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Annual General Meeting - 2017

July 2017

In spite of the many issues that have cropped up this year - parking in Tobermory, the removal of bins, the rise in short-term cottage rentals, the controversial land designations in the Official Plan - there was a poor turn-out for our Annual General Meeting on July 7. Thanks to those members who took the time to be there. People who did attend were party to a lively and informed discussion about our property concerns and future planning.

Water Steward, Dave Dolson, detailed his report on 2016's water-testing of Miller Lake. 24 samples were taken and analyzed by ALS Labs. Generally, the E. coli counts were very low at the time of testing (late summer), but higher than 2015. Dave's complete report can be found here.

Guest speaker Hanna Cann, from the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation, gave an excellent presentation on initiatives to conserve and restore shorelines. Natural shorelines are the best possible filter for man-made run-off, and her video presentation reinforced that fact.

Mayor Milt McIver gave his annual municipal report, and a lively group discussion ensued. Members had questions about the confusing state of parking in Tobermory, the cost effectiveness of removing local dumpsters, and future by-laws to regulate cottage rentals. The Mayor welcomed all questions and comments.

After the meeting, everyone enjoyed our annual barbecue and kibitzing.

Forget Turbines - Here's the Real Power Concern

April 2017

For the last four decades, Ontario has used nuclear power for half of its energy needs. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has been working on a plan to store low-level nuclear waste for the last 10 years. After many studies and public hearings, the final decision is expected soon.

At this point, the preferred location is an underground repository at the Bruce Nuclear Plant. If that location is approved, we'll end up with a nuclear waste storage facility one kilometer away from Lake Huron - a leak from that spot could affect the entire Great Lakes, the source of drinking water for 40 million people.

FOCA has an extensive history of the decisions leading up to now, including video investigations from W5 and CBC. You can discover the facts yourself at this link.

New Waste and Recycling Collection

February 2017

The dumpsters are gone! Some people will be delighted by this. Others (like me) will not. I remember when we used to have garbage pick-up, and why we ended up with the public waste bins in the first place. We shall see.

Garbage and recyclables have to be placed curb-side by 8 A.M. Monday mornings. There's a limit of two garbage bags per household, weighing no more than 50 lb. each. Each household is entitled to one Blue Box for recyclables.

Garbage consists of regular household waste only - no building materials or electronics. The Blue Box can contain clear or coloured glass jars; cardboard, including boxed beverage containers; paper, including magazines; tin and plastic food containers, including cans, tubs and lids, and plastic clam-shell containers.

If you miss a collection day, retain your garbage until the following Monday, or take it to the nearest Waste Disposal Site.

2016 Water Steward Report
prepared by Dave Dolson

July 2016

We monitor the lake using two programs: the Ontario Lake Partner Program and Miller Lake Community Group-funded E.coli samples.

Lake Partner Program

Monthly testing of phosphorus, calcium and water clarity (secchi disk).

This is paid for by the Government of Ontario and coordinated by FOCA, but samples are taken and mailed in by volunteers (your local water steward and friends).

Data and information is available at the Lake Partner Program website

Average Total Phosphorus (TP) in 2015 was 7.1 mcg/L.
- This is in the Oligotrophic range, and unlikely to cause algal blooms.
- Most lakes in this range are very clear. Miller Lake is not typical in this way.
- 2014 measure was 7.2 mcg/L, so basically unchanged.

Average Calcium in 2015 was 35 mg/L.
- Calcium is required for all life. This is a healthy level, well above the danger zone for zooplankton of 1.5 mg/L
- This is considered a high level compared to other lakes
- 2014 samples were also 35 mg/L.

Results of 2016 TP and Calcium samples will not be available until next year. However, 2016 secchi disk clarity readings are consistent with previous years.

E.Coli Testing

Testing of 12 sites in each of 2014 and 2015. Funded by Miller Lake Community Group, done using ALS Labs.

We didn't test exactly the same sites in 2015 as 2014. We sought to test areas not tested in 2014, while continuing to test the swimming beaches at the campgrounds.

There were no dangerously high E.coli levels. The guideline for swimming is 200, and no samples exceeded 6. Each of the three campground swimming beaches were 1 or less.

Disclaimer: these samples at one point in time do not guarantee safety, since wildlife and water-fowl can contaminate water at any time.

The plan for this year is to sample E.coli at twice as many sites, thanks to a $500 donation from Summerhouse Park last year. We intend to do this on the August long weekend. The results of the 2016 tests can be found here.

We continue to monitor to be aware of septic or run-off problems.

Volunteers are needed. Please contect the Water Steward.

Other Lake Health Issues

Invasive species are an ongoing threat.

Do not bring foreign plants or fish (live bait) to the lake.

Take care when moving your boat between lakes that you don't bring zebra mussels or other species to Miller Lake in the boat bilge water or on the trailer.

Report odd plants or fish.