Coaticook – a growing community
Theyear 2014 was not only a year of celebration in Coaticook, it was also a year of growth. In the residential sector, 259 construction permits were issued, thirty more than in 2013. Twenty-two of the new permits were for new constructions. In the commercial sector, 32 permits were issued, four of those for new constructions. Eight permits were issued in the industrial sector, representing an investment of $6,326,700, or five million more than the previous year.
When it comes to agricultural development, nine permits were issued, two more than in 2013. The value of the permits issued in 2014, $801,000, was double those of 2013. More than two hundred other permits, for a value of $656,252, were also issued. In total, there was a 100% increase in the total value of permits, going from $12,664,236 to $25,217,191.
The town also recently adopted, at the January council meeting, a policy to encourage new construction. Builders will receive rebates from the town in the following amounts: $1000 to $3000 for condos from 3 ½ to 5 ½ rooms and more; $500 to $1,500 for new apartments from 3 ½ to 6 ½ rooms and more. Developers are expected to begin building the condominiums at the former site of the Belding-Corticelli plant this year.
The town hired the EXP engineering firm to elaborate a regular inspection program for the suspended walking bridge that crosses over the Coaticook River in the Parc de la Gorge. During last year’s tourist season, the extreme popularity of the Foresta Lumina installation drew thousands more people to the park than in past years, and most of those took the suspended bridge since it is part of the Foresta Lumina circuit.
The firm proposed an inspection program based on a three year cycle: one annual inspection two of every three years, from the ground up by foot and with the use of binoculars, but no special equipment; and one general inspection one year out of every three. The cost to the town will be $1,500 per visual inspection, roughly $18,000 for each general inspection and $6,000 for a structural analysis of the bridge.
Coaticook would like to be recognized as a Village-relais, a municipality that can offer 24-hour lodging and food services, and is taking the necessary steps with the Ministry of Transport to receive this accreditation.