Isn’t this where we came in?

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Hudson’s public works crew scrambles to close off part of Cameron after discovering the culvert draining Brookside has collapsed. The full extent of the damage isn’t known.

Today, Friday, at mid-afternoon, Hudson’s blue collar crew was scrambling to block off part of Cameron after discovering part of the shoulder had collapsed into the culvert that drains the pond opposite what used to be Pine Lake.

Closer inspection revealed a two-foot hole in the the concrete culvert.

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Water from Black Brook is visible rushing through the culvert under Cameron.

As of 3 p.m. the crew had reduced Cameron to a single lane, forcing traffic to alternate. A traffic light has been set up.

The culvert collapse is the latest development in the four-year saga that began shortly after this administration took power. Sometime over the 2013 winter, water began flowing under the Pine Lake dam. By this time that spring, the Viviry had undercut the dam, causing it to slump and threatening to wash both it and Cameron downstream.

The town dumped a few truckloads of stone to stabilize the dam (and placate an angry Pine Lake resident) while the three-year debate got moving to determine what should be done. Two surveys and an advisory committee recommendations later, the town is no closer to a solution than it was when the dam break was discovered.

Last week, the mayor told a local paper the environment ministry no longer considers Pine Lake a lake. It’s now a wetland, with a whole new set of rules regarding what can be done.

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Pine Lake is back, at least for now. Shows we need a retention basin.

Ironically, Pine Lake is back to being a lake after several days of rain and a fast melt in the Viviry watershed. As of this afternoon, water is pouring over the dam for the first time in months as well as underneath it. The possibility that the dam could be washed out was what brought public works to check on it regularly.

Among the proposed solutions, this was the closest to what was there before and would satisfy the environment ministry’s requirements that less than half the current lakebed could be dredged. Council chose to do what it has done for the past four years.

The Pine Lake dam fiasco has become a hallmark of the Prévost administration’s inability to get things done. A consultant’s study concluded that the dam could not stay the way it was and needed remediation, replacement or removal, with costs ranging from $200,000 to $600,000. Another expert’s report concluded the town needs a retention basin to buffer the growing annual volume of water heading into Hudson from upstream. Pine Lake residents threatened lawsuits. A citizens’ advisory committee proposed several scenarios. One of the least expensive was the proposal above. Why wasn’t it acted upon? Ask the mayor and council.

This is where we came in, folks. The current council spent four years and something like $100,000 to arrive at today’s sorry mess. If anyone on council has re-election aspirations, they’ll have to explain this abysmal failure to prioritize.

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9 thoughts on “Isn’t this where we came in?

  1. Jim, how many times have you or I mentioned that culvert was at risk?

    Most of the water has been flowing under the dam for a couple of years now.

    Predictable, avoidable and getting more expensive the longer we indecide.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The dam must be about to topple as well and the main culvert there has probably hollowed out underneath with all the water flowing under the dam. Not like it wasn’t obvious, just easier to ignore and consult than act. Easy just doesn’t cut it when public safety is at stake, including the safety of our wallets.

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  3. Jim , I just had an oops moment .Thanks for posting my doodles . I guess i should have read ” Isn’t this where We Came in” before reaming you out on ” Come Hell or High Water” . Remember it’s all in the interest of transparency and good fun?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Odd, before I was blocked by Trevor Smith, he said he was going to get a group of locals to fix the dam on the super cheap, nuts to all the regulations and protocols in place, He was going to head this, Tell the environment industry that they had to answer to him, and he couldn’t care less if it lasted the mandatory time, nor did he care who would be responsible should his Hubba Bubba gum repair fail within 15 minutes. Must have been a lot of big talk, I drove by the dam yesterday and I am still convinced it is on a minor incline to the right and the fact it holds no water also indicates it isn’t repaired.

    That dam must be holding by a pebble, like a Bugs Bunny cartoon where one small rock holds the entire dam together. It appears to be hollowed out under both sides, and I would guess that if that giant slab of concrete fell forward, it would destroy the culvert under Cameron, and then we would have a big problem.

    But, I don’t blame council. Remember, their resolution was shot down. A lot of people don’t understand ow the Cities and Towns act is written or Loan bylaws work. a 750,000$ loan bylaw doesn’t mean it is GOING to cost 750,000$. Everyone I’ve spoken to thinks that is what that means. It means that is the MAXIMUM that can be borrowed for this project. If it ends up costing 10% of that, or 75,000$.. That is all that is used. Marcus Owen’s kill the lake loan campaign was extremely successful. In his e-mail he questioned why all taxpayers should be on the hook for paying for it. And although I want pine lake fixed, I understand his point. I don’t get to use the properties nearby to enjoy the lake. I can’t sun tan in my G-String on privately owned property on the shores of Pine Lake. So I understand that argument questioning why all residents should pay. I also understand that since the deed of the lake was passed to Hudson they had the obligation to maintain it under their deal. Clearly they did not.

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