PUSLINCH – Puslinch staff are seeking council direction on how to proceed with establishing public access to Puslinch Lake which has so far been fraught with trouble.
There has been no official public access to Puslinch Lake for over two years after the last avenue for it at McClintock’s Trailer Resort and Ski School restricted access to their beach and boat launch in July 2020 due to problems with visitors.
A report going forward to a Wednesday Puslinch council meeting said the township retained a surveyor to complete a plan of survey for a section of Travelled Road near Swastika Trail near the Puslinch Lake waterfront to see about creating a public access point.
The survey work was completed on Aug. 21, 2021 with survey markers and steel monument bars set in the ground to show the property line. The report said this work cost a little over $5,000.
Staff were later advised this June that the markers and monuments were tampered with and the surveyor had to reinstall three monuments and five markers at a cost of around $1,700.
Staff later placed two signs indicating the public lake access docks are not owned or maintained by the municipality and stressing it is illegal to alter or remove surveying markers on July 19.
One day later, the signs were gone.
“The signs as well as the posts were removed and staff were receiving additional reports that the survey monuments had also been removed and were missing from the location,” the report stated, adding this is under investigation by OPP.
While some monuments have been returned to the site, Puslinch staff are recommending the surveyor returns to ensure they are in the right spot, again at a cost of $1,700.
The report also noted a bylaw officer attended the location to observe the amount of activity.
“A number of vehicles were parked on the road allowance seemingly parked to gain access to the lake,” the report stated. “Subsequently, the recommendation from the fire department is that this section of Travelled Road be marked as a fire route and no vehicles should be permitted to park to allow for emergency vehicle access.”
In the report, staff are recommending limiting public lake access to pedestrians given the parking isn’t allowed on Travelled Road through placing armour stone and other decorative stone to prevent launching boats. This would allow for pedestrian access for swimming and watercraft that can be carried like canoes or kayaks.
It also recommends concrete survey monuments be used at a yet to be determined cost.
The report noted staff have received an “abundance of feedback” from the public who desire to see an established lake access point at Travelled Road and have not heard directly from residents objecting.
“However, it is evident based on the events that have taken place that there are residents that object to the public lake access at Travelled Road,” the report said. The recommendations to limit the access to pedestrian traffic and to prohibit parking along Travelled Road will help mitigate some of the nuisance to the residents in the area.”
Puslinch council will discuss this item at a Wednesday morning meeting.