Cobourg Council News

by Cecilia Naismith


Cobourg renames Coverdale Park after former mayor

Cobourg council likes the idea of renaming Coverdale Park after former Mayor Peter Delanty, and approved the motion at Monday's committee-of-the-whole meeting.

A report from parks manager Jason Johns gave some background on Delanty, who was born and raised in Cobourg. His council career (which began shortly after he retired as principal of CDCI West) includes a full decade on council, starting in 2000 (with a term as mayor).

His passionate leadership, dedication and commitment to the town has won him the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award for his work in a variety of causes, including the annual Civic Awards Committee, Cobourg Library Foundation, Cobourg Rotary Club, Cobourg and District Historical Society, Northumberland United Way and the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Board of Health.

More recently, Mayor Gil Brocanier said, he was co-chair of the Cobourg 2017 committee struck to help the town celebrate Canada's 150th birthday.

“I think it's well explained why Peter deserves to have something named after him,” Brocanier said of the staff report.

“Every previous mayor in the Town of Cobourg has something named after him,whether it's the Jack Heenan Arena or Joan Chalovich Way.

“The fact that Coverdale Park is in close proximity to his house and he plays tennis there – and actually has taught tennis there - I think it's most appropriate to recognize him.”

Brocanier allowed that the town does have a Delanty Street, but this is named after his father who had also been mayor years ago.


Pride Flag will wave over Cobourg

Even though the Pride flag had already been raised at the Cobourg Police Services building, council granted official permission at Monday's committee-of-the-whole meeting for the flag to fly at Victoria Hall.

Ashley Bowman of the local PFLAG chapter made the request on the occasion of Pride Month in June, along with Downtown Business Improvement Area chair Adam Bureau.

Though the acronym stands for the community it began as a support for – Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays – Bowman explained that it has evolved also to embrace an advocacy role for the Pride movement.

“We are asking council to hang the Pride flag on town hall for the month of June to show our community that we stand together as one,” Bureau requested.

Bureau also issued an invitation to the community to support their June 12 vigil commemorating the second anniversary of the hate-inspired mass shooting that killed dozens at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub called Pulse.

They will gather at Trinity United Church at 7 p.m., Bowman said, followed by a walk down Division Street to the beach. From there, they will proceed east to the Gathering Place memorial located across the street from Victoria Park.


Cobourg makes plans for downtown improvement grant

Cobourg council voted at Monday's committee-of-the-whole meeting to execute the agreement with the province to accept $54,843.19 under the Ontario's Main Street Revitalization Initiative.

The motion put forth by Deputy Mayor John Henderson called for the money to be split three ways - $6,000 to complete the Victoria Hall exterior-lighting project, $10,000 to extend the Downtown Business Attraction Project with advertising and window wrapping, and a $38,843.19 boost to the Community Improvement Program.

And that last amount is on top of the commitment council has already made to the program in its budget, Henderson noted.

The concept of window wrapping puzzled more than one councillor.

“It's a lot of money for a wrap,” Councillor Suzanne Seguin commented.

Councillor Debra McCarthy said she had seen this kind of thing in Huntsville on vacant businesses. It amounts to an attractive billboard rather than a chance to peer into empty windows into a vacant, foreboding interior.

Chief adminstrative officer Stephen Peacock agreed to provide council with a visual report of what a window wrapping is and what they hope to accomplish with it.

Peacock added that the division of money is only a framework of how the town expects to spend it.

“These numbers can be refined as we go forward, and we can even change the project as we go forward,” Peacock said.


Cobourg settles on sidewalk work for 2018

Cobourg's new Sidewalk Priority Guidelines are working, Councillor Debra McCarthy declared with delight at this week's committee-of-the-whole meeting.

The report from deputy director of public works Laurie Wills made recommendation for work on two sidewalks – at the south and east end of Northwood Drive and the north side of Spencer Street between John Street and Ryerson Commons.

The new policy required a field inspection of the top candidates for work each year to confirm that priorities are correct and there are no extenuating circumstances (like increased costs from utility relocations or significant trees) that must be considered.

Wills's report said that this inspection took place over the top four candidates on May 7, and these two were chosen. The cost for both is estimated at $90,159.36, including the non-refundable tax apportionment.

“Provided the bids received for the construction of the sidewalk are under $100,000, there will be no impact to the 2018 capital works budget.”

McCarthy was pleased with the latter recommendation, which she said would serve a neighbourhood whose population is fairly intense with seniors and those with accessibility needs.

“Having studied the criteria Laurie put together, I really appreciate how creative it was, because I had never thought about linking things like parks and schools and shopping,” Mayor Gil Brocanier agreed.


Cobourg supports Ride To Read for 2018

Council has agreed to support the Cobourg Public Library's TD Summer Reading Program again by partnering in the Ride To Read program for July and August.

Library chief executive officer Tammy Robinson made the request in a letter presented at Monday's committee-of-the-whole meeting.

“This is where children aged four to 13 have the opportunity to ride the bus for free to get to and from the Cobourg Public Library all summer long,” Robinson said in her letter.

“Children registered in the reading club receive a sticker from the library indicating that they are participating in this program. The stickers are placed on the child's library card, which allows them to use their library card as a free bus pass to get to and from the library.

“Children under 10 receive a sticker indicating that they need to ride with a fare-paying adult, and children 10 to 13 will have a sticker indicating that they can ride alone for free.”

Ride To Read benefited 32 children last year, Robinson reported.

“Without this program, these children may not be able to participate in the reading club this year.”

Councillor Forrest Rowden said the town had done this before, and was pleased that they will be doing it again.

“It has been very successful,” Rowden said.
“There have been some children who aren't geting that extra reading they need to catch up with the rest of the children, and this kind of thing helps.”


Council delighted with plans for King Street building

The heritage permit requested for work at 20 King St. W. was granted by Cobourg council at Monday's committee-of-the-whole meeting.

And councillors agree the scope of the work contemplated by Jorge DeSousa is an example to any downtown landlord.

The front will be enhanced with four new storefront doors replacing an existing restaurant door and two storefront windows. The recessed door to the upper floors will be a brown consistent with the Heritage Colour Palette.

The 1970s-era red-brick cladding will be replaced with a material resembling a 19th-century storefront in approved browns, with new rain ledge, awning and external lanterns.

Upstairs, the second- and third-floor windows will be replaced with wood ones that have divided lites and muntin bars, On the fourth story, there will be a dormer window.

Significantly, director of planning Glenn McGlashon noted, a similar renovation is planned for the back of the building.

“I compliment this individual,” Deputy Mayor John Henderson stated.

“I had the pleasure 33 years ago of living in an apartment, a great apartment with ugly windows. Now here we are 33 years later, and this is awesome – and an awesome location for a future business or future resident.”

“It's a great concept,” Councillor Suzanne Seguin declared.

"This is exactly what we should be doing for the downtown.”