Town wants Comments on Harbour Repairs

Over the last year or more, Council has reviewed then decided on repairing the Harbour. The scope includes the East and West Breakwaters, the North and East harbour walls, the fuel dock and the centre pier walls. Since the Town will be spending $12,755,000 over 3 years, someone in the Town decided that citizens should be given a forum to comment and ask questions. Engage Cobourg is usually used for surveys but there have already been multiple surveys on related subjects – this time, it’s more that the Town is providing information and allowing comments and questions. The finish date is February 17. The good news is that a short presentation is included that provides a good summary of the… Read complete articleTown wants Comments on Harbour Repairs

Parking Rate Increases Planned

In response to citizen concerns about waterfront/ beach parking, staff have spent considerable time coming up with plans to respond. They propose significant changes in recommended rates and areas metered with four related plans: 1) expansion of places where parking fees are charged with a new daily pass proposed; 2) seasonal passes for residents, both located near the waterfront and elsewhere; 3) increases of rates downtown and changes in passes; 4) improved provision for those needing accessible parking.  A fifth plan to separate downtown lots into tiers was deferred until there is experience of the other changes.  Considerable input has already been received from advisory committees and citizens but staff are recommending a public information meeting on 7 February and… Read complete articleParking Rate Increases Planned

Fees for Marina and Campground to Increase

At the next Committee of the Whole Meeting (CoW) on December 6, staff are reporting that they have reviewed current fees for the Marina and Campground and are proposing increases so that they continue to cover costs. Most of the proposed Marina increases are around 3% but campground increases range from 2% to 11% – more details below and links to Staff reports. I understand that separately Staff are undertaking a comprehensive “User Fee Analysis” and these increases are interim (for 2022) pending the results of that study. User fees include Development charges, Parking, Transit, CCC fees and others as well as Marina and Campground. A report on parking fees was provided at the November 15 CoW but was referred… Read complete articleFees for Marina and Campground to Increase

Why not Sell the Trailer Park

At the next regular Council meeting on 22 November, Council will receive a letter from Ron Smith who is obviously a new resident in Cobourg.  His residence is at the new Legion Condo building on Orr street and he makes a proposal that shows he is not aware of the previous heated controversy on the subject.  His 7 page letter also includes concerns that Council might spend a large amount of taxpayer money on a development at Brookside, a suggestion to use the Memorial Arena as an Arts and Culture centre and some unhappiness at the thought that the Town must pay for maintenance of the New Amherst Clock.  But his final proposal is the zinger – he wants the… Read complete articleWhy not Sell the Trailer Park

Report on Waterfront Operations

Teresa Behan, Deputy Director of Community Services, submitted a report on Monday to the CoW meeting of Council that gave an overview of the operational performance of the four waterfront  “business” units: the Marina, the Campground, the Marie Dressler Dredger and the Harbour.  The intent was “to enhance transparency for upcoming budget deliberations”.  The report was for 2021 YTD and given their seasonal nature, this covers most of the year’s activity.  Teresa notes that the Marina and Campground are funded by user fees (breakeven with any profit as a dividend to the Town), the dredger is funded by its users which includes the Harbour and external contracts and the Harbour is funded by the tax levy. I think that’s the… Read complete articleReport on Waterfront Operations

Walkway to Cobourg’s Lighthouse too Expensive

At the March 8 Committee of the Whole (C.O.W.) Council Meeting, it was decided to ask for an estimate of the cost of making a walkway from the East Pier out to the lighthouse.  At the C.O.W. meeting on Monday, this estimate was provided and discussed.  According to the Town’s Engineering Manager, Terry Hoekstra, adding a pathway would cost about $3 million (+30%, more detail below). This is in addition to the cost of repairing the breakwater under the path. It seems that a breakwater can be allowed to move a little but a path must not. This means piles would be required as well as the armour stone. It also means that it would cost even more if done separately to fixing the… Read complete articleWalkway to Cobourg’s Lighthouse too Expensive

Travel Lift rejected – again

You would think the subject would be dead by now, but it won’t die.  Once again, Council were asked to consider a report on options for lifting boats out of the Harbour at the end of the season and one of the options was a Travel Lift.  Ted Williams spotted it on the Agenda of the Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday and made a presentation that objected to the idea – his concern was that the cost would be subsidized by taxpayers who would not be using the service. Ted pointed out that the big advantage of a Travel Lift is that it could be used at any time and not just at the start and ending of… Read complete articleTravel Lift rejected – again

By-laws are being enforced on Cobourg Beach

Perhaps we don’t see it or something but the Town has felt it necessary to let everyone know that the Police and By-Law officers are enforcing Town By-Laws on the Beach.  They are educating but also issuing tickets for infractions.  The usual problem of alcohol is the biggest issue but people are also smoking, using BBQs, bringing their dogs onto the Beach and more – see the list below.  They also issue a lot of parking tickets and make the comment that most people are using the Honk-Mobile app and pay out $20 for all-day parking.  So far the beach has not been over-crowded; further, my non-scientific assessment is that the Beach seemed more crowded on some week-days than weekends… Read complete articleBy-laws are being enforced on Cobourg Beach

Cobourg Beach Now Fully Open

After two months of being closed on weekends and holidays, Cobourg Council decided on Monday to re-open Victoria Beach seven days a week.  First, James Quelch and Rachael Currie presented a petition from 125 residents asking for the Beach to be fully open and then the DBIA provided a report on what Downtown merchants thought.  But it was not a simple “open or not” discussion – Councillors wondered how staff and enforcement would cope with large crowds or even an emergency shutdown mandated by the Heath Unit or the Province.  Nicole Beatty spearheaded the push to open the beach and she was willing to be flexible to accommodate concerns.  Aaron Burchat wanted to fully re-open with no fence but his… Read complete articleCobourg Beach Now Fully Open

Swimming in West Harbour to be Banned

With Victoria Beach closed on Weekends and Holidays and limited to 1200 capacity on weekdays, visitors will be looking for other local beaches.  The West Beach would be a good bet but it’s not groomed and hard for visitors to find.  Another obvious swimming spot is the beach in the Harbour along the West headland.  Locals avoid it because they know that it’s often unsafe because of a high e-coli count caused by water that doesn’t move much and pollution from gulls and ducks.  The main Harbour area on the east side (see picture below) is already a “no-swimming” area because of the danger from boats but Council moved on Monday to also ban swimming in the rest of the… Read complete articleSwimming in West Harbour to be Banned

Managing Crowds at Cobourg’s Beaches

Cobourg residents and Councillors have expressed concern about managing the crowds attracted to Cobourg’s beaches – this has been a special concern with the onset of the pandemic but even in normal times, beach crowds can be a problem.  To address this, the Town created a survey and asked the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) to generate recommendations on “how the municipality can manage the popularity of Victoria Park Beach.” Survey results were published in March (see link below to Cobourg News Blog report) – and with the help of Community Services Staff, the PRAC have now published their recommendations and will ask the next Committee of the Whole to accept them.  It’s quite comprehensive but being recommendations and not… Read complete articleManaging Crowds at Cobourg’s Beaches