Cobourg recently lost the Communications Manager Ashley Purdy but without any announcement, we now have a new one: Kara Euale. Kara is not new to the Town, she was previously in the Community Services Division looking after Marketing and Events but has now been appointed to the Communications position. Although she has had her name on earlier announcements, she has now got our attention with three surveys: “What’s Next for the Memorial Arena?” and “Potential Affordable Housing Sites Survey” and Phase 2 on the ICSP. The first two are getting a lot of attention by Council and both open up cans of worms with no simple answers so there will no doubt be a wide range of opinions for both. I have looked at all three (and taken the surveys) and I can provide a summary.
What’s Next for the Memorial Arena?
The Memorial Arena essentially became surplus when the Cobourg Community Centre was built but its fate was sealed when a condition assessment report in 2018 said it would cost $6M to bring it up to standards so the Town decided to shut it down (see links below for more details). They then setup an Ad Hoc committee to come up with suggestions of what to do with it. After all it’s a major asset and there is a cost to it even if it’s shut down. One problem with demolishing or otherwise making major changes is that the roof supports solar panels and the related contract runs to 2035. It’s not known what the cost would be to get out of this.
An interim report from the committee issued in March 2022 lists a large number of options grouped into seven categories and this is used as the basis for the survey (see the link below). The list is long and covers just about any option you could think of. The survey does not provide estimated costs for each option nor whether there is anyone or any organization interested in pursuing any of the options.
But no doubt many residents will want to provide input so here’s your chance.
Site visits are also available on May 4, 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm, 206 Furnace Street. Or you can make a delegation to the committee – details are at the page announcing the survey.
Go to this page announcing the survey including the survey and forum links. The survey closes May 18.
Potential Affordable Housing Sites Survey
The current Council has taken a strong interest in helping the County with their responsibility to provide affordable housing. One of the thoughts is that the Town owns a lot of land that could be used for affordable housing and maybe it could be offered to a developer at no charge as long as it is used for affordable housing. But most of this land is already in use as a Park or Parking lot. So the survey asks, for each location in turn, whether you agree or disagree with using it for apartments, townhouses etc – possibly with some commercial usage in some cases.
Here is the short list of locations suggested by staff – includes their suggested usage:
- 17 Charles Street (Charles Street parking Lot) – Consider a potential mixed use building with commercial units on the ground floor and residential units above
- 216 Furnace Street (Memorial Arena Parking Lot) Consider a potential mixed use building with commercial units on the ground floor and residential units above
- 69 Ballantine Street (Morley Cane Park) Consider potential for single detached homes, semis or walk-up town homes.
- 521 Delanty Road (Peter Delanty Park) Consider potential for single detached homes, town homes or semis
- Tracey Park Consider potential for single detached homes, town homes, semis or a small apartment building.
- 96 Alice Street (Former Tannery Property) Consider potential for town homes or apartment building use.
- Westwood Park [only part of the park] Consider potential for single detached homes, town homes, semis or a small apartment building.
- Hibernia Street Parking Lot Consider potential mixed use building with commercial units on the main floor and residential units above.
The survey includes maps to help identify the locations.
Go to this page on Engage Cobourg to take the survey. The survey closes on May 19.
Integrated Community Sustainability Plan – Phase 2
The intent is to develop an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) to help realize the aims of the Town’s climate emergency resolution. The Plan will “comprise specific and achievable actions that both the community and the municipal government of Cobourg will take to build on existing environmental progress and advance new measures to respond to the climate emergency.”
Phase one engagement for the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan ran from February 17 to March, 2022. This phase of engagement asked about the current state of Cobourg and what gaps might exist for sustainability improvement locally. Overall, the Town heard from over 187 residents – results here project page.
Phase 2 takes it one step further and includes workshops as well as a new survey which asks for opinions on what you want and not multi-choice questions. To make a meaningful contribution you have to be sold on the idea that the Town should take a leading role in solving the Global “Climate Emergency”. This is not as close to home as the other two issues. (Sorry to insert an opinion).
Go here. This Survey closes June 1.
All surveys are also available from this link on Cobourg Internet. This page is regularly updated with the latest local surveys.
Previous reports on Cobourg News Blog
- Update on Memorial Arena Re-purposing – 20 March 2022 – an update on committee progress. Includes full list of possible uses.
- Committee formed to decide on Memorial Arena – 8 April 2021
- Staff propose closing Memorial Arena – 30 July 2019
- Download Ad Hoc Committee By-Law By-Law 021-2021
- Download Memorial Arena Ad Hoc Committee Work Plan
Municipal Land for Affordable Housing
- Report on Municipal Land for Affordable Housing – 8 November 2021 – Details on short listed possible land
- Possible Town Land for Affordable Housing – 16 April 2021 Report on the idea when it was first raised at Council