By Chad Ingram
Published Dec. 15 2016
It cost Minden Hills taxpayers nearly $10000 to get boats out of Bob Lake at the end of the summer after they were stranded in the lake by a landowner who barricaded a long-used boat launch on his property.
For many years there was a misunderstanding including by Minden Hills township that the launch was publicly owned.
However it is located on private property and citing legal concerns the owner blocked access to the site with a chain barrier and later a line of flagstones.
Residents came to council saying their boats were being held hostage on Bob Lake. There is no public launch on the water body.
Eventually council was able to negotiate an agreement with that landowner and lake residents were given an 11-day window in early October to remove their vessels.
A staff report shows the cost for that process was approximately $9300.
The township paid $2500 to the landowner for access to the launch during the 11-day period. It also paid nearly $3000 to Greg Bishop Surveying nearly $1700 to Russell Christie LLP for legal fees and more than $2200 to Kawartha Security Guard Service for on-site security during the 11-day window.
Those costs do not include the significant Minden Hills staff time that went into dealing with the issue.
The staff report reads that “considerable internal staff time from the building/bylaw/planning/community services and clerk’s department was devoted to research consultation and facilitation with all parties involved or having interest in the issue of the Bob Lake boat launch.”
"This doesn’t include our staff time or a lot of volunteer time” said Councillor Pam Sayne whose Ward 2 is home to Bob Lake. “How are we going to proceed with this?”
“There’s another strategy a long-term permanent one” Devolin said adding that’s all he’d say for the time being. “The boats are out of the lake now.”