MRC – Pontiac: Management costs over a million

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Allyson Beauregard

CAMPBELL’S BAY – The 18 mayors gathered at MRC headquarters, October 17, for the monthly Council of Mayors meeting.

Allyson Beauregard

CAMPBELL’S BAY – The 18 mayors gathered at MRC headquarters, October 17, for the monthly Council of Mayors meeting.
The highlight of the agenda was the presentation of 2019’s balanced budget with $6,541,129 in revenue and expenses, which required using $120,850 of the MRC’s accumulated surplus; this compares to the $145,204 needed last year. Municipal shares were maintained at 14 cents per $100 of evaluation.
Administrative and financial management costs increased, from $939,453
in 2018 to $1,014,727, partly due to hiring the new engineer. However, according to Annie Vaillancourt, CPA Accountant, the increase will be offset by fees collected from municipalities when they use the engineer’s services. PPJ grants increased from last year’s $80,000 to $125,000, which will be matched by the MRC for a grand total of $250,000 for maintenance in 2019. 
However, the budget was somewhat controversial with two mayors, Serge Newberry (Ile-du-Grand-Calumet) and Maurice Beauregard (Campbell’s Bay), voting against it without stating why. 
Other business
For the TNO, Council resolved to cover 50% of the expenses for road work leading to Bryson Lake Lodge, with the remaining funded by the business owners. They also finalized the purchase of a parcel of land beside the MRC building to eventually build a garage for TNO, taking $78,000 from the TNO
budget. Council will also ask the government to offer the financial program for
multi-resource road work again in 2019 because the MRC made good use of it in 2018. 
Ron Woodstock from the Pontiac Legion visited to speak about the Legion’s poppy
campaign and wreath sales. “All money collected is returned right back into the Pontiac community,” he said. With poppy revenue up from about $5,500 last year to around $9,000 this year, he asked that Council help to further increase sales by approaching local businesses and organizations to place poppy boxes within their
facilities. He emphasized that new Legion members are always welcomed and ties to military personnel are no longer required to join.
 Money for investors
Warden Jane Toller said she recently participated in two conference calls with potential investors. Earlier this year, Council mandated CAI to reach out to 300 companies to encourage them to establish themselves in the Pontiac, with a $40,000 grant from Caisse Desjardins and $8,000 from the MRC’s budget. The MRC is currently in the process of creating an investor attraction website, and a group of potential investors are scheduled to visit on December 13 and 14. 
Toller also noted that the MRCs new Youth Council is expected to have their inaugural meeting in January 2019. 
The contract between the MRC and the region’s two snowmobile clubs for the
use of the PPJ was revised, reducing their annual fee from $1,000 to $100.
In 2014, the provincial government downloaded responsibility for managing public land leases onto MRCs, requiring that they return 50% of gross revenue. Council will ask that the 50% be based on net income rather than gross to account for the administrative and other fees the MRC incurs in managing the files.  
To save time and reduce the workload of the Surete du Quebec, residents can now visit municipal offices to fill out a form to report public nuisance complaints and file requests like lowering speed limits, which will then be
forwarded to the SQ.
The MRC issued call for projects through the FDT (Territorial Development Fund), December 3. Applications for the $200,000 in funding can be found on the MRC’s website and will be accepted until February 8.
The final Council of Mayors meeting for 2018 will be held December 19.