Council meeting
----- Flooding and garbage non-collection plague municipality

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Added: Wed, 05/22/2019 - 10:46pm
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Mo Laidlaw

MUNICIPALITY OF PONTIAC - About 30 people attended council’s regular meeting at the Breckenridge Fire Hall, May 14. Charlotte Laforest has agreed to remain at the municipality as interim Director General for a bit longer since her other commitments have been postponed.

--- Flooding

The state of emergency was renewed for five more days since the water level remains above major flood levels, some areas are still evacuated, and several municipal roads are flooded. Questions were raised about the cost to the municipality for various emergency services. Mayor Joanne Labadie replied that the municipality is responsible for the first three days of housing for evacuees, after which the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) pays. The MPS also pays for help from the armed forces. Flood victims are eligible for $600 from the Red Cross.

Siri Ingebrigtsen asked about a post mortem on the flood, sandbagging and organizing volunteers. “Communication needs to be improved. We could have got more done. It goes further than sandbags, supplying food and respite for exhausted single people manning pumps.” Labadie said 170,000 sandbags were filled compared to 45,000 in 2017, but communication with volunteers is an issue highlighted in a report by Jean Perras on the 2017 flood (now available on the municipal website).

“We had limited resources. In Québec, the army can fill sandbags and help with municipal property, but can’t build walls on private property, unlike in Ontario. Clean-up will take a long time. We will request the army’s help to remove contaminated sandbags from private property when the water recedes,” added Labadie.

The Ministry of Transport is responsible for repairing Eardley-Masham Road. Property owners are responsible for keeping their entrance culverts clear to avoid overflowing ditches.

The Blés d’Or seniors group was mistakenly bumped from the Luskville Community Centre when the emergency measures were announced, after cleaning, decorating, and ordering food for their event, booked a year in advance, but somehow not entered in the system.

--- Garbage and recycling woes

Several residents questioned the sporadic and sometimes non-existent garbage and recycling pick-up unrelated to the flooding (read more page xx). Labadie said pick-up by a sub-contracted company will take place Thursday and Friday, until at least the end of May (recycling May 23 and 24, garbage May 30 and 31). “The contract with Tom Orr Cartage won’t be extended because they can’t deliver the service, so we’ll be going to tender,” she added. The schedule for June will be announced at a later date.
 
---- Ch des Pères Dominicains

Several residents had questions about the poor state of this road, which has been on the list for repaving “for 20 years”. “The priority this year is to finish Mountain Road. Then the ditches on ch de la Rivière and Dominicains must be dealt with as the lack of drainage is affecting Pères Dominicains. The trial on ‘Flex patch’ worked well, so this may be used to temporarily fix the holes. Heavy truck traffic because of the flood has made its condition worse and unfortunately there have been delays; work that was supposed to start in April hasn’t yet,” explained Labadie.

Bill Twolan asked why Gauvreau was hired to repair Alary Road rather than a local firm that could have been cheaper. Labadie said that since the Charbonneau commission, major contracts are tendered through the provincial website seao.ca and local companies should check it frequently.

---- Sewage in the river?

Anita Trudeau asked if rumours about dumping raw sewage in the river in Quyon are true. “In fact, 10% of excess water from the flooding that gets into the sewers is being filtered and released into the Quyon River. The entire village would be evacuated if this wasn’t done. All solid matter is going to the treatment lagoon,” replied Labadie.  

---- Request to the CPTAQ

Council supports Gérard Martin in his request to divide over 130 hectares of his farmland on ch Pères Dominicains and ch de la Rivière into two properties, with no change in agricultural use.