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Koshlong and the Highlands Community

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  • 2023-06-01 5:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A TOTAL fire ban is currently in effect for all of Haliburton County, due to heat and extremely dry conditions, and no forecast for precipitation. More information on the Highlands East burning permits site

    If you see someone burning please call 911 or the Fire Chief at 705-448-2981 x428

  • 2023-01-27 8:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The following is an unofficial summary of the presentation made by residents of Koshlong Lake and the KLA to the Dysart et al Council on January 24th, concerning Bylaw 2022-111 imposing weight restrictions on the bridge over the Burnt River in Donald. Official minutes of that meeting are not yet available, but will be found on the Municipality’s website.

    I.            Fran and Ken Hill presented slides depicting the range of vehicles that are not able to cross the bridge due to the weight restriction, and emphasized the implications of the community not having access to these essential services, as well as the impact on their own ongoing construction project.

    II.            On behalf of the Koshlong Lake Association, Laurie Bruce emphasized that the Koshlong Lake Road and bridge serves as the sole access point for 139 lake properties. In her presentation she reiterated the significant concerns of residents regarding access to essential services, and requested that the Municipality endeavor to communicate clearly with the community, as it was only by word of mouth that we learned of the weight restrictions. Given the urgency of the situation, Laurie asked Council to seek options for immediate relief of the weight restrictions, including, for example, re-running the engineering models used by Tulloch based on different assumptions such as treating the bridge as single rather than 2-lane. 

    III.     Council responded that they are taking the situation seriously and are working fast to get a solution. They were not able to provide a timeline, but did take interest in the suggestion about re-running the engineering models.

    IV.            Near the end of the meeting (hour 2:06 on the video recording of the meeting), Council passed the following resolution (transcribed by Laurie Bruce):

    Be it resolved that council accept the engineering fee proposal submitted by Tulloch Engineering for engineering services associated with the replacement of Koshlong Lake Bridge for an upset limit of $145,830 plus HST as information and that council authorize Tulloch Engineering to proceed with the work associated in the proposal using provision 10.05 2A and 10.05 2B of the Municipal Procurement Policy and that the work associated with this project be funded by the Road Capital Reserve Fund and that council authorize staff to purchase a 60 ft 8 in Lessard Modular Bridge to be used a temporary structure to be placed on top of Koshlong Bridge on an interim basis at a cost of $188,533.45 plus HST and that the cost of the Lessard Modular bridge be funded by the Road Capital Reserve Fund.

    V.            The Haliburton Highlander covered the issue on Page 1 of the January 26 issue, as well as an editorial on page 8. Although the article cites "one month" for placement of a temporary bridge, this timeline has not been confirmed to KLA by municipal officials. 

    The KLA will continue to update members on this issue as it develops.

  • 2023-01-18 12:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This week, the Municipality of Dysart will be posting weight restriction notifications on the Koshlong Lake Road bridge in Donald that crosses the Burnt River. The limit (16 metric tonnes for a single vehicle) has been imposed through a by-law passed in response to an engineering inspection conducted in the fall of 2022. This inspection report by Tulloch Engineering found deterioration of the support structures. 

    No notice was given to the community, members the KLA only learned about it after the by-law was passed, and an e-blast was sent to members immediately (December 14). At this time, our understanding is that no plans have been made by Dysart or Highlands East for repair or replacement of the bridge.

    The weight restriction has significant implications for the 139 KLA member families who access their properties via Koshlong Lake road, as well as for Camp Wanakita. While some specifics remain unclear, we do know that large construction equipment cannot be brought across the bridge, nor can large loads of concrete or gravel. It remains uncertain whether septic trucks and propane trucks can be brought in, and there is only one fire truck approved to cross the bridge. These restrictions pose threats to the health and safety of our residents and their properties, our lake, and our forests.

    The KLA will be making a presentation to the Dysart Council at its regular meeting on January 24th, via Zoom, to clarify the specific implications of the weight restriction, and to implore the municipality to act quickly to remediate this untenable situation. Please take a moment to review the KLA’s letter to Dysart Council below.

    We encourage as many of our members as possible to tune in to this meeting to demonstrate concern for the impacts of the weight restriction, and community support for resolution. There will not be an opportunity to speak but the larger the presence of KLA members we believe the greater the impact. Login information will follow in the next e-blast.

    We will also seek to present to Highlands East Council, and will notify members of the date and time for that meeting next month.

    The following submission was put to Dysart Council by your KLA on January 17, 2023:

    This submission is being made by the Koshlong Lake Association in response to the bylaw imposing weight restrictions on the bridge over the Burnt River on Koshlong Lake Road in Donald. My name is Laurie Bruce, and I am the municipal representative for our lake association. We have over 139 homes and cottages on our lake that access their properties via the Koshlong Lake Road bridge. This weight restriction, as discussed below, has significant implications for our community, including Camp Wanakita.

    We understand that in the fall of 2022 the engineering firm Tulloch, identified deficiencies in the support structures of the Koshlong Lake Road bridge. We also understand that Dysart et al had been advised of an issue with a bridge structure (timber support beam) in at least one previous inspection report. The Tulloch report presented to Council December 2, 2022, led to the passing of a bylaw restricting the weight of vehicles using the bridge. We note that the bylaw was passed in under two weeks with no community notification or consultation on the implications. Since the municipality did not consult or even inform our association, our residents or Camp Wanakita, you may not be aware of the impacts the weight restriction has on our community. The purpose of this brief submission is to raise the concerns of the 139 Koshlong Lake families that rely on this bridge, ask some questions, and to make recommendations that we hope council will act on expediently.

    There has not been information proactively shared by the municipality with those affected by this weight restriction. However, what we have gleaned from various discussions that have taken place within the community is the following:

    Construction equipment can not be brought in to complete work that is already underway at multiple residences and Camp Wanakita, or that may be planned or required soon;

    Construction equipment at Camp Wanakita cannot be removed from the camp due to its weight;

    Local suppliers, having heard about the weight restriction, are advising residents that deliveries can not be made due to weight restrictions;

    Concrete trucks can not make deliveries;

    It is unclear if larger propane tanks such as those used exclusively by some suppliers may exceed weight restrictions. Alternative propane companies with smaller trucks will not fill tanks that are not their own, so families may be without vital heat and energy resources;

    It is unclear if septic systems can be safely and properly maintained due to the weight of septic pumping vehicles, threatening the health of our lake and watershed;

    It is unclear if road repair could be completed as necessary, such as delivery of gravel in the case of a washout;

    There may be issues with larger Hydro One trucks brought in to address power outages;

    We understand that an assessment has made of the local fire pumper truck and it was concluded due to the spacing of its axels that it can use the bridge. However, we are not aware of what would happen if a fire required multiple fire trucks that had not been assessed.

    The impacts of the weight restriction on the residents who access their property via Koshlong Lake Road, as well as on Camp Wanakita, are not acceptable nor sustainable.

    While we understand the engineers undertaking the inspection identified a safety risk that needs to be addressed, we are not clear whether Tulloch was asked or gave consideration to mitigation measures available to minimize or eliminate the need for weight restrictions. For example, the Tulloch assessment appears to assume ongoing deterioration over the next five years as factoring into the need for the weight restriction. If a replacement bridge or refurbished bridge was to be in place in two or three years could the present weight restriction be modified (i.e. greater weight permitted) because the “wear and tear” period would be shorter?

    At a time when Haliburton is looking to grow its economic base, this unmitigated weight restriction does not reflect favourably upon the municipality. We implore council to seek engineering solutions and to access support from the province, such as through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund. We are here to ask council to figure out a resolution and to engage in timely and proactive communication with those that are affected.

    Thank you for considering our feedback.

    Laurie Bruce,

    Municipal Representative,

    Koshlong Lake Association

  • 2022-06-09 12:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This spring, Koshlong members whose property lies in Highlands East reported that they had been turned away from the landfill/waste transfer facilities located in Dysart, despite a previous agreement that allowed Koshlong lake owners to use those facilities. After consulting with Cec Ryall and Dave Burton, the KLA was told that Koshlong Lake residents would be receiving GREEN dump cards granting them access to all Dysart facilities. Some Koshlongers have already received theirs, but others have not -- if you are among them, we will be posting instructions here very soon about how to get yours - please stay tuned!

  • 2021-09-23 12:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As many of you are aware, the County of Haliburton has undertaken to increase protection for the county’s 950 waterways with a proposed shoreline preservation by-law. While in general the KLA supports efforts to protect our water and environment, many stakeholders across sectors – land owners, developers, etc – expressed concerns with the by-law as drafted. The County responded to these concerns by commissioning J. L. Richards & Associates (JLR) and Hutchinson Environmental Services Ltd. to provide independent professional opinion on the development of a Shoreline Preservation By-Law. More information can be found at Shoreline Preservation - County of Haliburton, and we provide a summary below.

    On August 25, JLR presented results of their literature review, alongside preliminary findings from the municipal review and engagement with stakeholders in a “Background and Directions” report to County Council. You can view the presentation of these reports to Council on the Council's YouTube page (from approximately 3:40 to 50:00 minutes.)

    The report noted that:

    “The County and the lower tier municipalities use a variety of mechanisms to preserve the shoreline today including Official Plans, Zoning By-laws and the County’s Shoreline Tree Bylaw. These mechanisms establish a 30 metre setback and corresponding shoreline buffer area and limit new development and the removal of trees in this area. The lower tier municipal land use planning tools provide flexibility from this standard where site conditions warrant. These approaches should be considered in the context of the Draft By-law.

    “The Draft By-law has been under development for approximately three years. The Draft Bylaw takes a comprehensive and integrated approach and is intended to build upon the existing, in effect mechanisms. The Draft By-law continues the existing protection afforded to trees in the 30 metre shoreline setback area and proposes new protections for vegetation and existing topography in the same area.

    JLR representatives presented to Council the following 9 opportunities for improvement in the draft by-law:

    If you would like to learn more about the by-law, or to participate in the virtual open house, please visit the Haliburton County Shoreline information page.

  • 2021-09-15 11:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Read all about the success of the Koshlong bottle drive in the Haliburton Highlander!

    Many thanks to all those who contributed to the Bottle Drive for Haliburton Foodbank on Koshlong Lake this summer. It seems we are a thirsty bunch: Cole and Carolyn Dobson collected bottles twice a week from the July long weekend until Labour Day, to the tune of over 10,250 cans and 3,500 bottles! That was a lot of trips to the Haliburton Beer Store for returns, and the Dobsons are grateful to Shannon, Manager at the Beer Store, for her patience and support of our cause. 

    A donation of $1,650.00 was given to Judy MacDuff of the Haliburton Foodbank on Friday, September 10th.  Watch the local paper for a forthcoming story on the drive.

  • 2021-07-30 9:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Bell has notified some customers around Koshlong that they are experiencing problems with their tower in Donald. An increased number of customers has slowed the speed of internet, but in addition, connections may be dropped entirely when your Bell cellular internet device (eg, a Turbo-Hub) switches between LTE and 3G.

    If you are having this problem and haven’t reported it, please do as so at 1-800-667-0123. The more complaints received, the greater pressure on Bell to remedy the problem. If you have previously reported a problem, you maybe eligible for a refund for the time your service has been disrupted/ malfunctioning. This is known to go back to at least May 23, 2021.

  • 2021-07-15 10:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At the KLA's AGM in June, members raised concerns regarding misuse of Crown Land around Koshlong lake to Mayor Dave Burton and Deputy Mayor Cecil Ryal. Specifically, members have encountered excessive gunfire and litter in a portion of Crown Land on the south side of the lake; the disturbing noise and waste are significantly impacting cottagers' and campers' safety and comfort.

    The issue was profiled on the front page of today's Haliburton Highlander, featuring comments from several KLA members and Director Mike Palmer, and was accompanied by an editorial on page 8.

    Full Issue - July 15 Highander

    Carol Moffat, Councillor for Algonquin Highlands, also presented this letter to Haliburton County Council on June 16. She points out that "the changing use of Crown Land falls between the jurisdictional cracks of municipalities, OPP and MNRF."

    If you encounter problems on Crown Land near your property, we encourage you to report to the OPP by calling 911 or 1-800-310-1122 immediately so action can be taken by the proper authorities.

    The KLA will continue to advocate with local representatives, the OPP and the MNRF for effective action on this issue. Please contact us if you would like to be involved in the effort.

  • 2021-07-09 4:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you picked up the current issue of Cottage Life? The KLA's Fire prevention program is profiled on page 23 - check it out!

  • 2021-07-09 8:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hydro One will be replacing 4 submarine cables this year that will affect Koshlong Lake. The scheduled window is between July 10th and October 10th. No exact date is known yet as it depends on a number of factors:

    • Weather conditions.
    • Dates approved by the MNR.
    • Lake depth at different times in the year.
    • Delivery of the cables.
    • Scheduling equipment such as the cable barge and helicopter.

    The Koshlong lake Association board has requested that, if possible, the work be carried out after Labour day to avoid the busy summer season. Hydro One are considering the request but have to take into account all the other factors noted above.

    Any power outages should be less than 4 hours, and Hydro One will notify customers as normal prior to the outage.

    The 4 cables being replaced are:

    1. Across the entrance to Telephone Bay to replace the cable that runs from the North Shore to 2563 Telephone Bay Road the Seymour property.
    2. From the end of Rockcliff to the first two cottages on Ripple Rock (1447 and 1493)
    3. Across the entrance to Bark Bay, the cable running from the end of Sapphire Drive to Ripple Rock Drive.
      >> This outage will affect 24 properties on Ripple Rock Drive, Arrowhead Drive and Cozy Lane.
      >> It will restrict boat traffic in and out of Bark Bay. It is expected to take one day but it also depends on any unforeseen issues.
    4. The overhead cable in Donald that crosses the Burnt River, it is to be replaced by a submerged cable. This cable replacement will affect the whole lake.

    Hydro One have provided us with as much information as they have available at this time. As more information and specifics become available, we will update this posting.

    (originally posted May 19, 2021)

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