• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Dorion announces late library fee amnesty pilot project


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Dorion council also adopted a resolution to provide $50,000 in financial assistance to Association Animation Jeunesse Vaudreuil to help the organization which runs the city’s summer day camp to hire and retain young employees for the entire season.

Vaudreuil-Dorion residents who haven’t returned overdue borrowed materials from the city’s library have been given a reprieve. Library late fees will be waived for one year after a resolution was unanimously adopted at the Monday evening council meeting on February 3.

The intention of the amnesty is to motivate as many people as possible to return books and other media without having to worry about incurring a late fee, said Mayor Guy Pilon. “It’s something we’re going to try. Sometimes you borrow something and forget to return it. Or maybe a child borrowed a book and forgot about it. Six months later, the parents find out you have a big fine and don’t want to go back to the library,” said Pilon.

“We don’t want to impose fines on children. It will be a one year pilot project. We want to see if this will change things. We still want people who borrow things to bring them back on time, that’s for sure but we won’t impose any fines for one year and then we’ll see how things go. Maybe this will inspire people to return the items they borrowed. We’ll see,” Pilon added.

Summer camp financial aid

Another resolution was adopted by council to provide $50,000 in financial assistance to Association Animation Jeunesse Vaudreuil to help the organization which runs the city’s summer day camp to hire and retain employees for the entire season.

“We realized the association was having problems finding young people who wanted to work with the youngsters because we pay one of the lowest rates in the region. When the students find out what the pay is, they go to work at another town,” said Pilon.

The city analyzed the situation and decided it would be more equitable to keep wages within the median range of what other municipalities are paying their summer camp staff.

“We’re going to set aside a certain amount of money to make sure we can keep our students with us and to be competitive. We don’t have the highest pay amount in the region and now we don’t have the lowest amount. Now we’re in the middle range. The association thinks it will help them retain their staff and this we why we agreed to give them financial assistance,” he said.

Low council meeting attendance

The attendance of only two residents at the council meeting caught Mayor Pilon’s attention who noted afterwards that, “There were more journalists than residents who attended the meeting.” When asked what the possible reasons were for the low attendance, Pilon said part of the reason could be because more people are watching the meetings on-line or on community television.

“Maybe that’s part of the reason or maybe it’s because there were no big subjects on the agenda. Or maybe people are happy with our decisions. Usually when people come to our council meetings – aside from the regulars – it’s because they have an issue to raise with the city,” said Pilon.

The mayor noted another reason could be because Vaudreuil-Dorion mostly has two council meetings every month whereas other municipalities only have one. “If people decided not to come maybe it’s also because they were busy. It’s also February so maybe people are down. Or maybe they’re happy with the mayor and the job he’s doing,” Pilon added.

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