• James Armstrong

Food bank and speed bumps up for discussion in Rigaud

PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Volunteers Ginnette Laliberté and Ginnette Quesnel play an important role in the construction of Le café de la débrouille communal garden.

Administrator Ginette Laliberté raised questions regarding the space for Rigaud’s food bank, Le café de la débrouille, during the Monday, June 11 council meeting. The food bank, located at 23 Saint-Jean-Baptiste East has accessibility issues because it is in the basement of the building.

She referred to the creation of the vegetable garden behind the building and the problem of storing the tools and wheelbarrow used by volunteers. The group was supposed to have access to ground-level storage in an extension attached to the back of the building but was told it was slated for demolition when she asked a town official for the keys. According to Laliberté, the café had proposed a renovation plan of the extension to the town.

“I will find out how we can fix the situation,” replied Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. saying access for other tenants in the building also had to be taken into consideration.

“The council is ready to work with you,” said Gruenwald noting a meeting with members of the café’s administration had been scheduled for later in the week. He said extensive budget cuts in early 2018 meant financial aid from the town was not as available as in the past. The building that is currently the home of the café and other not-for-profit organizations is owned by the Town of Rigaud.

Rigaud farmers’ market

Resident Tina Smith asked council if they would reconsider finding space for Rigaud’s Farmers’ Market.

“I don’t understand why the market was closed,” said Smith. “The market vendors were involved in the decision not to have a market in 2018,” replied Gruenwald adding support for the market had decreased.

“The Rigaud Farmers’ Market was one of the first in the region. Now they are everywhere,” he said. “Everyone involved decided to take a sabbatical year to evaluate how to improve the situation.”

A resident said a previous attempt to relocate the market on private property in an agriculture zone had met with failure. The mayor said provincial regulations had prevented that possibility. “There are so many regulations for a farmers’ market,” Gruenwald said following the meeting. “For example, it has to be located on a paved surface and it has to have access to water and other services.”

Speeding issues

Several residents raised concerns about motorists not obeying speed limits on Rigaud territory including residential neighbourhoods such as Domaine Saint-François. When asked why the town wasn’t installing speed bumps in various problem areas, the mayor said the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) had reported they were ineffective.

“People slow down for them, then speed up again,” he said.

“They’re better than nothing,” said resident Patrice Beaulieu. The mayor agreed speeding was a problem in Rigaud as well as other towns in the area. “Council will look at installing temporary speed bumps that can be removed for the winter,” he replied.

Foundation for fire department training centre

In other business, council issued a call for tenders for the construction of a foundation for the Fire Safety Training Centre in the courtyard of the recently constructed fire hall. The cost of the foundation was included in the construction budget for the fire station according to the mayor.

Rigaud Mountain land bank

Council approved a promise to purchase a lot of land on Rigaud Mountain. Once the purchase by the town is complete, the lot would become part of the land bank created to preserve the natural forest cover of the mountain. “This was a private property owner who came forward and offered this land,” said the mayor. In another resolution, council approved the purchase of two lots on Rigaud Mountain that are part of Les Sentiers L’Escapade, Rigaud’s extensive hiking trail system.

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