HLSMR Roads & Cottagers' Association Meeting + BBQ!

2016  Annual Meetings

Sunday July 31, 2016

Roads Board: 10 AM

Cottagers Association: 10:45 AM

Pulled Pork BBQ: 12 Noon!

(At Harris Lake Marina)


Once again your Roads Board & Cottagers' Association are gathering on the August long weekend for our Annual General Meeting.  This is a great time for everyone on the lake to get together and discuss topics that are important to us as a community.  The roads board does an incredible job of managing our road and our relationship with the MTO, while the Cottagers' Associations and its members represent and provide services in accordance to the mandates laid out by the organization for the lake and river seasonal and full time residents.

Participation in these meetings is very beneficial to everyone in our community i hope that everyone takes a hour out of their day to participate this year. This year, as an added incentive, the Cottagers's Association is hosting a pulled pork BBQ immediately following the meetings.  The pork will be slow cooked overnight before the meeting and will be perfectly tender for everyone's enjoyment.  The food is being sponsored by your Board members and all proceeds from the BBQ will go directly to the Cottagers' Association.  This is an excellent way to enjoy some great food with our community members, so please come out and support your community.  There will be hot dogs and drinks available for the kids, so feel free to bring the entire family.  Food will be first come, first serve.  (as much as we would like for everyone to attend the meeting, it is not required for the BBQ).

This year before the Cottagers's Association meeting, we will be publishing an Agenda as there are a number of items we would like to discuss and bring to members attention which will require some votes.  As always, the more people who vote, the more representative the Association is of its members.  

As many of you have seen in the newsletter, numbers are down so far this year.  We tend to grow when there are concerns and shrink when it is business as usual on the lake.  We are putting together an action plan to show why it is important for us to work towards consistent membership levels and will discuss at the meeting.  

So what do we do as an association?  This is what many people ask us as we are small and it can be hard to see the influence we have on our community.  Well, it is the role of the Association, its members, and our community to think about the eventualities that tend to go overlooked when they have not occurred in some time.

If someone you love has some type of cardiac event while on the lake, over 40 miles from the nearest hospital, and that does not include boat ride, it is nice to know as a community we have two AED's available, one one the lake, and one on the river.  Something that is easy to ignore, until the very moment it is your mom, dad, husband, wife, child in trouble.  This happens much more than you think,  and the very environment that we love so much, can become a real problem in an emergency.  If potentially saving someones life alone isn't enough, please read on. 

One of the earliest mandates we have had as an association is to protect our environment in all ways possible.  Since we are remote, and there are no fire departments that service the lake or could serve the lake, we have maintained first response fire equipment to be used by all willing and able cottagers to assist with fighting a fire.  In my 39 years i have direct recollection of 5 significant fires on our lake. All of which were maintained with minimal damage because of the fire equipment we maintain.  We started with one small pump, currently located on the river, with a second pump,  fire hut, and fire boat added to the marina.  This was all brought to you by the hard work of volunteers and  the Cottagers' Association members.   Not enough, keep reading.

If you have read this far, you are reading this on website. It was created and is maintained for members of our community to provide information to anyone interested.  The content does not have to just come from the board members, it is available to anyone who is interested.  We keep all of our information centralized here, and can tie into other social media outlets as required.  For anyone on our mail list (email or otherwise) you have likely received a copy of our newsletter. It takes time to write, it takes time to gather articles, and it is another means to communicate with our community.  Again, articles can come from anyone who cares about our community.  

In terms of continued environmental considerations, we are proud to be organizing our largest septic pump out run ever!  Currently we are organizing the pump out of 15 septic's in July and consider this a huge win for our environment.  A well maintained septic is critical to ensuring our environment, particularly our water,  is in great shape for generations to come.  We hope to make this a regular occurrence on our lake.  

Speaking of water, did you know we are part of the lake partner program?  We send samples of our water to the lake partners program every year for analysis of clarity and phosphorous. These two factors are considered critical monitoring of water for basic health and we have been contributing since the 90's.  Results are currently posted on the website under environment. With that being said, a number of years ago, there was a vote to do more detailed water analysis.  We have been looking to do this every year since, unfortunately, we do not even have a high enough membership to afford many of these types of tests, even if we only do them every couple years, we still cannot. 

How about emergencies?  Sure we have AED's to save lives, and fire equipment to save our residences and forest, but how do we know where these things are occurring?  It so happens that the Cottagers's association also produces and maintains a map for the lake so we can locate cottagers and events in our area.  These maps have been created for many years and have recently been updated for 2016.  We will be selling these for $25 each and all proceeds go to the Cottagers' Association.

So when someone asks what we do,  I ask, what do you do as part of your community? What could we be doing if every one of the 197 structures on the lake and river were part of the Association?  The answer is, a lot. 

Please give it some thought, for less than what the vast majority of people spend on a tank of gas driving to the lake on one weekend you could be contributing to saving lives and protecting our amazing wilderness.  I assure you, your family and your memories of the lake are more than worth the money and very worthy of your time.