Woodland Beach Property Owners Association
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Sept. 3, 2011
It has been a busy year! Following is a brief summary of the activities and issues dealt with on your behalf by WBPOA Directors.
Community Events: WBPOA’s first Beach Clean-up and Canada Day Celebration was a resounding success, thanks to the volunteers who lugged garbage bags, barbequed hot dogs, organized games for the kids and provided prizes. The weather cooperated again for the Sailing Regatta in honour of Woodland’s two intrepid sailors, Olympian Kevin Stittle and Marshall Champ who is representing Canada at the PanAm Games in Mexico in October. Organized by the Stittle and Champ families, $1000. was raised to help Marshall with expenses. WBPOA is currently selling 70/30 Draw tickets with proceeds to help Marshall buy equipment. Our beach is becoming a mecca for all kinds of sails – boats, kite-boards and windsurfers. “I Love My Beach” T-shirts proved to be a popular item – over 250 have been sold. What a boost to community spirit!
Traffic calming: Many residents expressed concerns regarding speeding traffic on TBRS, and Park and Lawson Roads. WBPOA repeatedly requested increased police presence, more signage, and suggested other measures to the Township such as painted lines at right-of-ways. Finally, in frustration, we contracted privately with OPP, Midland Detachment, to hire an off-duty officer with a radar gun. On the Friday of Labour Day Week-end, 2010, from 4: - 8: pm, the officer charged 33 drivers, 40% of whom were exceeding the speed limit by over 15 km/hr. We intended to repeat this action at least three times during the summer of 2011, but have been informed by the Township that our action was “politically incorrect”. In future, if we wish increased policing, we must follow protocol by submitting a written request to Council. A separate account has been established by Council to fund such requests. We are therefore asking for police radar six times next summer, and repeating our request for a stop sign at the “Beach Frog” on the NE corner of TBRS and Lawson Rd.
Beach Ownership in Plan 656: The Township is challenging the legality of Mr. Battaglia’s title to the south half of the beach area fronting Plan 656. Court action took place in July, but to date, no judgment has been announced. Mr. Battaglia retains title to the north half of the beach.
Stewardship Committee for WB Park: As we reported a year ago, Council finally approved the formation of the Stewardship Committee recommended in the Master Plan for the Park. However before this could be implemented, a new Council was elected, placing the issue on hold. Tiny Township has recently created a new position, filled by Loretta Hamilton,“Community Engagement and Volunteer Leader”, to encourage and oversee community involvement. We hope to be able to finalize the formation and parameters of this committee by next summer.
Testing of Nitrate Levels in Drinking Water: Organized by FoTTSA once again, this opportunity was repeated in August. In general, most results last year were within safe limits; however several members were advised to test again.
Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations (FoTTSA): WBPOA continues to be an active participant in FoTTSA’s activities. WB resident, Denise Gardian, acts as FoTTSA’s Secretary. FoTTSA’s long-time president, Judith Grant, has stepped down, and her position is being filled by the triumvirate of Richard Hinton, Jack Ellis and Paul Cowley. Our Directors participated in meetings to determine FoTTSA’s future direction, one in which member associations will have a more active role.
Website and Email: Don’t forget to check out the WBPOA Website www.wbpoa.org on a regular basis. We are trying to keep it current and informative and would appreciate contributions of photos, news etc. The WBPOA spring Newsletter and information up-dates re Tiny Twp. issues which affect WB have been sent by Email to most members this year. However, we struggle to solve the communication problem for those members who do not use a computer. We will continue to mail the Newsletter, and would welcome suggestions from Members on this issue.
Phragmites: This fast-spreading invasive reed is rapidly taking over parts of our beach. We may never completely get rid of it, but we must take measures to get it under control. The easiest and most effective way is spraying with a herbicide that contains glyphosate (such as Roundup), but because the phragmites is growing on the shore, we must first get written permission from the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). Moreover, the herbicide must be applied by a licensed exterminator. The Twp. received one-time permission from MNR to spray a huge stand of phragmites at the beach end of the 8th Conc. with good results. However, Public works has no further plans to spray this year, and at other municipally owned locations their method of choice is cutting and removing seed heads. Here at Woodland, we feel that action must be taken no matter who “owns” the beach. We suggest cutting (above or below ground level), pulling, and removal of seed heads, making sure that all is disposed of safely by drying and burning, or in garbage where bags are identified. Do NOT compost as seeds and rhizomes (roots) will grow in compost. Please note that the purple seed heads should NOT be gathered for use in ornamental flower arrangements! Please refer to the MNR Website www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en or contact a WBPOA Director for information re permission to spray.
Disposal of Septage in Tiny Township: Tiny Twp. has more than 8,800 existing septic systems and holding tanks. At present, the collection and disposal of septage and holding tank waste is done by private haulers. Tiny does not have a municipal sewage treatment facility to receive and treat the septage and waste, so it is usually spread on the land. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has indicated that a province-wide moratorium on land application of untreated septage will eventually come into effect. Consequently, the Twp. is examining alternative solutions for future treatment and disposal. A Class Environmental Assessment is being undertaken to determine the preferred solution. This issue is of prime importance to residents of WB. We all must have our septic and holding tanks pumped, and we are already seeing costs escalate. Check the Twp. Website www.tiny.ca and WBPOA Website for dates of future public information meetings.
Water Levels in Lake Huron / Georgian Bay: There seems to be no easy solution to low water levels in our Bay. The International Upper Great Lakes Study is underway to evaluate options for regulating levels and flows in the Upper Gt. Lakes system. Among other variables, the Study Board is examining two powerful forces which are affecting water levels: climate change and glacial isostatic adjustment (change in the elevation of the earth’s crust which is rebounding after centuries from the weight of ice age glaciers). Did you know that the shoreline at Parry Sound is rising at a rate of 24 cm per century, while the shoreline around Milwaukee, Wisconson, is sinking at a rate of about 14 cm per century? Human factors also play a role, including increased flow through the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair due to dredging for the St. Lawrence Seaway. To further complicate solutions, a balance must be found to satisfy all parties in Canada and the USA – those who are benefiting from the low water levels and those who need them to return to previous highs. Detailed information can be obtained at www.iugls.org.
Thank you to Directors Marisa Esposito (Sec.), Gary Seagrave (Treas.), Tracey Price (Mem.), Ray Stittle (Web-Master), Bev Holmes (Soc.), Rocco Guerriero and Karen Trundou for their commitment and cooperation; to John Price and the “Neighbourhood Watch” Block Captains for their watchful eyes; to Tracey and John Price for their involvement with Tiny’s Policing Committee; to Bev and George Holmes and the Bayshore Seniors for the use of their beautiful facility; to auditor David Blair; to all the volunteers whose efforts contributed to the success of Canada Day and the Regatta……it’s been a great year!
Conclusion: Last week, as I read of Jack Layton’s passing, I thought about how much better our world would be if we adopted his philosophy. He chose optimism over negativity; passion over apathy; compassion over indifference; fairness and love over fear. We need to fight apathy and indifference at Woodland Beach. We need some passionate, enthusiastic volunteers to step forward, to join the Association, to act as Directors, or to participate on Committees. We all love our Beach and we care about our beach environment. As Jack would say….”don’t let them tell us it can’t be done.”