Earlier in the summer, and after a lot of discussion, Cobourg Council closed the main beach until 31 August. But that date is coming up soon and at their Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting on 24 August, an Agenda item asks Council whether they want to extend that date or not. Four options are offered by staff: 1) Extend closure to 17 October; 2) Keep beach closed only on weekends to 17 October; 3) extend closure only until after Labour Day and re-open 8 September OR 4) another option determined by Council. In each case, there will be no lifeguards and washrooms will remain closed but port-o-potties will be available. I’d be surprised if there are no citizen delegations on the subject.
The memo from staff points to some things to consider:
- Status of Pandemic: Although the Town of Cobourg is now in Stage 3 of the Government of Ontario’s Framework for Reopening Our Province, restrictions and safety precautions remain in place and the community must remain vigilant in its efforts to combat the pandemic and to prevent a second wave.
- Demand: This year, Labour Day falls on September 7, a full week after the end-date of the Cobourg Beach closure. Traditionally, the Labour Day weekend is not one of the busier weekends for Cobourg Beach, although the weather and temperature certainly influence the number of visitors – plus families will be focused on the return-to-school process potentially reducing the demand on Cobourg Beach during the first week of September. Furthermore, demand during the week is generally much lower than weekends and declines further throughout September and October.
- Lifeguards: The Town’s contract with the YMCA for lifeguarding services usually extends through the Labour Day long weekend. This year with the Beach closure, lifeguarding services were not initiated and it is not practical or financially viable to provide them for September even if Council chooses to re-open the Beach on September 1st.
- Washrooms: The washroom building will remain closed for the season but the existing port-o-potties will be maintained.
No explanation is given as to why 17 October was chosen but it’s the first Saturday after Thanksgiving.
The decision made by Council would be ratified at the next regular Council meeting which is on 31 August. However, once decided at a COW meeting, ratification is usually (but not always) just a formality. In any case, the decision will be reported on Cobourg News Blog – probably as an Addendum with notification in the News Update box.
- Beach closed until August 31 1 June 2020. There was later discussion about reopening before 31 August but on 29 June, Council confirmed their original decision.