Growing concern over TSW future
by Simon Conolly
A growing concern over the future of the Trent Severn Waterway was evident at a meeting last Friday afternoon at the Galway-Cavendish and Harvey council chambers.
Organized by GCH Mayor Janet Clarkson, the meeting was to have featured Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MP Barry Devolin, but, “He cancelled this afternoon,” the Mayor said.
Among the approximately 25 people who did attend was Marc Ackert of Ontario Waterway Cruises Inc., operator the Kawartha Voyageur.
Ackert said under the TSW’s recent fee proposal, fees for his cruise ship would increase 224 per cent.
He also pointed out some of the changes being made to the TSW season.
From May 17 to June 20, and from September 3 to October 14, scheduled lockage would be in effect at a number of locks.
For example travel between Lakefield Lock 26 and Nassau Mills Lock 22, would start at 10:00 a.m. in both directions.
The full schedule is available at: http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/on/trentsevern/ne/neA4/neA4d.aspx.
Ackert said the TSW needs to develop accurate data on the costs associated with recreational boating on the system, as opposed to the costs of water management to meet the needs of flood control and hydro generation. “We’ve got to disentangle water management costs from boating,” he said.
Louis Melizan, Chair of the Buckhorn District Tourist Association, described the TSW cost saving measures to date as, “...a hodgepodge of things thrown together, not a serious solution.”
One solution being proposed is elimination of lockage fees, with a small annual licence fee for all boats on the Trent Severn System.
The solution was espoused by Al Heritage, of Voices for the Trent Severn Waterway, and supported by several people, including Carly Poole of Buckeye Marine in Bobcaygeon.
“Everyone should pay,” she said.
John Rufa of Kawartha Country Wines suggested the meeting was not much use without MP Devolin’s presence, but several people said they had learned more information and would be contacting their MPs.
Copyright 2010 Lakefield Herald Ltd.
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