Council Listens to Public and Keeps Beach Closed

As many as 311 people watched the Council make a final decision about the Beach – this compares to a normal audience of around 20.  Mayor John Henderson said that in the past week it was the busiest he had ever been as Mayor with 320 phone calls and emails.  He and other councillors thanked the public for their engagement.  John estimated that 20% of those communicating with him wanted to limit the beach to just locals and 80% wanted the beach fully closed. He said that health and safety were more important than tourism or business.  Other councillors gave more detailed reasons and there seemed to be some nervousness about how the vote would go since a recorded vote… Read complete articleCouncil Listens to Public and Keeps Beach Closed

Staff report on how to Re-open Beach

On June 22, Council asked staff for a report on how exactly the beach should be re-opened per their motion and they wanted it for their meeting on June 29.  Community Services Director Dean Hustwick has now delivered that – see link below.  The memo provides specifics on what would be done and how much it would cost.  As Dean has said to me in the past, Council makes decisions and staff implement them.  The “plan” does not have any real surprises and covers issues in the motion providing Council’s most recent direction.  More details are below but the short synopsis is that the beach would be limited to 1500 people, it would be first-come, first-served from Monday to Thursday… Read complete articleStaff report on how to Re-open Beach

Town Hall Meeting – mostly about the Beach

Communication is good and in these difficult times the only way to have a Town Hall meeting is online.  Using Zoom, MPP David Piccini and Mayor John Henderson co-hosted a meeting tonight for Cobourg residents to ask anything about Covid-19.  I counted 20 questions and up to 71 participants and, no surprise, most questions (12) were about the Beach closure with the majority in favour of closure or if not, wanted assurance that social distancing could be enforced.  There were also questions about wearing of masks and a couple of other items – see below.  Mayor Henderson referred most questions to the decision making that will come out of the Council meeting on June 29.  I did not hear any… Read complete articleTown Hall Meeting – mostly about the Beach

Beach to Re-open on a Limited Basis

At tonight’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting, councillors had a long debate about re-opening the beach.  Councillor Emily Chorley proposed that the beach be re-opened on a limited basis with advance reservations required for time slots.  She initially wanted weekdays only but others wanted seven days a week.  The idea is that numbers would be limited although the exact number has not yet been specified.  There would likely be only one public entrance that would be available (and it would be accessible) although there would be other emergency only entrances. In discussion it became apparent that there are staffing and logistical issues that need to be sorted out so Staff were asked to report back on June 29 with… Read complete articleBeach to Re-open on a Limited Basis

Cobourg Marina Lift-in – 2020 edition

This year, the lift-in of boats into Cobourg’s Harbour was a little different because of the pandemic. It was also in a different location – actually two locations, both of them on the boulevard instead of on Division Street.  Because many owners did not feel it worthwhile to launch their boats this year, there is only one lift-in day instead of the usual two.  Many of the boats in the storage area will stay there and in fact many of the boats being lifted in were not stored there.  Many Marinas on Lake Ontario are closed so one cannot sail to nearby Ports and stay overnight.  That will also mean our Marina will have fewer visitors.  But watching the lift-in… Read complete articleCobourg Marina Lift-in – 2020 edition

Beach Closed Until August 31

At a special Council meeting on Monday, Council passed a motion to close Victoria Park beach for the summer.  A fence will be erected on the sand with enough space left for a walkway parallel to the existing walkway – the extra space allows people to pass by each other with proper social distancing.  There was no provision for residents to access the beach – everyone will face the risk of a fine for trespassing [Fine $65].  There was considerable public interest and differences of opinion – Council heard 5 delegations and received 26 items of correspondence.  My count of these (see below) had 10 who wanted the Beach to stay open (as now – with limitations)  and 19 who… Read complete articleBeach Closed Until August 31

Police and CTA Disagree on Beach opening

Last Friday, the Town of Cobourg announced that Parks and Beaches would be opened up for normal activities except for organized sports. Social distancing requirements and limits on groups larger than five would still be required.  It was not a council decision but was authorized by the Mayor.  Since then, we have had one weekend with only a few people on the beach with citizens and (presumably) visitors following the rules.  In fact in a Press Release, Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf thanked citizens for their good behaviour and provided photos as backup (see below).  But many do not agree with the decision and the Cobourg Tax Payers Association (CTA) have started an online petition asking for the beach to be… Read complete articlePolice and CTA Disagree on Beach opening

No Large Crowd on the Beach

This weekend was intended as a test of whether a fence was needed to close the Victoria Park Beach.  It’s too early for hot weather but the sun was out and being on the beach was pleasant – at least when I visited around 1:10 pm on Saturday.  There were not the hundreds that were reported on an earlier warm weekend and most – but not all – were following the rules.  Most groups appeared to be families although one group of young people that I saw were obviously not family.  Most were just walking through but some were letting children play in the sand or having a picnic.  When I arrived, two officers were leaving – one regular and… Read complete articleNo Large Crowd on the Beach