Fall meeting tackles cottager concerns

Some new faces will join the executive of the Little Athapap Cottage Owners’ Association.

Nominations were held during the group’s annual fall meeting on Sept. 5 at the grader shed at Bakers Narrows Provincial Park. Representatives were named for all but one of the cottage areas covered by the association.

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Sherry Trudeau will now represent Beaverbank Road, taking over from George Rideout, who is retiring from the spot.

Randy Bowman and Ted Smook will be the representatives for Yoho Bay. Terry Lawrence will take over Jack Turner’s spot representing Blondie’s Beach East.

Nine of the representative spots will remain the same as last year. One post, the representative for Runway Road, was still vacant after the meeting.

Jane Robillard will continue to serve as the association’s president, while Tara Kozar will take over the position of secretary from Robertine Elliott.



The association approved a measure to send letters to Manitoba Hydro and BellMTS for how each company handled the aftermath of the storm that hit Bakers Narrows in July.

A letter thanking Hydro workers for their efforts in restoring power to the area was approved, with numerous people in attendance voicing their support for the workers.

However, the letter to BellMTS will likely not be as kind.

“I noted their response where they noted that cell service was not interrupted,” said Kelly Gilmore, the representative from Blondie’s Beach West. Cell service at Bakers Narrows is typically unavailable unless a resident or camper has a booster, a fact that some attendees noted.

“There is no cell service – of course it wasn’t interrupted.”

Robillard concurred with Gilmore, adding she had gone 16 days without phone service following the storm.

“Since our cell phone service is spotty at best, landline service has to be maintained properly,” she said.


Water levels

Heavy rainfall in June and July caused water levels at Lake Athapapuskow to rise higher than expected.

At the meeting, treasurer Terry Hills gave a report on water levels on the lake.

“The lake started out just under its mandated level and everything looked fine for a couple of weeks – then the skies opened up and it rained an awful lot in June and July,” said Gilmore.

Several cottagers own property on the lakeside, with some homes only metres away from the edge of the water.

Gilmore added that the level of the lake was slowly sinking to expected levels, although it was still higher than normal.

“It still is, although we’re getting very, very close to getting to where it should be,” he said.

To help alleviate the high water level, six rows of logs have been removed from a dam to allow for more water to flow out of the lake.

“It’s pretty much wide open now,” said Gilmore.

There were no reports of property damage or flooding made during the meeting.

“There’s a lot of data that gets collected. We’ve been collecting data from the surrounding lakes, Big Island, Neso Lake, Schist Lake, Whitefish Lake and all of the lakes that drain into Athapap. We collect that data every two weeks,” said Hills, adding that observations on the water level of Lake Athapapuskow are made daily.

“We have a very good idea on where the lakes are at.”



Fixes on the network of trails around Lake Athapapuskow are almost finished.

After the storm earlier this summer that knocked down dozens of trees and blocked off multiple trails, Robillard said cabin residents had cleared almost all areas of any obstruction.

“Our trails took a beating this summer with the storm, but people have been working very hard at clearing them,” she said, adding that help from other residents would still be valued.

“If you have a quad and you’re willing to help out, we would definitely appreciate that. We have lots of trails and they’re well used.”


Kids signs

A motion was passed at the meeting to put up signage at Blondie’s Beach West to warn motorists of children in the area.

Cabin owner Bryan Humphreys made the suggestion, saying the straight stretch of road leading toward Flin Flon Airport could be a risk for children.

“There’s absolutely no signage from the stop sign to the runway (at Flin Flon Airport). It’s probably the straightest and fastest stretch in the park. You’ve got trails coming on to the roadway, there are children coming out in the summer time on bikes and that. It’s just a reminder,” he said.

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