At their July 12 planning committee meeting, Limerick Township council and staff heard from Frank Mills, the township’s chief building officer, about his inspection of the St. Ola boathouses. He determined that the boathouses needed a numbering system for identification in case of emergencies, that three of them needed to be repaired or demolished and rebuilt and that the water around the boathouses needs to be cleaned up by the township.
The process with the boathouses on public lands at the St. Ola boat launch started when the township had wanted to implement a licencing structure for the boathouses in question under the authority of the Municipal Act 2001 S.O. Ministry of Natural Resources PL 4.11.07. Council sent out a public notice to identify and inform the occupants of these boathouses to register with the township so they were assured they’d be represented in the licencing process. The cost to licence these boathouses over 25 years is $2,500 with the exception of boathouse #3, which is included in the owners roll number and taxes are paid on it.
The chair of the Limerick Township planning committee, Councillor Glenn Locke, introduced the subject of the St. Ola Boathouse inspections and asked Councillor Jan MacKillican for more information on this, who in turn gave the floor to Mills for his report on the inspections. He said he’s done the inspections and a report and handed it in the previous day, so he wasn’t sure if they had all seen it yet.
“One of the problems is that [the boathouses] are not numbered, so one of my recommendations would be to try to get the 911 number system so that those have a permanent identification number like a street address and an ABCD, both on the roadside and the waterside and that would allow us to identify them easier plus if there’s ever an issue in one of these boathouses, it would be wise to have a 911 system number,” he says.
Mills said that if the 911 coordinator doesn’t agree with that, his suggestion would be for the municipality to undertake to insist that the boathouses be numbered front and back so they can keep track of them.
Mills said the other thing that the township should attend to is the removal of a lot of what he called detritus in the water; old metal parts, old rusting drums and other various things that have been attached to the boathouses over the years and are no longer used and are now just laying in the water.
Mills went on to say that some of the boathouses had been restored to an acceptable condition, probably because they knew the township was coming to inspect them. Overall, the other boathouses presented a depressing scene, according to Mills.
“I think one of the things that needs to be done is for them to be dressed up and made attractive part of the lake rather than an eyesore,” he says.
Mills said that three of the boathouses need extensive work or demolition and rebuilding. For example, he described one that was unstable, didn’t have a doorway and was full of birds and bird droppings. The second one he described was tilting terribly and needs to be replaced or repaired, and the third one he said had a large hole in the roof and also had a tilt. In addition to the boathouses, Mills said that some of the pathways from the road to the structures were a little dangerous and were a safety concern. He said he had documented all his findings in the report and informed the committee that was his overall report on the boathouse inspections.
“So, at this point, I think the municipality needs to decide what they want to do with those three boathouses that I tagged, and implement something on the numbering system, and the clean up of the water. That’s it for me, unless there’s any questions?” he says.
Mayor Carl Stefanski asked once they start the number system for the boathouses if they have to send that to the fire department so that they’ll know where to go. MacKillican replied that the township already has the official numbers that the county gave the boathouses initially and just need to get them on the boathouses. She said they would need to update the fire department on that of course. Tisdale said that she would attend to this and ensure that it happens.
Stefanski asked if the owners of the boathouses would be notified of the deficiencies and was told that they would be.
Mills then reiterated what he had said about the three boathouses in bad repair needing to be repaired or demolished and rebuilt for MacKillican, who had been disconnected briefly from the call.
“I guess we’d need whomever is using those to present an application for a building permit and/or demolition and building permit, and we could review it and see whether it’s going to be acceptable or not,” he says.
With no further questions or discussion on this, Locke thanked Mills for the report and said it was very detailed and good. The committee then moved on with other business.
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times