MRC meeting – $425K for community projects, Pontiac back on the bus line


Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC – The MRC Pontiac’s monthly Council of Mayors meeting returned to the web on October 21 due to COVID restrictions. The public was encouraged to submit questions in advance, but none were received.
The MRC building remains closed to the public, but appointments can be made to see the personnel.
Representatives of Global First Power, Eric McGoey (director of communications) and Rosalie Ahlan (project manager), described the company’s plan to construct and operate a 15MW micro modular nuclear reactor in Chalk River. McGoey said
the goal is to build and commercialize the technology in Chalk River so it can then be used in remote regions and heavy industry (e.g. mining). The $180 million project is currently in the environmental assessment stage and the earliest it will be ready is 2025.
Greg Graham detailed West Pontiac Connects’ new Driving for Success program which allows youth between 12 and 20 years old to volunteer in exchange for credits they can use to pay for getting their driver’s license (read more page 35).
Money and human resources
Annie Vaillancourt, MRC Accountant, reported on the MRC budget. With travel expenses down because of the pandemic, Vaillancourt said they are predicting “an important surplus” this year.
Regent Dugas, Director of Territory, is retiring at the end of the year; Jason Durand will replace him.
Council decided to reallocate $20,000 set aside for energy-from-waste consultation fees that won’t be needed this year for Vision2030 consultation fees instead.
There remains $111,386 in the Emergency Aid Fund the MRC administers for small and medium businesses affected by the COVID pandemic. The MRC also set aside $70,000 for COVID recovery grants which will be awarded soon.
Thirteen projects were awarded $426,726 through Phase 2 of the Regions
and Rurality Fund (FRR). Fourteen eligible applications were received totaling $1,701,921, of which $497,699 was requested in grants.
The amount available for the call for projects was $424,718, but the mayors agreed to transfer money from other areas of Phase 2 to cover the $2,008 difference between what was available and what was awarded.
The approved projects are:
– Alleyn-et-Cawood, library/conference room renos, $40,000.
– Campbell’s Bay, recreation and tourism park development, $52,432.
– Chichester, phase three and four shoreline project, $41,500.
– Shawville, arena flooring, $8,758.
– Bryson RA, infrastructure for people with disabilities, $21,949.
– Maison des jeunes du Pontiac, Rapides-des-Joachims multi-resource centre, $15,000.
– Patro Mansfield, upgrading a small park post-flood, $8,722.
– Phare Ouest, illumination of the Marchand Bridge, $35,324.
– Shawville Curling Club, virtual golf centre, $51,693.
– Shawville RA, playground equipment upgrades, $32,368.
– Ski Pontiac, four season recreational trail, $42,899.
– Villa James Shaw, architect and engineering contracts, $56,789.
– Zec Saint-Patrice, boat rental centre, $19,287.
Roads and transportation
Using funds from the Sustainable Forest Management Program (PADF), two bridges in The Unorganized Territory (TNO) will be repaired for a total
of $140,000: on Wright Lake Road and Traverse Saint-Patrice. The $35,000 promoter share will come from the TNO budget.
Five thousand tons of crushed gravel will be purchased for about $17,000 and stockpiled at the pit at kilometer 32 along the Bois Franc Road to use for
sanding the road this winter.
The MRC is contributing $37,359 for the 2020-2021 year to the maintenance
and enhancement of the inter-city transportation service Transcollines offers. Currently, Pontiac residents who want to use the bus must call 24 hours in advance. Services will be upgraded in 2021 (planned for a start date in June)
with a daily bus route running from L’Isle-aux-Allumettes to the city and back as well as some new offers: the route will run to two colleges in Hull, the monthly pass will be connected with the STO network, and monthly passes will be reduced to $155 for seniors, $180 for students and $240 regular.
The MRC launched a call to tender last month for PPJ work, but given that all bids were higher than the $185,000 left in this year’s budget, less stone dust will be applied, and the distance reduced from 13.4 km to about eight km. FGK Construction in Gatineau was awarded the contract.
The MRC budgeted $100,000 to repave and rehabilitate the parking lot
at the MRC building. The paving work will be done in the spring but, this fall, Jason Hynes was contracted to prepare four parking spaces for a public electric vehicle charging station for $4,950 and Dumouchel Fencing will replace the property line fence for $4,350. Blue Heron will also install a walkway and steps to the back entrance of the MRC building for $12,470.
Other matters
Mayor Gilles Dionne (Mansfield) said residents are concerned about high water levels in the area for this time of the year, which was also witnessed the fall before the 2019 floods. Council will ask the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board to attend its next plenary meeting to discuss the occurrence.
The next Council of Mayors meeting will be held November 25, but it’s unknown if it will be held virtually or in person.