No tax hike in Stanstead Township
Stanstead Township is in good financial shape with a surplus of more than $400,000. The mill rate for property owners in Stanstead Township is staying the same at .3133 per $100, according to the municipality’s new General Director, Josianne Hudon. Ms. Hudon has been Stanstead Township’s director since October of last year, replacing previous director Kimball Smith who took a position with the Municipality of Orford Township.
The service fee per household for the three household waste collections combined went down slightly from $232, in 2011, to $227. Several citizens attended January’s council meeting with questions about the frequency of garbage pick-up which has been decreased to once every four weeks, as it is in many other municipalities. “We really want to reduce the amount of garbage we send to the landfill,” explained Ms. Hudon.
The municipality’s community centre, La Fourmiliere, had to be closed for the winter. “We had to close it for security reasons – we weren’t sure if the roof could support the snow,” said the director. “The citizens understand the decision, they can see how precarious the roof is, and we allow the association to hold their meetings at the Town Hall,” she added. The council is studying whether to demolish the aging centre, previously an elementary school, and rebuild or renovate the existing building.
The municipality is planning to buy a firetruck this year in order to conform to the risk management scheme. Ms. Hudon also spoke about more training for firefighters.
Some residents in Stanstead Township have applied to the Quebec government for grants to help pay for damages to their properties caused last spring at the time of Hurricane Irene. “Residents must apply for the grants themselves but if they contact the municipality, we can show them how,” said the director. There is also a link on the municipality’s website to the government program. Stanstead Township has also applied for a government grant to help pay for the damages caused last spring but has not yet received one.