St. Lazare residents voice concerns about Chaline Valley and Dune’s Lake to council

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

St. Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo reassured Chaline Valley residents that the town is working hard to remedy the landslide risk as soon as possible and reiterated that a recent provincial government report indicates there is no imminent risk of a landslide occurring anytime in the near future.

Issues related to Chaline Valley and Dune’s Lake continued to dominate question period during the latest St. Lazare council meeting on Tuesday, July 8.

Resident Richard Meades told council that according to a recent public legal notice that was published in a regional newspaper, work to remedy the landslide risk in Chaline Valley would only be completed by 2020 and asked council why it would take so long to complete the stabilization work.

Mayor Robert Grimaudo replied he wasn’t aware of a specific timeframe being mentioned in any recent public notice related to possible preventive land stabilization work that may be required in Chaline Valley. He reiterated the town has already started the process by applying to the province for financial assistance under the Quebec government’s 2013-2020 framework for disaster risk prevention.

Grimaudo said the town is expecting a subsidy will be granted in 2015 but cautioned the amount approved could be lower than expected due to proposed financial cuts to various programs in the current provincial budget.

The town’s current strategy is to set aside its own funds after receiving the provincial subsidy and hire geologic specialists who will conduct a comprehensive review of the entire area to specifically determine what stabilization work, if any, would be required. “Maybe they’ll tell us that no stabilization work is required,” an optimistic Grimaudo told Your Local Journal.

If work is needed to stabilize the land, it would begin soon after the town receives the next series of engineering reports. Until then, Grimaudo again sought to ease homeowner’s concerns by saying a recent study from the provincial Ministry of Transport that was presented at a recent public information meeting indicated there is no imminent risk of a landslide occurring anytime in the near future.

Meades reminded council that homeowners are still having difficulty selling their homes because prospective purchasers are reluctant to buy properties in a landslide risk zone. Other recent home buyers are embroiled in lawsuits because sellers apparently didn’t mention their properties were in the slide zone, Meades said.

Grimaudo said he understands the situation but said it was pointless to keep going round in circles discussing the same issues. “Work to finally resolve the situation has already started and District 3 Councillor Brigitte Asselin is pushing the town hard to have the work done as soon as possible,” said Grimaudo.

Residents living near Dune’s Lake also expressed their concerns about continuing late night parties by revelers at Dune’s Lake. Grimaudo said the town is aware of the situation and is working with the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) police department to remedy the problem.

Now that Dune’s Lake is owned by the town and is part of its parks network, municipal by-laws prohibit public drinking and drunkenness in all parks. Grimaudo said the SQ was called to the area three times last weekend to investigate reports of late-night drinking.

Grimaudo added that the town’s new public security service, VCS Investigation Inc., is also regularly patrolling the area and issuing tickets for by-law infractions. He called on residents to immediately report any suspicious activity to the town’s public security department or the SQ.

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