Chair------------------- Anna Pellizzari
Acting Secretary--------- Maggie Vaivods
Treasurer-------------- Randy Gulliver (not present)
Secretary ------------- Keith McKee (not present)
Water Steward------- Dave Dolson
Past Chair ----------- Bob Beccarrea
Members at Large - Paul Mundy, Mark Thompson (not present)
Meeting held at Northern Bruce municipal offices on county road 5.
After welcoming those who were in attendance, Anna turned the meeting over to Water Steward, Dave Dolson, who reported on the results of the latest water testing of our lake.
This test focused on E.coli levels, which had exceptionally low readings. Samples were taken very close to shore where swimmers are most likely to be. He did also remind us that E.coli levels can temporarily change if a flock of geese or other birds move into your area. It is reassuring to know that the water has good quality which is directly the result of cottagers maintaining septic systems and limiting the use of phosphates in and on their properties. Another test will be done in late summer this year. The water report will be available on our Miller Lake Community website.
PRESENTATION: Hanna Cann from the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation
Since all the water on the Bruce runs toward Lake Huron, our activity in the Miller Lake area contributes positively or negatively to the waters of the larger lake. Initiatives on Lake Huron are also applicable to our efforts to keep Miller Lake healthy and clear.
The following are projects underway at present:
- Butt-free beaches
- Coastal Action Plan (This is a unified action plan to co-ordinate all the local programs from Sarnia to Tobermory. With ever increasing human use it is imperative to find ways of preserving ecological integrity.)
- Brucedale Restoration (This includes the efforts to remove Phragmites.)
In response to a query about Phragmites, Hanna showed pictures of this huge invasive plant. Maggie added that there is an ongoing effort in our area by the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association to control this plant that invades ditches, wetland and waterfronts. It is a good thing to get acquainted with the look of Phragmites and join the battle against letting it get out of hand in our area. Sean Liipere of the Biosphere Association is the person to contact if you'd like to help with this. www.bpba.ca
- Coast Watchers (on the look out for algae blooms and other changes)
Among the fascinating pieces of information supplied by Hanna were the following:
- The "residence time" - the time that it takes for each drop of water to flush through a lake -is 22 years. Pollutants therefore are a long-term problem.
- Lake levels have historically had a 30-year cycle and even winds can affect lake levels.
- In Ontario, 66% of wetlands have been lost. There is no way to overemphasize the importance of those that remain. They control flooding and algae, filter water and are the home to a large array of rare species. They also offer birth sites for so many lifeforms on which the life-cycle of larger species are dependant. Yet they are highly undervalued.
- 75% of the WORLD'S alvars are on the Bruce Peninsula. These are of Geological interest and are also home to endangered species of plants and animals.
Hanna was questioned about erosion on the shore of Miller Lake. As a Scientist, she pointed out the importance of allowing naturalization along at least some of each waterfront owner's shoreline.
Water plant roots will hold soil in place and the leaves provide shade and a positive environment for frogs and fish. On the other hand, fill will introduce unwanted species while hard materials such as added rock or concrete warms the water killing species and actually creates erosion behind the rock. There kind of hard barriers to erosion can also have a negative impact on your neighbour's shoreline.
PRESENTATION: Mayor Milt McIver
Milt give us lots of up to date information on the issues that are new and of most interest to local residents. Because detailed information about these issues are available on the municipal website, this is just a very basic note on all that he covered.
- Waste management-Eliminating dumpsters has increased the diversion rate (stuff NOT going into land fill sites) by 23% in just 4 months. This is of great importance since our sites are filling fast. The cost is $25,000 less.
- Paid parking in Tobermory - there is lots of controversy over this both by visitors and business owners and the parking time limit has been extended to 3 hours from 2. However, there is no debate about the fact that it is necessary to raise funds to cover the cost of washrooms and garbage cleanup for the added summer visitors. If local taxpayers don't want to pay this, the money has to be generated somehow. For now, it's going to be through paid parking.
- Official plan-There are lots of changes that will be upheld through bylaws. Attend the public meetings or look at the draft documents which are available in the municipal office.
- Additional future plans-Under discussion for future action are: rules pertaining to short term rentals (fire inspection, septic inspection, number of people per cottage, security, owner liability) permits for bunkies, shipping containers on properties
- 40% stays here
- 39% goes to the county
- 21% goes to schools
Maggie Vaivods tabled our financial statement on behalf of treasurer Randy Gulliver. Copies were available at the meeting. Highlights as follows:
Last Year's opening balance --- $ 2,129
Income(Dues and donations)-- $ 1,350
Deposit returned from hall rental -- $226
Bank fees ---- $96
2016 AGM expenses --- $207
'Catch & Release' signs --- $576
Water-testing --- $773
Book balance - June 10/2017 --- $1,733.71
The current executive will continue for the following year.
At noon, the meeting ended and we enjoyed social time together outside where Dave Dolson did a great job flipping burgers at the bbq.