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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Letter: Town must act quickly to protect shoreline

Dear editor:

This letter is to NOTL town council on behalf of the Dock Area residents.

As you may not be aware, the level of Lake Ontario is now at elevation 246.65 feet (75.18 metres). In the next 30 days Lake Ontario is forecasted to fall another six inches and would provide ideal conditions for work in the water.

We have reached a very important date regarding environmental regulation of Lake Ontario waters and there is absolutely no public information coming out of the town regarding the fate of the massive pile of anchor stones in the Ball's Beach Parkette which were procured for the groyne to protect our shoreline.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry permit window for work in the water opened last Wednesday, July 15, and closes Tuesday, Sept. 1.

As of July 23, there are only 39 days left in the window of opportunity and time is running out!

An extension to Sept. 15 is sometimes granted by the ministry, but that is based on water temperature, flow rates and other metrics. No guarantees.

In the last two weeks, town surveyors staked property boundary lines along the parkette and when asked “why?” by residents they couldn't provide an answer.

Several trees have also been marked with paint, presumably for removal? But only one is identified in the shoreplan drawings as to be removed.

Is work on the groyne imminent? If so, what is going to be done and when is it going to happen?

If there is going to be activity, I presume equipment and materials would approach the shore from the north end of Delater Street.

And we all acknowledge that resident and tourist invasion toward the shoreline of NOTL is at a record high this year. How will public safety be managed?

Is deferring the groyne till later an option? Absolutely not!

The ministry permit for the shoreline stabilization expires in October 2020.

The ministry could ask for a “start from scratch” application based on the fact that the work completed to date is not in accordance with the existing permit. The minority of work that was completed to-date suffered some damage in 2019 but omitted the critical buttressing cobble that may have made the difference. It invites the question of whether the groyne offers an essential contribution.

NOTL council, a recommendation to approve the shoreplan work was not discussed in the July 13 committee of the whole and did not appear on the agenda for the NOTL council meeting Monday, July 20.

Time is running out!

Ron Simkus


Editor's note: A town staff report released hours prior to Wednesday night's council meeting recommends spending $300,000 to protect the  Dock Area shoreline. Results of council's decision on the matter were not known at press time.