The condition of the canoe and kayak launch at Isabel Morris Park in Lakefield has some Selwyn Township councillors concerned, including Coun. Donna Ballantyne who called it “daunting and dangerous.”
Deputy Mayor Sherry Senis agreed.
“The canoe and kayak launch at this park is difficult to use and could be deemed unsafe,” Senis said. “There’s big gaps between the rocks where someone could get their foot caught and it’s quite low to get into a canoe or kayak.”
The remarks came following a consultant’s presentation at Tuesday’s township council meeting that made 18 draft recommendations on the future of the Lakefield Marina.
The Lakefield Marina Utilization Study was set up earlier this year to review the marina’s retail operations, review seasonal versus transient boat slips and engage senior levels of government and other agencies to secure additional docking opportunities.
One of the 18 suggestions is to improve public access to the canoe and kayak launch within two years, but Ballantyne said she would like to see it done next year.
Senis said she knows other communities have applied for grants and received them for accessible ramps “and I think that’s something else that should be looked into.”
Mayor Andy Mitchell said he felt there were four broad directives the marina report is recommending that the township consider for the future:
• That revenue from the marina be comparable to what is being charged throughout the marina marketplace.
• That the present infrastructure be maintained.
• That more space for additional slips be explored without undermining the present value of the marina.
• That retail opportunities be enhanced to connect with local community as well as service tourists.
The public will get a chance to comment before the consultants return to council mid-September with final recommendations.
Mitchell said he will be looking in the September report for timelines “because I think we only have a certain amount of capacity of what we can do in a given year ... the next council will have to make budget decisions about their priorities.”
The marina is situated along the Otonabee River at the mouth of Katchewanooka Lake and is owned and operated by the township, providing boaters with access to the river and the Trent-Severn Waterway.
It currently accommodates between 39 and 42 boats at any given time, depending on their size. There are 25 slips rented to seasonal boaters who book for the entire marina operating season, while the remaining slips are allocated to transient renters.
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner