District of Clearwater council voted in favour of a recommendation to restrict the Dutch Lake boat launch for watercraft launch only, prohibiting swimming and diving, much to the disappointment of Coun. Bill Herring, who spoke before the vote.
“I’m not a big fan of this idea,” he said to council during the April 20 regular meeting. “Based on the survey we had, the majority of survey respondents we had wanted it to be hand launch only, dogs allowed, swimming allowed, so I’m going to vote against this recommendation.”
A survey was available to residents last November, and had a total of 70 responses. Fourteen letters were also sent to the DOC, voicing their concerns or ideas about how the boat launch area at the end of Lakeview Road should be used.
Complaints about the boat launch, including swimming, blocked driveways, garbage and litter, dogs running free and noise, were the among reasons for the legal approach to finding a solution.
Council voted in favour of the recommendation, with two dissenters: Couns. Bill Haring and Shelley Sim.
A second recommendation to council sought to designate Lakeview Road to the boat launch for local residential parking only.
Concerns about parking had been expressed by almost all residents spoken to on the road, said Mayor Merlin Blackwell. Poor visibility, the narrow road and its steep incline were all problems raised with the roadway.
An alternative was suggested, and the District is welcoming lake users to use the lot at the corner of Lakeview Road and Old North Thompson Hwy Road, across from the old church. It is now owned by the District and the lot has been levelled and gravelled.
“We are welcoming people to use that as a parking area until we develop that fully as a park,” said Blackwell, adding there will be a parking lot when it’s developed. “We’re trying to do that to respect local neighbours and make it safer and smoother for everyone.”
The recommendation was passed with a unanimous vote.
New equipment for DOC
Council also unanimously passed a recommendation to purchase audio and visual hardware and software upgrades, for a total of $9,000 from the COVID restart funds.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way local governments communicate with residents, effectively preventing all in-person attendance to meetings by the public, according to a staff report.
Recommended hardware upgrades would significantly improve video quality, while software changes would impact how the video is delivered to the public, the report noted.
Currently, council videos are uploaded to YouTube for public viewing as the iCompass document centre which houses most of the district’s documents, cannot hold video files or embed YouTube videos. Upgrades to the current software would enable staff to upload audio and video.
Meeting agendas and minutes can be found on the DOC website (www.districtofclearwater.com).