LWRA Spring meeting 2015

With the 2015 “May 24” weekend pushed ahead about a week this year the first meeting of the Limerick Waterways Ratepayers’ Association on Sunday, May 17 did not appear to interfere with anyone’s watersport activity schedule. Since Limerick Lake’s water temperature was hovering around 57F on George’s marina scale, or 14C on the Canadian version … and for those of us who started life in Farenheit before being converted to the more logical Celcius by Pierre Trudeau, it must be admitted that 57 does sound warmer … but it isn’t! All cottagers who have made it an annual ritual to take their first swim of the season on the May long weekend, myself included, will attest to this fact in 2015. But at least the ice is gone!

Also gone from the lake scene this Spring is our President Brad Rooney. Family life and work commitments have conspired to force Brad to submit his resignation as president of the LWRA Board of Directors. By the sounds of his schedule Brad will be lucky to find a weekend in the summer of 2015 when he can make it to the lake so, based on his family and work demands, he felt it best to step back at this time. All members of the Board of Directors thank him for his service in the past and hope when demands of his life slow down again we will see him back around the LWRA table.

Kim Carson, secretary of the LWRA, had the coffee hot and sweet goodies on her cottage kitchen table to fuel our 10 a.m. Sunday morning meeting. Perhaps because of the early  long weekend this year only six members of the board were able to attend. Naturally the first topic of discussion was who will fill our now vacant president’s seat. With the small attendance it was decided Kim Carson and Treasurer Mary Argue will handle the responsibility together until a new president can be elected at the Annual General Meeting during the Civic Holiday weekend which falls on the first weekend in August.

Having kicked that can down the road discussion turned to the annual cottagers’ picnic held at Limerick Lodge & Marina on the Saturday afternoon of the August long weekend. Paul Clarke has taken the lead in organizing the picnic for several years with ongoing improvements making the picnic a popular event each summer. Greg Hannah has added music to the gathering for several years and everyone hopes he will have his musical pals there again in 2015. Last year’s “Open Mic” brought out a few more musicians from around the lake and the LWRA will be encouraging any musicians who care to share their talents on that day to feel free to join in.

The picnic is primarily a social event and to make it more relaxed Paul Clarke will be investigating the possibility of having the main course fully catered with cottagers just bringing their favourite dessert to add to the table. Sort of a “Dessert Only Pot Luck”. Depending on attendance numbers, which vary depending on whether the Sun is shining or rain is falling, the picnic is usually a break even proposition from a financial point of view. Volunteers to help with setup of tents and cleanup afterwards are more than welcome.

With several vacant seats on the LWRA Board of Directors an open invitation to any cottager who is concerned with maintaining the quality of our cottage life is invited to let us know. Meetings are open and anyone with an interest is invited to attend. As a member of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers Associations (FOCA) we are part of a very large collective voice in Ontario pertaining to issues impacting our cottage environment.

Jan McKillican reported on the activities of the logging companies now very actively working in the forests around us. Many cottagers have expressed concern over the clear cutting which has taken place near Dark Lake, coming within just a few meters of the shoreline and clearly visible from the water. Jan is doing some great research on the  various logging operations, including the managed forest work taking place on the north shore of Limerick. She will have more to report in the near future. Jan is also working on   information to share with cottagers which will help explain the goals of LWRA and why it is import to all cottagers on our lakes.

Consideration was given to the $50 membership fees. This is on a per cottage basis and it was decided to leave the $50 rate in effect again this year. Membership dues may be paid via Paypal from our WordPress site or by mailing a cheque to LWRA Treasurer Mary Argue at 71 Victoria Park Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M4E 3S2. Membership fees go towards FOCA membership dues, insurance, upgrades on equipment such as the tents used for the annual picnic and various other miscellaneous costs so having strong membership numbers is important to the ongoing operation of your LWRA.

Now that this WordPress site is active our printed Newsletter is no longer being produced at an annual savings of around $700. The primary use of funds for many years has been trying to control the terms and conditions of the Trident backlot development and making sure the owners of the 320 acres of forested land adjacent to Lake St. Ola and Limerick live up to those agreements which have been made with Limerick Township Council and the Planning Department of Hastings County. With the sudden death this Spring of Al Moore, one of the principals managing the Trident development, the status of that housing project, which hopes to locate about 150 houses in the woods on the south shore of Limerick, is once again unknown. However, all conditions have apparently been met, including the rebuilding and location of some of the roads which have been carved out of the woods back there. The initial impetus for the formation of the LWRA back in 1972 was this backlot project which would have considerably altered cottage life on our lakes by now had the LWRA not been very proactive in monitoring every move the developers made and demanding many conditions be placed on the development to protect the waters surrounding it. Much volunteer time and many thousands of dollars for legal expenses have been devoted to this effort to protect our lake environment since 1972.

Limerick Reeve Sharon Carson sent a written report on council activities which included the proposed doubling of policing costs from the OPP detachment in Bancroft. Apparently the method of calculation has changed from a population base to an area of territory basis and the outcome is not good for Limerick taxpayers. So, encourage your fellow cottagers to join LWRA in 2015. There is strength in numbers and no doubt there will be lots of issues for us to face in the future to protect this environment we all love so much.