MRC meeting - New TNO leases available, PPJ funding lost

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Added: Wed, 01/29/2020 - 9:41pm
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Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC – The 18 MRC Pontiac mayors gathered at the MRC headquarters in Litchfield, January 15, for the monthly Council of Mayors meeting where they
adopted the annual report for the PPJ trail and discussed how the government’s Special Intervention Zone (ZIS) flood map released last summer is still causing problems (see page 2). 
The mayors welcomed Colleen Jones, the MRC’s new Strategic Communications Advisor, who began working January 13.
Louis Harvey, a member of Phare Ouest, visited to present ‘Festi-pont’, an event the group is planning in collaboration with the Municipality of Mansfield to celebrate the completion of the Marchand Bridge renovation in August 2021. The week-long event will feature various activities like art creation, a film festival, and a movie using the bridge as the screen with spectators watching from boats on the river. Council resolved to support the project and evaluate what financial and technical resources can be provided. 
In response to a comment from a ratepayer, Council will ask Hydro Québec to implement a local hiring policy where possible. After completing training, workers are often dispatched to other areas.
Council approved a subdivision plan for Lac Baptiste to create eight more lots to lease for cottages, hunting or fishing camps, etc.
The Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks asked for Council’s comments on a request from ZEC Saint-Patrice to open McCool Lake for ice fishing, containing pike and bass; the recommendation was favourable.
PPJ report 2019
Kim Lesage, MRC Engineer, presented a report for the PPJ trail for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. One culvert was replaced in the Fort-Coulonge sector and stone dust was spread on eight locations in the Shawville, Clarendon and Bristol areas totalling a distance of 3.3 kilometres. According to Lesage, more stone dust will be added to the trail this summer in the areas needing it most, as well as some ditching. The MRC has also applied for grants for paving.
The long-awaited funding from Route Verte was approved only recently, so the MRC didn’t make use of the entire $125,000 grant available to them in 2019, only spending $143,183 on the trail last year, half of which will be covered by Route Verte. The rest of Route Verte’s funding will be lost, although Council requested that the balance be carried over to this year. The balance of the $125,000 the MRC budgeted for the trail in 2019 won’t be carried over since budget 2020 was already approved in November. For a breakdown of last year’s expenses, see the table below.
The next Council of Mayors meeting will be held February 19.