MLRA List Of Achievements
The Musselman’s Lake Residents Association (MLRA) is a volunteer organization established in early 2006 with an executive consisting of representatives of local residents’ associations from various neighbourhoods around the Lake. Since 2006 the MLRA has been very busy and very successful working on a wide variety of projects, some of which have won awards.
1) Website and email – The MLRA created a website ( www.musselmanslake.ca ) to keep the community informed as to issues that may concern them. Regular email blasts are sent out to members with important announcements.
2) Illegal Dump closed. In 2006 a dump on Highway 48 was dumping food waste that it wasn’t licenced for. The MLRA acting on complaints from local residents informed Councillor Bannon about a foul odour that was permeating the Lake area. Councillor Bannon immediately responded and due to his diligent work, the illegal dump operation was closed within weeks.
3) Earth Day is a very successful annual event that was established in 2008. This event is held in the spring every year and not only does the environment benefit from it but so does the community as a whole. As Charlene Jones so beautifully put in an article about the event, “Where strangers became neighbours”.
4) Stewardship Plan. The objective of the Musselman’s Lake Subwatershed Assessment and Stewardship Opportunities Report (Stewardship Opportunities Report) is to describe the environmental issues facing Musselman’s Lake and its subwatershed and put forward recommendations to remedy or control these environmental issues. The Stewardship Opportunities Report was prepared by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) in consultation with the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, Councillor Bannon, the MLRA, landowners, business operators, interested members of the public, appropriate government agencies and non-government environmental groups. The MLRA and Councillor Bannon were the driving force to have this report completed and are also working hard to have the many recommendation implemented.
5) Enviro Street Light testing. This is a MLRA initiative undertaken after residents complained about the irregular street lighting in our area. Our three phase testing program began back in 2008 with the installation of Enviro-Smart streetlights on Highcrest Road . These were the same lights installed throughout the city of Calgary. The advantages were reduced power consumption (we replaced 175 watt lights with 100 watt lights) and new directional lenses that reduced light pollution dramatically. Phase two involved the installation of a new High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlight on Churchill Drive – along with new directional lens, reduction in power consumption to 100 watts, it also has a reduced mercury content. Now, the third and final testing phase began two years ago on Byron Street using brand new LED streetlight technology by ProTerra LED, a Canadian company. These lights contain NO mercury and produce a better light with additional energy savings.
6) Watershed Hero Award given to MLRA their environmental work in the area including the Earth Day event. The LSRCA has awarded the MLRA a Water Conservation Award for the environment al work that has been done in our community. The MLRA received this award on behalf of the many residents of the Lake who not only support but also participate in our Annual Earth Day Community Spring Clean Event which has become a template for other communities to follow.
7) Watershed Hero Award given to the Town and members of the MLRA for their part in the development of the Musselman’s Lake Subwatershed Assessment and Stewardship Opportunities Report. The MLRA assisted with and were members of the Technical Working Group that drafted the plan that won the award. Councillor Bannon and the Town should be very proud of winning this award as they were instrumental in making sure the Stewardship Opportunities Report became a reality.
8) Rules and Regulations Regarding Shoreline Improvements – MLRA worked with LSRCA to develop this informative document to help clear up the confusion Lake front owners had regarding what could and could not be done to improve their waterfront.
9) Winter Carnival. Councillor Phil Bannon’s extremely successful Stouffville Winter Carnival is held annually in association with the MLRA. We celebrated the tenth anniversary of this popular event in 2013 with the biggest event to date. Councillor Phil Bannon is the driving force behind the event and he promises that it will continue to get bigger and better each year.
10) MLRA is a member of the Community Safety Committee along with the Town, York Region Police and York Regional Roads. The committee was started by Councillor Phil Bannon and has implemented a significant number of safety measures that would provide the community with some confidence, that prevention was our utmost priority. The speed limit has been reduced (40 km) and the posted speed limit signs for northbound traffic on Ninth Line, have been moved further south, to the top of the hill. A very aggressive radar enforcement program has been implemented, as well as speed caution signs installed on Ninth Line. The installation of the flashing amber light with recommended 20km speed limit and the large caution direction signs and arrows on the guardrails have also been implemented.
11) Park Plan. There are so many people who deserve credit for their part in this success. Town Staff who have dedicated so much time and energy throughout this process, negotiating the acquisition of the Park Land and Environmentally Sensitive Lands for $2.00, effectively acquiring the lands for no direct cost. The Musselman’s Lake Residents Association, who have continued to provide so much information and positive support through their strong, responsible leadership in the community. A very special thanks to the Mayor and Members of Council who have continued to Councillor Bannons’s exhaustive efforts over the past seven years to have this Park put on the map.
The final proposal to acquire this neighbourhood park ”Coultice Park” and the environmentally sensitive lands from the James Coultice Estate has now been approved. Development will be limited to an unserviced park and low intensity recreational uses. The site is approximately 4-5 acres in size. Uses that could be accommodated and sited within the neighbourhood park include:
- Junior and intermediate play structures and swings
- Picnic shelter or gazebo and associated sitting areas
- Multi-purpose court/basketball court
- 12-14 stall parking lot
- Unorganized open play area
- Toboggan hill utilizing the existing topography of the site
An additional parcel comprised of approximately 137 acres of environmentally sensitive lands represents an opportunity to promote public education and outreach on environmental awareness. Water conservation and water quality initiatives could be designed and implemented consistent with the objective of the Musselman’s Lake Subwatershed Assessment and Stewardship Opportunities Project.
Additionally, trails could be established through portions of the property which in time could be extended to make connection with the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail.
This is a Win, Win, Win situation for the Town, The Residents of Musselman’s Lake and the Conservation Authority
12) Lake Watch Program – was implemented after the tragic drownings in July 2011. The aim of the program is Rescue, Prevention, and Education. Seven Life Safety Rings were installed at key locations around the Lake. Water Safety section added to website along with regular postings about water safety.
13) What’s In A Name? The MLRA would like to thank all the residents who participated in our poll that assisted Town Council in making their decision to have the signs read, Musselman’s Lake.
We complimented Mr. Whitehouse and his staff, on the look and production of the new blue community signs, which we think most residents agree, look outstanding. Mr. Whitehouse thanked us for our favourable comments and indicated it was a collaborative effort between town staff and the sign contractor.
Many thanks to Councillor Phil Bannon and Town Council for reaching out to the community to get our input as to the name that we preferred to have on the signs before they proceeded with this project.
Times like this make you appreciate the community that we live in. Once again…Residents, Councillor, Town Council and Town all worked together as a team to ensure the betterment of our community.
14) Removed sunken barge from Lake – It took the banding together of one very diligent politician, fair-minded officials and persistent residents to do the IMPOSSIBLE. Neil Swanson’s houseboat, which for years has been the black eye on the beauty of Musselman’s Lake, was finally removed in April 2008. A big THANK-YOU goes out to Councillor Phil Bannon who worked tirelessly on many a cold day on the shores of the Lake, meeting with officials to make sure this happened. THANK-YOU also to the town by-law officers, Linda Mainprize and Keith Saunders. Linda like Phil spent many a cold hour by the Lake taking pictures and collecting evidence to make sure it happened. Another big THANK-YOU to Charlene Jones our MLRA Fisheries Chairperson who also played key roles in getting the boat removed. Then there’s the MOE, and Team One who actually got the job done.
15) Lake Clean Up. MLRA took the lead in the clearing thousands of dead fish from the Lake after a large Crappie die off in June 2009. Councillor Phil Bannon spent a day with the MLRA assisting with this effort by scooping dead fish out of the Lake. This was a dirty stinky job but Councillor Bannon jumped right in to assist.
16) The CUPPEL Project. Controlling Unwanted Phosphorus and Pollution Entering the Lake, responds to the largest known problem in water quality for Musselman’s: drainage from surrounding fields carries phosphorus, a major food source for weeds, and other pollutants directly into our lake. The aim is to improve water quality through shoreline restoration.
Phase one was completed April 2012 with the planting of 50 plants to help slow down and purify the water run-off from Connor Drive and High Crest Road before it enters our lake. More projects are planned over the next several years. Big supporters of The CUPPEL Project from its inception back in 2010 have been Councillor Phil Bannon, Mayor Emmerson and the LSRCA.
17) Zoning By-law Conditions. The MLRA Executive worked with Councillor Phil Bannon and Geranium Homes to negotiate the addition of a condition on the passing of the Lakeshore Rd. development. The condition is that in the Conditional Offer of Purchase each home buyer is required to sign will require that they sign an annual maintenance agreement for their septic systems with annual reporting to the Town. The MLRA executive had been pushing for proof of maintenance on the Waterloo Biofilter Sewage Systems to be installed in the Lakeshore development. We are pleased that part of the sale agreement is that the new owner has to sign a maintenance agreement. The service and maintenance person of the Waterloo Biofilter sewage treatment system will then be required to file an annual report to advise the town as to each systems performance and compliance. In other words these systems must be regularly maintained and we have assurances that the owners of the new homes will carry on regular maintenance to make sure these septic systems were functioning correctly.
18) The MLRA has not only won awards but has also presented awards of appreciation.
Three awards have been presented so far.
The First Award the “FOUNDERS AWARD” was presented to Councillor Bannon for being instrumental in founding the MLRA and for his continuing efforts on behalf of the Lake Residents. Mr Bannon in addition to being our Councillor and a big supporter of the MLRA, he also has raised money for various charities throughout the Township.
The second award an “APPRECIATION AWARD” was awarded to by-laws officer Linda Mainprize for her efforts in closing an illegal dump on Highway 48 and the clean up of the Swanson property on Coultice. Her efforts have resulted in a safer, healthier community.
The third award another “APPRECIATION AWARD” was presented to resident Charlene Jones and Harold Musetescu who co-chaired the Fisheries Committee and were responsible for bringing excessive ice fishing under control and worked closely with authorities to get the Swanson Houseboat removed and the property cleaned up. They served as an outstanding example of how residents with the backing of the numbers of the MLRA membership can achieve many positive results.
The MLRA continues to work closely with the Town towards the betterment of the Hidden Jewel known as The Community Of Musselman’s Lake. We welcome any/all input from individuals in the community.