Photo credit Sylvain Bolduc

Christmas and the New Year are a time to reflect on the year gone by. In the town of Brome Lake, there are many things large and small to celebrate.

Infrastructure money flowed in torrents, and major repairs were done to Mill Road and Victoria, not just paving but sewage and water. The work was well done, but as we go to press Hydro Quebec failed to move poles, leaving one sticking more than a meter out into the street.

Work began in earnest on the walking path between Knowlton and Foster, and the trestle bridge that once carried rail traffic will soon carry bikers, walkers, joggers and dogs along the entire 10-kilometre stretch.

We have become a town of festivals, and the film festival was a box office success in its inaugural year. However, there seems to be much uncertainty over the direction the theatre will take.

Brome Lake continues to attract sailboats, windsurfers and ice fishermen, and now competitive rowing practice is well established on the lake.

Brome Lake remains ecologically fragile. This year, Council voted more derogations to allow some construction in the lake’s shoreline protection. The blue green algae bloom of late October should remind us that enforcing strict bylaws is crucial.

Real estate has picked up, as we detail elsewhere in this issue. That includes Virgin Hill Coffee which is relocating to a site in Foster after ten years in Waterloo. moved into its impressive new building as its business expands. Their bubblers will be used as part of the teardown of the old Champlain Bridge.

Ecole St. Edouard renewed its International School status, and Knowlton Academy’s gardening project not only teaches kids about growing food, it also produces food for the school and the needy, and is being emulated by other schools.

While Ottawa and Washington may feud, there is peace and co- operation between West Bolton and the Town of Brome Lake as the two neighbours sign a First Responder’s agreement.

The town has made progress regarding a joint police force with Bromont, a welcome development. The ball is now in Quebec lawmakers’ hands.

Last but not least, in spite of a hot and dry summer, there were no water restrictions, and now real estate development can go ahead.

For the 35th year as your community forum, Tempo wishes all of its readers and advertisers a Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2019!