• John Jantak

St. Lazare no longer middleman for sports events


St. Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo said the town has signed a new contract with the sports centre and will no purchase blocks of time to resell to various sporting associations.

St. Lazare will no longer purchase ground or ice time from the owners of the town’s sports complex except for its own activities as part of recently signed new contract, announced Mayor Robert Grimaudo at the monthly council meeting on May 2.

A resolution was adopted by council that confirmed the town will no longer buy blocks of time and then resell the hours to various sporting associations.

“Those days gone,” Grimaudo told Your Local Journal. “Whether it’s hockey, soccer or any other organization, they will negotiate and have their own contract with the sports complex. The town is no longer going to be the middleman.”

Grimaudo said the main reason the town decided to disassociate itself from the renewal process among the various sports clubs was because not all the time that was purchased was used by the groups that took part in the purchase/resell plan.

Unused hours

“For example, there’s a hockey team that may need 1,000 hours of ice time.” said Grimaudo. “We’d buy all the hours from the sports complex and resell them to the club on an ‘as needed’ basis. The only problem with that is if the team didn’t use all those hours for whatever reason, the town still had to pay for the unused time,” he said.

Grimaudo added the town always had more hours than were needed and the annual cost to taxpayers for the accumulated unused time was about $100,000 a year. “It cost a lot more than it should have,” he said.

Town will maintain own activities

The new contract that was signed by the town is for its own activities that are provided directly to residents. “These are for activities like free skating. During the week at the end of the afternoon, anyone can come to skate or use the soccer field. Now we only buy the hours we need for town use and are no longer stuck paying invoices for hours that were never used,” said Grimaudo.

The new arrangement signifies a mutually beneficial arrangement for everyone involved, according to Grimaudo. “It’s a win-win situation for the taxpayers because it will cost them less because they won’t be paying for unused hours and the town no longer has to be the middleman between the complex and associations,” he said.

Hydro tree branch pruning

Hydro-Québec is initiating a tree pruning and vegetation pilot project in the town to offset future power outages that are mostly caused by overgrown branches that hang over power lines or ground vegetation that touch power lines. “With all the power failures we have in St. Lazare, something needs to be done,” said Mayor Grimaudo.

During a meeting with Municipalité régionale de comté (MRC) representatives and the president of Hydro-Québec Distribution in February, the mayor suggested Hydro initiate a program to control the vegetation around power lines. “The reaction was immediate. They wanted to immediately put in a pilot project,” said Grimaudo.

The project is part of a three-group initiative that will have Hydro personnel, the town, and residents working together, said Grimaudo. “Hydro will call homeowners to set up an appointment, a representative will be sent to examine the situation, and together with owner, determine what vegetation needs to be trimmed or removed,” he said.

More information about the Hydro Pilot project is available on the town’s website at ville.saint-lazare.qc.ca/en/hydroquebec.

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