The initial meeting of the Limerick Waterways Ratepayers’ Association (LWRA) for 2019 was held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 9 in the cottage of Ed Offshack and Kyle Kieper on Limerick’s north shore. Members present were: President Michael Douglas-Hecker (who stepped up to be President of the organization upon the resignation of Kim Carson, who has now taken a seat around the Limerick Township Council table); Treasurer Mary Argue; Secretary Alan Coxwell; Directors Melanie Hamilton-Porter, Kyle Kieper, Edward Offshack, Lexi Kindbom, and Sasha Vojnov. Members absent: Paul Clark, Alex Topitsch and Jillian O’Connell. Past LWRA President Jan Mackillican, who has also recently taken a councillor’s chair on Limerick Township Council, attended the meeting to brief members on recent happenings within the municipality.
First for consideration was the status of the Limerick Estates Development which has been a primary concern of the LWRA since it was first proposed back in 1972. Upon the death of the original owner the 320 acre property, bordering on Limerick Lake and the creek to St. Ola, was turned over to his son and it has since been taken over by a financier named Dwight Powell. Councillor Mackillican says council believes three phases are planned to push the development forward, including hydro and proper road reconstruction, and that if and when this is done it is believed the project will be up for sale to another developer. One other condition applies, no matter who owns the property, and that is the road which allows some current cottagers access through the development property must always remain open to them.
The other major recent concern is the McBride mining proposal, focused on mineral exploration to the northwest along Highway 620 to Coe Hill, which has not been declared totally dead yet, but the good news is their permit has not been renewed at this time. Exploration for other minerals in the watershed of the LWRA is of some concern as other mining proposals may be put forward in the future so your LWRA must maintain a close watch on other potential developments.
For anyone driving into St. Ola this summer there will be construction to deal with as the “Road to St. Ola”, (which is the title of a book written by local author David Trumble) will be getting pavement for the first time in its history. This will probably take place in July and Limerick Lake Road may get pavement in 2020 if grant applications by Limerick Township receive approval.
Limerick Council is also considering mandatory inspections for all water and septic systems in the municipality. Recent surveys in area municipalities have shown that 47 per cent of the systems inspected needed remedial work and 17 per cent failed to meet standards. Grant money is also being sought to upgrade trails and washroom facilities near Steenburg Lake in the McGeachy Conservation Area, which the Crowe Valley Conservation Authority owns. Upon her departure from the meeting Councillor Mackillican was thanked for her input as she headed back out into the first sunny weekend of the season, leaving us to finish the bagels our new president personally imported from Montreal.
Another municipal topic we have become aware of since the meeting is of concern to those who own boathouses in the bay near the dam in St. Ola. A proposal by the Limerick Planning Committee concerning those floating boathouses, which are accessed from the shore in the municipal park, is under consideration. At the last Council meeting on June 17 the matter was sent back to the Planning Committee to consider having the boathouses become formally identifiable concerning legal ownership and then obtain proof of third party liability insurance. Council is also considering a leasing fee as they are either attached to or accessed from township land. Interested cottagers can attend the planning meetings and will find meeting times by either calling the township office at 613-474-2863 or accessing the website at: http://www.township.limerick.on.ca/contact.php
Social activities organized by your LWRA took up most of the remaining time in the meeting. The traditional canoe races will be held at 10 a.m. at Fraser’s Beach on Saturday, August 3. On Sunday, August 4 at 2 p.m. sailors will be racing the island course for the coveted trophy which has spent way too many years on the Hannah cottage fireplace ledge. (Rumour has it Bob Bennett is back with a secret weapon after several years absence due to a demasting incident in a very high-wind race a few years back.)
For many years your LWRA has experimented with the timing and format of the annual cottagers’ picnic on the grounds of Limerick Lodge. This year the event will be a FREE Potluck Dinner. There will be no admission charge. In exchange cottagers are encouraged to bring their favourite dishes with enough to feed the number in their party. There will be an LWRA barbeque available for those who might like to cook something onsite. In the hope of a “Zero Waste” event to set an example for the young kids, cottagers are asked to bring their own plates and cutlery and handle any trash as they would at their own cottage. Games for the younger set will start around 3:30 and go to 4:30 with dinner starting around 5 p.m. In respect for the lodge guests, many of whom will be at the Bancroft Gemboree all day, our goal is to be cleaned up by around 6:30 so they may enjoy the quiet of Limerick after a busy day in Bancroft.
Any cottagers with an interest in the LWRA are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which will be held in Limerick Lake Lodge at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 30th. Topics to be considered on that day include financial status of the LWRA, potential mining exploration in the area, fire prevention, the value of being a member of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA), municipal updates and possible inter-association meetings with other area lake associations. Memberships in the LWRA will be available at both the AGM and the picnic. At $50 per cottage your membership helps finance the LWRA for things such as insurance to cover all activities of the organization and FOCA membership. Perhaps more importantly your name on our membership list gives us “strength in numbers” when it comes to important issues which need to be addressed in order to achieve the objective of your LWRA, which is to protect and enhance the lake experience for future generations.
by Monica Nikopoulos
Major victory to announce on the McBride Limerick Mine issue!
by Ed Offshack
This morning, PANCON, the company that had joined with Derek McBride, geologist and holder of mineral rights to a potential Nickel, Copper and Cobalt mining claim in Limerick Township, announced they were pulling out of the venture.
Their specific statement:
“…the Company has made the decision to terminate its Option Agreement on the McBride Project in southeastern Ontario.”
The geographic area of the exploration and claims is roughly bounded by Highway 62, Old Hastings Road, Highway 620 and Steenburg Lake North Road. The land includes the watershed to Steenburg Lake and Dickey Lake (note Steenburg lake drains into Limerick Lake).
They discussed at length consolidating their exploration work in Northern Ontario, which they describe as a low risk environment with social licence to operate.
The implication (our words, not theirs, but a reasonable holistic interpretation of the news release), is that a metals extraction mine in Southern Ontario does not have social licence to operate (which is correct, the pressure campaign of LWRA and partner neighboring lake associations, and the LACC group, proves that) and thus is high risk to pursue.
Importantly… while this is a major victory, it’s only one battle. Note that McBride retains the mineral rights in this area, and could still find other investors or exploration companies which want to try to pursue this. So, LWRA in partnership with the neighboring Lake Associations will keep moving forward with our work, to make it clear that this land should be forever “off the table” for a metals extraction mining operation.
For those who had not heard, the lake association coalition prepared a resolution for Limerick Township council stating categorical opposition to metals extraction mining in the area… it was presented at the March 18, 2019 council meeting, and with minor changes, it passed with unanimous support of Limerick Township Council. Thanks goes out to our township councillors and Reeve for their stated public opposition to the proposed mine.
An environmental group in Haliburton is selling native plants to enhance your cottage property and shoreline this spring. If you are interested in buying some trees and shrubs etc. go to:
Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, Inc.
Notice to Members of Annual General Meeting
Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. EST
The Boulevard Club
1491 Lake Shore Blvd W, Toronto, ON M6K 3C2
Called on behalf of the Directors of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, Inc.
by Marlin Horst, President
The FOCA Board of Directors:
Terry Beettam Lake Weslemkoon Conservation Association
Jeff Clark Go Home Lake Association
Pat Drew Lake of the Woods Property Owners Association
John Hickey Indian Point Property Owners Association
Marlin Horst Baptiste Lake Association
Terry Kennedy Kennebec Lake Association
Tony Lepine Kennisis Lake Cottage Owners Association
Wendy Sue Lyttle Catchacoma Cottagers Association
Daryle Moffatt Otter Lake Ratepayers Association
Bruce Moore Canonto Lake Property Owners Association
Bev Thorpe Kennebec Lake Association
Ian White Lake of Bays Association
Note: The nominations slate will be presented for member approval at the meeting on March 2, 2019.
If you cannot access the linked PDF files above, please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any questions or clarifications required may be directed in advance to the Executive Director, Terry Rees at email@example.com, or to the President of the FOCA Board of Directors, Marlin Horst at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More details about the 2019 AGM and Spring Seminar, and a registration link, can be found here: https://foca.on.ca/2019-agm-spring-seminar/.