SCOI President’s Update

Firstly, let me thank you for respecting the Band’s wishes by not going to your cottages. Your co-operation supports the health of the Reserve, the surrounding community and of all of Grey Bruce. It also respects the government’s and public health authorities’ best advice. There is now community transmission of COVID-19 in Grey Bruce, just as there is in your own community.

We have received many comments and questions from cottagers about a number of issues.

However, four of them stand out.

1. Cottage Access

First, all of us want to go to our cottage and many of the messages we have received deal with this issue.

The State of Emergency declared by the Chief and Band Council is still in effect.

It is open ended and is very clear. The province’s State of Emergency declaration now appears to extend well into May, suggesting little if any travel on the long weekend (May 16-18). We are not even permitted a quick trip to pick something up that was left at the cottage last fall. Please don’t ask. The answer is, universally, no. Not until the Band lifts the State of Emergency.

Roads Closed

We reiterate that Band security has closed the roads and is checking vehicles and cottages. From our discussions with the OPP, we know that they are backing up Cancom as requested. Cancom security staff are Federal By-law Officers who can lay charges if the situation warrants it.

 

2. Service Fees

The second issue is payment of Service Fees. SCOI asked the Band Council to consider deferral or installments to give cottage owners time to budget for the sizeable increase in this year’s fee.

Council agreed to a 60 day deferral. Service Fees are now due on May 30, 2020.

3. Lease Fees

The third issue is payment of Lease Fees. 2020/2021 is the 10th and final year of the current lease period and the 5th year of the 5-year fee period.

Fee amounts this year are the same as they have been for the past 4 years.

Band Council has confirmed that lease fees are due on May 1, 2020.

4. Septic Systems

The fourth significant issue has been concern over the Band’s expectation that septic systems meet code by the end of this lease period (April 30, 2021). Contractors are currently not allowed to work on Band land until the State of Emergency has been lifted.

However, the Band has indicated that as long as cottagers have, at the very least, a septic permit pending, this will not be an impediment to the renewal of their lease on May 1, 2021.

Refer to our post on septic systems  for more information.

There is considerable information on each of these issues posted on this website. Many questions and comments have been responded to as well.

However, we feel that we have told everyone all that we know at this time.

Recent Questions

The questions we have been getting more recently have already been answered.

Again, we have no new information to share.

Please use the search function to find the most recent information on the subject you are looking for.

 

Spring Patrol

Questions about Spring Patrol should be addressed to local association secretary-treasurers. They have or will be contacting existing Winter Patrol clients.

For those not previously on Winter Patrol, phone numbers of those service providers are provided on the Spring Patrol post.

 

SCOI Board Meeting

Finally, the SCOI Board will be meeting in May and the issues raised above and other issues will be on the agenda.

We hope to speak with the Chief prior to that meeting so we have a better understanding of where matters are on many of these issues. We will also likely be in a different place with regard to COVID-19 by late May.  By then we expect that SCOI and the Band will have a much better understanding of the situation as we head into the summer season.

Questions and Comments

We have made a decision to suspend posting of questions and comments for the present.

We encourage individuals to search the website for answers to their questions. If you can’t find the answer, please ask and we will do our best to answer or point you to where the information you wish may be found.

For those who wish to comment, please also do so. Again, we will not be posting comments, but will be listening.

Where comments bring new light to an issue or add information to what we already have, we will make sure they are considered.

However, please also understand if there is new information, we will be posting it as soon as possible.

Please do not repost rumours or speculation. We try to deal in verifiable facts from reliable media or original sources. We believe that is as transparent and open as we can be.

David Shearman
President, Saugeen Cottagers Organization, Inc.