Pontiac council report - development plans are not public
Mo Laidlaw
Pontiac

The regular Pontiac council meeting on 9 June 2015 took place at the Marcel Lavigne community centre in Luskville.

Storing compost and septic sludge
A majority of council passed a resolution to not support the request to the CPTAQ by Ralph Lang farms, to store fertilizing material (MRF) on two farms, on Bronson-Bryant and Steele Line. The reasons cited were: worried citizens, that advantages were not demonstrated to outweigh the disadvantages, the possible increase in traffic hadn’t been studied, and that a future tourism destination, the Sault des Chats Park is located within 2 km.

Development on farmland in Breckenridge?
A majority of council supported a request to the MRC des Collines to exclude “îlots déstructurés” or unstructured islands, from the farm zone in the revision of the Development Plan (Schéma d’aménagement). The Acting Director General clarified that this meant farmland that had already been subdivided before the law on protection of farmland came into force, and is no longer in use for agriculture. However it was clear from the discussion that part of the land in question is in ward 6, where there is a 48.6 ha (120 acre) farm now owned by Bena Construction, a developer. This land is not subdivided although the farmhouse is a separate lot. This would “enlarge the urbanization perimeter to the east” up to ch Terry-Fox, the border with the Aylmer sector of Gatineau, south of ch Maple. Councillor Amyotte clarified that he voted against because of the effect of more houses on the water table, as well as the loss of farmland. Other requests included in the resolution were to make necessary changes to usage along route 148 to allow the installation of a CLSC and a police station, and to convert Rural zoning to “Rural consolidation”.
During the question period at the end of the meeting, members of the public Rick Knox, Madeleine Carpentier, Debbie Cloutier-Tremblay and Scott Macdonald (and this reporter) had questions about the schéma and wished to see the plans A-A and B-B mentioned in the resolution (A-A was passed), but Mayor Roger Larose refused to make these public, stating that the MRC would hold a public consultation before the Schéma is finalized and the public would be able to see the plans at this point.

Septic systems
The urbanism department is asked to propose ways to ensure that people comply with the laws on maintaining septic systems, and to suggest financial penalties for faulty systems. Maintenance is required by provincial law to maintain public health, quality of the environment and healthy ecosystems of watercourses.

Summer jobs
A student in Environmental Engineering will be hired to identify septic systems for $17/hr for a maximum of 227.5 hours. A Federal grant of 50% is available to pay for this. This replaces an earlier resolution to pay $10.55/hr, no student being willing to work at that rate.
A student in Civil Engineering Technology, Philippe Beaudoin, has been hired for 420 hours at $17/hr to inspect the sewer and water networks (55%) and roads (45%).
A 5 week contract (208 hours) is given to Aquatech at $47/hr plus fees to operate the drinking water treatment and sewage plant while the existing operator takes a vacation.

Employee training
The municipality agreed to reimburse an employee taking an accounting course ($655) at Algonquin college, on successful completion of the course.

Nuisance bylaw
Bailiffs will be asked to clean up 61 ch du Carrefour (off ch Bélisle) for a second time (the first time being in 2011). In May 2014 the extremely unhealthy state of the property was noted, and since then three notices to clean up have been sent to no effect. The cost will be added to the owner’s tax bill.

Contributions for parks
In August 2012 Luc Cayer received approval to subdivide 31 ch de la Rivière to create a private road with six building lots (Breckenridge Bay). An error was made in the procedure so the original contribution for parks of 4% of the value of the land was returned. The subdivision now comprises 4 lots, and the municipality accepts 4% ($7,536) towards the parks fund. (The parks contribution was increased to 10% in March 2014).
Jeannette Lavigne Chartier, the owner of a 4 lot subdivision at 81 ch de la Baie, requested to donate 10% of the land for a park, but council asked instead for a cash payment of 10% of the value of the original lot.

150th anniversary of Confederation
The Acting Director General will make a request for financing to the Community infrastructure program of Canada 150, for playground or park structures. As only nonprofit organizations can apply, he will collaborate with a suitable organization in the municipality.

Money matters
The following were approved:
For May, invoices amounting to $44,435 and fixed expenses of $327,322. Incurred expenses for June: $41,569.
Two resolutions were passed to refinance a loan of $1.828 million for a further 5 years, the term ends in July.
At the 28 April special meeting, $51,655 to Battleshield Industries Limited for supply and installation of a water tank for a truck in the fire department, the only offer received.
Bad debts totalling $4,398 will be written off.

Minutes of council meetings are posted on the municipal website. www.municipalitepontiac.com/en/council-and-municipal-committees/minutes-of-council-meetings/
(En français, Procès verbaux) www.municipalitepontiac.com/fr/conseil-et-comites-municipaux/proces-verbaux/
Mo’s reports are archived at: www.heritagepontiac.ca/Municipality