Ward 1 Barrie councillor Claire Riepma failed to hook others around the council table on his proposal to allow vehicular access to Johnson’s Beach during ice fishing season.
Riempa introduced a motion at Monday’s general committee meeting but did not make any headway.
There are bollards in place that prevent vehicles from accessing the shoreline.
“We used to have some big rocks at the end of Johnson Street, at the beach, and that would keep most of the cars off the beach during the summer, ” says Riepma. “The ice fishermen were able to manoeuvre around those rocks and get over the beach and onto the ice. Last summer, we took rocks away because there was construction on the beach for storm sewers and replaced with with wooden bollards.”
He says they are close, so vehicles can’t get through those bollards and on to the ice. Riempe proposed the bollards be removed.
Riepme says the bollards are okay for snowmobiles and ATVs.
He admits most fishermen will still be able to use Johnson’s Beach as a jumping off point for the ice, but those that have bigger vehicles won’t be able to cross the ice and will have to find another way.
Councillors gave thumbs down to the proposal. There was concern about liability and safety issues, something Riempe isn’t buying.
“My view was that we haven’t had a problem since the beginning of time, why would we have one now? The other councillors didn’t see it that way.”
Staff noted people had many other access points to Kempenfelt Bay such as Minet’s Point and the Tiffin Street Boat launch.