The Township of Algonquin Highlands is continuing to discuss docks and landings in the municipality.
Director of parks, recreation and trails, Chris Card, tabled a docks and landings draft assessment framework and check list to the April 15 meeting.
“The attached check list is intended to be used as a starting mechanism to gather information to inform a go-forward approach for landings as listed in the township’s asset management plan,” Card said.
Council had previously chosen a phased approach with landings to be addressed individually in the order recommended in the asset management plan. They requested a project and decision-making framework so that as each project is approached, the information that is required to complete that project would be identified within the framework and utilized to make recommendations to council for approval, Card said.
Next steps would be an information gathering process with stakeholders. He said that will include identifying lake associations or main contact persons.
Some of the information they will be seeking is property surveys and lot limits, listing and identifying current features such as launches, docks, gangways, parking areas, access points, toilets, loading and unloading zones, mooring space, signs and message boards, retaining walls, drainage and fire hydrants.
Card added it would be helpful to know thing such as water level trends, number of water access properties, whether or not lakes are at capacity and opportunities for shoreline naturalization.
“All above information would be gathered to inform a recommendation for each landing that would be brought to council for review and approval prior to being tendered,” Card said.
Deputy mayor Liz Danielsen said the process is “going to put us in a position to be able to make good decisions about each one of our docks and landings.”
She encouraged that potential projects be examined a couple of years prior to their inclusion in draft budgets so the township can plan ahead for the economic impact.
Mayor Carol Moffatt added another reason around the conversation is “so we can prepare ourselves for the growth of the community.”
She said it is also about managing expectations since the township does not have the resources to provide full-time and seasonal residents with everything on their wish lists. She added there will be opportunities for private partnerships.
Card said one challenge is people are buying bigger boats than the original infrastructure was designed for.
Coun. Jennifer Dailloux raised the issue of parking, saying in ward 3, “some are beautifully self-managed by users, others are free for alls, it’s a mess.”
Moffatt said it is also identifying issues such as a location being used for fishing and day-use but not having public toilets, and perhaps having a privy program.
“What we’re embarking on has the potential to be incredibly costly. There are a lot of needs. The township can’t be expected to provide everything, for everyone, tomorrow,” she said.