The ice on the storm pond by Valley View Manor measured only 15 centimeters deep last Friday and public works crews posted ‘thin ice’ signs on the pond. The pond will be checked every Thursday until the end of February to determine the thickness of the ice. Treena Mielke Photo

Town will monitor ice thickness

Water in storm pond 17 feet deep

After a lengthy discussion at Tuesday’s council meeting regarding skating on the storm pond by Valley View Manor, council has agreed to direct the public works department to check the thickness of the ice weekly and put up warning signs if the ice conditions warrant it.

During the Christmas holidays community minded citizens cleared and flooded the ice surface on the pond so skaters could enjoy the facility. A game of shinny was held and residents from Valley View Manor noted how pleasant it was to watch the activity out on the ice.

However, Rick Schmidt, department head of public works put up warning signs as he was concerned about the safety of the skaters.

Since that time, the mayor and councillors have received several phone calls from concerned citizens and council agreed they needed to make a decision regarding allowing skaters to use the pond.

Schmidt, who attended the council meeting, said he has concerns regarding the safety of the ice.

“The thickness of the ice is unpredictable due to the moving water,” he said.

Council questioned if the storm pond was ever engineered to be skated on.

“What slough was ever engineered to be skated on,” said Mayor Rick Pankiw.

“Signs aren’t going to stop people,” added Coun. Bill Coulthard. “And signs don’t negate our own liability.”

Schmidt said the ice in the pond is about 17 feet deep although the west end is slightly shallower.

Council unanimously agreed to direct public works crews to check the thickness of the ice using an ice auger to drill several holes in various locations on the pond every week.

Signs warning of ‘thin ice’ would be placed on the pond if the ice measured less than 20 centimeters or eight inches thick.

Council agreed to comply with Schmidt’s suggestion to follow this guideline as recommended by the Canadian Red Cross.

Last Thursday, the ice measured only 15 centimeters in some spots.

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