By Chad Ingram
Published Dec. 7 2017
The newly formed Bob Lake Association is requesting that Minden Hills township construct a new public boat launch on the lake south of Minden.
In 2016 the owner of the Bob Lake property that houses a long-used boat launch barricaded the launch to the public. For many years there was a misunderstanding including by Minden Hills township that the launch was publicly owned.
While lake residents had previously been represented by a series of road associations the lake has been without a unified property owners’ association.
The association representing some 230 property owners on Bob Lake was formed in September and members Dave Roberts and Robert Roszell were in Minden Hills council chambers on Nov. 30 requesting financial support for the construction of a boat launch on a municipally owned road allowance at the north end of the lake.
“Obviously the No. 1 issue at our kickoff meeting was around the public boat launch issue” Roberts told councillors.
The proposed project would involve the installation of a concrete boat launch on a road allowance along Claude Brown Road which is a municipally maintained road.
Along with the boat ramp which would consist of four concrete slabs an expansion of a gravel area used by snow plows for turning around is suggested an area that could accommodate vehicles and boats in waiting.
The association is hoping the municipality will pick up the tab for the project.
“Really at the end of the day it comes down to all this for $30000 and it’s essentially maintenance-free” Roberts said.
He told councillors the association is concerned that the absence of a public boat launch on Bob Lake will drive down property values and said one local real estate firm had estimated the drop could be between 10 and 15 per cent.
“Without a doubt there will be a negative impact on resale value” Roberts said. He said reduced assessments for the properties on the lake would translate to reduced property taxes for the township and according to the association’s research every one per cent of assessment value would equate to approximately $7000 in annual lost tax revenue.
“I’d like to see a staff report come back so it can be considered as part of our 2018 budget considerations” said Mayor Brent Devolin.
“I think this is a win win win” said Councillor Pam Sayne. “You’ve touched base with all of the players involved in this . . . it’s a very thorough proposal.”