• John Jantak

Work to stabilize Chaline Valley landslide zone will begin in late 2018


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Work is scheduled to begin late in 2018 to resolve the landslide issue adjacent to the Quinchien River in Chaline Valley area of St. Lazare.

Chaline Valley homeowners in St. Lazare got welcome news about work that will be done to reconfigure and stabilize the land along the Quinchien River during a special presentation that was presided by town officials and representatives from the provincial Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Public Security at the community centre on March 28.

The meeting was held in two parts: the first half was a broad overview of the current situation that affects all homeowners who live either next to, or close to, the river. The second half was reserved exclusively for property owners whose land is directly adjacent to the river – who were given complete details as to how their properties will be reshaped according to their addresses.

Due to the sensitive nature of topic, especially regarding the reconfiguration work that will be carried out at specific addresses to mitigate a possible landslide, town officials excluded the media from the public presentation. Reporters, however, were invited to a special press conference on March 29 where the presentation and details were delivered.

Mayor Robert Grimaudo and Director General Serge Tremblay both said the media’s exclusion had nothing to do with the town trying to withhold information but was meant to address privacy issues, especially for homeowners who will require extensive modifications to their backyards.

• Provincial minstry to hold public info meeting for Chaline Valley homeowners

One-on-one meetings with homeowners

Grimaudo and Tremblay reiterated that everything related to the meeting including a video of the public presentation will be available on the town’s website. The town also held exclusive one-on-one private meetings on March 29 with homeowners who will be directly affected to discuss the type of work that is planned. A second series of individual meetings has been reserved for April 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The town will also set up an exclusive cell phone line for Chaline Valley residents where they can get more information at (514) 250-0964. Additional info can be obtained from Jean-Sébastien Forest, Regional Director of Public Security for Montérégie/Estrie at (450) 346-3200.

Stabilization work

The work will involve stabilizing a 1.5 kilometre stretch of the shoreline with large boulders to prevent shoreline erosion and smoothing out and lowering the surrounding land next to houses that are directly within the landslide red zone, said transport ministry geotechnical engineer Janelle Potvin during a presentation for reporters.

Work is expected to begin late in 2018 and will endure about 15 weeks before its expected completion in 2019. Until then, the town will determine the scope of the project and put out a call for tenders for various aspects of the work involved.

Provincial funding

A substantial portion of the estimated $8 million cost will be absorbed by the provincial government who will provide a $5,920,000 million subsidy. The remaining $2,080,000 will be paid by the town from its accumulated surplus and will not impact taxpayers, said Grimaudo.

“There’s a lot of work coming,” Grimaudo told Your Local Journal. “What’s important to remember is we managed in a relatively short period of time to work very closely with the Ministries of Public Security and Transport to put a file together. We’re very happy it’s done and now it’s a matter of getting the work completed. The beauty is that for the residents it won’t cost them a penny.”

Residents reassured

District 3 Councillor Brigitte Asselin, who represents Chaline Valley, said she’s pleased that work will finally be done to rectify the situation. “I’m very happy,” said Asselin. “I met with residents last Saturday to inform them of the meeting. Their feedback after the presentation was very positive and many citizens said they have confidence in the town that the job will be done properly.”

• Over 100 Chaline Valley residents ask St. Lazare to release provincial ministry landslide report

Resident Richard Meades who has regularly attended council meetings and called on the town to take positive action to resolve the situation numerous times since 2012, said he was impressed with the presentation and the work that is planned to stabilize the affected areas.

“I have nothing bad to say about the meeting,” said Meades. “This time the town hit the nail right on the head. They had immediate translation. Everything, including the presentation of the maps was well done. Obviously, they’ve been working on this for a while and they did a top-quality job. I’ll give them credit when it’s due and this is one time they really deserve it.”

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