For some 87 cottagers on Saugeen First Nation’s leased land lots, the past few months have been anxious ones as they waited for their new lease rates that are being based on up-dated assessments. According to many cottagers, the increases are expected to be considerable.
In March, the band voted on whether or not to renew the 87 five-year leases but due to misunderstandings, the vote failed. If the five-year leases are not renewed, the cottagers would be required to remove all belongings, including buildings. Saugeen First Nation will hold a second band vote on July 14th.
On April 27th however, cottagers received a good-news reprieve when the Saugeen Cottagers’ Association Inc. (SCOI) announced on its website that, after several conversations with Saugeen First Nation (SFN), Chief Lester Anoquot and Band staff, an agreement has been reached.
In regard to lease payments, cottagers may pay the same lease fee as last year before the due date of May 31st, with the remainder of the renewal lease to be paid at a later date that will be determined by the Band Council.
Chief Anoquot said that the appraisal document will also be forwarded to SCOI as soon as he receives a copy.
In addition, access restriction to cottages will be removed Saturday, May 1st to help those who have been renting elsewhere and who are required to move out of their rental accommodations on May 1st to return to their cottages.
Everyone will still be required to continue to take all public health measures, including wearing a mask where applicable, washing hands and keeping a safe distance.
Also, while the Provincial Stay-at-Home order remains in place, those cottagers who have a primary residence cannot go to their secondary Saugeen cottage and, further, back-and-forth travel between a primary residence and cottage is not allowed under the Stay-at-Home Order.