There are two kinds of Council Meetings: Regular meetings and Committees of the Whole (C.O.W.) All by-laws are passed at regular meetings but most debates happen at a C.O.W. meeting. As a result, the C.O.W.’s are more interesting although decisions are not final until ratified at a regular meeting. In addition to ratifying decisions from a C.O.W. Meeting, regular meetings also include “Coordinator reports” where councillors provide news from their assigned responsibility. There was no major news from the regular meeting on Monday 22 February but quite a number of interesting things were decided and discussed. These ranged from a bit more information about the closing of Brookside, to information on the Beach survey to a vote on the Abbott Blvd sidewalk.
In the order that the items came up at the meeting, here are some highlights:
- MPP David Piccini briefed Council on the closing of Brookside. David mostly repeated information in this report but questions by Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin and others gave additional information:
- The Government intent is to sell the property but there is no decision on its intended use.
- So far there have been 350 submissions from the public at the Imagine Brookside page
- The GRCA is involved because there is a creek running through the property and there is a risk of flooding.
- The time-frame for action should be measured in months not years.
- The “Strathmore” building has been used as the administration building and the Province rates it as a Heritage building so is “of interest”.
- Report from CAO Tracey Vaughan on Covid-19 status. Tracey mostly provided vaccine status as available on Cobourg News Blog’s special page here.
- New Project at South West corner of DePalma Drive and Burnham Street. EcoVue Consulting Services on behalf of the Northumberland Hills Hospital wants to add a “Medical Clinic” at that location. No further information was provided. A public meeting will be called.
- New Project at 173-185 Division Street & 9 Albert Street. The properties at this location were recently demolished – see great videos by Pete Fisher documenting this. Here and here. The owner proposes a 3 storey mixed-used commercial/multi-unit residential building and needs re-zoning. A public meeting will be called.
- Report on Drinking Water – We have great drinking water and this was the annual report required by legislation. One item I discovered is that there is no fluoridation of our water. The report was submitted to Council for information. There was no debate.
- Clarification of request by Accessibility Advisory Committee re Wheels service. The advisory committee simply wants the service that had been previously provided: assistance with getting on and off the bus and preferably door to door service. The next step will be for Director Laurie Wills to ask contractor Century to determine feasibility and price.
- Extension of timeframes for patios. The start date for patios is now March 1 instead of April 1.
- Award of contract for Sidewalk on Abbott Blvd. The debate was similar to that at the C.O.W. reported here. Suzanne Seguin wanted more listening to the public and did not want the sidewalk, Councillor Brian Darling said that he’d heard from others who did want the sidewalk. He said that it was a vocal minority who were objecting. He asked for a recorded vote which went the same as at the C.O.W. That is, five in favour of the sidewalk and two against: Suzanne and Councillor Emily Chorley.
- Replacing Outdoor rink at Sinclair Park with free skating at CCC. Since it has not been cold enough for an outdoor rink and it’s forecast to be warmer (and as said previously, limited staff resources), there will be free public skating at the CCC from Feb 18 to March 20 for two hours per day. Register here. However, the concept of additional outdoor rinks in neighbourhood parks will be further considered during the 2022 budget process.
- Approval of Rondeau’s tree removal request. As reported at C.O.W. here.
- Approval of Woodlawn re-zoning to permit an addiction centre. This was the subject of a report here. With no further debate, it was given final approval.
- Coordinators’ Reports (highlights)
- Mayor John Henderson. The Civic Awards will be held on April 23 and nominations close on March 1. So far there have been 9 nominations received.
- Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin. The RFP for a consultant for the Organization review will go out by the end of February; MOU’s are being prepared for the Library (almost finalized) and the AGN; all Town policies are being reviewed
- Nicole Beatty. The Town’s planning staff have received a number of inquiries about Brookside from the community and developers although the process is being led by the Province;
- Brian Darling. The Town recently announced a trial of sidewalk snow clearing on arterial roads. The intent is to see how long this takes. Residents should not expect it to be done consistently. But property owners are reminded that they must clear snow and ice from sidewalks in front of their property within 24 hours of the end of a storm. And FYI, plows work at no more than 30 km/hr and more often at 20km/hr which is optimal to ensure snow does not stay on road nor go onto sidewalk. Residential streets are only cleared after collector and arterial roads are clear. (There’s more on the Winter Parking By-law here). Brian also warned of the dangers of skating on storm water ponds.
- Emily Chorley. The beach survey has been the most popular of the Engage Cobourg Surveys with over 1350 responses to date. It closes 23 February. The Parks and Recreation advisory committee will use the results of this survey to “make recommendations to Council on how to manage the popularity of Victoria Park Beach”. The committee will be meeting online on March 2nd at 1:00 pm to discuss the results of the survey and begin to form their recommendations. The public are welcome to listen or provide input through a delegation – contact Clerk for more info. (Go to this page on Town’s web site to access) Emily provided details of the opening of the CCC (available at the Town’s News page or Cobourg Blog page)
- Aaron Burchat. Mentioned Covid-19 Outbreak with Police which is now over and affected staff are now back at work.
- Adam Bureau. Mentioned Flavours of Cobourg event. Details on Cobourg Calendar site here. Using Federal grant money, the Marketing and Events department is working on 2021 Cobourg Leisure Guide. This will provide residents with a guide to the virtual and in person programming available. It will be distributed through Northumberland News in mid to late March. Adam announced a DBIA initiative called a “Paddle Board Tour” which will feature 40 painted paddle boards in business windows. These will be 24″ x 9.5″ and painted by local artists, community members and organizations. Self-guided tours will start May 21 and run to June 25. “This will be a fun little way to have people walking through our Downtown again”. The AGN is now open (details here). Jointly with Councillor Beatty, Adam will hold a virtual open forum on Monday March 1st from 7:00 to 8:30.- Update: now March 2 due to Special Council Meeting on Monday – This will be on Zoom. To register, email Nicole Beatty email@example.com to receive the Zoom link, pin code and call-in number. See also info here.
- Unfinished Business. Unchanged from previous week and no comments by members of Council. See report at Cobourg News Blog.
Lots of useful information! You can see it all for yourself here.