Martin C. Barry
Nearly a half-dozen residents of des Vignobles Street in eastern Rosemère turned up at the town council meeting on June 10 to complain that their street is in riddled with numerous cracks and potholes which are not being fixed despite repeated patchings taking place year after year.
Street repairs needed
“The paving on this street between Roland Durand and Champagne dates from more than 30 years ago,” Élaine Sanche, who spoke on behalf of the group, said during the public question period.
“Can you explain to me why work is still not done when it was part of the five-year plan adopted by the previous mayoralty. What we want to know is when you plan to complete those works. It’s very dangerous for children, for senior citizens, in fact for all residents who get around on foot.”
She said the problem is particularly bad near a park. “We see a problem. We are therefore expecting a solution from you before somebody gets hurt. It’s several times that this has been brought up, and that is why we are here tonight because we really would like to something done about it.”
Hardly the exception
Councillor René Villeneuve responded that “unfortunately it’s not the only street like that. There are a lot of streets that are presently in a bad state.” In addition to the pavement problems, the group’s spokesperson said des Vignobles has over the years also become very busy with traffic because of its proximity to Autoroute 640 and it is also used by drivers coming and going from the Externat Sacré-Cœur.
“It is interesting to see that despite a 30 km/h sign and police surveillance, very few residents respect the posted speed limit,” she continued. “We would like to know what the town can do to deal with the problem. The thing would be not to wait before reacting. We have numerous young families who’ve arrived recently and who would like serenity and security for their children, which is not the case now.”
No work this year, says mayor
Having received the group’s questions in writing before the council meeting, Mayor Eric Westram said this gave him time to check whether des Vignobles St. was listed for work this year. “In all honesty, that particular work was not scheduled for this year,” said Westram.
“What we will do, on the other hand, is to re-evaluate the situation. And if we arrive at the same conclusion as you and there’s no doubt at all about what you’re suggesting, we will see about the possibility of exchanging one project for another. But what’s certain is that yours isn’t listed in the PTI (triennial infrastructure plan) this year.”
Have you checked the latest water bill sent to your home by the Town of Rosemère? At least two residents brought up the town’s water-billing methods during the regular council meeting, as well as during the more informal “plenary” held 45 minutes earlier.
Unhappy with low water bills
What they noticed was that the water bills they received were for extraordinarily small sums – $1.62 in one case, nothing at all in another. They wondered why the town would bother sending out invoices for such small sums, when it might have made more sense to forward the sum onto a cumulative bill next year.
“The problem is that this week I received my water bill, and I would like to pay but I don’t owe you anything,” said Daniel Robinson of Skelton St. “What I don’t understand is why you spent money to send me a bill to say I don’t owe a cent.”
Westram admitted that the town should perhaps have sent notices with the bills, informing recipients that, based on Rosemère’s new water conservation policy, they had succeeded in limiting their water consumption. However, not everyone received a low water bill. One person at the council meeting reported her bill was for more than $900. She was told to check her plumbing for leaks as that was the most likely cause.
Wanted: an accurate flood map
Also during question period, Wendy Gurd asked the mayor whether a chart is available to residents that shows areas of the town that are vulnerable to flooding. According to town manager Guy Benedetti, the most up-to-date map dates from 2005, although it is currently under revision.
“The new chart is not available,” said Mayor Westram, noting that since the catastrophic floods in 2017 and this year the provincial government has decided that any territory bordering the river is now considered a 0-100-year flood risk. “I think this is the first step until they arrive at a chart that is a true reflection of reality,” he added.
And finally, Normand Painchaud, who launched the Atelier d’Ébinisterie Communautaire de Rosemère last week at the public works yard, said that the workshop has done so well that it is now in a position to pay back a subsidy of several thousand dollars that the town had made to get the workshop started.