By Pauline Kerr
The matter of the summer access area came before council yet again, and the original motion in favour of the initiative was approved.
After a somewhat contentious discussion – again – an impassioned plea – for the second time – by two members of the business community (Alana Rozon and Louis Kosmerly), council voted – for the fourth time – in favour of the promenade with only one dissenting vote, from Coun. Dave Cuyler.
Rozon and Kosmerly described the challenges they have faced trying to keep their restaurant going during COVID-19. Those challenges include selling product at a discount to reduce inventory, noting beer has an expiry date; working 12-16-hour days; having to lay off staff that were just hired; and other measures.
The promenade has offered them an opportunity to get ahead of things a bit. “We need help,” they said.
Coun. Maureen Couture said she was “absolutely appalled … that a business has to come before council a second time … appalled that council didn’t stick to its decision.”
Cuyler said that “nothing last year showed this was worth it.” He said he wasn’t against compromise, that having the promenade on Saturdays was all right but not Friday evening through to Sunday.
This was despite the fact surveys show a lot of support for the initiative, and there are plans to involve the youth of the community in event programming for Sunday.
Coun. Laura Haight said that being off for a few months provides “an interesting perspective. We’re looking like fools. Let’s do this and live with it.”
Fitzsimmons asked why council hadn’t been told about the Sunday programming; Couture said the initiative had already been approved, which was why plans were being made for the Friday and Sunday.
Coun. Gerry Glover said he’d support the original motion, saying that all the downtown business people like Kosmerly and Rozon “need to be with us on the other side of COVID.” He added that if the matter comes back to council again, he won’t vote on it.
At the April 7, 2021 meeting of council, Cuyler made a notice of motion to rescind the previously approved recommendation from the March 15 meeting concerning the pedestrian summer access area. The motion was deferred for two weeks to allow a staff report to address concerns.
After reviewing the notice of motion, staff recommended continuing to follow Kincardine’s Special Events Application, which detailed compliance with any and all Grey Bruce Public Health recommendations regarding COVID-19, and for the original resolution to remain in effect.
- In March, council approved the signing of a physician recruitment agreement between Bruce Power, the Municipality of Kincardine and the Town of Saugeen Shores. Council also directed the ad-hoc physician recruitment committee to develop the framework for the one-year physician recruitment pilot program to hire a combined clinic manager/physician recruiter. The ad-hoc committee has developed a program outline and recommended that council approve the hiring of a joint clinic manager/physician recruiter for a one-year term. Council approved the recommendation. The physician recruitment committee will consist of Coun. Maureen Couture, Deputy Mayor Randy Roppel, Coun. Doug Kennedy, Dr. Angela Cavanagh, Dr. Gary Gurbin and Dr. Lisa Scott.
- Doug Kennedy asked council to look at holding any “in camera” meetings prior to the regular council meeting, perhaps at 3:30 in the afternoon, instead of at the end of the meeting.
- Doug Kennedy would like to investigate funding for volleyball courts at Station Beach.
- Council agreed to a site plan agreement and development charges deferral agreement for a proposed building at the corner of Gary and Philip streets. The building will be a four-storey multi-residential development containing 53 units; there will be some commercial space on the main floor. There were some concerns expressed about parking, access, and nearby traffic.
- Ice at the Tiverton arena has been removed. While council was in favour of keeping the ice in until June 6, for a month after the end of the lockdown, the province extended the lockdown by two weeks. That would mean the ice would stay in until June 20. And that wasn’t feasible. With regret, council agreed with the staff recommendation to remove the ice.