Next Step on Harbour Repairs

Last December, Council had a special on-site meeting to review what should be done to repair the harbour and enhance the East pier (see photo and link below).  The problem is that it’s not just the East Pier that needs fixing, it’s the whole harbour.  And these repairs could cost around $12 million – without even doing the much discussed enhancements to the East Pier.  In October 2020, an RFP was issued for design work to implement the Waterfront plan including enhancements to the East Pier and the harbour generally but it was withdrawn “due to staffing and funding concerns”.  It seems it was premature given the need to first do repairs.  East Pier enhancements are now not expected to happen for some years – maybe 2023 or 2024.

Council meeting on East Pier
Council meeting on East Pier

The recently approved 2021 budget includes money for Engineering design of the repairs with the intent that actual repair work would start in 2022.  Given the urgency, an RFP for the design work has already been issued and bids received.  At the Committee of the Whole meeting on February 16, Council will be asked to approve award of the winning bid – and make some choices on options.

The bid recommended (lowest price and also highest evaluation score) was less than the budget of $750K but as well as design work, bidders were asked to quote on several options (provisional items) with these results:

Provisional Task Cost
A) Detailed Design of Reinforced Concrete Boat Lift Platform Contract Administration $16,500
B) Pedestrian Walkway to Lighthouse
   i) Construction Cost Estimate
   ii) Detailed design and tender documents
 
$16,700
$28,800
C) Condition Assessment of Remaining Harbour Structures $7,000
D) Monitoring of Existing Infrastructure Prior to Completion of Repairs $22,000

The Staff report then states:

It is recommended that Council proceed with Provisional Items A, C and D in the amount of $45,500 and that Provisional Item B be considered by Council and direction provided to Staff whether to proceed or not.

That is, staff only want direction on whether a Pedestrian Walkway to the Lighthouse is wanted but recommend the other items.

In explaining item C, the staff memo says:

Additional Costs: Council is advised that there may be additional engineering design fees associated with any repairs that are recommended as a result of the condition assessment of the west harbor wall and Coast Guard wharf (Provisional Item C). Any additional costs for further design work will be brought back to Council for approval.

No additional details are provided about the “Boat Lift Platform” – such as why it’s included despite the inclusion in the current Strategic plan of an action to not add boat slips.  However, the Waterfront Plan does include a boat lift located adjacent to the current boat launch tramp.  If I recall, the business plan for the Marina discussed expansion and included provision of a boat lift – see links below.  However, it is quite possible to have a boat lift without expanding the Marina.

Since the next Council election is in October 2022 and given that repair work will not start until 2022, it’s unlikely that there will be any decision on improvements to the East Pier until 2023 (or later) with implementation no sooner than 2024.

Links

Town Documents (hosted on Cobourg News Blog)

Cobourg News Blog articles

Update – 17 February 2021

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on 16 February, Council were not ready to decide on the “provisional” items listed above.  After debate, they voted to award the main engineering design work to the recommended contractor but to defer the provisional items to the next C.O.W. meeting on March 8.

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Cap’n John
8 February 2021 1:30 pm

One of my favourite definitions of a consultant is someone who borrows your watch in order to tell you the time, then charges you for the information.
I was reminded of this when I read the consultants report on the business case for the marina that John referenced above.
it is embarrassing in it lack of real analysis, understanding of marina and boater reality, and resulting recommendations. The issues of a travel lift and free docks provided by the marina are good examples of bad advice and lack of knowledge.

Jones
7 February 2021 4:18 pm

If the engineers reported that the east pier was safe for vehicles under 5000 lbs why can’t we drive on the pier while the town takes another year to figure out the repairs

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Jones
7 February 2021 8:03 pm

How many vehicles under 5000lb? Can it support 10 vehicles if each is under 5000lbs each, or 20 vehicles? Can several vehicles cluster together or do they have to disperse that 5000lb over a wider area?

Conor
Reply to  Wally Keeler
8 February 2021 2:55 pm

Does anyone remember when there was a house on the east pier. It was the lighthouse keepers. A Mr Harris I believe looked after the light and fog horn. Jeez I am aging myself here. I think it was about 1960.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Conor
8 February 2021 4:54 pm

Was it blown off from Hurricane Hazel in 54?

Gerinator
7 February 2021 12:59 pm

I’m surprised that the Staff Report provided the competitive bid for Riggs Eng’g. I would have thought that this info would have been proprietary. I’d personally value the walkway to the lighthouse before the Boat Lift Platform and the Boat/Travel lift. The former everyone can enjoy. But first things first – repair of the East pier. This infrastructure spend, and other infrastructure spends, need to be taken care of BEFORE any other ‘nice to have’ capital expenditures and operational expenses e.g. new firetrucks and new hires.

Ken Strauss
7 February 2021 10:52 am

Does the seawall reduce the free exchange of water in the harbour and thereby contribute to our harbour’s E Coli problem?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ken Strauss
7 February 2021 2:07 pm

That could be costly to remedy. Let’s charge the out-of-town boaters an entrance fee to our harbour. The docking fees cover expenses of the marina only.

Liz
Reply to  Wally Keeler
7 February 2021 2:23 pm

Wally as other bloggers have pointed out saying why they shouldn’t pay – I never have walked out to the lighthouse, perhaps they could build a toll booth to collect user fees for anyone wishing to walk out there. I also read the marina has been steadily loosing its clientele, they are going elsewhere.

Last edited 21 days ago by Liz
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Liz
7 February 2021 8:07 pm

I really don’t think any Cobourg resident wants to pay to walk out to the lighthouse. It’s sometimes a place of romance for teenagers on full moons.

SW Buyer
Reply to  Wally Keeler
7 February 2021 11:47 pm

Wally:
On full moons?
Under full moons?
Showing full moons?
As the self proclaimed expert on frolicking, which one applies?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  SW Buyer
8 February 2021 12:29 am

all, in parallel simultaneity.

Liz
Reply to  Wally Keeler
8 February 2021 12:56 pm

Comment was tongue in cheek Wally. As far as the lift goes though if a person can afford a boat such as in the marina they should be prepared to pay for it to be lifted themselves at own expense.

Bryan
Reply to  Liz
8 February 2021 1:57 pm

Liz:
Yeah….I think Wally, master wordsmith, scribe and poet, got that, as his reply indicates.

The boaters already do this and are not expecting anyone else to pay for it.
Why do you think they are looking for a handout?

Last edited 20 days ago by Bryan
Liz
Reply to  Bryan
8 February 2021 6:34 pm

This is a major part of the discussion Bryan. Outlined is the boat lift and whether the town should repair it. Along with the pier itself which would fall under the town but the boat lift is what is causing the angst.
I made a tongue in cheek prior comment as the subject was raised by other bloggers on other issues about not using but having to pay for services they said they do not use. I use neither walking out on the pier nor requiring a boat life – we sold ours.
I find it odd, irresponsible? that the town knowing there would be required maintenance since the day they purchased this for a $1. with a $400,000 “gift” that no contingency has been set aside and now that the maintenance is required they are wringing their hands.

Last edited 20 days ago by Liz
Bryan
Reply to  Liz
8 February 2021 7:18 pm

Liz:
The marina (Town ) doesn’t have a boat lift, so there is no need to repair it. The “boat lift” discussion is about buying one. The first step being the design/engineering of a “boat lift pad”. This is a waste of time and money since the purchase of a “boat lift” ($800K) has not been approved and is not likely to be.

As for “irresponsible” asset management, I totally agree.
Every condo in town has a better asset management system in place than Cobourg’s.

The general lack of asset management plans in Ontario municipalities is what prompted the Province to mandate in 2017 that Ontario municipalities will have asset management systems in place by 2025. To date, there has been little information from the Town regarding its progress in implementing an asset management system.

Liz
Reply to  Bryan
8 February 2021 7:39 pm

This is the sentence from above Bryan “No additional details are provided about the “Boat Lift Platform” – such as why it’s included despite the inclusion in”

I have read many comments about the Boat/Travel Lift. If it is not included as you say then the sentence above is what taken from the info provided Bryan. Always like to add to my understanding Bryan so your input is appreciated.

Liz
Reply to  Liz
8 February 2021 8:19 pm

Waiting on your reply Bryan, on the boat life pad you stated “The first step being the design/engineering of a “boat lift pad”. So if they are not planning on a boat lift why would they take this step? You said it was the responsibility of the marina such equipment and charged back to the boat owners so why is the Town including it in the RFP?

Last edited 20 days ago by Liz
Bryan
Reply to  Liz
8 February 2021 9:40 pm

Liz:
You have hit on the important point exactly.
Why is staff moving forward with a component of the boat lift, when Council has said NO LIFT?

Frenchy
Reply to  Liz
8 February 2021 9:53 pm

Outlined is the boat lift and whether the town should repair it.

Repair what boat lift?

Liz
Reply to  Frenchy
9 February 2021 12:29 pm

Included in the RFP Frenchy is the repair of the base of the boat lift. If the town is not responsible for a boat lift then why are they repairing a base to support one? As you have received 4 up votes it would seem these people also have not questioned why this is included in the RFP – yes indeed what boat lift so why the platform included in the RFP?

Bryan
Reply to  Liz
9 February 2021 2:41 pm

Liz:
The Town is not responsible for a boat lift because there isn’t one. There is no boat lift base, so there is nothing to repair.
The real question is why does staff keep proposing “boat lift” projects after Council made it VERY clear that there would be no boat lift.

Liz
Reply to  Bryan
10 February 2021 6:51 pm

Yes Bryan – the boat lift is again there in the current RFP with costs to build. As it is proposed why would anyone think otherwise?

Bryan
Reply to  Liz
9 February 2021 3:13 pm

Liz:

The following link is to JD’s October 2020 article on Waterfront Changes. The RFP is referenced there and a link provided.
More importantly, JD posted an addendum (see below) explaining that the RFP had been withdrawn.

Having withdrawn the RFP in Nov 2020, when did it get reissued so that contractors could bid on it. When did Council authorize the release of the RFP?

https://www.cobourgblog.com/news-2020/rfp-issued-for-waterfront-changes

Addendum – 2 November 2020At the Regular Council meeting on November 2, Councillor Chorley announced that the RFP issued per the news above has been withdrawn due to staffing and funding concerns. Instead funds and effort would be focused on the necessary waterfront repairs. This project is now on hold with no resumption date announced.

RFP/Tender October 2020 pg 14
https://www.cobourgblog.com/assets/2020/RFP-Tender-documents-waterfront.pdf

Marina/West Harbour
The Waterfront Plan recommends changes to the Marina/West Harbour to allow for the safe shared use by all users by:

  • providing a safe and permanent lifting well/haul-out slip to accommodate a travel lift:
  • Base lifting well/haul-out slip design scope The base scope of design shall include a footprint for the lifting well/haul-out slip where all other works are designed around the future lifting well/haul-out slip site in the case where the Town chooses to construct the lifting well/haul-out slip at a later date. A cost estimate to construct the lifting well/haul-out slip is also required in the base design scope of work.
  • Provisional lifting well/haul-out slip design scope As a provisional item, the proponent shall provide a detailed design of the lifting well/haul-out slip including a detailed construction cost estimate.
  • Refer to the following Figure 6.11 from the Waterfront Plan.
Liz
Reply to  Bryan
10 February 2021 2:51 pm

Bryan I do find the wording confusing between “chooses to construct the lifting well/haul-out slip” and “A) Detailed Design of Reinforced Concrete Boat Lift Platform Contract Administration”,A) being the RFP posted, bids received. In follow up the question “No additional details are provided about the “Boat Lift Platform” – such as why it’s included despite the inclusion in the current Strategic plan of an action to not add boat slips”
A Launch Pad – we know – back in, haul out, cement pad into water
Boat Lift – base for building further structure for lifting boats.
I find the whole matter and the wording confusing as I can see by the comments others have.
I always say there is much to learn from the blog and opportunity to discuss should help not only bloggers but bring issues out before decisions are made.
My opinion so far Bryan? Yes we have no bananas today! Huh?

Frenchy
Reply to  Liz
9 February 2021 4:18 pm

Liz, you do know that there is a difference between a boat lift and launching ramp don’t you? Are you getting the two confused?

Liz
Reply to  Frenchy
10 February 2021 12:35 pm

Frenchy I had believed it was a boat lift due to
A) Detailed Design of Reinforced Concrete Boat Lift Platform Contract Administration – as listed above.
A launch is a launch and a lift is a lift.

Last edited 18 days ago by Liz
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Liz
8 February 2021 12:58 am

Here’s a video that displays the decrepit structure around the lighthouse.
Cobourg Yesteryears | Facebook

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Wally Keeler
8 February 2021 12:32 pm

Scroll down to see Tyler Matoff’s drone footage of the pier.

Cap’n John
7 February 2021 10:24 am

There will never be a business case that supports a travel lift given the limited number of boats that actually require one. The marina should take full responsibility for this activity. A crane operation is safe and effective.
The CYC have done this work in the past, but club demographics make it impossible to continue. Boat owners should pay the full cost, and it should not be significantly higher than at present.

Frenchy
Reply to  Cap’n John
8 February 2021 9:57 pm

Boat owners should pay the full cost

When you say should, you make it sound like they don’t already. They always have and I’m sure, always will.
Comments like yours muddy the situation.

Cap’n John
Reply to  Frenchy
8 February 2021 11:08 pm

My only point is that total costs of the boat lift activity should be calculated, and there should be a transparent and fair allocation of these costs to the user group. If in future the marina are responsible for the boat lift activity, these costs need to be clearly identified and allocated. There have been instances, such as the free docks, where this has not been the case.

Frenchy
Reply to  Cap’n John
9 February 2021 10:46 am

“Free docks”?

Cap’n John
Reply to  Frenchy
9 February 2021 11:04 am

This will be discussed at a Council meeting soon. I encourage you to attend and ask questions. Or, stop by the marina and ask them.

Frenchy
Reply to  Cap’n John
9 February 2021 11:24 am

Any reason why you can’t enlighten me here seeing as how you brought it up?

Cap’n John
Reply to  Frenchy
9 February 2021 11:34 am

Read the letters to the blog.

Frenchy
Reply to  Cap’n John
9 February 2021 4:16 pm

Is this single line (with no explanation of what the “free docks” are) what you are referring to?
“neither study identified the “free docks” issue and lost revenue of $15- $20,000/yr.”
Could this be the reciprocal agreement the CYC has with other yacht clubs for one night mooring on the west side of the center pier with no water or hydro hook-ups?
Help us out a little here Cap.
I’m assuming Cap’n Jojn = John King, right?

Cap’n John
Reply to  Frenchy
9 February 2021 5:05 pm

My first letter in early Nov titled Marina/ Harbour gives more detail. Yes, it is the reciprocal agreement which if you look into the numbers results in a massive revenue hit to the marina and penalizes all boaters unfairly. The free docks represent lost revenue that should be used for safety, maintenance and reserve funding. The risk is that without proper reporting and transparency, it could happen again.

Old Sailor
7 February 2021 9:45 am

I am guessing that the boat lift question lingers, as it is one of a few key variables that affect whether or not Cobourg has sailboats in its harbour in 5 to 10 years. Lots of politics and money involved in all harbour decisions. It is most unfortunate that the Town just recently discovered a $12 MIllion fix may be necessary to maintain the east pier and southern sea wall.

Bryan
Reply to  Old Sailor
7 February 2021 11:14 am

I don’t believe that having a boat lift is a key factor in keeping sailboats in the harbour. Other marinas such as Kingston’s Confereration basin, Trenton, and Myers (Belleville) do not have either boat lift or storage.
A boat lift (other than a rented crane) is not a financially viable service (it loses money) for the marina and the marina’s continued operation is not dependent on having a boat lift.

Cap’n John makes this same point.

Last edited 21 days ago by Bryan
K Krakenberg
Reply to  Old Sailor
7 February 2021 12:25 pm

I don’t know if it’s true but my understanding most of these boats do not belong to locals. And that harbour space is very limited and expensive in the city so many come here. The owner should be responsible for putting their boat in the water whether is splitting costs with other boaters to pay for a crane twice a year or launching elsewhere then bringing the boat here by water. The town should not lay for this service. Condition of the pier and harbour area should be the main focus for the use of the residents of Cobourg.

Bryan
Reply to  K Krakenberg
7 February 2021 12:46 pm

K:

My understanding is that about half of the seasonal boats in the marina are locally owned.
The Town does not and has not paid for boat lift in/out. The boaters pay for this service
As you suggest, they band together (organized and staffed by the CYC) to hire a crane. The CYC no longer wants to do this and has “resigned” This puts the onus on the marina to offer a similar service, staffed by Town staff/hired (crane) staff/volunteers/combination of these. Regardless of the staffing, the marina should only offer the boat lift service if it is profitable (worst case: break-even)

ben burd
Reply to  Bryan
8 February 2021 6:36 am

“The CYC no longer wants to do this and has “resigned””

Hmm interesting, if that is the case then I guess the owners of boats in the harbour are responsible for the lifting in and out, why should the Town pay/organise for this?

After all the Town doesn’t pay/organise for my car to be ‘garaged’, so why should it pay for a service that the boat owners need?

Last edited 20 days ago by Ben
Bryan
Reply to  ben burd
8 February 2021 8:06 am

Ben:
You are correct that the boaters are responsible for getting whatever services are required for their boats, including lift in/out.

A lift in/out service is similar to a valet service at a parking garage. The service is offered by the business operating the garage, presumably to make a profit. If you use the service, you pay for it. There are no freebees here..

The marina, a business providing services to the boaters could (not should) offer lift in/out as a service. This service should not be free or Town subsidized. It should be offered ONLY if the service is profitable.
Break-even may be acceptable. The danger is if your goal is to only break-even, the likely-hood is that you will lose money.

Last edited 20 days ago by Bryan
ben burd
Reply to  Bryan
8 February 2021 5:16 pm

I would hazard a guess here and say that the cost of the crane lift is not the issue – liability is. The CYC probably does not have enough money to pay the insurance premium for the lift. So dumping it on the Town is cheaper and convenient. However the crane company has insurance so what’s the problem?

Bryan
Reply to  ben burd
8 February 2021 6:21 pm

Ben:
I agree.
Liability is a minor issue. The “crane” has insurance, just as it has in the past when hired by the CYC. The crane has an excellent track record…..accident free, based on my discussion with the crane operator.
Further, the crane will provide the staff needed to do the work. The cost will be a bit more, but not significantly. A “crane lift in/out” will be a profitable service for the marina.

Kevin
Reply to  Bryan
9 February 2021 7:27 am

Perhaps it might be reasonable for the Marina to offer a lift in/out service as a ‘loss leader’ if that would increase profits for other Marina services. I would rather have my taxes used to ‘build’ a walkway to the lighthouse than to ‘design’ a boat lift platform. It is my understanding that taxes are a way of taking from the ‘rich’ to help the ‘poor’. While I consider myself relatively rich I am poor compared to the boat owners that would use a boat lift.

Frenchy
Reply to  ben burd
8 February 2021 9:15 am

Everybody needs to take a step back and realize that there are 4 (four) separate entities here.

  1. Boat owners (who may or may not be members of the)
  2. Cobourg Yacht Club
  3. The Cobourg Marina
  4. The Town of Cobourg.
Last edited 20 days ago by Frenchy
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
8 February 2021 12:29 pm

Concise and precise. Clear as spring water.

Bryan
Reply to  Frenchy
8 February 2021 12:31 pm

Frenchy:
Agreed. These are important to keep in mind in regard to “marina” discussions.

I suggest that Cobourg Property Tax Payers should be added to the list.

Also note that there are overlaps, as you indicated with items 1 & 2.

Thee are several more overlaps:
Boat owners may be Cobourg tax payers
The marina is part of the Town corporate entity
The CYC is a Town Tenant
The boat owners are Marina customers.

JimT
Reply to  Bryan
9 February 2021 6:32 am

So much for the “spring water” imagery.

Conor
Reply to  Old Sailor
7 February 2021 1:19 pm

Remember if Cobourg Harbour was still in federal government control it would be considered a federal port. It would now be fenced in with barbed wire fencing for security reasons. Consider yourselves lucky it is now Cobourg’s property. Spend the money and fix the pier, perhaps by fund raising or however else.

Sandpiper
7 February 2021 9:11 am

Lets simplify Boat launch and Travel Lift Just more Council confusion
The Travel Lift was killed The existing concrete driveway into the water needs
repair not enlarging or replacement .
On another Note why is the Coast Gard Here and why are we paying to upgrade a Federal
use asset .

cornbread
Reply to  Sandpiper
7 February 2021 10:28 am

Is there any way we can get Trudeau & the Feds to buy the whole harbour for $1.00 Lets face it Cobourg doesn’t have $12 Million sitting around just to please the few who use it. The beaches & parks will still be there as well as the surrounding grounds and gardens. Perhaps it’s time to “tighten the belt” folks.

Bryan
Reply to  cornbread
7 February 2021 10:59 am

Cornbread:

The Feds sold the harbour to Cobourg for $1 in 2002 AND paid $400K in lieu of repairs. (what the $400K was used for is the subject of much speculation)
Now you want the Feds to buy it back and then spend $12M on repairs. I know everyone believes that government is stupid….but really….that stupid?
I don’t think so

I do agree with your comment about belt tightening.

Last edited 21 days ago by Bryan
Cornbread
Reply to  Bryan
7 February 2021 12:31 pm

For $1.00 plus another $400 G’s, little T. Could be persuaded to buy it back.

Bryan
Reply to  Cornbread
7 February 2021 12:54 pm

Cornbread:
Perhaps keep the harbour and get the Feds/Prov to provide a $12 grant to Cobourg. I’m sure the creative minds at the Ministry of Free Money can come up with a plausible story on why this would be a good thing for the sheeple.

Ken Strauss
6 February 2021 3:44 pm

Is the “Boat Lift Platform” the previously rejected Travel Lift or something different?

JimT
Reply to  John Draper
6 February 2021 4:15 pm

I thought that whole ugly eyesore monstrosity proposal died long ago.

Apparently not. Still rearing its ugly head.

Just can’t be killed off.

Dubious
Reply to  JimT
6 February 2021 7:13 pm

Hustwick is gone so what staff person keeps reviving this? Why is he/she still on the payroll?

Bill Thompson
Reply to  John Draper
7 February 2021 8:16 am

Both the same thing …..boat=travel
Maybe this time it will be permanently removed ….how many times does it take for No to mean No ?!,🤬