Pontiac council report —– Majority passes tax bylaw


Mo Laidlaw
MUNICIPALITY OF PONTIAC – Council held its first regular meeting of 2021 on January 12 via teleconference. About 16 members of the public joined as well as Director General Pierre Said, and Director of Finance Ginette Chevrier Bottrill.
—- Public input
Joanne Marcotte asked about the business tax rate increase: “It’s more like a 5% increase, not 1.6%.” Mayor Joanne Labadie explained that the tax bill is made up of taxes, plus fees for services such as sewer and water (in Quyon) that are only paid by users: “Last year there was a deficit for the water plant— electricity alone was $47,000—so it was necessary to increase the fee for water supply.”
Chevrier Bottrill added: “A few years ago the municipality established different taxation categories. Most farmers get a tax rebate for their land. The business tax rate (1.1455 per $100 evaluation) is lower or on par with other municipalities, but in some municipalities, like Chelsea, businesses have to arrange their own garbage pickup. Most businesses can claim expenses against income tax.”
Seven emails were received from members of the Plage Pierre-Tremblay road association asking for funds for snow plowing, etc. Labadie replied that the municipality has reserved funds in its budget which cannot be disbursed before permission is received from Municipal Affairs because it’s not a municipal road. The municipality has been working on this for 18 months. One solution is for residents to bring the road up to the standard required for a municipal road (width, drainage, etc.) so it can be taken over by the municipality.
—- Tax bylaw
Bylaw 01-21 was passed by a majority with Councillors Draper Maxsom and McDonald voting against.
Selected information about the tax bylaw (consult the municipal website for complete information): Residential and farm tax rate per $100 evaluation – 0.7111, up 1.9%; non-residential (business) tax rate – 1.1445, up 1.6%; garbage service fee (residence) – $170.90, up 3.9%; recycling fee (residence) – $62.13, down 2.8%.
Additional fees for Quyon residents: sewer (residence) – $328.48, up 6.5%; water infrastructure, sector tax (residence) – $159.33, up 0.3%; water supply (residence) – $523.72, up 12.2%.
—- Public Works
Council gave a notice of motion for an umbrella borrowing bylaw (02-21) for $2 million for road work over 20 years.
A call for tender was authorized for rehabilitating Tremblay Road with flexible paving, for 4 km from Highway 148, at an estimated cost of $1 million, and a grant will be sought from the Ministry of Transport. Also passed was a second call for tender for an engineering firm to supervise this work. Councillor Draper Maxsom voted against both, saying that Steele Line and Hammond roads have been on the triennial program for several years and should be fixed first.
—- Planning
Council supported an application to the CPTAQ to allow the “construction” of a house at 170 ch Alary. The house already exists (est. 1981) but this is to regularize its existence on farmland.
A minor variance for an existing house at 239 ch Cedarvale was approved to regularize it, as it’s on a lot that is smaller and with a smaller frontage than the current norm for un-serviced lots. This will enable renovation work to be done.
—- Municipality still at work
Labadie reiterated that most municipal services are still operational despite the apparently empty parking lot at the town hall. Office employees are working from home and are accessible by phone (819-455-2401) or email. See telework/télétravail on the municipal website for details.
La version française de ce rapport peut être consultée en ligne à : www.pontiacjournal.com.