2001-09 Coordinators Meeting

St. Joseph's Church basement, Kingsbridge.


A total of 29 people representing 17 different member beach associations (of the current 23 total member beaches) were at the meeting. This is the 3rd planning meeting for the ACLA since our inception just under 1 year ago as an umbrella lakefront association for both Ashfield and Colborne. We have made considerable progress over the past year and there are further opportunities to build on that momentum. The issues will change over time, but as an organization we have the opportunity to share experiences and resources, and a greater ability to influence those events that will impact us.

Contact information (name, e-mail, home and cottage phone #) to help the approximate 40 ACLA primary contacts to get in touch with one another on projects and common issues has been distributed separately (since information not for general circulation).

The next meeting is tentatively planned for April 27, 2002 at the Kingsbridge Church from 10:00 to noon.

Political issues

(Nigel Bellchamber)

A brief to A-C-W Council was made in April. The overall tone was collaborative and it was well received. See "northwesthuron" web site for a copy.

A-C-W first 8 months - new Council working well as a team; significant work by Council/staff implementing amalgamation; some administrative teething problems (replace new clerk, terminated Treasurer).

A-C-W proposes name change to West Huron Township as of Jan 1, 2002. Existing ward names would be retained.

Ben Van Diepenbeek running for Huron County Warden for 2002.

Nigel proposed a follow-up brief to Council. Suggestions included:

  1. Bill 81 effectiveness, nutrient mgmt bylaws
  2. vandalism — Huron Shores, Ashfield, Birch sited as examples
  3. motorized vehicles on the beach - posting, enforcement, legality
  4. policing - level of service, additional lighting
  5. roads- varying issues
  6. taxes - level of and information
  7. township web site
  8. new drinking water regulations
  9. septic re-inspection program
  10. 2002 stream testing funding support
  11. garbage


Web Site

(Heinz Puhlmann)

  1. Most attending indicated they have access and have accessed the website.
  2. Website and costs have been donated for past year.
  3. Heinz coordinates update material. Kim Burnett has provided excellent design/updating support. Meeting agreed we should convey our appreciation.
  4. We may be asked to undertake web-site costs (approx $100 per annum) and design/updating support.


(Dave Cooper)

  1. In 2001, ACLA issued a comprehensive April newsletter, an August news bulletin containing several items, and a selection of several e-mail notes. Note that e-mail distributions are sent as "blind copies" to avoid our mailing list being inadvertently passed on to others.
  2. Mid-May and late August agreed as best newsletter timing to suit some member association meetings and physical distribution of printed copies.
  3. A newsletter team of 3 or 4 would help share workload and provide a wider range of perspectives.
  4. Beach association coordinators are encouraged to contribute information.
  5. Grace Patterson, Green Acres, offered to write an article re dump bin use for the spring newsletter. Note NO Propane tanks; Amberley store will take these.
  6. Nigel Bellchamber volunteered to assume Newsletter as of mid-May 2002 issue.

Annual Summer General Information Meeting

We agreed there was NOT a compelling reason, at this time, to have a summer general information meeting in 2002. However, we should re-confirm this at our Spring 2002 Planning Meeting.


(Geoff Walker/Marilyn Karlson)

Geoff has a long association with ACLA (which began as the Ashfield Lakefront Association from 1982 to 2000). Geoff inherited the job of Treasurer a few years ago, and asked the group for a volunteer to take over the role. Marilyn Karlson volunteered and was elected as the new Treasurer. Two signatures are required on cheques; it was agreed that Geoff Walker and Heinz Puhlmann would be signing officers in addition to Marilyn Karlson. We want to thank Geoff for his strong support over the years, look forward to his continuing participation in the ACLA, and welcome Marilyn as our new Treasurer.

Geoff presented his Financial Report. In summary, current assets total $7612, liabilities are $4400 (almost all to cover 2001 stream testing costs), leaving a carry forward surplus of $3212. Revenues for 2001 came from a mix of association membership/stream testing contributions, a number of personal donations to the stream testing program, and a $1500 contribution to the stream-testing program from A-C-W Council.

Seven member associations have not yet forwarded/committed the suggested 2001 membership/stream testing dues of $10 per paying member in that association. These dues will help generate the remaining funds still needed to cover 2002 stream testing costs. A separate reminder notice will be issued.

Meeting agreed that 2002 membership dues would be $5 per paying member in each association, and member associations are asked to forward this no later than June 1, 2002 (to minimize administration, and help with financial planning).

A budget will be presented at the Spring 2002 Planning Meeting. We agreed that a working reserve of $1000 be set aside in the budget. This will ensure funds are available to support decisions that might be made during the year.



(Mike McElhone)

  1. Several volunteers completed a total of 15 test sets (5 sets to go).
  2. Test results are posted on the "northwesthuron" web site.
  3. An interim brief was presented to A-C-W Council and got their strong interest and attention (and the above-mentioned $1500 contribution).
  4. The program and the to-date results have received wide visibility. A-C-W forwarded a copy of the brief to The Ministry of the Environment, and Helen Johns. A-C-W included a copy of the study in their Holmsville presentation to the Bill 81 Standing Committee on Justice and Social Policy. Mr. Gord Miller, the Environmental Commissioner for Ontario, referred to Huron County stream pollution in a recent speech.
  5. The Maitland Conservation Authority will assess the results after this year’s tests have been completed, and issue a summary report in December.
  6. Next year the program will begin late April, and may be altered to focus on a fewer more problematic streams and take additional measurements upstream.
  7. Additional volunteers - Bruce Robertson (Shamrock) and Janet Stubbs (Ashfield).
  8. It was suggested we ask both A-C-W Council and Maitland Conservation Authority to include funding support in their 2002 budgets

Bill 81 -- Province's proposed new Nutrient Management Act

(Dave Cooper)

  1. The Ontario Legislature has convened the Standing Committee on Justice and Social Policy to solicit public input on the proposed Bill.
  2. Both A-C-W Council and Huron County presented at the Holmsville hearing and hopefully their experience with the issues associated with the rapid growth of Intensive Livestock Operations, as well as the recent comprehensive study by Huron County, will be given careful consideration.
  3. PROTECT also presented at the Holmsville hearing. The PROTECT presentation (see web site) describes several key concerns (both Heinz Puhlmann and Dave Cooper are members of PROTECT).
  4. OMAFRA has indicated the regulations would follow passing of the legislation (late this year?), and wouldn't be available until Spring 2002 (April, 2002?)

A-C-W Interim Control Bylaw (the "Moratorium")

(Dave Cooper)

  1. In June, several members from both PROTECT and representatives from several different ACLA member beach associations jointly participated in a half-day feedback review with Scott Tousaw, County Planner, and Ben VanDiepenbeek, A-C-W Reeve, on a comprehensive Interim Control Study done by the County on Intensive Livestock Operations and Manure Management.
  2. Huron County is forming a Working Group, involving some members from the community, to build a model Nutrient Management Bylaw by year-end 2000. This model could then be considered for adoption by the various Huron County townships. A PROTECT member will be a part of that Working Group.
  3. A-C-W Council is moving forward (in parallel with the County) with changes to its current Manure Storage Bylaws, with the intent of having a replacement in place by year-end or early 2002. This schedule means that expansion of liquid-manure Intensive Livestock Operations could resume in A-C-W ahead of the new provincial regulations under Bill 81 being in place. The replacement would result in the interim control bylaw or moratorium, which has provided temporary protection, being rescinded. A-C-W Council has promised there will be a public meeting to review the replacement by-law.

NOTE: One of the issues PROTECT had with the current provisions in the Province's proposed Bill 81 was that it pre-empted municipal by-laws in the areas covered by the new provincial regulations. Also there are questions (no answers) as to how the transition will be handled if municipal bylaws are superseded, and the new regulations are phased in over a few years. The net of this may mean it could possibly be an advantage to have a strong by-law framework in place before the new provincial regulations come into effect? It is hard to tell right now.

Huron County Health Beach Water Testing

Some data that stands out in the 2001 results:

  1. From May 15 to July 16, while some readings were above the 100 mark, Ashfield Beach and Blacks Point showed some consistency at higher levels (50% of readings at each of these locations above 100).
  2. From July 23 to Aug 30, 71% of the readings across all 15 beaches were above 100.
  3. The 4 worst beaches during that period were Camp Kintail (avg 547), Ashfield (avg 386), Amberley (avg 300, and Port Albert (avg 258).

People indicate they are using the lake less and less for swimming. No wonder!

Septic Systems

Mike McElhone indicated any kind of mandatory septic tank re-inspection program is unlikely in 2002 (by the township or the County).

The successfull Amberley Beach 2001 septic pumping pilot organized by Nigel Bellchamber was described. Written material was provided in a newsletter promoting the economic and environmental benefits of regular septic system maintenance, a volume discount was negotiated, and a list of 15 volunteer participants was provided to a selected service provider. Some people missed out and have asked to participate in next year's program. For more information, other beach associations wanting to set up such a program can contact Nigel Bellchamber. This is a simple but effective way for us to illustrate that the lakefront is prepared to accept its environmental responsibilities.

The Ontario Rural Wastewater Center provides information on septic systems operations and alternatives.

Drinking Water Regulations

Several people from the ACLA attended recent MOE sponsored briefings on this topic. A private consultant conducted the briefing. Many have reacted that there is confusion about the new regulations and the "one size fits all" approach is inappropriate. Apparently the consultants doing the briefing are providing feedback from these sessions back to the MOE.

Note there is rule that if a well has less than 50,000 liters-per-day capacity, it may not fall under the new regulations even though it services 6 or more residences. There has been some confusion around this interpretation, and the MOE should be consulted as the experts on the new regulations.

At a recent A-C-W Council meeting, the following costs were indicated. Capital cost for the new Huron Sands well and distribution system servicing 48 residences $8500 per residence

($5200 after provincial OSTAR grants). Average sampling and testing costs for 4 well systems operated by the Township is $18,500 per year per well. These costs don’t include any maintenance. Sampling and testing are the same irrespective of size. To arrive at a per residence cost, simply divide the $18,500 by the number of residences on the well.

According to the newspaper, the MOE was accepting public feedback on the new regulations until September 30.


Dave Cooper reported that:

  1. We currently have 23 member associations.
  2. All except 1 member association have assigned one or more primary contacts.
  3. The size of the e-mail contact network for the distribution of information is about 250 residences.
  4. About 400 residences are receiving ACLA information on a fairly regular basis by either e-mail or printed copies.
  5. The total potential (including trailer camps) is estimated at about 1000.

The opportunities over the coming year are to:

  1. Continue the development of proactive primary and backup Communication coordinators for each member association.
  2. Maximize the e-mail potential for member beach associations.
  3. Seek ways to more effectively (cost and time) distribute information to non-e-mail residences (eg: mailboxes, bulletin boards, buddy system, regular mail).
  4. Reduce one-person dependency for central ACLA network coordination and development (Barbara Foell- Ashfield, and Bob Howison - Bogies offered to help).

We agreed we should offer the opportunity to participate in the ACLA to mobile home parks and trailer camps. Note that mobile home park residents are probably listed as electors, and some trailer park residents as well (it depends a lot on what kind of lease agreement they have with the owner). One would expect that these residents would share many of the same interests as such as environmental protection and drinking water. Glen Gardiner offered to contact Happy Hollow, Frank Steinbach to contact McKenzie, and Paul Mason to contact Kintail. Hopefully some interest can be generated and we we will have some representation from these groups at our Spring Meeting.


  1. Personal Watercraft - a petition was available at the meeting for those that wanted to express their support for a proposed federal Bill S-26 the Personal watercraft Act.
  2. Flyers from the Huron-Kinloss Coalition of Concerned Citizens were made available for representatives to distribute to their members. They provided an update on the court case which was to begin Oct 15 in London related to the proposed Geene hog barns. The H-K CCC appreciates the generous support shown by the many individual members and associations belonging to the ACLA. They established that further funding of $40,000 would be required to see them through these court proceedings. This will require a lot of support from a lot of individuals and associations. Timing is also urgent given the court case is about to begin shortly. While most of the ACLA funds are committed to the stream-testing program, the group agreed we should send a donation of $200 to the H-K CCC as gesture of our support.
  3. We agreed it could make sense to explore preliminary contacts with lakefront associations south of Goderich in Huron County. There could be many shared interests, the opportunity to share experiences, and the additional strength of numbers may help in dealing with the County or the Province.
  4. We agreed these ACLA Planning Meetings were productive, generating results, and should continue for the time being on a twice-a-year basis. The group felt late April and mid September were the best times to have the meetings.

Recorded by Dave Cooper.