A proposal to close the informal boat launch at Range Road 2-1, adjacent to Half Moon Bay, was Red Deer County’s solution to a problem, not the request of the summer village, Mayor Ted Hiscock told a meeting of his ratepayers in early June.
“We asked for enforcement to try and alleviate the garbage, noise, people defecating in the woods and along the trees,” he said. “It happens constantly every day. I feel for Camp Kasota. People just walked over the berm.”
Hiscock told Half Moon Bay residents at their annual information meeting that the “enforcement officer basically threw up his hands, went back to the county and said we can’t deal with this. It was him who said close the access to the lake because they don’t have the ability to police it.”
Most of the problem, he said, “is because of the garbage left behind. We’ve been campaigning to the county to do more enforcement. On the average summer day there’s 40-50 vehicles, up to 72. There are no bathrooms, four garbage containers.”
Red Deer County created a bylaw and held a public hearing earlier this year, then councillors asked Alberta Transportation asked for an opinion about restricting access to the lake at the end of the road.
Alberta Transportation aren’t prepared to authorize closure of the road, Red Deer County representatives told the Sylvan Lake Access Committee, at a meeting of representatives from the eight municipalities around the lake July 4 (see separate story).
• Another item discussed at the Half Moon Bay meeting was progress on a regional sewer system to serve all communities around the lake. Birchcliff is at the “detailed” design stage and basically shovel ready for construction of an internal collection system once financing is determined. A north shore lift station is under construction at the south end of the summer village. Sunbreaker Cove is at the pre-design stage. Jarvis Bay and Norglenwold are already connected to the Town of Sylvan Lake system.
Half Moon Bay will be the last community to hook into the system. “We’ve been planning for this, saving for it,” said Hiscock.
• Other reports noted the summer village, in conjunction with the other four summer villages, bought a condominium office unit; a new shelter was constructed at the beach in front of the volleyball courts and the volleyball net was upgraded; and councillors are looking at how to prevent erosion in the beach area.
• Residents also heard about dust proofing just outside the summer village limits; that traffic from the Scout Jamboree would be travelling through the village in early July; and learned about the Living By Water project from Steven Johnson.
Councillor Keith Lamb talked about invasive species and said the biggest concern is boats with ballasts and jet boats that aren’t cleaned properly. Education is a big part of the solution. “If you know somebody who likes to take their boat away for a holiday into the States or East, mention it to them. The current concern, zebra and quagga mussels, are native only to the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, but have been spread to North America and are creating significant damage in eastern waterways while making their way westward.