The longest debate at Monday’s Council meeting was on the deployment of Porta-Potties! There were no surprises: the ban on demolition at 93 Albert was confirmed with a 4-3 vote, some correspondence was received without comment and Adam Bureau withdrew his notice of motion to use Brookside for homeless people since MPP David Piccini intends to address Council on 31 January. There are two issues with Porta-Potties: 1) providing washrooms to replace those closed because of Covid-19 and 2) replacing those at the Transit shelter because of security problems there plus the need to use the Transit shelter to accommodate Town Staff. Initially, staff recommended operating hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm but after debate, Council decided to extend that to 8:00 pm.
See the link below for the report about Porta-Potties from Emergency Planner, Shannon Murphy.
Transit Shelter Problems
In an interview, Police Chief Paul Vandergraaf said that there have been problems at the Transit Shelter:
- It’s used for unintended purposes
- People have been “hanging out” there all day
- There has been equipment damage
- There have been occasional cases of people using drugs
- There is some graffiti
Since the rink opened, Police have increased patrols and Town staff have been monitoring compliance with Covid-19 rules.
Council passed the following motion moved by Councillor Aaron Burchat and seconded by Adam Bureau:
THAT Council direct staff to place six(6) accessible porta potties, two(2) outside Victoria Hall until the building reopens to the public, two(2) at the Marina and two(2) located near Lion Pavilion at the east side of Victoria Park. This would accommodate the needs of the public partaking in outdoor recreation until the spring when the seasonal facilities reopen to the public; and
FURTHER THAT the Port-a-Potties be open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
The cost would be funded through the COVID-19 Safe Restart Government Funding. Presumably it’s effective immediately.
Other than deciding on deployment of Porta-Potties and ratifying the decision to refuse a demolition permit for 93 Albert, there were a number of items on the Agenda – here are some highlights:
- Approval for Interim tax billing. Although the 2022 budget has been approved (and is online here), an interim tax bill will be issued as in previous years at one-third of the 2021 bill (to residences) since the final County and School Board amounts have not yet been provided to the Town.
- There were 5 items of correspondence – notably letters from Keith Oliver and Donald MacIntosh (ACO Chair) as discussed in a previous Post (for the full list see the Agenda here)
- Coordinators’ reports. At regular Council meetings, each Councillor reports on items of interest in their coordinator mandate. Here are some highlights (sorry if I omit other items – “highlights” is subjective):
- The New Year’s Mayor’s Levee was cancelled but a Virtual one is planned – stay tuned. Once announced, there will be notification in the News Update box.
- Fire Chief Mike Vilneff retires on February 4
- Ann Taylor Scott will be the new Director of Planning and Development. She starts 24 January (Announcement here). She comes from a Planning position in Clarington.
- Approved budgets are now online
- There is now an updated Tree and Bench Recognition Program – Details are now online here.
The next Council meeting is a Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on 24 January. Meanwhile, there will be reports here if anything significant happens in Cobourg; you can follow Covid-19 news here or you can follow other local news sources – list here.
Cobourg News Blog posts are issued when anything of significance happens (that’s a subjective call) – often that’s 2 days apart – but it’s sometimes longer and occasionally shorter. More on what Cobourg News Blog covers here.