City crews have been struggling to keep dog walkers off the West Waterfront pathway since rising lake levels made it unsafe to use.
The City posted a sign June 15 advising dog walkers to stay off the path and blocked both entry points with barricades. But people just walked around it and used the path anyways.
On June 18 City crews installed a fences at either end of the trail, but public works supervisor Karen MacDonald said those have been tampered with too.
“People are trying to pull down the fence,” she said.”We have public works down here everyday fixing it.”
Someone has also been emptying buckets of dog feces along the fence at the southwest end of the trail, near the transfer station. So far there have been four deposits.
“It takes a sick mind to do something like this,” MacDonald said. “Someone had to collect the feces, drive it here and dump it. It’s just sick.”
MacDonald stressed that to trails are closed for public safety. High water has washed out parts of the trail and there are sinkholes forming under the surface, which may collapse if people walk on them. As well, the trail is slippery and people risk falling into the lake, which drops off upwards of 10 feet in some areas.
“People shouldn’t be trying to get out there. It’s just not safe,” MacDonald said, noting even after water levels drop, city crews will need to do some work on the path before it will be reopened.
In the meantime, dog walkers can have their pet off leash on the Burlington Rail Trail or walk on-leash along the waterfront pathway near the soccer fields.
Kootenay Lake recently reached a geodetic elevation of 1752.2 feet, the highest its been since 1997.