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Skritek / MOE Hearing

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Wigwam Lodge is a summer resort that was established in the 1930s by natives on Kahshe Lake at 1060, 1061 Wigwam Lodge Road, Kilworthy, Ontario. It currently consists of 15 of the original log cabins, a heritage sight and getaway for future generations. Although the well-known lodge and restaurant had burned down, memories of this social gathering place live on and are continuing to be made.

As many cottages in the surrounding areas, Wigwam Lodge, along with its septic system, lies on a shore allowance along with a road allowance running through its center. For the past couple of years, Wigwam Lodge has been opposed by the Ministry of Environment and the township of Gravenhurst. They would like to stop the operation of, disconnect the septic system, and/or remove structures on the property.

The septic system was approved by the Health Department of Parry Sound in 1974. Since that time, cabins and rooms have been rented out with no health hazards, septic leakage or malfunctions, or dangers to the environment. This past August, an invasive inspection of the leaching bed was made with the Ministry of Environment present along with an environmental engineer; the conclusion was that there are not problems. Regardless, the ministry is still fighting to stop our operation.

We do not understand why this is necessary if we are safe in matters of health and operation, that everything is working properly, and that this has been proven. It would be a shame to lose such a piece of history without any good reason. We love this place, and so do the people that have grown up on or around Wigwam, have visited, or have engaged in social activities.

We would like to request that the MOE drops its orders of us, that it allows us to continue operating as usual throughout the summer seasons, while we continue legal proceedings with the township of Gravenhurst. These legal proceedings are aimed to find a solution for the situation of some encroachments, that had been acceptable for 80 years, upon the township's allowances. They are ongoing because the township is refusing simple solutions such as allowing Wigwam to buy out or to even lease the encroachments while taking all liabilities just until the allowances would be needed. Other properties on Kahshe Lake, such as our neighbors, have been allowed to buy out their allowances.

We would like to be treated the same way as our neighbors and the other taxpayers of Ontario and not to be treated differently or unfairly.

We, the undersigned, are cabin renters at Wigwam Lodge. Some of us have been here since since Mr. Henry Skritek bought Wigwam Lodge in 1976. We understand the situation and support Wigwam in wanting the establishment to continue, free of interference from the MOE, until a solution is found from the proceedings with the township since the establishment does not pose a threat to human health nor the environment. We have not experienced any septic system malfunctions such as spillage or leakage nor any other dangers.

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