Boat launch study contract awarded

Construction of a proper boat launch at Range Road 2-1 on Sylvan Lake is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Construction of a proper boat launch at Range Road 2-1 on Sylvan Lake is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Lacombe County council earlier this month agreed to award a contract to Associated Engineering Alberta Ltd. of Red Deer to investigate the feasibility of a boat launch, and create construction drawings and a conceptual design.

As well, an Associated consultant will help create a action and strategy plan pertaining to lake access and recreational management.

A preliminary meeting between Associated and a steering committee was held Tuesday.

County Commissioner Terry Hager said the purpose of the meeting was to provide “input to Associated in terms of the expectations and what we’re looking for”.

A regional collaboration grant totalling $250,000 was approved. Associated’s tender came in at $187,278. Red Deer Advocate reported that remaining funds will be used later in the project if needed and applicable, and returned if not.

According to a May 8 council agenda item prepared by acting environmental co-ordinator Cajun Paradis, the aim of the undertaking is to see “the development of a boat launch and appropriate parking that will provide safe access to the lake and limit the import of invasive species”.

The area in question, located just east of Half Moon Bay, has been used in recent years as an informal boat launch, lacking proper facilities.

A motion by Red Deer County last year to close the end of the road at the site was met with mixed reactions.

At that time, Red Deer County cited concerns with the site’s “misuse and abuse” as the main reason for looking at closure.

That sentiment was echoed by some residents of nearby Half Moon Bay, who supported its closure due to the tarnished state of the area following its use by boaters.

Others felt its closure would only compound existing lake access issues.