• James Armstrong

Water well and Governor General award on Hudson Town Council agenda


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Hudson’s Director of Public Security Philippe Baron (centre) received a Governor General’s Award from Mayor Jamie Nicholls (right) and Assistant Director Daniel Leblanc.

A suitable site for a potable water well has been found, according to the announcement made by Mayor Jamie Nicholls during the regular monthly council meeting held Tuesday, July 3 at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre.

“We have found a well that will pump 600 gallons per minute,” said Nicholls adding that having the new source of potable water would alleviate the concern of having the current well malfunction causing a water shortage for the town. Nicholls estimated it would be operational by June or July of 2019. As for the current water use restrictions, the mayor said he was optimistic for the situation next year, but added, “We urge citizens to conserve as much water as possible.”

Council approved a resolution for the purchase of 400 water saving kits at a total cost of $4400 through Hydro Quebec’s Solutions ECOFITT program at a reduced price. The kits will be distributed free of charge to Hudson residents during the Street Fair Saturday, August 4.

Long-term potable water solution

Later in the meeting, council approved a resolution for a grant application that would fund a feasibility study for setting up a water treatment plant that would draw water from the Ottawa River. The study would include the cities of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Saint-Lazare, Rigaud and Hudson. “This is a long term solution and will take time,” the mayor said after the meeting. “There have been discussions with the other towns. Given that we have a strong producing aquifer, it might be difficult to convince the Quebec government we need that project.”

Road paving loan by-law approved

The town’s much-needed road paving project has been given the green light by Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Occupation du territoire (MAMOT) who approved the necessary loan by-law for funding the project. “It means about 20 per cent of the roads will be resurfaced,” said Nicholls.

Governor General’s Award

Director of Public Security Philippe Baron received a Governor General’s Award for 20 years of Distinguished Service presented by the mayor. “Philippe Baron has gone above and beyond in his service,” said Nicholls adding, “His integrity and honour are first and foremost in the service he gives. He has built a service that all Hudsonites can be proud of. Congratulations and thank you for your service.”

Community Centre renovation costs

Council approved, but not unanimously, a series of resolutions related to the renovation project for the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre that was funded in part by a Canada 150 grant and loan by-law for the town. Each of the approved resolutions represented an increase in the cost of items such as windows, doors, and bathroom renovations. The dissenting vote, in each case, came from District 5 Councillor Jim Duff. During the second question period, resident Bill Nash requested the councillor be permitted to voice his reasons for dissent. “First of all, I would like to clarify that there wasn’t an increase in costs,” said the mayor adding, “Basically, this was a correction of a clerical error.”

When Nash questioned why there would be dissent in the case of clerical errors, Duff was permitted to voice his opinion.

“There’s a cloud of mystery that surrounds the real costs of the community centre renovations,” said Duff. “I don’t feel comfortable voting for anything concerning the costs until I have a much clearer picture of it, a final reconciliation that documents all aspects of this thing.”

Duff described the financial background of the project as part of the basis for his dissent. “There was a loan by-law supported by the majority of Hudson citizens for up to $550,000 with the understanding the feds (federal government) would pay up to $250,000. At this point, we are over that amount,” he said. “How much we are over is not clear. I am not impugning or inferring anything. I’m not comfortable until I know what the final tab will be for the Town of Hudson.” In response, the mayor said council would discuss the subject during its caucus meeting. He declined to give a timeline regarding a public response to the issue.

PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Although slated for removal in May 2018 due to safety concerns, Armand Vaillancourt’s ‘L’Écran’ Land-Art installation remains available for public viewing on Sandy Beach.

Land Art installation removal

The controversial Land Art installation created by renowned Québec artist Armand Vaillancourt was slated for removal in May from its current location on Sandy Beach due to safety concerns and issues with damage to the trees from which it is suspended. To date, the installation has not been removed. When asked by The Journal when the installation would be removed, the mayor replied, “We still have to discuss that item in caucus. Obviously, the roads and the well have been a priority. We have been focusing on the big priorities rather than the smaller things.”

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