• James Armstrong

Rigaud municipal garage construction set for June


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

The Town of Rigaud has sold the property formerly owned by the Sisters of Saint Anne that once housed a school.

Construction of the new Rigaud municipal garage is set to begin in June at a cost of $2,500,000. The announcement came during the public information meeting concerning the project presented on Monday, May 14 before the regular monthly town council meeting. Both meetings took place at the Paul-Brasseur building in the Salle de l’Amitié.

During the information meeting, Director General Chantal Lemieux presented a brief history of the three-part construction project that included the fire station, town hall and the municipal garage. The garage is the final piece in the project as the fire station and town hall projects have been completed. Construction of the garage is estimated to take five or six months with occupancy planned for the end of 2018. The new municipal garage will be built on a piece of land near the ÉcoCentre on rue de la Coopérative.

Rising costs

Original cost estimates for the project in 2014 pegged the price at $1,600,000. A subsequent call for offers produced three options ranging from $3,004,296 to $3,844,764 according to Lemieux’s presentation. After reassessing their options for the project, the town issued a second call for offers and the end result was the project presented on Monday evening.

With over 8,000 square feet of space, Lemieux said there was room to have all of the town’s equipment under one roof including the heavy equipment. “It is expected to serve the needs of the community for 50 years,” said Lemieux.

Funding for the garage

Although the town has applied for grants to subsidize the project, they have not received a positive response. Lemieux pointed out that the fire station project had received a significant grant from the Quebec government.

The three-part project that totaled $10,907,101 has also been financed by a loan by-law of $6,450,000 and the previously mentioned fire station grant of $1,458,350, the sale of three town properties for $2,608,667 and the surplus from other completed projects for $391,277.

Land sale

The sale of land included the former Jardin de l’Enfance, a school owned by the Sisters of Sainte-Anne religious institute. The town sold the buildings and land at 71 and 72 rue Saint-Pierre to Groupe Lawlor Inc. for $1,350,000. Part of that amount was used to repay the balance of the mortgage the town owed the Sisters of Sainte-Anne accounting for the difference between the sale price and the amount allocated to the garage project.

“Groupe Lawlor has proposed certain things that we are studying,” said Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. when asked what the new owners were planning for the historic building. He was unable to give further details other than to say that sculptures belonging to the town on the site would be moved to another town-owned location.

PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Rigaud Director General Chantal Lemieux presented the municipal garage project on Monday evening. Construction is expected to begin in June with a forecasted move-in at the end of 2018.

The sale of the current municipal garage located at 391 Chemin J.-René-Gauthier for $1,500,000 and a piece of property on rue de la Coopérative for $132,000 also helped finance the project.

Financial health

In other business, town council received the audited statements for 2017 from external auditor Michel Poirier, CPA.

With a surplus of $35,000 at year-end, the mayor took a realistic stance on the situation. “It was a very trying year, with the flooding last spring,” said Gruenwald. He said not only were the finances of the town seriously strained by the flooding and the ensuing clean-up, a lot of pressure and stress had landed on the shoulders of town employees and residents. Details of the audited 2017 financial statement will be available soon on the town website.

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