• John Jantak

Wetland characterization of Pine Like in Hudson will begin this spring


THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

After sitting idle for a period, the Pine Lake dossier is moving forward with preliminary steps being taken at the request of the Environment Ministry.

With warmer spring weather on the way, the Town of Hudson is gearing up to begin work regarding the wetland characterization of Pine Lake as soon as the snow melts, Mayor Jamie Nicholls told residents at the monthly council meeting on Monday, March 4.

“The Environment Ministry requires a wetland characterization study as the first step to do anything. The biologists will get out there and start studying it to determine what the future of Pine Lake is. We’re going to get that done. The work will be done by the engineering firm Stantec,” said Nicholls.

Measuring water level with sensors

The town is also already in discussions with Concordia University. “They’ve had doctoral research students look at the possibility that if we do put a dam back, that it will have sensors so that it knows the level of water,” Nicholls told The Journal after the meeting.

The file had apparently gone dormant but was revived by Iain Dalgarno – Director, Infrastructure, Work Planning and Municipal Water Treatment Services for the town – and the current municipal council after they were elected in fall 2017, said Nicholls.

Viviry watershed future

“We’ve taken the steps and the ball is rolling. I think the community wants to see something happen there. They at least want us to go forward to advance the files and this is exactly what we’re doing,” said Nicholls.

The town also recently met with MRC representatives to give them an update on the status of the dam. It was part of overall discussions on the future of the Viviry watershed. While the new well project in close proximity to an existing well in the Wellesley and Evergreen Streets area of the town is on track to be operational this year, Nicholls said there are a lot of developments happening upstream. “We have to have the discussion regionally to ensure our water resources are protected,” said Nicholls.

Protecting the town aquifer

“We have to take the measures necessary to protect our aquifer. We’re trying to work within a framework of sustainability. We are working with our regional partners, the province, and federally where it’s applicable,” Nicholls added.

“We’re also been working with researchers at Concordia University to look into using sensor technology to monitor the river under the regime of climate change and to ensure that we’re measuring water levels and seeing the effects that climate change is having on our river,” said Nicholls.

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JAMES ARMSTRONG

The Town of Hudson is continuing to look at ways to mitigate traffic problems – particularly on weekends – related to the ferry crossing over to Oka.

Ferry traffic backlog

The eventual arrival of spring will also bring a resumption of the ferry service between Hudson and Oka, and with it the backlog of traffic that has been plaguing the area in recent years due to its popularity. Nicholls said the town has been busy trying to find ways to minimize the traffic spillover this season.

“The committee has been working very hard on that. Going forward there was a range of proposals that were made last year in terms of intelligent signage so that people know what the wait times are, having the website provide the wait time of the ferry, and enlarging the parking lot area,” said Nicholls.

“All proposals are on the table and the town is working proactively with the ferry owner. Last year we conducted a study with the intent to go to the province and say this is a regional issue and the ferry is a part of our transit network,” Nicholls added. “We need assistance because the town can’t shoulder it alone.”

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