Town of Brome Lake approves two new projects

By Taylor McClure – Special to Brome County News

The Town of Brome Lake is launching a new pilot project for its walking path that extends from Victoria Street to Foster to support the avid interest in cross-country skiing. The path has been widened to help accommodate walkers, cyclists, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers simultaneously. The town has also approved an apartment-building project on Main Street which it hopes will help accommodate families looking to live in the village.

“It was a walking and biking path originally, but we resurfaced from Victoria all the way down to the golf club and a little bit by the golf club to make it wider. There were some places where it narrows in a bit,” said Mayor Richard Burcombe. “There’s been a lot of cross-country skiers before, but this way, one side of the trail will be reserved just for cross-country skiing.”

Gal, a company in Foster, was awarded the contract to take care of the trail after the owner offered its services. “They have the machine to trace because with cross-country skiing they stay in the same track. They have the machine to trace one track from Foster all the way to Victoria Street.”

Those not cross-country skiing need to avoid that side of the trail. “If you’re going to walk or snowshoe, you can do it right on the main part of the trail. People should avoid going in the path where the cross-country skiers go because it messes up the tracing.”

The trail will be there for people to use when and as they wish. “That’s what the people appreciate and I’m sure a lot of people have taken up cross-country skiing and other activities. Cross-country skiing has always had a great fanbase and there is demand for it. Years ago, we had the “Farmers Stop” on Mont Echo and that closed down because everyone started downhill skiing. Now with the way winters are, especially with Covid, people have taken up cross-country skiing probably more than before.”

The town decided to launch the project after citizens approached with the request at the same time they were removing brush and widening the trails; it was perfect timing. “We said we will try a pilot project and if it works it works and we will do it again next year. If something happens for whatever reason, you can’t think of everything unless you try something, we will evaluate after winter if it was well used or worthwhile to do it.”

The village will also be seeing the construction of new apartment buildings across from the old Boussada building on Main Street after a company approached the town last spring. “They asked permission to build back there last spring and they finally got the necessary permits. They ordered the material and it’s been there for months. They haven’t started yet, but everything is in place to go ahead,” explained Burcombe. “I believe it’s a company that specializes in apartment buildings and that type of project. They had to go through the town to get these permits because of water and sewage. They had to have everything approved by the town and the land management department.”

Three buildings are expected to go up. “There are six apartments in each one so 18 apartments in total. They tore down the house and the garage that was there.”
Burcombe hopes that the buildings will address a housing need in the community. “Certainly, housing has always been a problem. We are hoping they will be affordable. The apartment buildings lately are around $1000 a month but they’re brand new and high quality. We will see how it works out, but apparently there is a big demand for it.”

He added that many people travel to Knowlton for work and that these buildings will hopefully attract people to live in the village. “Cowansville of course is expanding with apartment buildings daily for the last four-five years and sometimes people are attracted to live there because everything is there for them. If they work at KDC they have to travel every day, this way they could be right here. When you’re obliged to travel five days a week for work, it’s more attractive to rent here than in Cowansville.”

Share this article