Longest question period?
In what may well have been North Hatley’s monthly meeting’s longest question period ever, timed at a bit close to 135 minutes, the Laliberté project once again was number one on the mind of the citizens present.
The controversial project raises almost more questions every time an answer is provided by council. Nobody seems able to provide either a flowchart, less a timeline, of how the project is proceeding at the Municipalities, the MRD and the Environment ministry. We even learned that the process to evaluate the flood zone was not initiated by the town, but by neighbouring Hatley Township who asked the MRC to study how to modify the planning of the Coaticook River and ‘accidentally’ must include the last couple of hundred meters at the outlet of Lake Massawippi.
The site to be re-developed would include one hundred and fifty seniors suites, a market that is saturated in the Townships, plus, in a second phase, more apartments, commercial and retail space, and a two hundred and fifty place underground parking. All in a former marsh.
Another question that raised interest from more than one participant is the fate of the Scowen donation of more than thirty years ago. The site is now the subject of legal proceedings on the part of the donators whose patience seems to have limits as when the park, co-owned still by North-Hatley and Hatley Township, will be developed according to the deed. It seems that the family has no objection that the RIPI, the joint fire department, build its firehouse there, but at the same time they want the park to be accessible in a sensible way.
Due to some ‘accounting’ problems, the town has a deficit of $227,000. The rational explanation being that the Province has changed its accounting rules for municipalities and that the town had no choice but to follow them. It’s more of an accounting problem than a cash problem, to tell the truth.
Finally, if you want to send an email to council, directly, they have an email address: communication@ northatley.com (note that there is only one h). This may be the most secure way of communicating with council. It’s in writing, always helpful as Councillor Pauline Farrugia noted; you have a copy on your computer and your email provider servers, the town also has copies on their computer and servers.
And a note that there will be a by-election on November 2nd to replace retiring Councillor Carrol Haller.
Mayor Michael Page listening during the two hour question period.