French River Citizens Association
Association des Citoyens de la Rivière des Français
Tax Rate Update
We thank you for the interest in attending the council meeting of May 16, 2012. It was great to see so many citizens wanting to be informed. Knowledge is power.
Our Association, on behalf of the citizens, urged Council to strongly consider the following:
a) an increase closer to the rate of inflation
b) adjusting the mill rate in order to offset the MPAC assessments
c) a one-time special tax levy to be used for road improvements
d) and most importantly to defer the adoption of the 2012 budget until all of the above had been seriously studied and considered.
Councillors Mike Bouffard and Ron Garbutt made a motion to defer (that is to consider the Association’s suggestions as mentioned above). It was defeated. The Council then proceeded to adopt a 9.6% property tax increase. On a recorded vote for the tax increase the following Councillors voted in favour: Michel Bigras, Claude Bouffard, Larry Bouchard, Mike Bouffard, Shawnda Martin-Cross. The following Councillors voted against: Ronald Garbutt, Denny Sharp.
This does not include the educational tax rate. Most likely the residential taxpayer will pay significantly more. It is important to note that 93.6% of the local tax revenue comes from residential taxpayers.
In conclusion, it is important to keep informed and to address our concerns. There are two Town Hall meetings scheduled on May 30th, 2012, 7:00 p.m. at the Alban Community Centre and July 25th, 2012 at the Municipal Complex 7:00 p.m. in Noëlville.
This is an excellent opportunity to express your concerns and ask your questions.
Please plan to attend.
French River Citizens Association
Report - April 4th 2012
Members of the French River Citizens Association.
I guess some of you must be wondering what is happening in municipal affairs. Rest assured the Association is still active and on the Municipal Watch.
We have not reported to the members since mid-November as there were no major events of importance other than normal business operations. But we do have some important news to report.
Some of the most recent highlights:
The municipal budget is not yet completed.
Sudbury East Planning Board will not approve any new land development until the municipal septage plan has been approved.
Councillor Monique Hébert (Ward 5) has submitted her letter of resignation citing health reasons.
The new CAO/Clerk has been hired, Harold Duff, will begin his employment April 10th, 2012.
Items that have yet to be resolved:
Establishing an email blast service
Audio and video recording of meetings (Municipal website)
Prevost Road expropriation
Industrial Park Environmental Study
Industrial Park LAS Solar Photovoltaic Program
Hydro-Geological and Environmental Assessment studies.
Rooftop Solar Project
Municipal Septage Plan (lagoons)
Municipal Budget 2012-13 fiscal year
A compiled list considered main events of debate beginning from January 19th, 2011 to April 4th, 2012 is included. The attached PDF document is a synopsis from excerpts of the minutes of Council, listed in chronological order.
We welcome your input and comments. Please feel free to contact us by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great day!
French River - Paralyzed by What if...
By Gérard Carrière
A case of «What if…» That question seemed to haunt a few people at the special meeting of Council to help clarify the future of the French River industrial park heldin Alban on November 24.
Some councilors and a handful of citizens expressed fear about the proposed development of the industrial park.
The argument comes back: pristine French River could be threatened by future developments. A fair question.
Brennan Kenny, economic development officer for the Municipality, first outlined the history of the park and the present state of studies and recommendations from the Minsitry of the Environment.
They say: no further studies are needed at this time, except the serviceability study (water needs) already on the way, since each commercial or industrial development in the park will have to obtain certification of environment safety from the Ministry. The park was planned for commercial or industrial enterprises with low environment risks.
But some fear. What if…Of course, these are legitimate questions. All citizens have the responsibility to guarantee to the best of our abilities the protection of the environment which promotes healthy living. But how far can we push this protection?
Should we try to stop Highway 69 and the trains from crossing the French since an accident could, one day, cause a spill and compromise the health of the River?
Should we outlaw any old two cycle outboard motor which pollute like 40 cars? Yes, forty cars. Should we outlaw snowmobiles, chain saws, planes, lawnmowers, four wheelers. Yes they all pollute.
If Council continues with their plan for an all encompassing environmental study of the industrial park area, as they have already voted, it could cost several hundred thousands; it would not guarantee anything and might not help at all since the Ministry stipulates that each enterprise is responsible for their own industry specific study before starting development.
A local entrpreneur reported at the meeting having spent over one million for a private industry specific environment study, tailored to the enterprises which are to be developed, on their land near the Highway in the future. These studies are expensive and study specific types of development. It was suggested that the Municipality could help by having some of these studies completed. However how can the Municipality decide what studies are required on land that has not yet been purchased or leased. Perhaps other incentives to encourage business to come to French River would be money better spent. Can you imagine the cost, if it can even be done, of an all encompassing environmental study which has to cover all possible business ventures?
Also lost in the discussion is the present zoning of this property which only permits dry industry.
But some coucilors and a few citizens, perhaps one percent of the French River population, are fearful and distrust other members of the EDC and other members of Council.
While respecting and promoting varied opinions, all citizens of French River have a duty to keep informed on these issues and let their opinion known. Council will have to address these issues at the next two council meetings.
What if nobody speaks out? What if we let a few paralyze all development in French River? What if taxes reach record high? What if people can’t afford living here any longer? What if we lose the few services we have? What if your property starts losing in value because of over taxing? What if a handful of people decide for you without your knowing it? But here I am fear mongering perhaps.
We can only eliminate our fear by proper information, reassurance of open transactions, responsible choices and commitment to care. Let us seek information, let us discuss the future of French River. Let us participate in the dialogue before it is too late.
Dates of public Council meetings:
Committee of the Whole: December 7 at 7:00 PM
Regular Council Meeting: December 21 at 7:00PM
Council Updates - November 14th 2011
Members of the French River Citizens Association. you may have heard on the news that Council has pushed the municipal administrator to resign and take his retirement now. This decision is creating insecurity in the municipal staff and it does not allow for a smooth transition with an eventual new administrator.
Council is also to meet with the Economic Development Committe and representatives of government agencies in order to clarify issues concerning the industrial park. Some members of EDC appear concerned about some members of Council always raising issues which compromise any chance of development of the industrial park. Certainly as citizens, we must be concerned about protection of the environment and quality of life in our area, but must all development except arts and crafts, gravel or commercial enterprises be totally banned from our beautiful French River? Who will provide reasonably good paying jobs for our youth? Toronto? Edmonton?
These are important issues and it is important that citizens keep attending Council meetings in order to know what is going on in our Municipality. As citizens, you can also question members of Council on their decisions, whether you decide to do it at the Council meeting or elsewhere. Your Association is also interested in hearing your questions and comments.
Let's consider attending this Wednesday's regular meeting of Council at 7:00 PM
Mise à jour du Conseil - le 14 novembre 2011
Association des Citoyens de la Rivière-des-Français, Nous devons demeurer vigilants et suivre de près les actions de notre conseil municipal.
Retraite forcée de l'administrateur en chef de la Municipalité causant inquiétude chez les employés municipaux et une transition anormale vers un nouvlel administateur éventuel.
Réunion planifiée entre le Conseil et les membres du Comité de développement économique ainsi que des représentants des agences gouvernementales concernant l'avenir du Parc industriel. Certains membres du Comité de développement économique semblent inquiets de l'opposition fréquente de certains membres du Conseil, ce qui risque de compromettre la plupart des projets possibles au parc industriel. À titre de citoyens, nous devons être concernés par la protection de l'environnement et la qualité de la vie dans notre région, mais devons-nouuus rejeter tout projet qui n'est pas dans le domaine des arts, de l'artisanat, du gravier et des entreprises commerciales? Qui fournira des jobs à salaire raisonnable, ce qui permettrait de garder plus de nos jeunes ici? Toronto? Edmonton?
es questions sont importantes et il est essentiel que les citoyens suivent de près les actions du Conseil. Chaque citoyen a aussi le droit de poser des questions et d'émettre des commentairesaux réunions ou ailleurs au sujet des sujets qui les intéressent. Votre lAssociation est également intéressée à recevoir vos questions et vos commentaires.
Soyons à la réunion du Conseil ce mercredi à 7h.