At the committee of the Whole Council meeting on Monday, there were two delegations: Carol Anne Bell-Smith asked that the mat at the Beach be upgraded because of deficiencies in the existing mat and Lauren Quinto, President of the Cobourg Farmers’ Market Association asked for better terms for their agreement with the Town. They want a 5 year lease, parking passes and storage space. And Council responded with actions. Summaries of their presentations are below but both delegations were well received. The cost of upgrading the mat would be approx. $30K plus installation – a decision was deferred to current budget deliberations; after debate, Councillor Brian Darling’s request to leave to Staff the details of the farmers’ market lease etc was approved.
Delegation Requests – summary
Carol Anne said that the current blue mat was not good enough. She pointed out that the Ontario Disability Act has “supremacy over all other Acts” so no matter what other legislation said, the Disability Act over-rode them. She said that people with disabilities want the same rights as everyone else – she said: “We want to belong”. Download the presentation below. The main problem with the existing mat seemed to be its quality plus it does not extend into the water. Mats by the preferred supplier, MobiMat, are used extensively in Canada and around the world.
Carol Anne said that one problem is that people who are not disabled also use the Mat and that often makes it difficult for disabled people to use it. This indicates that signs indicating that it’s for disabled people would be useful (sample sign in photo).
If an upgraded mat were used that extended to the water, Cobourg could advertise the beach as a destination for “accessibility tourism”.
To make it easier for staff, a quote for a suitable mat was obtained: $21K US including shipping.
The project will be up for approval in budget discussions on February 7.
Lauren presented the contents of the letter submitted by the Farmers’ Market Association. There are three issues:
- Currently, a contract is signed yearly between the Association and the Town outlining hours of operation, weekly fees, etc. It would be a whole lot better for budgeting if there could be a 5 year contract.
- Parking for vendors is important but recent fee increases and availability of space are problems.
- With the Market building now used as office space, storage space there has been lost. The space required is about equivalent to a walk-in closet. Brent said that space in the market building can “probably” be found.
Initial discussions in Council attempted to resolve the issues but eventually Councillor Brian Darling moved that Staff be asked to negotiate with the Farmers’ Market Association to develop a solution that should be brought back to Council for approval by the first CoW meeting in April. Brian’s motion passed.
- Reach the Beach – Presentation asking for upgrade of Beach Mat
- Letter from Farmers’ Market Association