Turn-out was impressive for two open house sessions concerning Trout Lake’s future. This morning, East Ferris held an event at Corbeil Park Hall, and this afternoon, the city of North Bay opened the atrium at city hall for participants.
Both were well-attended, and residents had the chance to speak with municipal workers and members of the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority on the topic of Trout Lake, the source of North Bay’s drinking water and a highlight of many a resident’s recreational events.
“Everyone in North Bay and East Ferris have a vested interest in seeing that the lake stays healthy,” said Greg Kirton, East Ferris’ director of community services. “People had some question and comments about what we should consider,” regarding plans for the lake.
The purpose of the open houses was to hear from as many residents as possible, as their feedback concerning the lake will help inform a new watershed study and management plan. East Ferris, the City of North Bay, and the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority are undertaking the study with help from Hutchinson Environmental Sciences and J.L. Richards, an engineering, planning, and architectural firm.
Currently, the project is in phase two, the “directions phase,” which highlights “public engagement on future development and management of the lake,” the city of North Bay explains on its website.
Bev Hillier, the manager of planning services for the city of North Bay, emphasized the importance of the plan because once done, the findings within will help craft future policy concerning the lake. “It’s an opportunity to review what has happened on the lake,” concerning overall management, including zoning matters, and incorporate “what people want to see happen on the lake.”
“That’s what we’re hoping to gather from this open house,” she added. “To see what the perspective is on lakeshore development and best management practices,” and use those perspectives to inform ongoing plans that are presented to city council.
Overall, Hillier is pleased with the amount of feedback. When the open house opened its doors about 26 people streamed in, and East Ferris saw about 25 people attend its event. “We’ve been getting a lot of emails,” as well, Hillier said, and many within the community are taking an interest.
For those who missed the open houses, each municipality remains open to hearing your thoughts on the future of Trout Lake.
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.