Last Sunday, a work crew of over twenty were busy drilling between five thousand and seven thousand holes through the thick ice that was covering the Tomifobia River in the municipality of Hatley. “This year, the ice is between twentyfive and forty-five centimetres thick,” explained Hatley’s mayor, Jacques de Léséleuc. Last year, the ice was thin in March and the town didn’t need to have holes drilled into it with this fairly recent innovation in ice damage control.
Drilling the thousands of holes, which are each roughly eight inches in diameter, weakens the ice so that it breaks up faster and into smaller pieces. This reduces the risk of flooding and the damage done to the shoreline. “It costs about $10,000 but it can save about $100,000 in damages. We do it for the residents,” said Mr. de Léséleuc.
When asked if there was any news about the restoration work to be done on the St. James Hall, the mayor said: “We’ve had a meeting with Mr. Sweeney and we’ve heard that the work should start at the beginning of July. But we haven’t seen any plans and there haven’t been any requests for permits yet.”
Last year, a grant from the Quebec government to help pay for the restoration of the heritage building was announced.