Boat Launch

In the spring of 2016, after many decades of uninterrupted use, the only public boat launch on our land-locked Bob Lake was barricaded. While advertised as a public launch and maintained by the township for its entire existence, it turns out the launch was located on private land. The owner wanted to sell and decided to block access citing liability concerns – stranding over one hundred Bob Lake cottager boats on the water. Our saga has been well documented in the public record as referenced on our Boat Launch News/History page.

The closing of our only public boat launch was actually the impetus that formed the Bob Lake Association, and it remains our top priority. The boat launch committee has been working steadily since forming in 2017 with both town Council and staff to find a solution.

Our first delegation to Council was made in November 2017. Details of this and its eventual rejection can be found on our Launch Proposal Plan A web page. Our second delegation to Council was made in April 2019. Details of that delegation and its rejection can be found on our Launch Proposal Plan B web page.

The BLA board and the boat launch committee remain undeterred. In May of 2020 we engaged EcoVue Consulting Services of Peterborough to create an “assessment of feasibility” for a boat launch on the Claude Brown Road allowance (see our April 2020 BLAst and the EcoVue report for more). This was presented to Minden Hills Council and discussed during their August 31st 2021 Council meeting. The outcome was summarized in the September 3rd Highlander, where Council agreed to fund up to $5K to complete the next steps recommended in the EcoVue report – which was to secure a preliminary engineering design/study and legal opinion. An RFP was issued for the preliminary engineering design/study and awarded to Tatham Engineering in February of 2021 (see Report #21-008). For more than a year the BLA worked with township staff, township legal counsel, and Tatham Engineering to help formulate an engineering and legal view to present to Council. Finally, in March of 2022 the township CAO presented a report to Council which recommended to not proceed with a public boat launch at Claude Brown – largely based on their inflated cost estimates and competing priorities within the township (see Report 22-10 ADM – includes Tatham Engineering reports). The BLA was outraged by the report and its conclusion – a copy of the letter sent to the CAO and Council with our thoughts on the report can be found here. Particularly concerning was that our letter to the CAO with our feedback and thoughts on the draft Tatham report (see here) sent months earlier was never acknowledged or considered! Nor was there any mention in the CAO’s report on the BLA’s funding proposals to avoid the use of base tax dollars – addressing the primary reason for not proceeding!! A very long and expensive venture (BLA costs exceeded $12K) with an extremely disappointing and frustrating result…

The battle is far from over! The BLA board has regrouped and is working on a number of different strategies, some of which were included in our 2022 AGM presentation. We are particularly excited to be working with a newly elected Council, where we believe the changes in Council members will have a positive impact to our cause.

As committed to during our 2022 AGM, the BLA has presented a third delegation during the January 12, 2023 Regular Council Meeting (agenda here) as Launch Proposal Plan A3. This proposed the Township lease a suitable portion of their Claude Brown Road allowance to the BLA, with the BLA being responsible for all cost and liability factors of building and maintaining a Bob Lake Community Boat Launch for the exclusive use of BLA members and approved emergency/government services. Use the following links to view the Cover Letter, Executive Summary, and Presentation made as part of our Plan A3 delegation. A motion was passed to receive our presentation as information, and “…further that Council direct staff to bring forward a report to Council at a future Council meeting.