MRC meeting - Weed, end-of-season PPJ repairs, new development director

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Added: Thu, 10/25/2018 - 11:25am
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Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC – The 18 mayors gathered at MRC headquarters, October 17, for the monthly Council of Mayors meeting. The budget will be presented at the next meeting and although no further details were given, Warden Jane Toller said municipal shares will remain at 0.14 cents  per $100 of evaluation again this year.
A parcel of land beside the MRC building will be purchased in order to build a garage for TNO equipment and supplies. The $78,000 will be taken from the TNO budget. Council also resolved to invest the remaining $50,000 of the $330,000 2018 TNO road maintenance budget for repairs in the Picanoc Road area.
Danielle Newman was hired as the MRC's new Director of Economic Development, with a start date sometime in December, after the position was left vacant when Emilie Chazelas resigned in June. The Communications Director position has still not been filled.
After an illegal camping operation on Ile Lafontaine in Ile-du-Grand-Calumet was burned last winter, the Ministry of Natural Resources asked the MRC to help clean the site by providing two employees and renting a trailer to haul debris, for a total cost of about $1,000. Council agreed.
With about $127,000 provided to the MRC Pontiac through the Sustainable Forest Management Program 2018-2021 (PADF), about $51,000 will be invested in the biomass project/ Fibre Pontiac; $45,919 will go toward forestry management work in the TPI (public forests) and about $20,000 for private harvesters, among others.
Council supported Will Amos in his request for federal funds to improve cellular service in the MRC Pontiac, and he is working with mayors to identify “dead zones”. 
 Cannabis legislation
Council mandated Gabriel Lance, MRC Assistant Director General, to work with the Sûreté du Québec to draft a harmonized cannabis by-law for the entire MRC, following legalization on October 17. According to Toller, many of the mayors favour public restrictions similar to those applicable for alcohol. She is unsure
of when the bylaw will be drafted, given that they must wait to see what approach the new provincial government takes.
PPJ repairs
With about $160,000 remaining in the MRC's budget for the PPJ trail for 2018, Kim Lesage, MRC engineer, will choose the lowest bidder for a variety of work she selected using the study from 2017, which identified needed repairs. Most of the work is between Shawville and Bristol and includes re-surfacing, ditching, and replacing ten culverts. Depending on the bids received, the work list may need to be adjusted.
The next meeting is November 28.