• James Armstrong

Properties on Rigaud Mountain to be re-evaluated for ecological value


An equestrian trail on Rigaud Mountain was called into question by a local resident during the Rigaud Town council meeting on Monday, September 12.

The ‘Protecting Rigaud Mountain’ project was moved forward at Rigaud’s town council meeting Monday, September 12, as council approved a contract with WSP Canada Inc. to confirm the ecological value of 31 privately owned properties on the mountain. The re-evaluation follows on the heels of the adoption of the Interim Control Regulation 229 (RCI 229) by the town and the Municipalité Régionale de Comté de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) at the end of March, 2016. New land development, new construction, tree cutting, and land registry requests were put on hold until a protection plan for the mountain could be developed.

As of June, 26 private-property owners on Rigaud Mountain had their land designated as ‘non-buildable’ based upon an assessment of the ecological value of the mountain by Groupe Hémisphère. Subsequent opposition, comments, and concerns about the first assessment by the owners of the properties in question has led to the re-evaluation at a cost of $17,000. Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. said that each of the 31 individual lots would re-evaluated. Results from the new study are expected sometime in October, 2016, according to the mayor.

Debra Witten, the owner of three building lots designated as non-buildable in the housing development on Cabot Street, called attention to the reconstruction of the nature trail at the end of her street. “I don’t understand why an existing trail is becoming a road,” said Witten. She described how truckloads of gravel were being brought in and trees had been cut down.

“This project has been planned for a longtime – before RCI 229 – it’s an equestrian trail,” said the mayor. The trail connects the polo fields on Park Street to the rest of the trail system on Rigaud Mountain. The cost of the project is $15,000 according to Director General Chantal Lemieux.

Council granted a contract to Nature-Action Québec Inc. for their professional services regarding the management of the recently opened Écocentre de Rigaud in the amount of $82,800. The mayor said the amount is tax exempt because the organization is a non-profit. In addition, the amount will be reimbursed to the town by the MRC-VS.

Council authorized a call for tenders for the provision and delivery of sodium chloride, regular gasoline, and diesel for motorized vehicles, communication systems, and protective uniforms for Fire Safety Services and an underground reservoir.

A resolution was passed requiring snow removal contractors to purchase a $50 permit to remove snow from private driveways and parking areas in the territory of Rigaud.

During the second question period, resident William Bradley asked the mayor how the town is providing support for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Gruenwald replied the town had invited local suppliers to submit quotes for a variety of projects without any result. He emphasized that required norms and regulations have to be followed, particularly where public safety is concerned and local businesses wanting to supply services to the town have to comply.

In other business, the delay in the replacement of the washed-out culvert on chemin Saint Georges was raised by a resident. The mayor said the project is waiting confirmation by engineers in the Québec Ministry of the Environment. Interim repairs have been made to the culvert.