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The Council’s Committee of the whole (COW) meeting on December 5 addressed a number of issues and included a long presentation by the consultants who prepared the Recreation Strategy and Implementation Plan (RSIP). Straight after that, Keith Oliver argued that it did not include his “cohort” of seniors.  In addition, Council discussed organizational changes, approved the By-Law on Public Engagement policy and accepted the report on CIP.  More details below.

Recreation Strategy and Implementation Plan

The consultants gave an hour long presentation on their plan which they said “is to provide the Town of Cobourg with a long term strategy to be used as a guide in developing recreational programs which strengthens the Town's existing sport and recreation program delivery structure and aligns it with the Canada Sport for Life model.

During their study, the consultants held workshops, most recently on October 12 as reported here, but their presentation was notable for the fact that there was no reference to any changes made as a result of Public workshops.  The full report lists “What We Heard” but there is no indication that the report recommendations were changed in any way as a result. In the public meetings, there were many references to the proposed integration of the YMCA with the CCC but this was not mentioned in the presentation nor in the final report although the YMCA was mentioned as being another supplier of recreational programs in Cobourg.

Following the presentation of the report, Keith Oliver pointed out that the new plan did not address the needs of people in his age group with similar health issues or with an inability to get to the CCC.  He had previously talked about the needs of this group with a presentation a week earlier about Adult outdoor fitness equipment and Councillors seemed to believe he was simply repeating this concern.

The new plan also did not address the Marina, Waterfront or Trailer park but Director Dean Hustwick said that these would be addressed in an upcoming Waterfront plan.

Downtown Marketing Plan (DMP)

Details of the DMP were reported earlier in this post.

John Henderson was concerned that the current DBIA board has not seen or approved this revised plan and was also concerned that there were missing details.  He said that “It has to come together”. Downtown Marketing partnership Chair Brian Wynn and Mayor Gil Brocanier spoke about the need to get going.  After discussion, John moved that the project manager be hired for $8,000 (can it really be done for this amount?) and that the plan be presented to the new DBIA Board for approval before proceeding further.  Debra McCarthy was also concerned that with the recent DBIA changes plus upcoming organization changes (see below), “Was this the time to proceed?”  John’s change was approved and Council seemed generally supportive.

Organization changes

As reported on Cobourg Internet earlier Economic Development staff will be leaving Dressler House and moving to William Street and Tourism staff are moving from Dressler House to the CCC with one person to be located at the Market Building in an office shared with the DBIA.  The idea is to have a Downtown Tourism presence.  Debra McCarthy asked how could the DBIA person fill in for Tourism when his/her role required a lot of time out  of the office?  It seems there are still some details to be worked out! There was no mention of what would happen to an empty Dressler House although it’s likely the whole move will stretch into late winter.  The change was approved.

Public Engagement policy

This bylaw was originally  up for approval but was postponed to allow for public input.  See Post here .

John Henderson said that seven submissions were received but none were made public, there was no mention of their content nor any discussion about them.  But councillors seemed to accept the idea that this ByLaw is a work in progress and can be changed in future if needed. It was passed unchanged.

Water and Sewer Rates

The plan to have a 9% increase each year for 10 years was approved in 2014 (details in this post) so there was little discussion and the increase was approved.

CIP Summary Report

Acceptance of the report by Glenn McGlashon the CIP as reported here was passed with no discussion.  Councillor Debra McCarthy subsequently wanted to ask a question but was told that since the vote had been taken, she was out of luck.

Miscellaneous items

There were a number of items that were also passed.  Most had little or no discussion:

  • Northumberland Hills Hospital Mental Health Services and Program participants got a reduction of Market Building rental fees from $150 to $95 per day.  Last year’s rate was $65.
  • An exemption for the Cobourg Farmer’s Market Refreshment Vehicles so they don’t pay the normal fee. 
  • Renewal of a licence with iCompass for Civic Web Agenda and Records Management software.
  • Assume a portion of a linear park within the New Amherst Subdivision.
  • Approve funding in the 2017 Budget to retrofit the 2 existing Transit Buses with Automatic Voice Annunciation (AVA) as well as on the new transit bus that is on order. [Additional info: Cost is $30k each for a total of $90k; this feature is mandated by the province].
  • Authorize the award of the Tender for a new 2017 combination dump truck/snow plow in the amount of $202,983.
  • Change DBIA meeting hours from the first Wednesday to the first Tuesday of each month.
  • Approve creation of a development agreement with Stalwood Homes for two 10-Plex's on Lonsberry Drive in the East Village Subdivision. That's off Brook North, north of King, just south of the Railway line.
  • Approve a Public Highway - Wilkins Gate Extension - West Park Village.
  • Direct the planning department to update Cobourg’s Official Plan to include policies that address sourcewater protection as required to implement the policies of the Ganaraska Source Protection Plan and conform to the Clean Water Act.
  • Receive a request for site plan approval for 436 King Street East (currently vacant).

Larry Sherwin to resign

At the end of the long Council COW meeting, Larry Sherwin told Council that he would be “stepping down” effective the next Council meeting on Dec 12.  Council has 60 days to fill the vacancy but passed a bylaw August 8, 2016 to govern that event (report here).



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