Update: Council votes to re-open Dutch Point Road boat access

At tonight's (Tuesday) regular meeting council voted in favour of re-opening the Dutch Point Road vehicular access.

Update:

Council voted in favour of rescinding a previous council decision to close vehicle access to the Dutch Point Road boat launch.

The motion, put forward by new councillors Scott Nelson, Jason Ryll and Craig Smith, passed four to three votes, with Mayor Walt Cobb also voting in favour.

Councillors Sue Zacharias, Laurie Walters and Ivan Bonnell were opposed.

Original story:

At Tuesday’s regular council meeting three new councillors Scott Nelson, Jason Ryll and Craig Smith are expected to ask council to rescind the previous council’s Nov. 4 decision to close vehicle access to the Dutch Point Road boat launch.

During his election campaign, Nelson promised he would bring the motion back on the table for reconsideration.

“There were three or four people wanting it closed and 300 to 400 people wanting it re-opened,” Nelson said.

“It was a contentious point to close it and it upset a lot of people.”

In their motion, the three councillors also asked city staff to look at options for creating additional boat accesses to Williams Lake and to prepare a cost estimate for additional accesses for consideration in the 2015 budget.

“There’s a lot of work to be done on this, but as a community that lives on a lake it’s simply foolish as a policy to close off all accesses you’ve got for people to get on the lake,” Scott said.

“The city doesn’t own Scout Island and does not control the boat access there.”

Dutch Point Road resident Marilyn Haines, however, said Tuesday that she and the other residents living on the road brought safety concerns to city council almost one year ago.

“It is a single lane gravel road,” she said.

“If trucks and cars are parked along there and there is a house fire, the fire trucks wouldn’t be able to come down the road.”

Haines warned if the city re-opens the vehicle access to the boat launch after citizens have brought safety concerns to its attention, the city could possibly be liable if something did go wrong.

“Williams Lake needs a boat access area that’s large enough for a safe boat launch, garbage and washroom facilities and room for lots of safe parking,” Haines said.

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