Lacombe County wants to discuss options for RR21 launch

Options for access to Sylvan Lake at Range Road 21 will be the topic of a meeting

Options for access to Sylvan Lake at Range Road 21 will be the topic of a meeting between Lacombe County officials and representatives from several area municipalities.

Following a closed door session at their meeting May 9, Lacombe County councillors authorized Reeve Ken Wigmore and County Commissioner Terry Hager to meet with representatives from Half Moon Bay, the Town of Sylvan Lake and Red Deer County to discuss the access point. They’ll now try to arrange the meeting.

At their meeting two days earlier, Red Deer County councillors decided to see if the province’s transportation minister will support the county in closing the unofficial boat launch beside Half Moon Bay.

Residents in the summer village called on the county to proceed with erecting a barricade during a public hearing in March. Ted Hiscock, Mayor of the Summer Village of Half Moon Bay, described appalling conditions found at the site after it’s been used by boaters.

“The bylaw is not related to the closure of Range Road 21 and access to the lake,” he said. “It’s restricting the access for large vessels, party boats, and groups of people that generally go to the lake to have a good time and leave their garbage behind.”

However Sylvan Lake Mayor Susan Samson and Wigmore were concerned the closure would affect other areas of the lake which already has limited points where boaters can access the water.

Wigmore suggested a better option would be upgrading the site with parking and washrooms. “We would ask that you consider other actions to address the misuse and abuse issues rather than the outright closure of the road to vehicular traffic,” he said during the public hearing.

Lacombe County has spent about $1 million on doing just that at Sunbreaker Cove where it holds a licence of occupation from the provincial government to operate a boat launch.

“Administration believes that the minister’s response to the bylaw is an important piece of information that council should have prior to further review and decision on the bylaw,” said Legislative Services Manger Nancy Lougheed in her report to council.

A response is expected to take several weeks.

The bylaw originally received first reading in January and was subject of a public hearing in March.