Access gate debate put on hold



By Barb McKay


If the gates at Upper Lorne Beach Road are to be opened to the public during poor winter weather, it won’t happen this winter.


During its meeting last Wednesday, Kincardine council agreed to wait until spring to make a decision regarding access through the gated community between Kincardine and Inverhuron to allow residents who travel south for the winter to be present and have input. The municipality also needs to wait until its agreement with the County of Bruce to maintain portions of Bruce Road 23 and Bruce Road 15 comes to an end at the end of the winter season. The agreement is in conjunction with a policy to permit emergency access to Bruce Power buses through the gates when the OPP close Highway 21 and Bruce Road 23 during winter storms. The public works department and emergency responders have keys to the gates.


In a report to council, CAO Murray Clarke said municipal staff needs more time to talk to stakeholders, including the OPP and Bruce Power, before it can make a recommendation to council about changing policies around the gates.


Councillor Randy Roppel asked if the public will have the opportunity to be heard when staff meet with stakeholders.


Clarke said if residents want to comment further they would be welcome to. He added that there are different viewpoints on the matter and each will be presented fairly to council. Some residents want the gates open when Highway 21 is closed, some would like them accessible when both the highway and Bruce Road 23 are open and some do not want them open to the general public at all.


Roppel said another option that should be considered is to remove the gates altogether.


“Some people may not like that, but it is an option.”