Hatley wants to hook up with Voie des Pionniers
The mill rate for Hatley residents has come down, going from .50/$100 to .48/$100. “We were able to lower the tax rate by reducing the municipal salaries, changing the structure. We now have one less employee which saves the municipality about $50,000 a year,” said Hatley mayor Denis Ferland.
Hatley is hoping to join the “Voie des Pionniers” (Pioneer Trail) of the Coaticook MRC. If a grant is approved, a “Jardin des Pionniers” would be installed, featuring several large metal silhouette sculptures, on the Hatley Commons under the large maples. “We had to take down one of the old maples last year so we would probably install the garden in that area,” explained Mr. Ferland. The Hatley pioneer who would be immortalized by the sculpture is Reverend James Stewart, the first Anglican reverend in Hatley and the second Anglican Bishop of Quebec. His sculpture would be joined by three others pioneers from other towns along the Voie des Pionniers.
The municipality has adopted a new policy of maintaining several “chemins de tolerance”, private roads in the areas of Perkins Bay, Woodland Bay and Domaine Hatley. “We decided to do this to improve the access to homes in those areas for fire and safety measures. The owners first had to improve the roads to meet certain criteria,” said Mr. Ferland. The municipality has decided to manage themselves the septic tank cleaning schedules on its territory. The council believed the town’s previous cleaning schedule of every two years, the Memphremagog MRC’s system, was too frequent for some residences so they have hired their own contractor.
“The community center is going well and we are just beginning a special course of Spanish,” mentioned the mayor. The special Spanish course is for farm owners who employ Spanish-speaking workers, usually from Guatemala, and focuses on words used in farming. “Guatemalans are well-known for working very well with animals, so they are often hired on farms in this region,” added the mayor.