• James Armstrong

First council meeting in new Rigaud Town Hall


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. welcomed residents to the first council meeting held in the new council chamber of the recently inaugurated Town Hall.

The first town council meeting in the council chamber of the recently inaugurated Rigaud Town Hall was held Monday, December 11. It was also an opportunity for several residents to raise concerns regarding speeding vehicles, an elevated volume of traffic coupled with continuous high levels of noise, and garbage strewn about in their neighbourhood.

Local security issues

“We are seriously concerned about our security,” said one resident of the area in question. They pointed out a complaint had been made to the town in October, 2017 and apparently nothing had been done to alleviate the situation with their neighbour.

“We have opened a file with the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and they have an ongoing investigation,” responded Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. saying the town has a contract with the SQ to provide police services.

“We need a plan of action and we need your support,” said one resident. After several minutes of discussion, the mayor invited the concerned residents to meet with himself, the Assistant Director for Fire Security, Eric Martel and the local representative for the SQ.

“The town is aware of the situation but we cannot ignore the law,” said Gruenwald adding he would contact the SQ Tuesday, December 12.

“We pay $1.3 million per year for the services of the SQ. If we have to pay them and do their job, we have a problem.”

Preserving Rigaud Mountain

Council approved promises to purchase three lots of land on Rigaud Mountain for a total amount of $398,166. When asked how the land would be used, the mayor said it would become part of a land trust.

“It will be protected in perpetuity. We have created a trust that will be directed by a committee consisting of the Director General of Rigaud and the Prefect of the Municipalité régionale de comté Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS).” According to Director General Chantal Lemieux, additional members will be appointed to the land trust council.

Paying for spring flood damage

When asked if council had determined how Rigaud would pay its share of the costs incurred during the spring flood period, the mayor replied the amount in question would be paid by the budget surplus for the year. The municipal taxation system in Rigaud is applied to each electoral district. In theory, districts that experienced the flood damage could be taxed to pay the cost.

“Neither those affected by the flood nor those who were not will pay directly,” said Gruenwald. “Before everything else, we are a community.”

The Quebec government has agreed to pay 70 per cent of the costs with the town taking responsibility for the remaining 30 per cent.

Flood victims’ assistance office

The flood victims’ assistance office has been moved to 64 Saint-Viateur Street. Gruenwald made the statement when asked about the ongoing use of the leased building at 33 Saint-Jean-Baptiste Street West that was the temporary home of the town hall and the assistance office. According to the mayor, the town is no longer leasing the building.

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