Eganville – There is only one boat launch on Lake Clear but just who owns it is now in question.
“It looks like we own it, but we don’t have any documents,” Bonnechere Valley Mayor Jennifer Murphy said at a committee meeting of council last Tuesday. “We would need to invest some time and potentially a little bit of money in this.”
The launch is located at Opeongo Mountain Resort and is widely considered to be owned by the resort. A website maintained by the Lake Clear Property Owners Association, as well as a website operated by the resort indicates the boat launch is at the resort and implies it is owned by the resort. However, just how true this is will be investigated following some complaints from the public about access at the boat launch. Both Mayor Murphy and Councillor Jack Roesner said they had been approached by individuals concerned about access to the boat launch, which is the only launch on the lake. An unofficial boat launch at Wieland Shore has been the source of much controversy in the past.
“I was told by a couple of individuals they could not use it (the boat launch at the resort),” Coun. Roesner said. “What we have to establish is who actually owns that boat launch.”
One of the issues is the road allowance may be under the water there, he said. There is the possibility the launch is owned by the resort, he added.
“The previous owner of Moose on the Beach might have gotten it from Sebastopol (Township),” he said.
The previous owner is Bob Peltzer who served many terms on council in both Sebastopol and Bonnechere Valley. Councillor Merv Buckwald said it would be hard to reach Mr. Peltzer right now for answers since he is on a cycling trip.
“We have to determine who owns the boat launch and have some guidelines in place about who can use it,” Coun. Roesner said.
He said the first step would be finding documentation to see who owns it.
“If it was bought from Sebastopol, that changes it,” he said.
Initial searches at the township office show BV owns the boat launch, he added.
“If we own it, why are there fuel tanks on our property?” Coun. Roesner asked.
CAO Annette Gilchrist said the township can do a title search and if they own the launch then they would hire a surveyor to look at the land. She noted if the owners of the resort have something on paper stating they own the boat launch, then this must be reviewed.
“Let’s do the survey if we need it,” Councillor Tim Schison said. “If we don’t know, how will anyone else know?”
Coun. Roesner said they could reach out to the owner of the resort to see if they have documentation showing they own the boat launch.
Councillor Brent Patrick suggested doing a title search.
“See how much property we do own,” he said. “If we own the boat launch it is ours and we can see if we can give access.”
Mayor Jennifer Murphy said there has been some uncertainty about this before.
“It has been messy forever,” she said.
Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader