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MRC meeting - $100,000 more for TNO roads, official support for new Wellness Centre

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Added: Wed, 01/15/2020 - 11:55pm
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Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC – The 18 MRC Pontiac mayors gathered at MRC headquarters in Litchfield, December 18, for their final meeting of 2019. The highlight was the adoption of the TNO’s 2020 budget and a presentation from a long-time forestry worker concerning the creation of the Pontiac forestry alliance.
With $692,574 in revenue and $719,808 in expenses, $27,234 was required from the accumulated surplus to balance the TNO’s 2020 budget. An extra $100,000 for road maintenance was budgeted for 2020, for a total of $422,698.
Mayor Gilles Dionne (Mansfield) requested that crushed stone be used to sand the Bois Franc Road because sand will erode the stone surface recently installed. It was passed.
Gaetan Fortin, a longtime local forestry worker, detailed a plan to create a Pontiac forestry alliance to address some of the problems facing the industry. Fortin explained most work in the Pontiac’s forests is done by outside contractors who do not employ many locals or support local businesses. “The Pontiac’s people get the crumbs,” he said. Once created, the alliance proposes to create a list of the Pontiac’s forestry industry workforce (loggers, trucking companies, etc.) that contractors must make use of, among other things.
Colleen Jones was hired as the MRC’s new Communications Advisor and will begin working in mid-January.
Given that local fire departments have water rescue equipment but not the training to use it, the mayors resolved to coordinate the training program for 20
firefighters and to request a grant from the government to cover the costs. If rejected, the MRC and municipalities will share the costs.
A sports and recreation committee was created, consisting of municipal councillors. The group will begin by taking inventory of what is available in the region in order to create a user-guide.
Close to $200,000 was awarded to various organizations and projects through the second round of the MRC’s Territorial Development Fund (FDT).
The decision to award an additional $22,205 was deferred. The recipients were:
Villa James Shaw (architectural drawings) - $41,697; Municipality of L'Isle-aux-Allumettes (promotional video on agri-tourism) – $8,382 ; Club motoneige Pingouin (expansion of snowmobile trails) - $2,653; Chapeau Agricultural Society (regional agricultural market) - $22,937; Groupe L'Île-du-Grand-Calumet (signage at the Croix de Cadieux site) - $390; Bouffe Pontiac (improvements/renovations) - $4,284; Co-op Aventure Hélianthe (new programming and equipment) - $6,071; Munipality of Bryson (improvements to municipal beach) - $14,206; Maison culturelle George Bryson (permanent collection) - $24,129; Fondation Parc Leslie (infrastructure improvements) - $58,772; Municipality of Otter Lake (improvements to baseball field) - $7,284; and Chapeau RA (improvements to baseball field) - $3,485.
The mayors resolved to officially support Piscine Pontiac’s Wellness Centre project and “to work toward promoting its realization.”  
The next Council of Mayors meeting is January 15.