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

Harbour Safety Audit reviewed – Take 2

In 2018 and 2019, the Lifesaving Society (LSS) conducted an audit of the safety of recreational activities in the Harbour and in September 2019 a report was presented to Council (see links below).  Some of the recommendations in the report were unacceptable to both the Dragon Boat and Canoe Club and the Cobourg Yacht Club and caused a stir in Council.  After considerable debate, a motion was passed that the report be referred to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee to get feedback from all user groups and that by the first COW meeting in March 2020, staff will provide a report to Council inclusive of the feedback from all user groups.  Dean Hustwick, Director of community Services, provided this… Read complete articleHarbour Safety Audit reviewed – Take 2

Council Debates Fencing the Beach

The Beach is closed for most activities but not fully closed.  So when there are crowds, it’s difficult to enforce Covid-19 social distancing, “park” rules and generally keeping everyone safe. On a recent warm weekend, there were reportedly hundreds on the beach. It doesn’t help that there are few signs – I saw a small one at the main entrance at the bottom of Division St – see photo below.  So at Monday’s Committee of the Whole (C.O.W.) Council meeting, staff suggested that fencing the beach would be useful.  It was thought that most people would then stay off the beach and the few who jumped the fence could be warned or even arrested for trespassing. But Councillors worried that… Read complete articleCouncil Debates Fencing the Beach

A Base Camp at Trailer Park

In a new press release today, the Town of Cobourg clarified the usage of the trailers at the Trailer park.  A better description of their usage would be a “relief base camp for first responders and frontline medical workers”.  They would be used by frontline workers who are in need of respite and/or self-isolation from possible exposure to COVID-19.  Shannon Murphy, Emergency Planner for the Town of Cobourg explains that “the prevalence of fatigue in frontline medical staff and first responders is a major issue.  The base camp will be focused on promoting self-care and rest, and for those who need to self-isolate due to potential exposure.” Although the trailers were provided by Owasco (see earlier Post), there are also… Read complete articleA Base Camp at Trailer Park

Council Discuss Impact of Covid-19

Most of the topics at Monday night’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting were about changes in Cobourg brought about by the virus pandemic.  To start with, the agenda was expanded by three last minute additions. One was about cancelling yet another event and the other two were about the obviously large impact the pandemic has on the budget. Since the Waterfront Festival has been cancelled and the Highland Games were postponed to August, it was clear that the Canada Day Parade would also get cancelled – and that’s what happened.  Council action on the financial impact consisted of quick verbal reports from Department Directors on the status of their Capital projects plus an agreement to hold a Special Budget… Read complete articleCouncil Discuss Impact of Covid-19

Staff Reports on Natural Waterfront Park

Last November, Richard Pope (with 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.  His idea was referred to Town staff for a report and Dean Hustwick will present that to the Council’s next Committee of the Whole meeting on March 9. In the meantime the GRCA has reported and “do not support the proposal in its current form.”  The short version of Dean’s report would be that the idea is mostly already covered by existing master plans so establishing a new… Read complete articleStaff Reports on Natural Waterfront Park

New Management at Beach Canteen Planned

Over the last two years, the Victoria Park Beach Canteen has been operated by the owners of Market and Smor, the downtown boutique greengrocer, but for 2020, a new operator is being sought. As well as the canteen operation, there were four weekends in 2018 and two in 2019 when the nearby “courtyard” was used for licensed events with entertainment.  The Town deemed them a success and has seemingly prompted a suggestion that the new Canteen operator might also offer a licensed service (presumably beer and wine and in the Courtyard). The RFP issued by the Town on 21 February says that they “will consider alcohol as part of this RFP. The Town of Cobourg is open to all ideas for providing… Read complete articleNew Management at Beach Canteen Planned