Council approves buying buoys for shallow part of lake

by HEIDI DESCH
Editor | September 30, 2020 1:00 AM

Whitefish City Council recently decided to provide $2,750 in funds to purchase safety buoys for a shallow area of Whitefish Lake.

Four families — Seely, Solberg, Corwin and Willis — contacted the city requesting funding for the buoys for the sandbar located between City Beach and The Lodge at Whitefish Lake.

Council decided that the safety issue needed to be addressed authorizing the purchase.

City Manager Dana Smith said the money would come from the city’s general fund.

Austin Willis, in a letter to Council, said the city provided buoys for the area 25 years ago. His family has cared for the buoys over the years storing them in winter and locating them as they’ve become lost and re-anchoring them several times.

“Without these markers it makes this part of the lake very dangerous,” he said. “Every summer countless boats hit the rocks or the lake bottom and ruin the props, impellers, and hulls.”

The buoys were installed for safety of boaters and swimmers on the eastern shore of the lake where the sandbar extends well over 100 yards and the water is extremely shallow.

Only two of 10 original buoys remain and that’s causing an issue itself, Willis said.

“Now, we consider these two outliers to be very misleading to boaters and swimmers alike as they appear to be marking a single rock, as opposed to the entire area,” Willis said. “Countless boats have hit the rocks and the bottom this year.”