Financing for Chaline Valley stabilization project set in motion


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Saint-Lazare town council again has a full slate of councillors with the recent election of Pierre Casavant and Benoît Tremblay, second and third from left respectively.

The balance of financing for the Chaline Valley stabilization project was confirmed with the deposit of a notice of motion for a $3 million loan by-law during the monthly council meeting on Tuesday, June 18. The meeting was a continuation of the regular monthly meeting held Tuesday, June 11.

The rising cost of the largest stabilization project to date in Quebec is currently pegged at $15 million with $9.8 million provided by the provincial government, $2 million previously set aside by Saint-Lazare with the balance covered by the proposed loan by-law.

During question period, concerns were raised about who was responsible for the original cost estimate of $8.4 million for the project.

“It was the Ministère des Transports, Mobilité durable et Électrification des transports du Québec (MTMEQ),” said Mayor Robert Grimaudo. Director General Serge Tremblay added costs had risen as the demands from the Ministry of the Environment were met and had finally arrived at a total of $15 million. Repayment of the loan will be shouldered by the entire town rather than by sector, according to the mayor.

Property owner holdout

Council was asked what they were doing to resolve the standoff with a Chaline Valley property owner who has refused to sign the agreement for the project.

“The city cannot do anything to force the property owner to sign,” responded the mayor.

“Maybe there are other solutions,” added District 5 Councillor Richard Chartrand. “The city can’t expropriate or purchase the property.” He proposed the adjacent neighbours affected by the property owner in question to jointly purchase the property. Refusing to sign on to the project has a cascading effect for 12 adjacent property owners as their land will not be stabilized and will continue to be categorized as a landslide risk zone.

Chartrand suggested the property could be resold after the work was concluded and the group could possibly realize a profit.

“There has been a lot of discussion between the town and the owner in question,” added District 1 Councillor Geneviève Lachance. Newly elected councillor for District 3 Benoît Tremblay offered to meet with the property owner in question. “Essentially, I want to try and convince him to look at the problem differently from the way his looking at it right now,” Tremblay told The Journal after the meeting.

Property owners of Chaline Valley affected by the stabilization project are invited to an information meeting on Wednesday, June 26 where all the details of the project will be presented. On-site work is scheduled to begin the first week of July.

New councillors welcomed

Tremblay was one of the two newly elected councillors at the table on Tuesday. The mayor welcomed Councillor Tremblay and District 3 Councillor Pierre Casavant.

Loan for traffic lights

In other business, a notice of motion for $230,000 loan by-law was deposited to finance the installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Chemin Saint-Louis and Bédard Avenue.

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