Major Projects Continue During Covid-19 Crisis

One department at the Town that is keeping busy is planning – there are about two dozen projects being reviewed – some major like the Golden Plough Lodge rebuild and some smaller like the new Coast Guard building on the East Pier.  There are also some that have left planning but are under construction like the Legion Condos on Hibernia which should be finished later this year.  Also on their plate are a review of Zoning ByLaws and hopefully some action on the Tannery property although that has had no action since 2018. Construction is now allowed subject to Social Distancing so these projects could well go ahead.  Some have stopped – there’s been no action on the Holiday Inn,… Read complete articleMajor Projects Continue During Covid-19 Crisis

Council Reviews Town’s Finances

At a special Council meeting on Thursday, Interim CAO /Treasurer Ian Davey presented his report on the Status of the Town’s Finances as impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.  It was not intended to be an exercise to revise the budget – the budget is unchanged – but instead was a report on what steps staff are taking to avoid a deficit.  However, some Councillors saw it as an opportunity to give direction to staff on what should NOT be spent given the shortfall in revenue of $1,561,000.  The charge was led by Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin and Councillor Emily Chorley but the remaining Councillors outvoted most of their proposals.  Ian Davey repeatedly said that the budget was approved and would… Read complete articleCouncil Reviews Town’s Finances

Many Events Cancelled up to September First

At Tuesday’s regular Council meeting, Council debated what to do about events that are handled through the “Community Events Process” – and the list is long, see link below.  Some of the events have already been cancelled but a notable exception was the Sand Castle Festival.  The motion originally proposed provided for staff to decide what to do and specifically cancelled the Sand Castle Festival.  But Adam Bureau modified this to make it clear that all community events up to 1 September 2020 would be cancelled and then require that all new events from September 1st to December 31st must be approved by Council instead of being only approved by Staff.  In discussion it was made clear that this affected… Read complete articleMany Events Cancelled up to September First

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

Farmers Market Hopes to Open May 16

But “open” means something different than previously – the idea is that they will simply be there to provide pickup of orders made online – the Town calls it an “E-Commerce/Curb Side Pickup Service Delivery Model”.  Only food vendors will be allowed and a number of other restrictions will be required – see below.  The details will be presented to council at their Committee of the Whole (C.O.W.) meeting on Monday May 11.  Any resolution passed requires ratification at a regular Council meeting and the next one scheduled is on May 19 – after the Victoria Day weekend.  So to expedite approval, immediately after the COW meeting on Monday, a special meeting has been called to pass the required by-law…. Read complete articleFarmers Market Hopes to Open May 16

Council Discusses By-Laws for Covid-19

Monday’s regular Council meeting was mostly about two proposed bylaws to increase enforcement of social distancing required for management of the Covid-19 pandemic in Cobourg. One by-law was to add penalties for not meeting the recommended separation and the other was to add additional by-law enforcement officers by re-deploying existing staff. Usually such initiatives are introduced at the Committee of the Whole meeting but these were first seen at this regular meeting so there was considerable debate. Town Clerk Brent Larmer explained that the by-law adding penalties was needed because the Province had a law banning groups of more than 5 but had only recommendations for social distancing.  More enforcement officers would be needed because of increased workload, partly because of this… Read complete articleCouncil Discusses By-Laws for Covid-19

Now we have a Dumping Problem

The County’s Dumps (now called Community Recycling Centres or CRC’s) have been closed for a while and selfish residents have taken to dumping their garbage in Parks, streets and alleys. The good news is that effective next week, the CRCs will reopen although they will have restrictions.  The Town of Cobourg issued a notice yesterday reminding residents that “Northumberland County and Town of Cobourg Bylaw Enforcement Officers and the Cobourg Police Service will be fining anyone caught illegally dumping. Common areas for dumping will be monitored on a regular basis. Illegal dumpers can face a minimum fine of $105 or a maximum fine of $5,000.”  Downtown store owners complained during their recent meeting that there was a lot of illegal… Read complete articleNow we have a Dumping Problem

Council meeting – April 20

Council are continuing to meet via video-conferencing using Zoom and even presentations are done that way.  Last night’s meeting kicked off with a 45 minute presentation from Oscar Poloni of KPMG.  He is the consultant hired to review Cobourg’s service delivery to see if it could be made more efficient.  He went through what he expected to achieve with a timeline of completion by September in time for the 2021 budget.  The only other significant agenda items were 1) to prepare an emergency policy for floods and 2) to allow the Farmer’s market to open despite Social Distancing policies.  Both of these were because Councillors had made “notices of motion” which add items to the Council’s agenda – the first… Read complete articleCouncil meeting – April 20