Regarding the Camping des Chutes-de-la-Rouge, I wish to share with citizens the actual facts and decisions, correcting information I've seen on social media. Unfortunately, gossip has been ramped prior to any official decision being made.
Firstly, it is important for taxpayers to recognize that approximately $80,000 of your tax dollars had already been spent by the previous council for 'experts' to carry out studies relating to this camping and park ground endeavour. The previous council subsequently bought the grounds for $320,000. A clause in the transaction provided, in the event of a sale, a first right of refusal to Nature Canada and the MRC of Argenteuil.
In the end, the site's 'infrastructures' were valued at $835,000 and an 8-year agreement/lease was signed with Mr. Fortin (the previous camping operator). The contract provided for an established value decrease of the infrastructures over time, and a rental of $20,000/year. The agreement also provided for Mr. Fortin's right to withdraw from the agreement after three years, a right which he exercised in the summer of 2019, and for which he received compensation for residual infrastructure value established at $535,000. Add to this over $50 000 of various legal fees, and the total debt for all of these transactions is close to 1 million dollars ($1,000,000).
A committee made up of councillors Manon Jutras, Serge Bourbonnais, and Denis Fillion was formed by municipal council on June 11th, 2019. This committee's mandate was to finalize the termination of the contract with Mr. Fortin, organize matters in order to take over the operations of the camping, and arrange for the income of the camping to cover the cost of this taxpayers' debt of approximately one million dollars ($1,000,000).
This committee set up a Non for Profit Organization (NPO) with an independent Board of Directors comprised of Gilles Drouin, Edith Dinel, Gilbert Landry and two councillors, Manon Jutras and Denis Fillion.
It is this committee which hired the director and employees for the management of the camping operations, always with the governing objective and mandate of paying back the citizen's debt.
We, the Municipal Council, have signed a contract with the NPO for them to carry out this mandate. It was important for the Municipal Council to ensure that our citizens have free access to the beach however not to interfere in the operations of this NPO, which means not to get involved in the pricing of parking, etc.
On this premise, it is important to note that as of today, there is no public parking space within the camping area but we are building one.
All regulations concerning the campgrounds are under the control of the NPO. Rest assured when the government authorizes public access to the beaches, you will be notified via the municipal and the camping websites.
As for the costs of access to the facilities, the NPO will set the prices. One of the advantages to GSLR residences this year, in addition to free access to the beach, will be free parking from Monday to Thursday; and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday access parking is set at the reduced rate of $5/day.
We sincerely hope that the NPO will succeed in this important mandate. I among others do not intend to pay for this camping through my property taxes; it must be self-sufficient and profitable.
Tom Arnold, Mayor of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge
YOUR PUBLIC WORKS ARE WORKING FOR YOU!
Despite the difficulties we are experiencing in these pandemic times, the municipality is nonetheless finding the means to keep repairing the roads and infrastructures on our territory.
In fact, several worksites began right after the thaw; at the beginning of April, we started with work on Winfield and Avoca roads with the repair of several culverts and the digging of new ditches at critical locations.
Subsequently, part of the paving contract awarded last year was carried out for those newly paved sections of Rawcliffe and Avoca roads requiring their wearing course. There will be other paving sections to be completed on Kilmar and Harrington Roads west of North Red River Road and east of South Red River Road. On this last section, we are redoing the structure of the roadway and shaping new ditches for the paving to come. This part of the road, once redone, will be in place for several years to come.
At kilometer 5 on Kilmar Road, the municipality had to replace a culvert 1.5 meters in diameter at a depth of 3 meters, which required closing the road for more than four (4) days. North of Lessard Road, we corrected the visibility triangle over a distance of more than 200 meters, which will considerably increase the level of safety for circulating vehicles.
New ditches have been created on Tervette Road at the intersection of Avoca Road. We excavated several places damaged by Hydro Quebec transport trucks which had been carrying out work at the Bell Falls dam. This work, over a 1.4 kilometer section, was all undertaken at Hydro-Québec's expense.
On Calumet's Principale Street, 200 meters of water mains were installed in the fall of 2019. The design of plans and specs is underway for the next section.
We are fully aware much remains to be done to complete the work which has started, or is about to start, on Scotch Road for example. Please rest assured we will continue to work at providing our municipality with roads which allow for pleasant and safe circulation.
REOPENING OF TOWN HALL
The municipality of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge's Town Hall, located at 88, rue des Érables, will once again be welcoming citizens as of Monday June 21st at the normal office hours of 8:30 a.m. to noon, and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Although we would prefer to address your requests and answer your questions remotely rather than face-to-face, it will be possible to obtain an appointment with the various municipal services at Town Hall. It will also be possible to collect or drop off your documents. Depending on their volume, a mail drop-off box will be available to the right of the main door.
This being said, security measures have been put in place to limit the risks of spreading the COVID-19 virus, including:
Anyone with the following symptoms: fever or chills, unusual cough, difficulty breathing, sudden loss of smell without nasal congestion, should not report to Town Hall or anywhere else.
Wearing a mask or face covering is recommended.
THE FOOD BANK HAS A NEW ADDRESS
The Food Assistance Network for the Western sector of the Argenteuil MRC is now located at 289 Main Street in Grenville Village.
WATER TESTING FOR WELL OWNERS IN GSLR
Each year we celebrate Environment Day in May, however this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the activity had to be cancelled. Nonetheless, the municipality has decided to offer its citizens who depend on a well the possibility of having their water analyzed.
Between June 21st and 28th, 2020, you may purchase a water test kit (bacteriology) online at a cost of $45 + taxes. You must pick up the bottle at City Hall between June 22nd and 26th, collect your water sample on June 28th, and return it to us the same day between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
Here is the procedure:
1. Go to the H2Lab online store - via the following website link, and choose package #1:
2. Enter the required information (place of collection + name of the collector) then click on "buy now"
3. Enter your email and make sure to choose the delivery method "collect" and click on "I already have my containers"
4. Apply the code GSLR2020 in the space provided (right side of the screen) before payment
5. Complete the required payment information (credit card) and complete your purchase
6. Note the order number (4 digits)
7. Obtain a bottle, if you have not already done so, and indicate on your bottle the order number (4 digits), the analyst request number (7 digits) and the date of collection.
For more information
Miriam Richer McCallum, inspectrice adjointe/environnement
819-242-8762, poste 3135