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Saturday, April 20, 2013

City Closes Boat Launch

Owen Sound | by Kevin Bernard  

Low water levels force closure, Mayor urges Feds to dredge Owen Sound harbour.

Owen Sound has decided to close the Eastside Boat Launch, just north of the Bayshore Community Centre.

Officials say the abnormally low water levels in the Great Lakes have impacted many harbours and yacht clubs from Lake Superior to Lake Ontario -- and the local harbour is no exception.

Director of Community Services Pam Coulter says only small water craft have been able to be launched at the Eastside Boat Launch and water levels have dropped to the point where City staff decided to close it.

Although there is some hope that the water levels will rise slightly in the next month, Coulter says the projected increases are not expected to be significant enough to allow boats to be launched from that location.

Meanwhile, the Westside Boat Launch on 1st Avenue West, remains open.

It is also affected by the low water levels, but there is still enough depth of water to launch small to medium sized craft.

Staff will continue to monitor the water levels and Boaters are asked to use other facilities in the area to launch their watercraft.

Owen Sound Mayor Deb Haswell admits the water levels on Georgian Bay are a concern for the city.

She says staff are looking at options and they should have a report to council in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, she pushed again to have the Federal government dredge the harbour.

Haswell says the level seems to have stabilized in the last few weeks, but Freighters may have to go elsewhere if the water drops significantly again.

 


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