Vaudreuil-Dorion awaits provincial flood plains survey before beginning city hall work
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Residents packed into the Vaudreuil-Dorion council chamber at the June 5, Monday evening council meeting and raised issues on several topics including the proposed location of the new city hall on St. Charles Avenue adjacent to Vaudreuil Bay.
Mayor Guy Pilon said the Vaudreuil-Dorion administration is still hopeful it will be able to build its new city hall on a parcel of land next to Vaudreuil Bay that was recently affected by record-setting floodwaters but will have to wait on a final decision on whether it will be able to proceed until the provincial government releases newly revised flood-plain zoning maps.
Pilon made the announcement at the Monday evening council meeting on June 5 in response to a citizen’s query about the suitability of the current location at 420 St. Charles Ave.
Location doubts raised
Resident Mario Tanguay questioned the wisdom of the city administration for wanting to pursue its original plans in spite of the flooding. Tanguay suggested the city should consider locating the new city hall on Harwood Blvd which has two suitable vacant spots and is in close proximity to the recently opened MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges headquarters which he feels would be a better alternative.
YLJ FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK
Flood waters from Vaudreuil Bay surround the structure at 405 Avenue St. Charles the site of the new proposed Vaudreuil-Dorion city hall on May 7. Mayor Guy Pilon said even though water encroached inland, the current structure and adjacent seniors’ residence were never flooded.
Pilon replied that Tanguay was entitled to his opinion but it wouldn’t sway the city’s decision as to the final location. Pilon also stressed that while floodwaters did encroach onto the grounds of the proposed city hall, the current structure located on the premises was not flooded.
The news was also met with skepticism by mayoral candidate Pierre Séguin of the Team We Are municipal political party who has called on the mayor to drop its current plans and find another suitable location away from the flood zone.
“As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t make any sense,” said Séguin. “That’s his (Pilon’s) choice. We suggested a public consultation be held regarding the matter instead of decisions being made behind closed doors.”
Reno permit fees waived for flood victims
Residents who are preparing to begin renovation work to repair basements that were damaged by the flood last month are required to apply for a permit from city hall before undertaking any repairs but needn’t pay the associated fee, said Mayor Pilon.
“We want to help our residents,” said Pilon. “We’ve already paid for a building engineer to examine the properties that have been touched by the floods. There are about 30 homes that have been touched to some degree. Some people had minor damage and in other homes it was more extensive. We’ve paid for containers to take away all the damaged material and we will continue to help our residents any way we can.”
Chaline Valley stabilization work
Council adopted a resolution that will allow the Town of St. Lazare to carry out its upcoming landslide stabilization work along a small portion of the Quinchien River in Vaudreuil-Dorion. The project which is expected to begin in late December will involve reconfiguring the slopes and stabilizing the shoreline to reduce the potential for landslides.
“Vaudreuil-Dorion is impacted just a bit and because they have to come onto our side to do the work, we gave St. Lazare permission to do so,” said Pilon. “We have nothing to do with the project itself. At one point the boundary line between the two municipalities is very close so this is why we’re allowing them to do the work on our side to finalize the project.”