Beach Re-opening and Beach Crowds

There were three delegations about the beach at Monday’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting – and later in the meeting Council decided how and when to re-open the beach. Adam White wanted more input from residents, and both Paul Pagnuelo and Brenda Quinn wanted a task force to deal with usage of Cobourg’s beaches by non-residents. And when it came to a decision on re-opening the beach, Council included a response to the often repeated request to look into how to manage the summer crowds usually experienced. Many residents have commented that we pay the taxes but visitors pay nothing and yet get to enjoy the beach. If nothing changed, the beach would reopen on September 1 but staff presented Council with four… Read complete articleBeach Re-opening and Beach Crowds

Council to Consider Extending Beach Closure

Earlier in the summer, and after a lot of discussion, Cobourg Council closed the main beach until 31 August.  But that date is coming up soon and at their Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting on 24 August, an Agenda item asks Council whether they want to extend that date or not.  Four options are offered by staff: 1) Extend closure to 17 October; 2) Keep beach closed only on weekends to 17 October; 3) extend closure only until after Labour Day and re-open 8 September OR 4) another option determined by Council.  In each case, there will be no lifeguards and washrooms will remain closed but port-o-potties will be available.  I’d be surprised if there are no citizen delegations on… Read complete articleCouncil to Consider Extending Beach Closure

Review of Council Work Plan

About a year ago, with Covid-19 not on anyone’s mind, the Town of Cobourg staff were trying to follow the Strategic Plan that was approved in early 2019 (see links below).  The soon to retire CAO Stephen Peacock issued a work plan that gave staff direction on how the Strategic Plan translated into actual actions – see the link below for my detailed report on this and a copy of the Strategic Plan.  But given the disruption caused by the virus, maybe it’s time to review the key actions.  These include a Town wide CIP with a housing strategy, creating an action plan for Climate, review organization re Economic Development and Tourism, develop an Information Technology (IT) strategic plan and… Read complete articleReview of Council Work Plan

Province Provides Covid-19 Grants to Municipalities

In May, Council had a special meeting to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the Town’s budget.   A report by Treasurer (and interim CAO) Ian Davey said that there would be a shortfall in revenue of $1,561,000.  However, he also said that this could be compensated for so that the Town would not have a significant financial problem – see links below.  This assumed that the crisis would last for no more than 6 months – that is, that the last 3 months of the year would be business as usual.  County Council was also expecting a drop in revenue and as well were trying to limit the impact on citizens by directing staff to have a goal of a… Read complete articleProvince Provides Covid-19 Grants to Municipalities

Developer Re-submits for East End Project

Near the start of the Covid-19 crisis, Cobourg’s Planning department received a re-submission of an application for Site Plan Approval that had originally been submitted in 2014.  The re-submission on 6 April 2020 was for a significant development on the corner of King Street East and Brook Road North.  Since there have been a good number of projects in Planning, I barely noticed it and I did not give it the coverage it deserved – so here it is now.  The project consists of four buildings – one is labelled as a Tim Hortons, another is a convenience store and a third shows two restaurants.  The fourth building has five retail stores.  Both Restaurants and the Tim Hortons have drive–throughs… Read complete articleDeveloper Re-submits for East End Project

Decision on Drug Rehabilitation Centre Deferred

The Medical building on King Street East opposite the High School is empty and its owners are proposing to use it as a drug rehabilitation centre.  This would include clients being accommodated overnight.  Current zoning allows it to be used for medical purposes but not overnight stays although current zoning bylaws do not explicitly mention rehabilitation centres so the situation is not clear. (A legal opinion/ interpretation said they were not allowed). However, zoning bylaws are currently being reviewed so this may change. The review started in 2011 with a contract to Meridian Planning Consultants Inc but in Monday’s Council meeting, Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin said that this should have taken 6 to 12 months. Because of their experience with… Read complete articleDecision on Drug Rehabilitation Centre Deferred

Aquatic Safety – Take 3

On September 23, 2019, a report was presented to Council called an “Aquatic Safety Audit” Report.  It was conducted by the Life Saving Society (LSS) at the request of the Community Services Division but immediately created concerns for Harbour users.  Several harbour users made presentations to Council with strong objections to parts of the “audit”; they basically said that the requirements were onerous and not necessary.   Council asked Director Dean Hustwick to write a detailed report responding to the concerns and he delivered that on 11 May 2020 – see links below for copies of the presentation and reports on the related Council meetings.  As a result, Council decided to refer the whole matter to the Parks and Recreation Advisory… Read complete articleAquatic Safety – Take 3

Marie Dressler Museum Expansion Project on Track

The Marie Dressler Foundation (MDF) is well on its way to expanding the existing museum in Dressler House to add exhibits about Mary Pickford and Norma Shearer.  The Museum has not re-opened due to the fact that its heavy reliance on touch screens means it’s difficult to keep it sanitized against spreading the virus but that does not stop their expansion plans for when the virus crisis has passed or it’s manageable.  The five Toronto University Students have completed their design and the Foundation has received a grant of $50,048 from Heritage Canada as well as most of the artifacts promised from the “collectors”.  At Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, MDF Chair Rick Miller presented a progress report and… Read complete articleMarie Dressler Museum Expansion Project on Track