One step closer to new municipal building Litchfield receives provincial funding

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Allyson Beauregard

LITCHFIELD – A press conference was held outside the Litchfield municipal office, July 22, where Pontiac MNA Andre Fortin announced a provincial investment to construct a new municipal office in Litchfield on behalf of Pierre Moreau, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy. The funding

Allyson Beauregard

LITCHFIELD – A press conference was held outside the Litchfield municipal office, July 22, where Pontiac MNA Andre Fortin announced a provincial investment to construct a new municipal office in Litchfield on behalf of Pierre Moreau, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy. The funding
represents up to 65% of the eligible costs of constructing the new building, which is estimated to cost about $285,000.
“The municipal council hosts meetings here. It is where the public comes to express their concerns and where businesspeople meet. They need better,” said Fortin, stating that despite the climate of heightened provincial cutbacks, the government is continuing to work with communities to improve their infrastructure. 
Since 2004 when the former municipal office was closed due to mold and asbestos, municipal employees have been working out of a portable trailer unit located along Highway 148 in Campbell’s Bay. “It was supposed to be a temporary solution, but here we are 11 years later. When the new council was elected two years ago, a new office was one of our top priorities to allow us to operate efficiently,” said Colleen Larivière, Litchfield Mayor, explaining the mobile trailer unit has presented many inconveniences.
“We need simple things like not
having our water freeze in the winter, enough room to host municipal meetings, and areas to have private conversations with residents or to make a telephone call without disturbing other people in the building,” she continued.
The new single-story building will be about 1,700 square feet in size and will be constructed in the same spot the mobile trailer currently occupies, facing west towards Fort-Coulonge.  According to Larivière, the new building will come at little cost to the taxpayers and construction will “hopefully” begin around October. “Projects can only receive
funding or be covered up to 80% of the total cost. The PIQM grant will cover 65% and the other 15% will come from the gas tax fund. The municipality will assume 20% of the cost over 10 years. If everything goes according to plan, the annual cost should be close to what
taxpayers are paying now to rent the trailer,” she explained further.
With provincial funding secured, the council can now move forward by posting a Call for Tender for engineers to design the building. Once a design has been
created and agreed upon, another Call for Tender will be posted to construct the building. “We are pushing for this to go forward quickly, because we really need it,” concluded Larivière.