Regional pool, warden's salary, vélosympatique

Added: Wed, 07/05/2017 - 11:30pm
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Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC – The 18 MRC Pontiac mayors gathered at the MRC building for their monthly Council of Mayors meeting, June 20.
To begin, Warden Raymond Durocher announced his candidature for the elected warden position (see page 7) and Council offered unanimous support, “in principle”, for the construction of a municipal pool (see page 2).
A budget of $65,490 for November's election was adopted and 14 mayors voted to set the warden's salary at the provincial minimum, $54,890. Winston Sunstrum (L'Isle-aux-Allumettes), voted against the bylaw, stating the salary was too low, does not represent the value of the position, and will discourage candidates from applying. Sandra Murray (Shawville), Brent Orr (Bristol), and John Armstrong (Clarendon) also voted against.
As of July 1, Gabriel Lance, MRC Director General, and Bernard Roy, Assistant Director General, will switch roles. Lance has acted as DG since Remi Bertrand's resignation at the end of 2015. Roy was hired with the intention of training him to take over as DG.
Chemins d'eau non-inclusive?
Upper Pontiac mayors stressed their disapproval that the official Chemins d'eau route ends in Mansfield. “It leaves the ratepayers asking 'Do we really belong to the Pontiac'?” said Sunstrum. Durocher emphasized the route is a “work in progress” which needs to be built upon. 
Vélosympathique certification
At the end of May, Vélo Quebec unveiled the latest recipients of the Mouvement vélosypathique certification Program, giving the MRC Pontiac an honourable mention. This certification recognizes the achievements of communities and organizations to promote cycling.
Earlier this year, a team of eleven volunteers travelled the PPJ and assessed its condition, what is available, and what needs improvement. The reports were submitted to Vélo Quebec, who passed them along to the MRC.
According to Durocher, the suggestions were minimal and included adjusting gates and repairing stone dust. Durocher said the work is within the MRC's budget and much of it can be accomplished this year. He is confident the improvements will lead to the MRC Pontiac's full certification in one of the next rounds in the spring of 2018 or fall of 2019.
The MRC has also been working with the citizen’s committee, Green-PPJ-Verte, to improve the trail's condition. Council has agreed to fund an engineering study on the PPJ this summer to further assess and evaluate its infrastructure and determine priorities; the $18,400 plus tax cost will be taken from the FDT fund.
Road network study
Representatives of CIMA+ gave the results of a road network study that began in August 2016. The study was approved in 2015 to help the municipalities obtain provincial funding for future municipal roadwork; the $134,000 cost will be covered by the Ministry of Transport.
The study assessed the condition of all municipal roads, identified priority roads (about 25% of the total), and offered a five-year action plan. Work on priority roads will be covered 75-90% (90% for 'devitalized' municipalities) through the RIRL program. Work on non-priority roads will be funded between 50-75% (75% reserved for 'devitalized').
Colleen Larivière (Litchfield) was frustrated that chemin La forêt was not listed as a priority despite safety issues where it intersects Highway 148. The CIMA+ representatives explained the list was based only on the roads' physical condition.  
The issue will be discussed during future meetings.
Centraide awards
Three Pontiac organizations were honoured for their Centraide fundraising efforts in 2016 during a Centraide recognition ceremony: Patro won in the Community Organizations category; Denis Rossignol, Director of the Pontiac French elementary schools, won in the MRC Pontiac category; and the MRC Pontiac won in the Municipal Affairs category.