurant, Pubs and Coffee shops Patio Extensions in the Town of Cobourg for Council’s approval.
Town Clerk Brent Larmer said that any new patios would need approvals from multiple agencies and Councillor Nicole Beatty was concerned about the safety of Patios that might extend into parking spaces. Adam nevertheless said that his proposal was a start.
Note that the Covid-19 Status in Cobourg page is updated every day. Red tags indicate recent changes.