Pontiac council report - garbage contract to be changed
Mo Laidlaw

The regular Pontiac council meeting on 11 August 2015 was held in Quyon at the municipal building on Ferry road. Twenty-five members of the public were present.

Laurie MacKechnie asked when we will have public beaches for swimming, boat docks and a camp site, as Bristol and Clarendon do. Mayor Roger Larose answered that before the boat docks in Quyon can be replaced, dredging will have to be carried out, which requires permits from the Ministry of the Environment, “even if we had the money”. He didn’t mention beaches or campsites.

Garbage contract
Helena Campbell complained about the bad impression given by the overflowing garbage bins near the “Lions Club” (municipal building). Mr Larose replied “We have a problem, the contract and the bylaw don’t match. There’s a resolution on the table tonight to cancel the contract and re-negotiate it, which the contractor has agreed to. The fee for garbage pickup will stay the same, but if you have 10 bins you will pay for ten. The Ecocentre was closed last year because of safety problems, but will be reopened with an employee in charge.”
The resolution, adopted unanimously, states that the current contract does not satisfy some taxpayers’ expectations, nor does it conform to the bylaw. It authorizes the public works director to make a new contract with Location Martin Lalonde Inc, for a maximum increase of $45,000 per year until the end of the contract.

For July, invoices amounting to $25,238 were approved, councillors Amyotte and Pontiroli voting against because they had not seen the legal advice from the municipal lawyer, billed at $2,200.
Fixed expenses of $313,727 were approved, Mr Amyotte voting against because the study of needs for community centres in the municipality, carried out by Gordon Cousineau, did not correspond to the original resolution passed in January (15-01-2265). Incurred expenses for August, $27,251 were approved.

Meghan Lewis is hired as community development agent for 10 months from 31 August 2015, for a salary of $35,000. This will be paid from the $40,000 received from CLD des Collines for PALSIS [Plan d’action local pour la solidarité et l’inclusion sociale] (Local action plan for solidarity and social inclusion).

Philippe Beaudoin is the student employed in planning the water and sewage network in Quyon and preparing the call for offers for ch de la Montagne. His contract is extended for 390 hours, about 3 days a week, until the end of 2015.

Route 148
The Ministry of Transport will be asked to clean the road verges along route 148 of trees and bushes to improve visibility, before June 2016. They will also be asked to cut grass and noxious weeds (such as wild parsnip) that hide signs and intersections and seed onto neighbouring property, within a reasonable time.
The MTQ will be asked to reassess the speed limit on route 148 between Thérien and Kennedy roads. There are many residences, businesses and a day care, intersections, and heavy trucks at the Eardley-Masham road.
A new resolution on the agreement with the MTQ concerning drainage from the highway following its reconstruction (next year) between Terry-Fox and Maple was passed. It removes the “totality of costs of work on private lots” from the list of costs that the MTQ will pay. MTQ will still pay the “cost of improvement work on private lots” as well as all costs of work on areas made worse by the project.

Culvert on ch Tremblay
The ditch on the north side of Tremblay west of Damas-Perrier will be improved and a culvert installed across Tremblay about 385 m west of Damas-Perrier, as advised by the MRC des Collines. The farmer who asked for this will contribute financially by providing the excavator. The maximum cost of this work is $10,000.

Two resolutions to accept tenders for replacement of municipal culverts were approved. Mr Amyotte and Ms Pontiroli voted against because the call for tenders had not been approved by council. Both contracts were awarded to Construction FGK Inc, for $55,131 and $28,341 respectively. The bids from Nugent construction Inc were considerably higher. The contractor is required to supply the name of the laboratory providing quality control of material.

Four minor exemptions were approved:
At 123 des Tourterelles the house can be extended to within 3 m of the side margin (5m is standard); and at 303 de la Baie, a garage can be built within 1.41 m of the side margin, but the owner must remove a roof overhang and a swimming pool that do not conform.
At 95 ch Duffy, a frontage of 9.15m will be allowed although the minimum is 45 m; and at 5554, 6th Concession, a frontage of 5 m will be allowed.

Senior friendly municipality
Council authorized a maximum of $4000 to launch the MADA [Municipalité amie des aînés] policy, including production and distribution of the policy and an action plan.

Promotion of Gatineau Park heritage
The municipality and National Capital Commission are collaborating to promote recreotourism. The CLD des Collines has approved $2500 for the project “Promotion of the history of Pontiac residents’ links with Gatineau Park.” [Mise en valeur de l’histoire des liens des citoyens de la municipalité de Pontiac avec le territoire du Parc de la Gatineau] This project will attract visitors not only to the Park, but also to other Pontiac attractions. Negotiating a contract with Maude-Emmanuelle Lambert, historian, for research and editing, for a maximum of $3750 was approved.

Community centre in Quyon
The larger of two community centres in Quyon has major deficiencies (water was running across the floor during the meeting). Council approved the application to the Quebec municipal infrastructure program (PIQM) for financial help to build a new community centre.

Fuel tax
In February the Québec government modified the rules that reduce taxes on fuel in areas near provincial frontiers, so that Pontiac no longer benefits. Since many residents work outside Pontiac and can buy their fuel at lower cost, Council worries that fuel retailers are no longer viable and certain businesses won’t survive. They will ask the government to include the municipality in the reduced tax area as soon as possible.

Question period at the end of the meeting
Kevin Brady asked if all members of council had access to the same information. Two councillors had voted against resolutions because they said they had not received documentation on them. Mayor Larose said that they should come to the caucus meetings. Ms Pontiroli replied to Mr Larose, “You filter information. We never see what our legal advisor says.” Mr Brady suggested that information is the basis of good communication. It was noticeable during the meeting that Mr Larose always favoured the three closest councillors for proposer and seconder of resolutions, ignoring Mr Amyotte and Ms Pontiroli.

Madeleine Carpentier asked if the reports of CCU meetings are on the internet. The answer was yes (but where?).

Mo Laidlaw asked the municipality to improve visibility at intersections of municipal roads and to prevent seeding onto neighbouring property, by cutting bushes, grass and noxious weeds (such as buckthorn [nerprun cathartique]) in the road allowance.

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