Vision du futur (Illustration : Jean-Pierre Fourez)
Have you been on the dock in Philipsburg lately ? What a wreck, it is a pity that it got to this point.
What memories are there on this dock, memories of the beginning of Eastern townships, memories of the first customs in 1839, memories of the times where all the goods and people were transported by boat ? Also memories of the old railroad from Stanbridge Station to Philipsburg part of it running to the dock and the other to the old quarry, memories of the 50’s and 60’s where there were private cruisers docking for a couple of days and then going away to be replaced by What you could see memories of the RCMP boat and helicopter that would stay for part of the summer to watch for smugglers on the Lake.
Nowadays, it is used for fishing, launching of boats and looking at the sunsets.
The dock is all that and could be more if it was cleaned up and repaired.
Some 5 or 6 years ago, some town counsellors made attempts to have it repaired, all that was done was filling the holes with small stones and topped them with cement or black top, that is called patching…
Is there anyone on the counsel that asks herself or himself why there where holes on the surface of the dock to begin with ?
I have seen a break on the lower east side below the water line of about 6 inches in diameter. Could it be possible there are other of them causing the stones to awash in the water ?
Since last winter, Federal and Provincial governments are offering grants to municipalities for projects of infrastructure, shouldn’t we take this opportunity to refurbish the dock, making it last for future generations ?
While doing the repairs, some cosmetic work should be done to embellish the place and make it more user-friendly for people with small boats. Here are some suggestions :
get rid of the weeds like small Manitoba Maple, couch grass etc. and replace it with small plants and flowers that thrive near the water ;
- install, inside the dock, small wharfs with stairs that will welcome small boats to our community ;
- introduce a small toll for launching boats and parking, Philipsburg might be the last in the region to be free. This toll would help pay for a student summer job whose responsibility would be to welcome people, collect the tolls and keep the place clean ;
- hide electric wires from Champlain Street to the end of the dock ;
- add benches and trash cans and secure way but not so visible ;
- ask Environment Canada and Canada Border Service Agency, former Customs and Immigration, a rent for the equipment they have on the dock.
I think the project is one of the important ones to this town at present and for the future generations.