Land offered for boat launch

The thorny issue of whether to close a makeshift boat launch to vehicle traffic was further complicated by a surprise land offer during a public hearing at Red Deer County on Tuesday.

The thorny issue of whether to close a makeshift boat launch to vehicle traffic was further complicated by a surprise land offer during a public hearing at Red Deer County on Tuesday.

About 40 people on both sides of the issue packed council chambers to voice their concerns about a proposal to install a barrier to block vehicles launching boats at the end of Range Road 21 on the west side of Sylvan Lake next to the Summer Village of Half Moon Bay.

Pedestrian access and launching boats small enough to be carried could continue.

Ted Hiscock, mayor of the summer village, said on busy days the area is strewn with garbage, including diapers and human waste. Boaters are often seen urinating out in the open because there are no washroom facilities.

Dozens of vehicles — 72 on one especially busy day — are parked on nearby roads and both vehicles and powerful boats create a racket for nearby residents.

Rising lake levels since the 1990s have made the problem worse because larger boats can now be launched at the site, he said, urging council to approve the closure.

Several other Half Moon Bay residents spoke in favour of closure, saying the constant traffic and jockeying of vehicles to park or launch boats made it dangerous for local children and families.

The garbage and human waste amounted to a “public health hazard,” argued one parent. Other municipal politicians took a different stance.

Sylvan Lake Mayor Susan Samson said there is already a shortage of access points on the lake and until other launches are built the range road should be kept open.

“When you close 21 the problems you have there get pushed to other sites and other range roads.”

Lacombe County Reeve Ken Wigmore said closing the site may mean losing an opportunity to develop it into a proper boat launch with parking and washrooms.

He agreed with Samson that if the county cuts off vehicle access on that site, it should join with other municipalities to find and develop an alternate launch point on the west side of the lake.

A number of residents said the town has an obligation to provide access to the lake, which is for the use of all.

Landowner Bob Gullon said the biggest problem at the site is there has been no cohesive plan to deal with the boat traffic.

Gullon offered to sell the county 10 or 20 acres of land he owns next to the site to develop room for parking and a day-use area.

“I believe that would be a solution for you.”

Coun. Penny Archibald recommended council delay making a decision because of the amount of feedback council had received.

Mayor Jim Wood agreed, noting the county now had to investigate the land deal offer.

“This is a totally different picture than when I walked in the door.”

No date was set for the return of the issue to council.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mason Ward battles with a Medicine Hat Tigers’ forward during the WHL Central Division season opener. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers come back to spoil Red Deer Rebels home opener

It’s been nearly 345 days since the Red Deer Rebels last played… Continue reading

Students walk into Hunting Hills High School, which is one of the Red Deer Public Schools with solar panels on its roof. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)
Red Deer high school was placed in lockdown following potential threat

Hunting Hills High School was placed in a lockdown Friday after Red… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

Wetaskiwin RCMP say a Maskwacis man died after he was struck by a vehicle. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Clare’s Law in Saskatchewan used handful of times; Mounties review their role

REGINA — A first-of-its-kind law in Canada meant to warn those at… Continue reading

The Magpie river in Quebec is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Boreal River MANDATORY CREDIT
Quebec river granted legal rights as part of global ‘personhood’ movement

MONTREAL — With its kilometres of rapids and deep blue waters winding… Continue reading

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Need a knife? There are knives of all shapes and sizes at The Kitchen Store.
Hints from Heloise: Finding a good set of kitchen knives

Dear Readers: A good set of knives in the kitchen is a… Continue reading

Runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu speaks to the media at the opening news conference at the Canadian Track and Field Championships Thursday, July 25, 2019 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

Most Read