West Harbour Concerns Close to Resolution

In 2019, Town staff commissioned the Lifesaving Society to conduct an audit of activities in the West Harbour to ensure they were safe.  The report recommended some changes but their overall report was criticised by Harbour User groups because they were not consulted and some recommendations would mean they would have to shut down.  Council asked Staff for a report which Director (at the time) Dean Hustwick provided but this just seemed to inflame the situation. (See links below).  One key issue raised by users was that the Town did not have jurisdiction in the harbour.  Instead it was a Federal responsibility because the Harbour included “navigable waters”.  Most recently (July 2020), Council passed a resolution that included a request… Read complete articleWest Harbour Concerns Close to Resolution

Should West Headland be a Nature Park?

In late 2019,  Richard Pope and Margaret Bain of the Willow Beach Field Naturalists made presentations to four Advisory committees, to Council and to the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) suggesting that a Natural Park should be declared that encompassed the West Harbour, the West Beach, the West Headland and the Ecology Garden.  After a report by Director Dean Hustwick provided in March 2020, the idea was turned down by Council.  Dean’s report said that the area is currently identified as a “Landmark Park (under the name Marina Park)” which should “enhance tourism and economic development” and “accommodate increased commercial use” with a primary function as support for “tourism, festivals and large gatherings” [See below for definition of Landmark Parks… Read complete articleShould West Headland be a Nature Park?

Harbour Repairs Clarified

Council has supported multi-million dollar repairs to the harbour – the East Pier and harbour walls need to be fixed and engineering design work for this will be done this year.  But along the way some “options” were mentioned which implied that there would be provision for a Travel Lift which many residents oppose.  This is primarily because it’s associated with expansion of boat slips into the West Harbour.  But at last Monday’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting, there was discussion of a motion to pay for pricing several “options”.  These included “Detailed Design of reinforced Concrete Boat Lift Platform”. However, it was clarified that this is not intended for a Travel lift but instead to support the crane… Read complete articleHarbour Repairs Clarified

Beach Survey Results

From February 2 to February 23, Cobourg residents were asked what they thought about managing the visitors at the beach.  The survey was described in a Cobourg News Blog article on February 3 – see the link below – but now the results are available.  A tabulation of answers – including all of the comments by participants – is available in a 156 page “Public Engagement report”.  This will be reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Committee in a meeting on March 9 and they will then make recommendations to council. The survey had 1408 respondents and is considered the Town’s “most responded to survey”.  Although the report is long and a good summary of the comments is impossible here,… Read complete articleBeach Survey Results

Cobourg Citizens Lobby Council

At Tuesday’s busy Committee of the Whole (C.O.W.) Council meeting, a number of citizens made their thoughts known on three separate issues: Ted Williams presented some facts and ideas about Marina finances, Kevin Burt had an opinion about the construction of sidewalks on Abbott Boulevard and the Accessibility Advisory Committee wanted to revise the policy and service level for Wheels Transit. Council listened to their input and debated the issues with varying results. The Marina is supposed to be 100% self-funding but it’s not clear that Capital projects are included; Kevin Burt asked why was the Abbott Boulevard sidewalk being done given previously raised objections and the Accessibility Advisory Committee want Wheels Transit to return to a more door to door service…. Read complete articleCobourg Citizens Lobby Council

Next Step on Harbour Repairs

Last December, Council had a special on-site meeting to review what should be done to repair the harbour and enhance the East pier (see photo and link below).  The problem is that it’s not just the East Pier that needs fixing, it’s the whole harbour.  And these repairs could cost around $12 million – without even doing the much discussed enhancements to the East Pier.  In October 2020, an RFP was issued for design work to implement the Waterfront plan including enhancements to the East Pier and the harbour generally but it was withdrawn “due to staffing and funding concerns”.  It seems it was premature given the need to first do repairs.  East Pier enhancements are now not expected to… Read complete articleNext Step on Harbour Repairs

Managing High Volumes of Visitors at Victoria Beach

One of the things Council has wrestled with in the past year is the ongoing concern in the Town about the use of Cobourg’s Beach.  It is on Lake Ontario and is one of the Province’s best beaches and is wide open for anyone to use – resident or not.  Town Staff and a number of others see Cobourg as a Tourist destination with the beach being a prime attraction but not all residents agree.  After all, maintenance is paid by taxes and there is a debate as to whether beach goers bring a benefit to the Town or even whether they should bring a benefit.  The beach is not crowded on most days but on some weekends in a… Read complete articleManaging High Volumes of Visitors at Victoria Beach

Major Harbour Repairs Required

It’s not just the East Pier that needs fixing, it’s the whole harbour. Teresa Behan Deputy Director, Community Services, estimates that “repairs to all aspects of the waterfront area may be upwards of $12M including all fees (see table below). This does not include any ‘enhanced features’ and landscaping that will be proposed for the final design of the east pier project.”  Major Repairs are required for both the east and west breakwaters, the basin east and north walls and minor work on the centre pier. In addition, the estimate for rehabilitation of the East Pier has been revised upwards.  The project will also include assessments of the Fuel Dock and Coast Guard Wharf.  The amounts shown are still estimates… Read complete articleMajor Harbour Repairs Required