By Robert Washburn
The future uses of Victoria Park in Cobourg will be the centre of debate Monday night at Cobourg council.
The recommendations from the Victoria Park Action Plan Working Group, set up in 2010 in response to the growing use of the central park by visitors, is making a series of wide-ranging recommendations for 2012.
And, while some may address concerns raised last summer, there is no evidence the group has tackled the more problematic issues surrounding the impact of visitors on neighbouring residents and the cultural clashes involving townspeople and visitors.
It is going to cost more than $17,000 to implement, with another $25,000 for two new pay and display units.
Those three factors alone could make this an explosive public debate. There was a public meeting last fall, but there is no doubt residents will have plenty to say about these recommendations.
Still, it is a worthy effort and needs lots of public input. It will be council’s first real test since the election more than a year ago.
The recommendations include:
- The hiring of two students dedicated to garbage pick up in the park and beach areas in addition to regular staff
- Ban on portable BBQ’s or warming devices unless for specific events or in the Lion’s pavilion.
- Parking review by committee
- Special events permit of $30 for exclusive use, aimed at festivals, processions, marches, drills parades etc.
- A bi-annual reports on trees and grass done by town arborist.
- Increase use of surveillance cameras in the park and the purchase of an additional camera for police.
- Large picnics will be limited to the pavilion and the previous areas will be closed
- Tents are banned, except for special events
- A user fee for the beach with local volleyball paying $2 per day for each court and non-local paying $5 per day. It will be $150 per day for beach events
10. Expanded food service at canteen.
If I may be so bold, perhaps readers of this article might want to cruise on over to the Burd Report for two new posts about last night’s Council of the Whole meeting when the Victoria Park Action Plan working group report was discussed. Many questions remain about exactly how changes will be implemented, with just a short while before the plan is scheduled to be adopted by Council next month.