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In the News: Liability concerns continue to leave Warsaw water access blocked off

As seen in the Peterborough Examiner on Thursday June 17th,

WARSAW — Douro-Dummer Township councillors will be reaching out once again to the new property owner of the former Warsaw United Church to see if an agreement can be reached to allow township residents access to the boat launch.

For a number of years, people enjoyed access to the water for boating, swimming and fishing from the dock on the Indian River at the church. After the church and its property — including the dock at Indian River — were sold, concerns were raised by the purchaser (who did not wish to be named in this story) about their liability and risk of allowing these activities to continue.

Conversations took place between staff and the purchaser who had hopes of reaching an agreement that would see the township lease the property to ensure residents could continue to use it. But that would have passed the liability onto the township for property it didn’t own. At a March 2 meeting, township council voted against it.

At its regular council meeting on Tuesday, councillors heard a staff report recommending the township redirect those that enjoyed the area to town shipo wned locations. There are a number of water access points within the township, many of which are located at the end of road allowances, the report stated.

Coun. Heather Watson presented a motion asking staff to contact the landlord to address concerns again now, since the landowner may not be as open to discussions in 2022.

“We have a wiling landowner who wants to have a discussion with us. We have a community who recognizes that’s it’s wise to explore all these issues,” Watson said.

Deputy Mayor Karl Moher suggested council wait until next year to contact the landowner so that parking, COVID-19 and liability issues can be studied.

Coun. Shelagh Landsmann said the community has enjoyed the access possibly for as long as 100 years.

“The other areas where there is water is great for some people, but it’s no good for the local children in Warsaw who decide to run down to the beach and take their fishing rod or run there and have a quick swim before dinner. I would certainly like to see that property available,” Landsmann said.

The motion passed with Moher being the sole objector.

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