• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Dorion ready to focus on further commercial and industrial development Part 1 in our serie


JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon stands next to a selection of awards and citations presented to the city this year by various organizations for the quality of service provided to residents in several areas including sports and cultural programs, emergency and fi re services, policing and public security, and for its economic development initiatives.

As the pace of residential construction begins to slow down in Vaudreui-lDorion, the city is looking to continue building up its commercial and industrial zones to bring in additional sources of revenue – not only to bring tax relief to residents, but to also solidify its position as an alternate major shopping region and to keep employees within the area by luring new businesses and industries to set up shop.

Mayor Guy Pilon, who just celebrated his ninth year as mayor after winning his third consecutive mandate to lead the city in last year’s municipal election on November 3, spoke to Your Local Journal during a sit-down interview on Monday about his accomplishments and vision for the next three years.

“I’m very proud,” said Pilon. “When you’re a politician, sometimes it can take a few years before you finally see what you’ve envisioned. Our main residential projects near Boulevard de la Gare are almost completed. Right now we see the end of some projects, like the new overpass on St. Charles Avenue that crosses Highway 40, and the beginning of others.”

Two major projects the city intends to tackle next is the revitalization of Harwood Boulevard, which is intended to solidify its status as a viable commercial and shopping artery, and the long awaited announcement of a major commercial project that will straddle the vacant land just east of Highway 30 at the intersection Boulevard de la Cité des Jeunes and Boulevard de la Gare on the site of the former Flying J Gas Bar and Truck Stop.

Pilon couldn’t divulge any information about the proposed development because details are still being ironed out, but said it will be huge. He added that the revitalization of Harwood Boulevard will significantly change the current look and feel of the artery. “We look forward to seeing significant changes in the years to come,” said Pilon.

The city is also adamant that the long-awaited, proposed completion of Highway 20 is essential to divert ever increasing traffic away from Harwood Boulevard, although construction of the new section of highway wouldn’t be set to begin for at least another three to four years because it isn’t on the current slate of major roadway infrastructure projects. Originally pegged at between $400 to $500 million, Pilon said the cost of the new highway will increase exponentially over the next few years unless a firm commitment is made by the provincial government to proceed with the project within a reasonable time frame.

“This is nonsense, the fact that a major highway still has traffic lights,” said Pilon. “We want this project to be put back on track. Highway 20 is an interprovincial road and it needs to be finished.” Rather than waiting for the entire project to proceed as a one shot deal, which would also transform the two lane boulevard and eliminate the existing traffic lights on the portion of Highway 20 that runs through Île Perrot, Pilon said he will ask provincial Minister of Transport Robert Poëti to consider splitting the project into two phases and build the new section of highway that will run through Vaudreuil-Dorion first.

“I’m not saying the section that will run through Île Perrot isn’t important, but with the density of commercial establishments along Harwood Boulevard and with the large volume of traffic that use the boulevard especially tractor-trailer trucks, a major accident would be disastrous,” said Pilon. “It’ll be a big political issue in the next few years,” Pilon added.

“We want to split the project in two and if there isn’t money to build the entire section up to the Galipeault Bridge in Île Perrot that connects to Ste. Anne de Bellevue, then we at least would like to have the section built first.” The arrival of Ericsson, the world leader in telecom services which is building a new research and development facility that will be operational by next June, is still regarded as a major coup for the city and Pilon hopes to capitalize on its arrival by hopefully enticing similar companies to consider setting up shop in Vaudreuil-Dorion’s industrial park.

Vaudreuil-Dorion’s rapid growth in the past decade has also prompted the city to drastically improve its water filtration and sewage treatment infrastructure by building two new structures that will respectively be better able handle the increased volume when completed. “The other thing I’m proud about is that we’re still going ahead with our water filtration and sewage treatment plants,” said Pilon

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“It’s a huge investment of over $70 million. It’s the heart of the town. If you don’t have the proper infrastructure, you cannot grow. This is why I call it an investment - otherwise we wouldn’t be able to continue growing our commercial and industrial areas.” While Ericsson may have helped to put Vaudreuil-Dorion on the map, its international reputation was solidified earlier this year after it was chosen as the only North American city invited to participate in the UNESCO cultural initiatives project based on the city’s Je Suis… program that aims to bring people from different cultures together and promote diversity.

Pilon also lauded the eight councillors and numerous administrative staff and municipal employees for their continued hard work and dedication that has resulted in numerous awards and citations being presented to the city this year by various organizations, for the quality of service provided to residents in several areas including sports and cultural programs, emergency and fire services, policing and public security, and for its economic development initiatives.

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