Mayor clarifies survey work being done regarding Chaline Valley septic tanks
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
St. Lazare residents wait to voice their concerns during question period at the Tuesday evening, November 1, council meeting.
A letter that was delivered to homeowners in St. Lazare’s Chaline Valley informing them that their septic tanks will be examined by an engineering firm was an issue that dominated another lengthy question period that lasted about 100 minutes at the Tuesday evening council meeting, November 1.
Mayor Robert Grimaudo sought to clarify any misperceptions residents may have about the purpose of the septic tank survey currently being conducted. Resident Darryl Roberts told council he assumed the city would eventually replace all the tanks to possibly add a sewage system in the area as part of an overall strategy to eventually stabilize the land in the landslide zone risk area.
Grimaudo replied that the engineering survey isn’t meant to replace septic systems but to provide an analysis that will enable the city to propose various solutions including the possibility of installing a sewage system to mitigate the landslide issue.
“We need to have verifications done that will determine the amount of water that is flowing into the Quinchien River from the septic systems in Chaline Valley,” said Grimaudo. “To get the subsidies to do the stabilization work, bring the sewers in and so on, we have to present reports from engineering firms and that’s what we’re doing right now.
“The sewage system would eliminate the septic system,” said Grimaudo. “The weeping fields send water into the Quinchien River. This causes erosion along the slopes which increases the possibility of a landslide. It is not the ultimate solution to prevent landslides if they happen. It’s a preventive measure that will help stabilize the slopes.”
Grimaudo said the city is presently awaiting a report from the provincial Ministry of Public Security which is expected to be delivered by the end of fall that will indicate what the problems are and propose possible solutions to stabilize the area, adding that all the data collected will be presented to Chaline Valley residents at a future public information meeting.
Roberts, Richard Meades and other Chaline Valley residents also expressed concern about a sectorial loan by-law proposed by the town that will result in district homeowners having to assume the expense of the planned stabilization work, less whatever amount the city is able to receive in subsidies from the provincial and federal governments to offset the total cost.
When the loan by-law is eventually adopted, Chaline Valley residents will have the opportunity to sign a registry if anyone opposes it.
“You always have a choice,” said Grimaudo. “It’ll all depend on what the residents in Chaline Valley eventually decide. Some people are very concerned about the landslide issue and some are not. Some people would like to see the sewers and some don’t. It will not be the town that will make that decision. It will be the people living in your sector. Like anything else, you have the option to say no.”
Resident Constantinos Markakis disputed Grimaudo’s claim that residents could vote against the loan by-law, saying that if a sewer system is required based on engineering recommendations that it would help to stabilize the land, it’s doubtful anyone would oppose it.
Residents also said they feel the cost of the stabilization work should be assumed by the entire city because it will result in a substantial tax increase that will exclusively burden Chaline Valley homeowners for the length of the amortization period that has not yet been determined.
“A sector by-law means that whatever the cost it will be divided by the number of residents that live in Chaline Valley and we’re going to be stuck with the bill,” said Meades.
Council was also criticized by Meades for not providing information about a public information session that was held last week by Municipalité Régionale de Communauté (MRC) de Vaudreuil-Soulanges in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot (NDIP) where new maps were released that showed enlarged landslide zones in NDIP and St. Lazare.
Meades, who was present at the information session, said he only found out about it through an acquaintance. Grimaudo replied that the MRC published a public notice about the meeting in two French language newspapers.