• James Armstrong

Higher taxes in Saint-Lazare as council adopts 2019 budget


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Saint-Lazare council is considering the installation of traffic lights at the busy intersection of Avenue Bédard and Chemin Saint-Louis without the addition of extra lanes.

The average Saint-Lazare homeowner is looking at a 1.21 per cent increase in their property tax bill for 2019. That’s according to the $31 million budget approved by council during a special meeting held Tuesday, December 18 at the Saint-Lazare Town Hall. An average home was valued at $386,000 with its own septic system. That’s based on the general property tax rate for 2019 calculated at $0.6565 per $100 of evaluation. For an average home connected to the sewer system, the increase is calculated as 1.43 percent.

Some rates remain the same

Treasurer Brigitte Bonin pointed out assessed values of properties had changed from the previous year. Water and residual material taxes remained the same as 2018 per household. Bonin also noted in her presentation of the budget the construction costs of the Town Hall were included in the general property tax. For the average home this represents an amount of $39.37 or $0.0102 per $100 of the assessed value when taking the federal and provincial governments’ funding for the community hall into consideration. The final year of taxation for the town hall is 2048.

Expenses beyond control of the town

The town has expenses that are categorized as beyond their control and, therefore, cannot be reduced. Those expenses account for 85 per cent of the expenses that include payments to the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), Municipalité régionale de comté Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS), Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), and the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM).

Financial assistance for youth and seniors

“We’ve modified what we call our Policy 28,” said Mayor Robert Grimaudo. “More money will be given to the various activities (for youth and seniors) and we’ve extended the program to be accessible to more people. We’ve added close to $150,000 to that budget.”

Resolving traffic problems

Resolving the traffic circulation problems at the intersection of Avenue Bédard and Chemin Saint-Louis was part of the budget and the three-year capital expenditure program that council also approved. The solution that council is considering is the installation of a simple traffic light system without the addition of any extra lanes for traffic. Councillor Pamela Tremblay objected to the specific solution of a traffic light that was originally proposed by Councillor Richard Chartrand who himself expressed support for that solution.

“The earlier recommendation was the installation of a roundabout and a lot of work was done around that,” said Tremblay. “The solution council is now putting forward is the one that was always put aside as not a viable option.”

“There are long term and short term solutions,” commented the mayor. “What’s in the budget now is a light. It will be up to council to determine if that is a long or short term solution,” he said.

“When it comes to public security, the environment, and a hundred other reasons, roundabouts make sense,” he added. “The population was very clear in the survey that we take a look at that intersection.”

No Au Galop in 2019

Grimaudo was referring to a survey carried out by Leger Marketing earlier in the year. The future of the equestrian event, Au Galop, was included in that survey.

“The response was, yes, we like Au Galop but it costs too much,” said the mayor regarding the survey results. The end result was Au Galop was not included in the 2019 budget.

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