River and road ice addressed in Rigaud
PHOTO BY JULES-PIERRE MALARTRE
Rigaud residents and brother and sister Mario and Manon Labelle are enjoying the Rigaud River skating rink on a regular basis.
The Town of Rigaud’s council held its first regular meeting of the year on January 9 and despite an agenda leading with approval of by-laws, notices of motions, grants and other municipal news, the icy conditions of the streets, the construction of the new town hall and the economic benefits of the Rigaud River skating rink were at the forefront of the discussions and comments.
Resident and former mayor Jean-Guy Faubert started off the first round of questions by commenting on the icy condition of Route 342 all the way to Route 201. Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. acknowledged the shortcomings of certain snow removal scenarios in the wake of the icy weather experienced earlier during the month. “We have had a meeting and we will be meeting the contractor tomorrow morning,” he promised.
The council approved the motion for the preparation and launch of a call for tenders for drilling of the planned Agathe well. An attending resident questioned the need for the construction of a new well. “We are looking to the future. We will drill a new well before we run out of water. Once you run out of water, it’s too late. To attract new residents and new projects, we have to make sure we have enough drinking water,” Mayor Gruenwald answered.
The council approved an additional clause to the contract for added work related to the concrete slab, the draining, formwork, beams and electrical components for the impermeability of the elevator shaft. The additional clause is for a total amount of $60,866.79.
Resident Marc-Antoine Martel asked for more information regarding construction of the new town hall. “When will it end?” Martel asked. “We should not encounter any more issues at this point,” Gruenwald answered. “We had an issue with contaminated soil at the beginning. We had a site condition due to the presence of underground water. We had to bring in corrective measures to ensure we don’t run into more problems in the future.” Gruenwald concluded by stating that the project should remain within budget.
Another resident asked about the return on investment of the Rigaud River skating rink. “What will be the benefits compared to what it will cost?” He asked.
“It’s not that simple,” Gruenwald answered. “It’s part of the touristic appeal of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges area. We are trying it, and we will see the results. If we don’t invest in tourism, we will never get anything. At the moment, we are vulnerable. We only have the Mont-Rigaud ski resort and hiking trails. When we hold events like Festival des couleurs, Rigaud fills up with people. That’s how we make our mark. There is an investment to be made.”
Gruenwald added it was really difficult to tag on a specific monetary return on investment of such a project. “Some restaurants fill up, others not so much. What is important is that people participate, that families have a good time together in nature. If people come from other municipalities, it’s surplus for us. That’s what we want. We are creating an atmosphere where families will want to come live and work here, have fun here, and raise their children here. That is our vision. If you don’t buy a lottery ticket, you won’t win. This is the same thing. If you don’t invest in such activities, things will never improve.”