MRC meeting – Large surplus reported, hunting rule protested, highway rumble strips

0
41

Allyson Beauregard

CAMPBELL’S BAY – The monthly Council of Mayors (CoM) meeting was held at the MRC Pontiac building, April 19. Among other items, the agenda included the 2017 financial report, an MRC-wide volunteer recognition event, and changes for non-resident moose hunters.
Financial Report

Allyson Beauregard

CAMPBELL’S BAY – The monthly Council of Mayors (CoM) meeting was held at the MRC Pontiac building, April 19. Among other items, the agenda included the 2017 financial report, an MRC-wide volunteer recognition event, and changes for non-resident moose hunters.
Financial Report
The MRC Pontiac ended 2017 with a $510,000 surplus due to receiving
about $1.1 million in revenue from unbudgeted grants.
Total revenue for 2017 was $6.6 million and long-term debt now equals $3,065,666; however, the $485,400 for the Village Branches (internet) program is completely financed by the government. The municipalities, through their annual MRC contribution, cover the $1,113,400 still owing for the
MRC building renovations. The remaining debt ($1,466,866) is for Fonds Local d’Investissement (FLI) business loans transferred from the Centre Local de Développement (CLD). When due in 2020, the debt will be covered by what is available in the FLI fund (payments from loan recipients) and any bad debts will be assumed by the MRC.     
The MRC awarded $41,000 in Fonds de développement des territoires (FDT) grants to two businesses: $10,000 for one to expand and buy equipment; and $31,000 to a new agro-food business. The recipients are anonymous.
The CoM will ask the Ministry of Transportation to install rumble strips along all highways in the region and they will look at ways to take the onus off Waltham for the annual Black River Road flooding repairs.
Régent Dugas, Director of Territory, was authorized to sign an agreement with the Zec Saint-Patrice, and Zec de Rapides-des-Joachims to allow taxpayers to drive through the ZECs for free to reach their properties.
Council agreed to take $69,600 from the territoire non organisé (TNO) fund to pay their portion of the nearly $700,000 in work to be done during phase II of the Bois Franc / Jim’s Lake Road rehabilitation.
Hunting regulations protested
A new regulation prohibits non-residents from hunting moose in Québec unless it is through an outfitting business; this already applies for bear. The CoM will ask the Ministry of Wildlife to make an exception for those with leases in the MRC Pontiac or TNO, their families and hunting groups. According to Dugas, over 200 leases in the area are held by non-residents, with most used for hunting purposes. 
Recognizing volunteers
An event to recognize the MRC Pontiac’s volunteers will now be held annually in the Elsie Gibbons Room; the first will be this coming May. Each municipality will be able to nominate people, groups, or organizations who will be recognized at the event. “It’s important to recognize the unsung heros who work very hard but don’t always get the recognition they deserve,” said Warden Jane Toller.
Public question period
Pat Goyette spoke about the importance of the forestry industry in the Pontiac and the need for the area to take its future in its own hands rather than waiting or relying on outside investors.
Two members of Équité Outaouais requested support for an information and pressure campaign, maintaining that the Outaouais does not receive “its fair share” of investment in the health sector. “We suffer from chronic under-funding … our share of Québec taxes aren’t returned here,” said member Gaetan Ouellette, who asked the mayors to sign and distribute the group’s petition.
James Azola, an Ile-du-Grand-Calumet councillor, wrote a song about Québec and asked each municipality to identify two areas they would like to promote. They will be included in a DVD/CD he is submitting to the Québec government for Canada’s 151st birthday and St-Jean-Baptiste Day.
The next CoM meeting will be held May 16; Toller noted special status will
be given to the Pontiac’s agricultural sector.