• James Armstrong

Mayor presents mid-term financial report to Hudson town council


JAMES ARMSTRONG

Questions regarding the anonymity and competence of the committee overseeing the Hudson’s Pine Lake dam project were raised at Monday evening’s meeting by resident André Bourassa

Hudson’s Mayor Ed Prévost deposited the annual report on the town’s financial situation as required by the Cities and Towns Act of Québec at the November 3 council meeting. “For the year 2013, the revenues were $11,241,987 and expenditures $12, 044,266,” reported Prévost, indicating that the deficit is due to depreciation. The current year is expected to end within budget estimates with the results presented by the auditor in March 2015.

The mayor stated that the special meeting for the tabling of the 2015 budget will be held December 17, at 7:30 p.m. In 2015, the taxable value of all properties will be $1,028,344,100. Prévost gave an outline of what to expect in the upcoming budget including capital expenditures for the next three years. The target areas are road network repairs, new road signs connected to the revitalization of the downtown area, and promotion of the town’s many attractions to encourage economic development.

Parks and Recreation will also receive attention with the creation of new recreation facilities such as a skate park, playgrounds and rest area along with a family policy. There will be a revision of urban planning by-laws and a development plan. Under Environmental Health, the collection of household organic waste, the standardization of bins for household refuse to reduce costs will receive attention along with an environmental policy.

Questions regarding the town’s financial situation were raised concerning the payment of the former auditors and whether or not any lost monies could be recuperated through them. Prévost responded, “I think the whole thing is under investigation, it’s not excluded that we will try to recoup as much money as possible,” pointing out that the bill from the auditors had not yet been paid.

The possibility of applying retroactively for a grant for the new fire station was raised by resident Peter Batcup. Councillor Robert Spencer explained that the loan-by-law for the fire station had included the possibility of applying for grants. None of the current council had any knowledge of what had happened regarding previous council’s grant applications. Prévost emphasized regulations concerning grants for projects such as the fire station had to be approved before construction began and that retroactive application is not accepted.

However, the mayor promised to write to the provincial authorities concerned and see if anything can be done. Prévost pointed out that the town has moved to offer the exceptional services of the fire department to other communities such as Île Cadieux and Vaudreuil-Sur-Le Lac. “We have one of the best fi re station operations in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges area,” said the mayor. The contracts with these communities for fire department services will bring in funds to help defray the cost of the fire hall according to Prévost.

Concerns were raised regarding the Hudson patrol enforcing by-laws by issuing tickets for infractions. The customary statistical report from the Community Patrol and the Fire Department were not available at the meeting. The mayor, however, confirmed that the patrol continues to issue tickets and enforce the by-laws. Council passed resolutions for the withdrawal of the referendum for loan By-law 649 concerning the Pine Lake dam and the termination of the call for tenders for its construction. It was noted by the mayor that the committee wanted to speak with potential dam builders and that new tenders will be by invitation.

Questions regarding the membership of the dam committee and why their names were not public knowledge were raised during the question period by resident André Bourassa. He also wanted to know how competent the committee members are to choose the type of dam for the situation. In response, the mayor explained that the anonymity of the committee members was important to protect them external influence or pressure.

Director General Catherine Haulard responded to the question of competency saying, “There is a biologist, a contractor and they are extremely competent in the area of their expertise and this project,” explaining all the norms and requirement were being met.

In other business, new members were appointed to the Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) and the Town Planning Advisory Committee (TPAC). The elected official for the AAC is Councillor Natalie Best, Société de Développment Commercial d’Hudson representative Bryan Amyot, resident Karen Rothschild and Curtis Raiche. New TPAC members are Chloé Hutchison, Frank Hicks and Timothy Mathieu. The term of service for both committees is one year.

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