A permanent boat launch on Timothy Lake is about to take shape with the anticipated arrival next week of a newly built cement slabs.
But there’s a hitch: The Timothy Lake Road Community Association has only until the end of September to get them installed or will have to wait until August next year. It has to be done outside of spawning season.
“I kind of think we can have this done by the 30th of September. I think we’re going to be through this year,” community member Bill Rose said.
The association has been trying for three years to construct the $18,000 project, which was pitched by community member Bob Hansen, following a wildfire at the far end of the lake in 2017. With no access point in the middle of the lake, three locals had to launch their own boat to fight it, while volunteer firefighters set up their pumps and hoses at Northwood Lodge.
Wayne Giroday, who is leading the project, said the community had just purchased a boat for fire protection at the end of the lake but couldn’t use it.
“We had just completed the boat and had it out for one week. We had no place to launch the boat. We wasted a bunch of time,” he said. “We thought this is the middle of the lake, we need to have something here.”
READ MORE: Timothy Lake to get boat launch
The project, which includes the resurfacing of a 300-foot steep access road off Meade Road and a 70-foot wide concrete boat launch into the lake, started last year with a $5,000 grant from the South Cariboo Community Enhancement Society, which provides funding to various organizations, ranging from environment and arts to recreation and culture.
The society last week provided another $5,000 for “phase two,” which involves putting the slabs in the lake. Altogether, the SCCEF will provide $15,000 to the project.
“The Timothy Lake Road Community Association is the first we have done a multi-year grant for so we’re pretty excited because this is a permanent addition to the South Cariboo for everyone to enjoy,” said society vice-president Lisa DePaoli.
The project has been beset by challenges over the past three years. The association just received a permit last week from the ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources to put the slabs in the water – a complex project that involves a silt net and extensive riprap to prevent the ice from shifting the ramp.
“It’s amazing how strong the ice is,” Rose said, noting the ice moved the ramp at Deka Lake by six feet.
The association had also planned to use free slabs from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. MoTI had promised the slabs from the old roof of the “snowshed” on the Coquihalla highway. Those slabs had three-inch holes that had to be filled with concrete to prevent them from filling with water and freezing.
“We went to pick them up and the very last minute highways gave them to someone else,” Rose said.
The new slabs are expected to arrive Tuesday. In the meantime, work will continue on the access road, which has already been widened and resurfaced with a base coat of 11 loads of gravel. Rose said they have received funding from the Cariboo Regional District for more gravel, likely about 20 loads.
The boat launch will provide better access to firefighters, as well as fishermen and other recreational users year round.
“This is a multi-season community,” said resident Barbara Noiles. “We need to be able to keep it safe access for everybody.”