Miller Lake Community Group
AGM - 2015

July 26, 2015

Co-Chairs: Bob Beccarea, Randy Gulliver
Treasurer: Randy Gulliver
Secretary: Maggie Vaivods
Water Steward: Dave Dolson
Councillors at large: Paul Mundy, Mark Thompson
Membership Chair: Sandra Ogilvie

The meeting was led by Bob Beccarea , co-chair. After welcoming the attending members, he called on Randy Gulliver, co-chair and treasurer to present:

The financial statement

Last year's balance-----------------------$1661
This year's current balance-------------$1587
Main Expenses:
$504-----------water testing
$287-----------FOCA membership
$100---------Donation to Lion's Head Hospital
Additional cost: mailing, BBQ food and supplies and flyers, web site related expenses
Members' dues remain at $20 per household

Water Report

Prepared by Dave Dolson, Water Stewart. Presented by Mark Thompson.

In the past when the cost of sampling was paid by the local Health Unit, we were able to sample 47 sites. With limited resources, we are currently sampling 12 sites. Details of the study are available in our Lake Report section of this site.

Essentially the results indicate that Phosphorous, Calcium and e-Coli levels are all within safety limits and have improved over past years likely due to better septic systems, waterfront rehabilitation and education discouraging the use of phosphate-laden lawn and cleaning products. However, the most recent test (Oct 11,2014) shows an upward trend in phosphate numbers.

Dave's report pointed out that higher phosphate levels encourage plant growth and can lead to undesirable and potentially toxic algal blooms. Too little Calcium can mean less growth of plankton which is the foundation of fish survival.

Members were pleased with the amount of information provided by Dave in the report (and explained by Mark) as the result of this small sample and wondered if more comprehensive testing could be done as we move forward. It was suggested that house-to-house canvassing might get additional funds from people who are not in attendance at meetings but who have a stake in the quality of the lake's water. Another suggestion was made that a flyer relating exclusively to water quality testing could be designed for distribution requesting a donation. Carol Schultz offered to accept and manage the donations. An up to date list of property owners would be helpful for canvassers. Bob and Keith McKee offered to try to obtain this.

To kick-start this more comprehensive water-testing process, Sharon and Jim Lombard of Summerhouse Camp made an immediate donation of $500. This incredibly generous gift was applauded by all!

Members are wondering if The Baptist Camp and Miller Family Camp might be willing to help out in this initiative too. This could be followed up by the 2016 executive. Later in the meeting, Patricia Greig, Deputy Mayor thought that Bruce Peninsula Cottage Rental companies might be interested in funding some part of water testing as they could then publish the good results in their promotions.


A member who is concerned about fish stocks suggested that a one year restriction on fishing or a 'catch and release' program would be extremely useful in producing a greater number of fish. Bob pointed out that this could be a good initiative for the new, up-coming executive. Kevin Ogilvie and Rino Pellizzari indicated an interest in promoting a catch and release program for the lake. There was also interest expressed in stocking the lake as has been done in the past. Volunteers would be required for this as it necessitates environmental assessment and then time to ensure the health and survival of the new stock.

As a side-line, reference was made to the northward spread of the dreaded Emerald Ash Borer. We were reminded that on the Bruce there has been some survival of Elm despite the Dutch Elm Disease. It is worth attempting to protect our trees by NOT bringing firewood to the Bruce from other areas.

There is interest in updating the Community Group Membership signs that are posted on members' laneways. Keith McKee offered comment on this but there was no definitive plan of action.

Mayor's Report

Deputy Mayor Patricia Greig

The North Bruce Peninsula Municipal website has posted a Cottage Rental survey to identify and address issues resulting from absent landowners having a stream of renters in their cottage. Problems resulting from this have made it a hot topic. Council will review the surveys and a later proposal will come of this.

The Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw and the contention over the definition and impact of "environmental hazard" designation is on-going. Volunteers are sought for the Committee trying to come to terms with this.

Changes being proposed to the Northern Bruce to widen the West Road, to install wind turbines and solar fields, and for Rogers to install a very high communications tower in the Dyer's Bay area are all percolating with much discussion and concern.

Interested people need to check the Municipal web-site for the minutes of meetings to know how these issues are progressing. The heart of the changes seems to be the promotion of economic development in the area. An Economic Development Strategy Committee has been struck with Patricia Greig and Griffin Salen as members.

New regulations on Police Service will mean rising costs over the next 3 years.

Questions from the floor:

Does the trailer bylaw prevent the casual use of trailers beside your cottage? NO

Why is there a minimum size required for new home construction but not a maximum restriction? To maintain a standard in the area. (This did not seem to be a satisfactory reason.)

Why does this group not take a more political stand on issues? The executive of the Group does not have insurance and has therefore limited our role to promoting knowledge about best practices, as well as organizing the water testing. We encourage members to connect with the Municipality and Council for action.

Why is the cost of Internet and food so expensive on the Bruce? Options are being explored to improve the former through East Link and Streaming devices. As for food and other products….we live on a dead end! Cost of transportation, inaccessibility and a limited population necessitate higher cost. The price we pay to get away from it all!

A member was gracious in thanking Patricia for coming and offered positive comments on the job council does and its use of our tax money.

Janice Cruickshank and Paul Mundy offered to update and improve the notice boards at public accesses. Randy is tracking down posters.

Election of New Executive

The membership thanks these people for offering their time and talents to lead us in the next few years. Thanks also to Bonnie Vaivods who was master chef for the welcome BBQ which followed the meeting.
Meeting itself was adjourned at 12:00