Greetings Ice Fishers
It seems that the Town of Innisfil is planning on charging a fee for use of the access to Lake Simcoe ice fishing through Innisfil Beach Park.
This article appeared in the Dec 2nd issue of the local community newspaper.
If and when it comes into effect, please don't bust my chops or other residents of Innisfil, take a look at your fellow fishers and slobs who think nothing of leaving a mess every weekend.
This is the article in full:
Non-residents may face winter parking rates
By Chris Simon
Out-of-town ice fishers could be paying to cast their lines near Innisfil Beach Park this winter.
A town committee approved a plan to charge non-residents $10 to enter and park their vehicles at the facility this winter, during a meeting last week. If approved by council, the charge would be in effect in time for the start of the ice fishing season, which usually runs from January to March.
"This is because of the ongoing problems we have down there, with all the garbage and damage," said deputy mayor Gord Wauchope. "The people from out of town are not taking care of the park. When spring (hits), there's a lot of clean-up."
Currently, entrance to the park is free from October to April. But the town is forced to cover ongoing maintenance and snowplowing expenses for the park during colder months, while staff repair turf damage and pickup garbage each spring.
Staff estimate ice fishing costs the municipality about $12,200 in maintenance costs each year.
"Many municipalities around the lake charge for parking during ice fishing season," said community services director Kerry Columbus, noting most other municipalities charge between $5 and $10 for parking.
"Innisfil is one of a few who do not charge. Implementing fees would help offset these direct costs now covered by taxpayers. We would be at the top end of the charge rung."
Staff would also need to be hired, to collect the fees at the park entrance gate, a move that is expected to cost the municipality about $6,500. However, the municipality should recover those expenses, said Columbus.
"Ice fishing is a major winter use of the park, providing an economic stimulus Bridge opens to the local economy, (through) gear, bait, food and gas," he said. "The implementation of a fee should not be a deterrent for continued use by non-residents."
As part of the plan, staff will prepare a cost/benefit analysis on the rate, following the conclusion of the ice fishing season.
"This is a fair start," said councillor Rod Boynton. "We're not trying to ding our residents; we've worked to really relieve their costs. It would be good to study this for one season, then look at it again next year."