Council re-opens Dutch Point Road boat launch to vehicles

The newly elected mayor and three councillors have overturned a contentious decision this week on lake access made by the former council.

The newly elected mayor and three councillors have overturned a contentious decision this week on lake access made by the former council.

Vehicle access to the Dutch Point Road boat launch was re-opened Wednesday after city council voted Tuesday to rescind the Nov. 4 decision to close vehicle access.

Councillors Scott Nelson, Jason Ryll, Craig Smith and Mayor Walt Cobb voted in favour of re-opening it, while councillors Ivan Bonnell, Laurie Walters and Sue Zacharias were opposed.

Ryll said he was concerned that by shutting the vehicle access the community would be forced to find or improvise illegal access to the lake.

“Dutch Point is really the only lake access that is city owned,” Ryll said. “I do understand the throughway concerns the local residents have, but I am worried we’re just moving the problem from one area to the next by closing the access point.”

Nelson said in the 35 years the boat access has been used there has not been a single accident in the location.

“To try and fluff the report with the seriousness of liability is a bunch of B.S.” Nelson said. “The reality is the resolution to close the vehicle access that came forth previously should not have come forward.”

Walters disagreed saying the previous council did due diligence and the decision to close the vehicle access there was not taken lightly.

“I don’t think we’re fluffing it up,” she said. “The vote of the council of the day was predominantly a safety concern and I stand by that concern.”

The city said Wednesday the no-parking signs on the Dutch Point Road will remain in place and will be monitored by the city’s bylaw office.

In breaking the tie, Cobb said when and if there is another access to the lake in place, then at that time he would consider closing the boat access at Dutch Point.