MUNICIPALITY OF PONTIAC – It was difficult to enter the Luskville Community Centre for the regular Pontiac council meeting on December 11 as local resident Lucinda Sanacharin staged a one-woman protest at the door. She asked what could be done about goats dying on her farm on Westbrook Road, which she attributes to contamination from Moss Mine located several kilometers northwest. A stream on her farm joins Mohr Creek, which runs through the mine.
Mayor Joanne Labadie said she spoke to the abandoned mine owner, who said the water is frequently tested, and is without issue. Mines are under federal jurisdiction, although agriculture and the environment are provincial.
—– Braun road in poor state
Mike Mongeon represented residents on Braun Road and reiterated the problems with road maintenance that were brought to a special council meeting on November 6. Since then, no grading has been done and gravel hasn’t been added in three years. There are 49 houses and two businesses on the 2.1 km road. Mongeon suggested the tar and chip system used in the Lusk project might be cheaper than asphalt; residents rejected a proposal to pave the road with asphalt for $800 per year for 20 years.
Labadie apologized for Public Works’ lack of response to the huge number of road complaints. There was lots of rain this year and there’s no gravel left for the grader to work with, she said. The first priority is drainage and one problem is that the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), owner of the Breckenridge Nature Preserve (BNP), doesn’t want the wetland drained in order to protect western chorus frogs. Mongeon said the BNP property only runs 250 m and the rest of the road is well drained and can be fixed. It will be on the agenda for the Public Works Committee that is meeting soon, and Councillor Isabelle Patrie will follow up.
—– The budget
The budget meeting will be held on December 18 at 7:30 in Luskville.
Carl Hager asked if money will be put aside to fix Chemin de la Montagne (yes, $2 million borrowing bylaw); and deal with derelict buildings on River Road (there are delays because the planning department didn’t have a building inspector for a year; one is starting in January, meanwhile many demolition permits have been issued for flood-damaged buildings). He also asked about finishing the Quyon Community Centre parking lot that “looks like a flood zone.”
Labadie said the budget for the Community Centre doesn’t include money for landscaping, and because the surroundings are in the flood zone, the municipality has to work with the Ministry of Environment. The Waterfront Revitalization Committee may fundraise to cover this work. Public Works started work on the concrete steps and slab, but rain and freezing temperatures have halted work, so a temporary ramp has been rented. The Community Centre was used for the Santa Claus Parade, and will be used for a private party on New Year’s Eve. Council hopes to fix any start-up issues before an official opening, perhaps at the end of January.
—- More flood damaged properties acquired
Owners of three more properties in the Plage Charron area at the south end of Kennedy Road have accepted the Ministry of Public Security’s buy-out for flooded residences. The municipality will acquire these for $1 each.
The latest Special Intervention Zone (ZIS) map has caused some confusion. Areas marked in yellow are no longer considered flooded in 2017 or 2019 and removed from the previous map.
—— Fire Department
A report of activity was tabled. In 2019, the fire department responded to 59 vehicle accidents, 20 fire alarms, 17 complaints, 13 house or chimney fires, 13 brush or forest fires, nine electrical fires and five vehicle fires. Firefighters assisted citizens, police or paramedics 14 times.
—— Approved expenses
The following were approved: $41,555 plus tax to buy a generator for the municipal complex; about $27,000 total for three contracts to maintain skating rinks at Soulière-Davis Park, Luskville Park and in Quyon; $6,019 for a new furnace for the Luskville fire station; and $4,055 as the municipal share for social housing.