Early Christmas gift
AtNorth Hatley’s last town meeting, a special one which was held on December 12th, the North Hatley Recreation Society (NHRS) received a gift of a Zamboni to clear off the town’s outdoor rink. The Zamboni was given to the recreational organization by the Ritchie Brothers auction house. Mayor Michael Page and the town’s general director, Leonard Castagner, received the authorisation to buy the tennis courts from the golf club. Of the $120,000 price tag for the two courts, $52,000 was raised by the NHRS.
Although property evaluations have increased, many households will have a smaller tax bill for 2012. Service fees have been reduced and now lakeside property owners, whose values have increased considerably, will pay a greater share of the tax burden.
There were only a few citizens at North Hatley’s regular council meeting held on December 5th which was primarily a working meeting. The municipality was able to secure a good borrowing rate of 2.73% which property taxpayers should be happy about. Mayor Michael Page gave his annual report. The preparation of the plans and the work to construct the water filtration plant is complete and the Regie des eaux Massawippi will soon begin analyzing the bids to do the work which is slated to begin in the spring of 2012.
Inthe December 7th edition of the Stanstead Journal there was an article entitled ‘Too poor to play – but not to pay’, which chronicled comments made by councillors at December’s Municipal Council meeting. In response to that article, the Stanstead Journal was contacted by Municipal Councillor, Jody Stone, who wished to further comment on the night in question with his opinions on some of the issues discussed. In our conversation with Mr. Stone, he stated that he believed the questions asked of council at the December 5th public council meeting by Mr. Dave Dubois and the Stanstead Journal were ‘critical’, stating he checked with other councillors who felt likewise. Mr. Stone went on to say that the councillors worked very hard and some did not feel the positive contributions they made to the community were appreciated or recognized. This same complaint was voiced to the Stanstead Journal by Councillor Michele Richard at the municipal meeting in question. It should be noted she was approached by the Journal after the meeting and asked several times what positive initiatives she wished to document. She declined to speak of the subject and walked away.
Mr. Stone discussed with the Stanstead Journal some of the council’s initiatives he wished to communicate to the public, as well as his complaints pertaining to the perceived criticism of this paper to the councillors during the proceedings of December 5th. Mr. Stone was kind enough to put some of these thoughts in writing later that same day.
Concerning the issue of the $25,000 donation to the college, Mr. Stone states that the council donates an average of $5,000 to many local initiatives, and that this is normal considering the benefits the Arena brings to the community. He claims the town has been giving approximately $3,000 a year to Border Minor Hockey and recently switched to a subsidy program, with payments given retroactively to reg-