CAMPBELL’S BAY – Over 50 members of the public attended the monthly Council of Mayors meeting at the MRC Pontiac headquarters, June 19, to express their views on one particular subject: the use of the PPJ trail by ATVs (see page 6). Other topics included resolutions relating to the flooding disaster, ‘energy from waste’, and an early call to tender for garbage collection.
Warden Jane Toller said she met with officials from the Pontiac Sorting Centre concerning their ongoing disputes with the Ministry of the Environment. According to Toller, half of the Ministry’s demands have been met and the MRC is unable to intervene in the negotiations between the two parties.
Toller also noted that the Pontiac SWAT team held their first group meeting in over a year where updates were given on the status of various files.
Councillors from Campbell’s Bay asked their mayor, Maurice Beauregard, to read a letter on behalf of their council asking why their application for FDT (Territorial Development Fund) funding for the town’s splash pad, part of a phased revitalization plan, was refused. Toller said a response would be sent in writing.
Council resolved to partner with an outfitter for work on Ten Mile Road in the TNO; the MRC will purchase about 20 culverts to a maximum of $20,000 while the outfitter will install them.
The MRC awarded $50,000 to Shawville’s Villa James Shaw senior’s residence project because without it, the project’s board would have difficulty obtaining external financing.
The MRC’s partnership with Synergie Outaouais, a project where the waste of some industries becomes the raw materials of others, was renewed for another three years, priced at $3,000 per year.
Council unanimously resolved to label the MRC Pontiac as a “willing host” for potential waste transformation facilities (energy from waste) serving the Outaouais and possibly Renfrew County and Ottawa. Toller said energy from waste industries, which use household residual materials to generate power, would reduce the current $1 million expense of transporting waste the long distance to Lachute, and promote the improvement of Highway 148 if other regions were using the Pontiac’s facility.
Eureka 93, formerly LiveWell, gave Council an update on their proposed Research and Innovation Centre during an earlier closed meeting, which led to an extension on the industry’s $100,000 conditional grant to December 31, 2019. This is the second time an extension has been given.
To aid Chutes Coulonge, their capital payments to the MRC will be postponed until September when revenue streams are higher.
Recanted garbage contract
An early call to tender will be issued for the region’s waste management contract, currently held by Tom Orr Cartage. Although the business’s contract ends next spring, failure to adequately fulfill their mandate led to the early suspension. “They’ve had challenges to keep the garbage moving, [which wasn’t helped] by all of the flooding debris,” said Toller.
Earlier this year, mayors complained of garbage bins not being picked up and unreturned or ignored calls. Similarly, the Municipality of Pontiac decided to not renew the contract with the enterprise as initially intended; council issued an emergency agreement to cover the remainder of Tom Orr Cartage’s
contract and provide the time needed to hire a permanent replacement.
The MRC Pontiac hopes a new contract will begin August 16, 2019.
Council passed four resolutions related to the flooding, bringing the total to about 40 since the disaster began.
The first three ask the provincial and federal government to conduct “truly independent” reviews of: existing dam and reservoir infrastructure in the Ottawa River watershed to determine if “best use” is made of the infrastructure to forecast, reduce, or eliminate flooding along the Ottawa River and its tributaries; the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board’s mandate, governance model, operating procedures and policies to ensure integrated management of all reservoirs and dams in the Ottawa River watershed and minimize damage from flooding; and the feasibility of adding reservoir capacity in the Ottawa River watershed.
The final resolution asks the provincial government to include seasonal and non-Québec residents in compensation programs and to replace the existing relocation allowances from current “caps” to market value.
The next Council of Mayors meeting will be held August 21.