Mandatory safety valves coming down the pipe for Hudson sewage system


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Members of Hudson’s Fair Trade Committee, Robert McKinnon (left), Councillor Deborah Woodhead (right) and resident India Robbins (left of Woodhead) savor the moment with Mayor Ed Prévost.

Hudson Town Council passed a Notice of Motion for Proposed By-law 667-2015 Monday, October 5, near the end of the regular monthly meeting. The new law states, “… all owners of buildings connected to the municipal sewer system to install and maintain, at their own expense, a safety valve (check valve) to prevent sewer back-ups.” The law also gives a grace period of one year after the law is implemented to owners of buildings already constructed to comply. Mayor Ed Prévost pointed out the recent sewage back-up problem in the Stephen F. Shaar Community Center could have been prevented if a safety valve system had been in place. Resident Larry Grey asked why this regulation had not been included in the original installation plan of the municipal sewage system. Grey said Article 3 of the proposed by-law states that standards it proposes are those prescribed by the “Code national de la plomberie – Canada 1995”. Neither Prévost nor any of the council members were able to answer the question. “This has enormous consequences on the insurance coverage the town has to pay,” said the mayor. If property owners fail to comply, the town will not be responsible for any damages caused by municipal sewer back-ups.

Hudson was named Canada’s Fair Trade Town of the Year and awarded the trophy at a ceremony in Toronto in early September. India Robbins and Robert McKinnon, members of the Hudson Fair Trade Committee, presented it to the mayor and Council. “We were very, very proud to be in Toronto when Jack Layton’s son Michael presented Hudson with this award,” said McKinnon. “This award belongs to this community,” he added. McKinnon explained that Hudson is sharing the honor with a much larger town, Brandon, Manitoba.

In his preamble to the meeting, the mayor pointed out that the recently presented strategic plan is now available on the town web site in English with the French publication to follow soon. Prévost, noting the presentation was well received, said, “the real sweat and tears begins now,” in reference to implementing the plan.

Prévost also reported that recently hired Director General Jean-Pierre Roy has implemented a rigorous administrative system to ensure timely follow-up on all files including requests and communications from citizens. “This will eliminate the nightmare of having items fall between two chairs and never be dealt with,” he said. On a similar note, the mayor explained that complaints having to do with litigation should be directed to the Town Clerk Vincent Maranda and everything else should be sent to the Director General.

In other business, council resolved to send DG Roy and Treasurer Serge Raymond to attend the disclosure of evidence hearing of former Director General Louise Leger-Villandré November 23 at the courthouse in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. The resolution notes that the town has an important stake in monitoring the legal proceedings involving the former employee of the town.

Regarding other legal issues involving the town and union negotiator Judy Sheehan, council resolved to obtain advice and options available from an outside legal firm. Sheehan has served to the town with legal proceedings claiming $25,456.87 for professional services remaining unpaid. Sheehan was involved in contract negotiations with the unionized employees of the town.

Cleaning and maintenance of the town wells also received attention from council as they passed a resolution for calls for tender by invitation to carry out the work. During question period, the issue of using the Outaouais River as a source of potable water was raised. The mayor responded that all options available to the town concerning potable water are being considered.

Council officially thanked Interim Director General Duncan Campbell for successful realization of his mandate to enable a healthy transition from the previous to the new Director General. The resolution states Campbell’s efforts have stabilized the town’s administration and his work has received the approval of Ministère d’Affaires Municipales et Occupation du Territoire (MAMOT). Campbell will submit a written report with recommendations from his mandate to council on Tuesday, October 13.

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