Harbour Update

It’s somewhat confusing but there are two major Harbour projects being discussed at Council and they both get mentioned at next week’s CoW meeting.  The first is fixing the harbour walls and breakwaters for a total of $12.8M and the second is rehabilitation of the East Pier (budget estimate for 2024 is $3.6M) – that is, to make it an attractive place.  Work on the East Pier rehabilitation cannot start until at least the harbour walls and East Breakwater work is done.  The two consultants involved are making presentations:  Shoreplan is providing a walls and breakwaters project update which is essentially the same as provided in the Engage Cobourg Survey information and reported here on 29 January – see link below, and MBTW Group is reporting on plans to spruce up the East Pier.

East Pier Revitalization
East Pier Revitalization

Work on these projects started around the summer of 2018 when it was discovered that Harbour walls and the two breakwaters needed work.  Since then, there have been multiple public engagements (surveys and meetings) and a lot of public interest.  When all projects are completed (hopefully by 2024), the Harbour will be in better shape, lifting boats in and out by crane will be safe and the East Pier will be an attractive place to hang out, hold minor events and perhaps be where tour boats can be docked – but the Waterfront Festival Midway will not return here.

As a result of the most recent survey on parking and boat docking, and considering public input, MBTW recommends that limited parking be provided (10 spaces) and that provision be made for future charter and tour boat docking.  See their presentation in Links below for details. (Presentation includes some great illustrations).

Based on information by Shoreplan and MBTW, the timeline shows completion by the end of 2024.

Harbour Rehabilitation Timeline

Design: 90% Completion – February 2022
Permitting: February 2022 + 3 months or more
Phase 1  Basin Walls / Centre Pier / Fuel Dock $5M
Retain Contractor: Summer 2022
Construction: Commence Fall 2022 – Duration 4 Months
Phase 2
Retain Contractor: Fall 2022
Construction:
Phase 2A – East Breakwater $2.3M – Commence Fall 2023 – Duration 4 Months
Phase 2B – West Breakwater $5.5M – Commence Fall 2024 – Duration 4 Months

East Pier Rehabilitation may begin following completion of the East Breakwater pending Council approval.  This would mean completion of East Pier rehabilitation by the Fall of 2024.

Starting with the next Council Meeting (CoW on March 7), meetings will be hybrid – a mix of Zoom and in-person.  Also, members of the public will be permitted in Council chamber although at a limited capacity and wearing masks. This makes it easier to participate in the Open Forum and ask questions although you might have to email the clerk first at clerk@cobourg.ca

Links

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Merle Gingrich
6 March 2022 9:23 am

Will this town/Council ever get off of their Butts or will we be talking about this next year, quite pissing around, take the first project and GET started.

Frenchy
Reply to  Merle Gingrich
6 March 2022 10:41 am

Couldn’t agree with you more Merle. I’ve said several times; rebuild the pier to last 200 years, decide later whether to have petunias or pansies planted, cars or no cars, parking lot at this end or the other…
Quit wasting time.

cornbread
6 March 2022 9:21 am

Here goes $20 Million that the Town can’t afford…wake-up everybody.

Bryan
Reply to  cornbread
6 March 2022 9:32 am

Cornbread:

$20M?? How did the cost escalate from $12M?

cornbread
Reply to  Bryan
6 March 2022 10:17 am

12.8 plus 3.6 =16.4 Plus cost overruns for sure is 20

Sandpiper
Reply to  Bryan
6 March 2022 12:26 pm

Supply and demand increase on the cost of Building materials , New Minimum wage increase
loss of Tourist and may be Marina revenue while construction is taking place over 2 to 3 yrs Every one knows about INFLATION except for those approving this project .

Didn’t all ALL of these Councilors and the Mayor run on a Ballit of Reduced Taxes , Less spending Fiscal Responsibility ??????????

Wonder what they are campaigning on next time .

Ahewson
Reply to  cornbread
6 March 2022 10:09 am

What’s the alternative, cornbread?

cornbread
Reply to  Ahewson
6 March 2022 10:19 am

Leave as is. Just let it deteriorate and eventually turn into a pile of rocks.

ben
Reply to  cornbread
6 March 2022 12:43 pm

And pay millions in insurance claims – great call Cornbread

cornbread
Reply to  ben
6 March 2022 2:00 pm

Where would the claims come from? The harbor would still be there, sheltered by rocks similar to what is now further out towards the lighthouse. The public would not be allowed access to the area past the Federal Coast Guard Station.

ben
Reply to  cornbread
6 March 2022 4:23 pm

From the unauthorised who will clamber on the rocks, of course if you decide to wall off the the rocks at the CG station, to prevent this then there will complaints about our ugly harbour, which I would expect you to defend.

Just because they are unauthorised is no defence against claims.

Last edited 6 months ago by ben
Leweez
Reply to  Ahewson
6 March 2022 8:59 pm

Sell Lakefront Utilities and voila, you have your money to spend on your harbour

Sandpiper
6 March 2022 8:54 am

So you really expect us to believe that this will all happen according to these time lines ??
Lets use the new Condos by Legion Village as an example – a 1 yr build going on 3 .
Pile Driving , Heavy equipment , Vibration, Steel banging and Cement trucks , Early morning Heavy vehicle street traffic & Construction starts probably evenings and week ends for sure .

WHAT about the Residents in the area how will they survive 2 or 3 years of this we have heard nothing about this . They have not been consulted todate .

We and others I know sent questions to Engage Cobourg , and Cobourg and there was NOOOO
response , or answers ever

Bryan
Reply to  Sandpiper
6 March 2022 9:19 am

Sandpiper:

I also asked questions using Engage Cobourg regarding the harbour repairs and, like you, got no reply or answers. I emailed my questions to Works Director Laurie Wills. She replied and also indicated that the Engage Cobourg questions will be answered at Monday’s COW (Mar 7). It will be interesting to see how thoroughly the questions are answered or if they are fluffy. Keep in mind, this is a monologue, not a dialogue. If your question(s) is not answered, or the answer is fluffy, you can’t “engage” the “expert” to get a better answer.

Last edited 6 months ago by Bryan
Sandpiper
Reply to  Bryan
6 March 2022 9:39 am

Try asking the Mayor or Councilor Daring
The response was worse than nothing—- How can a Council run and make decisions on a project of this magnitude when they admit they don’t know whats going on & can’t answer simple questions in an honest educated fashion .
With Out the FLUFF as you put it

ben
Reply to  Sandpiper
6 March 2022 9:23 pm

Sandpiper – wish there was a Cllr Daring, perhaps we could have a non-status quo person speaking out with an alternative point of view – that would be very Daring!

Jeffy
6 March 2022 8:42 am

Note that all of those lovely gardens will be washed away with the first storm.

Repair the pier as it was, turning into a money pit maintenance headache is a bad idea.

marya
6 March 2022 7:39 am

This is a fantastic Concept Plan! Just wondering if the windsurfers, from other regions, who come and use the east pier as their launching pad will need to be put on public notice?

Pete M
5 March 2022 3:04 pm

I would suggest pedestrian only…dont need cars idling while watching the stars or boats.
Gardens and plantings require a lot of maintenance, have those long term cost been factored in?

Conor
Reply to  Pete M
5 March 2022 4:10 pm

Perhaps someone could answer a question for me. I now live in Whitby but I grew up in Cobourg and I know the harbour well. How did Cobourg harbour end up being owned by the town? Where as Whitby is owned by the federal government. Whitby harbour is leased to the town. Whitby’s harbour breakwall is now being totally repaired by Fisheries and Oceans Canada at no cost to the town. As a Whitby taxpayer I am not complaining.

Pete M
Reply to  Conor
5 March 2022 4:46 pm

2002 the federal govt transfered the harbour to town for nominal fee.
With covenant it remain public for 5 yrs.
John Draper has a letter on this blog sent Brent Larmer re legal opinion

Bryan
Reply to  Pete M
5 March 2022 6:30 pm

Pete M; THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWN OF COBOURG BY-LAW NUMBER 19-2002 A BY-LAW TO AUTHORIZE THE EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT WITH THE MINISTER OF FISHERIES AND OCEANS (COBOURG HARBOUR)   WHEREAS pursuant to the Harbour Disposal Program, The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans wishes to transfer ownership of the Cobourg Harbour to the Corporation of the Town of Cobourg;   NOW THEREFORE the Municipal Council of the Corporation of the Town of Cobourg enacts as follows:   1: THAT the Mayor and Municipal Clerk are hereby authorized and instructed to execute on behalf of the Corporation an agreement with The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans regarding transfer of ownership of the Cobourg Harbour to the Corporation of the Town of Cobourg.   READ a first, second and third time and finally passed in Open Council this 4th day of March, 2002.   RECITALS (partial)   WHEREAS the Recipient agrees to ensure safe public access to the Harbour for a minimum of five (5) years commencing from the date of the transfer of title of the Harbour to the Recipient.   WHEREAS the Minister does not wish to undertake repairs/improvements to the Harbour at Cobourg prior to transfer of ownership.   WHEREAS the Recipient agrees to undertake repairs/improvements to the Harbour at Cobourg and to accept full responsibility and all future liabilities related to the Harbour in “as is” condition in return for a payment by the Minister “in lieu” of Her Majesty performing repairs/improvements to the Harbour prior to or after the transfer of the Harbour.   AND WHEREAS the Minister and the Recipient wish to enter into this Agreement for a Grant to facilitate the transfer of the Harbour to the Recipient.   Note: Elsewhere, the “grant/payment” is defined as $400,000 and the “purchase price” is $1. “Grant… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Bryan
Pete M
Reply to  Bryan
5 March 2022 6:53 pm

Thanks Bryan…
I knew there was an agreement.
Note the line accept all future liabilities. Accepting harbour “as is”…
ie passing cost on to future councils

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Pete M
5 March 2022 7:22 pm

But we did get an amount, $400K, to cover necessary repairs. I have no idea how that allowance was spent. Anybody?

Last edited 6 months ago by Ken Strauss
Bryan
Reply to  Pete M
5 March 2022 7:50 pm

Pete M,

The Town assumed the cost of ownership, both operating and capital.

As Ken Strauss notes, the Town got the $400K but nobody seems to know what it was spent on.

Last edited 6 months ago by Bryan
Bryan
Reply to  Pete M
6 March 2022 8:47 am

Pete M:
The harbour “purchase” documents are available on the CTA’s website home page under “Resources, Other, Cobourg Harbour”

The Town’s by-laws and many other Town documents were previously available to search/download on the Town’s Civicweb site. Access to this site was “lost” when the Town changed to eScribe.

https://cobourgtaxpayers.ca/cobourg-harbour/

BL 19-2002
Lot Plans
Fishing by-law legal opinion 2011
Legal opinion update 2015
Riparian rights legal opinion 2021

Last edited 6 months ago by Bryan
JimT
Reply to  Pete M
5 March 2022 5:54 pm

Good point. So many prissy, boring manicured gardens occupying so much space. Would be better used for food kiosks and chip trucks.

The good news is that the small print in the corner of the illustration says “Landscape features shown in the model shots are placeholders to represent location and scale and may not represent the actual features installed”.

Last edited 6 months ago by JimT
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Pete M
5 March 2022 7:27 pm

If we considered the long term costs then everything would be too expensive. It is better to ignore future costs and just let everyone be surprised.

Ahewson
5 March 2022 2:28 pm

The more I think about this the less I understand the need to support cars. It seems like there is going to be an odd little road going through what is otherwise a pedestrian area. The little road leads to a loop with a measily 10 parking spots. Are those spots to sit in your car and watch the water for a little, or can you take up a spot for hours on end?

People liked driving their cars out there before because there was unlimited space, you could enjoy the view for 5-10 minutes and then carry on. That doesn’t seem to be the case with this option. There simply isn’t enough space to accommodate that. You must go out and then loop right back around. So really, what is the point? It’s also going to just add to congestion at the foot Division St with a steady stream of cars.

From a pedestrian standpoint, everyone is going to want to walk right out to the end of the pier, but the end of the pier is where vehicles are going to be looping around. There’s going to be a weird mixing that happens at that location, because believe you me, everyone to going to want to check out the lighthouse from the end of the pier.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Ahewson
6 March 2022 8:39 am

They take up the spots for Hours and those quite coffee stops end up as noisy Motorcycles and loud Cars and trucks . thee rest of the wk . Try living down here and By Law Enforcement and Police will not respond to Pier activity .

Tucker
Reply to  Sandpiper
6 March 2022 10:01 am

No one asked you to live “down here”. Everyone has their “cross to bear” wherever they live. New Amherst was very quiet until a new neighbour moved in with his, not one but two noisy cars, starts them up at 4:30 in the morning, gunning the engines, just to “say look at me”, speeds, never stops at stop signs. The police have responded many times last year, things did quiet down, what to expect again this year, don’t know, just keep trying with your calls to the police, as we will continue to do. As far as the pier goes, what’s done is done, we own it. I don’t think having the ability to drive on it, spend a few minutes and leave does anything for the prosperity of the merchants. Off limits to cars would be more appropriate, would cut down on your noise level, people on foot would be more likely to purchase something at a restaurant or specialty kiosk. If you don’t like what the present Council offers at your yet, another discussion meeting, then get a new Council.

Bryan
Reply to  Tucker
6 March 2022 10:49 am

Tucker,
You wrote “…then get a new Council….”

The October municipal elections will soon be here and voters can express their outrage (or not). High taxes, out of control spending, poor/out of date/non-existent policies and more, routinely complained about on this board. Will anger materialize as votes?

Pete M
Reply to  Bryan
6 March 2022 11:36 am

Not if if is more of the same old candidates. Where people vote the “name”.
If there are candidates with a platform that can bring a vision and change, then maybe.
But I believe the electorate has no desire for change and will continue with this crew

Bryan
Reply to  Pete M
6 March 2022 11:55 am

Pete M,

Time will tell. Candidate nominations will run from May thru mid August. We will then know what our choices are. In the meantime we, the public, need to make our needs and issues known. Don’t let the candidates decide these for us on their own.

Tucker
Reply to  Bryan
6 March 2022 12:21 pm

With all the new people coming to Cobourg, as witnessed by all the new subdivisions being built, surely there will be some new blood to vote for, just not the same ol’.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Tucker
6 March 2022 2:34 pm

Yes, Tucker, I hope so. One of our current Councilors and our Deputy Mayor are somewhat newcomers to Cobourg and they are by far the best members of Council. We need more like them!

Dunkirk
Reply to  Bryan
6 March 2022 12:30 pm

Bryan/Pete–you both seem to be informed about the Pier project….Is there any actual assessment of the increase in community asset value that the pier provides us? Anything financial? Any balance sheet value? I suppose other than maintenance the only operating cost might be insurance?….(for that reason alone it’s better than investing in an Arena)
I note that Hamilton started their Pier project in 2007 and are $11.5 million over-budget; even with selling off a big chunk to developers. and they are still not finished…
These type of projects seem to have a tendency for cost-over-runs. No?

ben
Reply to  Dunkirk
6 March 2022 12:48 pm

These type of projects seem to have a tendency for cost-over-runs. No?”

Of course there will be cost over-runs. I remember when the Storm Sewers were installed in the corners of the Harbour and hundred year old cribbing was discovered. Nobody knows what the Pier is made of and what actual repairs are needed. Hopefully the designers anticipated this and costed accordingly. In other words design for a demo and new build, but we will see,

Pete M
Reply to  Dunkirk
6 March 2022 1:18 pm

Dunkirk
I m not an accountant so can answer the financial/balance sheets. There might be asset value if they allow summer kiosk and lease the space.
As for cost over runs absolutely. Can do all the geo-tech work but wont know everything until they open it up.
Is the bedrock base consistent throughout?
Cribbing?
In water work bring its own challenges-coffer dams/water levels/ potential for flooding depending on time of seasons.
Concrete wall work
Enviromental challenges-unknown if enviro waste underneath deck
Species protection- depending on time of year- spawning- stop work for spawn.
Consult with First Nations/Oceans and Fisheries/Conservation Authorities
Hopefully pre-qual bidders…I suspect limited number companies and they are stretched right now.

The days of bringing in a number of dump trucks and back hoes. Dig it out and fill it back in are long gone

Dunkirk
Reply to  Pete M
6 March 2022 1:28 pm

Thanks, Pete—my thinking was that with a $12mm spend(bond issue) the Town might realize an increase in our community property value that totally justifies the expenditure. Most lakefront properties that spend money on their waterfront realize tangible gains…etc…
Many communities-without piers–look for opportunities to acquire additional waterfront when it becomes available. The discussion maybe should be –do we spend $12mm on a pier renos/maintenance or $12mm to acquire more waterfront? The second alternative not requiring cost over-runs and providing absolute return on investment.

Pete M
Reply to  Dunkirk
6 March 2022 3:05 pm

I think that added value might be realized on the harbour/marina. Does this work translate into full slips-seasonal and overnight.
And of course bringing up the despised discussion- expansion for more boats

Pete M
Reply to  Dunkirk
6 March 2022 2:09 pm

I find it interesting in MBTW presentation they mention about the east pier being designed for tour boats.
I wasn t aware that our current harbour /pier was preventing Cobourg from.participating in the large number of tour boats that operating on lake Ontario.
Or is this the consultants fluffing their presentation to entice a council so desiring of tourists dollars??

Bryan
Reply to  Pete M
6 March 2022 2:57 pm

Pete M:

I think Council has moved on from the “tourists will save Cobourg” myth.

As for tour boats, have you seen one in the area? A quick review of the available Lake Ontario cruises reveals the following: they feature sights: Toronto Harbour, Thousand Islands, Niagara, Bay of Quite, Prince Edward County.
Don’t feel bad. Whitby and Oshawa are not tour boat destinations either.

MBTW’s presentation appears to include mention of tour boat facilities because about 65% of the public engagement respondents favoured this.

They also note:
“At present there are no plans to provide charter and/or tour boat docking.
However, to keep options open for the future, it is recommended that the revitalization design include provisions to accommodate these uses.”

I agree with you Pete. “Tour boats” is on the fluffy side.

Moxy
Reply to  Sandpiper
6 March 2022 12:59 pm

Totally with you, Sandpiper, in your frustration with the noisy motorcycles and trucks and cars with unbaffled engines. Adding parking spots at the end of the east pier will add to those problems and interfere with those of us who prefer to walk around the area. Why won’t police and by-law officers respond to complaints about engine noise on Division Street and around the pier?? I noticed the same thing last summer.