MRC meeting – TNO runs deficit, litter along the PPJ

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Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC – The 18 mayors of the MRC Pontiac met for the monthly Council of Mayors (CoM) meeting, April 21 via ZOOM.
The mayors adopted the TNO’s audited yearly financial statements that showed a $39,240 deficit for the 2020 fiscal year. The accumulated surplus sits at $581 255.
The following maintenance will be done on TNO roads in 2021 for a
total of $142,500 from the budget: Rapides-des-Joachims – 59 km; Schyan – 62 km; Bois Franc – 95 km; Picanoc/Osborne – 29 km; Traverse Manitou – 11 km; and Rte 20 – 44 km.
Funding
The Ministry of Culture and Communications provided $5,000 in funding to the MRC Pontiac for cultural leisure projects and another $4,000 for culture for seniors. A call for projects will be launched May 7.
The CoM requested a deadline extension for the realization of the MRC’s territorial marketing project (funded through FARR) by one year to December 31, 2022 given that it involves a training component with municipalities that hasn’t been completed due to pandemic restrictions.
The MRC will apply for funding through the Fonds Régions et Ruralité (FRR) – Stream One to develop a “comprehensive attraction strategy.”
Resolution support
The MRC supported a resolution from MRC Vallée-de-la-Gatineau opposed to SOPFEU moving its firefighting base from Maniwaki to Val d’Or because of the loss of jobs it will represent for the two regions and the loss of proximity expertise in the field.
The CoM also supported a resolution from Papineau requesting that corrections be made to the Engineering Act to avoid significant engineering costs for municipalities for simple work that can be done internally.
Council supported a resolution from Whitewater Region demanding that the Ministry of Transportation consult whitewater tourism operators prior to implementing any navigational bans on the Ottawa River, such as the one imposed during the 2019 flood, and that a portion of rapids around Rocher Fendu be excluded from any future bans. The CoM added a clause that
the MRC and municipalities also be consulted.
The MRC of Maria-Chapdelaine sent a resolution requesting that Québec’s health care system be decentralized to promote local governance, which the CoM supported.
Other business
Jean-Pierre Valiquette was hired as an external professional for a maximum of 15 hours a week to support the MRC’s planning department in revising the region’s land use plan. A draft plan is expected to be ready this summer.
FQM Evaluation was given a mandate to do 500 property assessments in 2021 at a cost of $80 each.
Complaints have been made, particularly in the Shawville area, about
residents dumping compost, yard waste, Christmas trees and other litter along the corridors of the PPJ trail. As a result, the MRC will launch an online awareness campaign and install new signs to discourage the dumping.
The MRC signed a promise of protection for the chimney at the Stone School in Portage-du-Fort since it is used by Chimney Swifts. “The chimney isn’t used at the Stone School, so it’s a win-win,” said Kim Lesage, MRC
engineer, noting the birds feed on
flying insects. The agreement includes limiting chimney cleaning to between September and May (when Swifts are gone), not installing screens or caps, and consulting Québec Oiseaux before doing any renovations.
The MRC will be organizing a down-scaled tree distribution day around the end of May, with pickup locations at the MRC headquarters and some municipalities.
The next CoM meeting will be held May 19.