• James Armstrong

Rigaud Town Council welcomes newly elected District 3 representative


YLJ FILE PHOTO/JAMES ARMSTRONG

Newly elected Councillor Édith de Haerne won the by-election held in Rigaud’s District 3 on Sunday, June 12, garnering 37 per cent of the vote. Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. announced at the regular council meeting on Monday, June 13, that the new town councilor will be sworn in Friday, June 17, at Rigaud Town Hall. The Mayor warmly congratulated de Haerne on her achievement and said he looks forward to working with her.

In an interview after the meeting, de Haerne said she encountered two main issues expressed by the residents of the district. “The speed of vehicles on the road and the state of the roads always came up,” she said. “People are concerned about the safety of their children in some areas,” she added.

The recent regulations put in place to protect Rigaud Mountain by the town and the Muncipalaté Régionale de Comté de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) came up for discussion when Jean-François Larin presented copies of a document of his ideas to improve the regulations and achieve the goal of preserving the mountain. Larin argued it’s possible, if not preferable, to permit controlled tree cutting in specified areas with the supervision of a forestry engineer. He recommended activities that promote woodland health should be allowed and that wooded areas must be covered by a forest management plan consistent with conservation objectives. Larin proposed forestry farms should continue to operate as they do not induce fragmentation of the canopy and promote the health of the forest.

The transparency of the process for protecting the mountain was raised by Normand Séguin, owner of one of the properties designated as “non-developable land.” He wanted to know how non-resident property owners were advised of the two information meetings regarding Rigaud Mountain. The mayor responded that every effort was made to inform everyone about the meetings. “We are in the building stage of creating a proposal to protect the mountain,” he said, indicating the plan was presented to everyone at the same time. “If we had met with those property owners in advance, we would be accused of doing something in secret,” he said, adding that meetings with individual property owners were about to begin.

Archie Martin, Councillor for District 2 that includes a large area of Rigaud Mountain, said the mountain and the forest have existed longer than humans have been in the area and that the forest has a natural life cycle of its own that functions and regenerates without human intervention.

“He presented his ideas at the right time,” the mayor commented later in the week. “We want to consider the opinions and ideas of everyone,” he said, adding the town will also have forestry engineers evaluating the situation.

Congratulations were extended to Rigaud resident, Gérard Fuentes for his 40-year career as an artist and sculptor. “He is recognized internationally and has won many awards including the first prize in the Ward World Championship U.S.A.,” said Gruenwald. Fuentes sculpts highly detailed waterfowl and raptors in wood.

PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Rigaud Town Council is seeking assistance from the provincial government to collect unpaid taxes from the local Service Centre to the tune of $127,981.07.

Council passed a regulation asking for the assistance of the provincial government to collect the unpaid municipal taxes for the Service Centre property located on chemin de la Mairie next to Highway 40 at Exit 12. To date, the town has spent $30,354.21 in legal fees in attempt to collect the outstanding amount of $127,981.07.

“We can’t follow the usual process of seizing the property and selling it to pay the taxes, because it is a joint public/private ownership with the provincial government,” said the mayor in an interview on Wednesday. “We have managed to collect approximately $300,000 in unpaid taxes, now we want the government to help collect the rest.”

Repair and maintenance of Rigaud sidewalks received council’s attention with the approval of a contract with Groupe TNT for $77,875. A contract with the Red Cross for disaster assistance was renewed for 2016 – 2017 at a cost of $1221.76. The sale of a vacant lot of land adjacent to the water treatment plant was sold to Gestion NDJS Inc. for $115,399.98.

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