Bonnifield beach ordinance gets proposed draft revisions
The Fairfield Park and Recreation Board of Directors and the beach volunteer committee for Bonnifield Lake presented a revised draft of the ordinance agreed upon by both parties Thursday evening at a Public Safety and Transportation Committee meeting.
The two groups, which historically have not seen eye to eye on the lake’s future, agreed on changing the language regarding use of the 40-foot-long safety noodles stationed in the middle of the lake.
Previously, the draft stated they were only to be used by lap swimmers “who get into trouble” and were “not intended to be used for lounging like swimming pool noodles.”
Chairman of the volunteer committee, Bob Klauber said he felt the language would restrict residents from enjoying the lake, but would also put them in harms way. He said it would discourage swimmers from taking a rest until they became dangerously fatigued, instead of as a preemptive measure.
The board agreed to rewrite the draft to prohibit horseplay, but not to limit use only to swimmers who “get into trouble.”
Committee chairwoman Susan Silvers and the emergency personnel present, fire chief Scott Vaughan and police chief Julie Harvey, disagreed with one of Klauber’s arguments
“If I got into trouble I’d like it if I had four of five friends close by to help,” said Klauber.
Vaughan and Harvey said swimmers attempting a rescue could easily result in two drowning instead of one.
“You [Klauber] are a good swimmer and have never been in that situation,” said Vaughan.
The new draft set concrete dates for a swim season at the lake, allowing swimming from sunrise to sunset beginning April 1 to Nov. 1. The first draft gave Park and Recreation Director Derik Wulfekuhle authority to determine the swim season each year at his discretion.
The lake will not be automatically closed if safety devices are vandalized or stolen as they were in the first draft.
The committee made a 2-to-1 motion to bring the draft before the full city council for a first reading. Council members Michael Halley and Connie Boyer voted in favor of the measure. Silvers dissented, saying she still took issue with allowing use of the buoys for recreation.
City Attorney John Morrissey will finalize the revised draft before the committee takes it to the full council.