At the May 17 council meeting, a draft bylaw was passed, proposing to borrow $1.5 million in order to finally replace the aging “Beach Barn”, the Lions Hall on Ch. Ferry in Quyon.
Pontiac 2020.ca asked communications agent for the Municipality of Pontiac (MoP), Dominic Labrie some more questions about the bylaw and the amended plans for the much-needed community center.
P2020: $1.5 M is a lot less than the original proposed cost of $2.4 M. What will have to be left out of the first plan to compensate for the reduction in costs? Or is it simply smaller in size?
MoP: It will be a smaller project, with only one-story where the previous project had two. We found a project that is being built in Venise-en-Québec which is similar to ours: they needed to demolish an old building and construct a new one of the same size and requirements that we want. We can relate to their numbers because they went through a tender process in January. It proves us that we can have a nice building for that price.
P2020: Will the new building stand exactly where the old one was?
P2020: Will there be a chance to redevelop the actual waterfront too?
MoP: No, that will be phase 2.
P2020: Was it difficult for the council and the Waterfront Revitalization Committee to work out how to reduce the costs so drastically?
MoP: No. We had one meeting with the committee. Their primary goal is to have a building that can accommodate 250 people.
P2020: Do you think that people will support this new borrowing bylaw?
MoP: Mayor Larose expects some opposition. However, as he said, “we need a community center in the village core. There’s no way around that. We will have to invest in other community centers too. But the Cousineau report shows that the Lions Hall is in bad shape and needs immediate attention. It would cost $750,000 to repair the current Community Center in Quyon. I think it’s also a better investment have a new building that meets the building code and fire safety, etc. But at the end of the day, the rate payers will decide and I will accept the decision.”
People who wish to oppose the borrowing by-law for a new Quyon Community Center project may sign a register on June 14, from 9 am to 7 pm at the Town Hall.
P2020: How many opposing signatures do you need for the bylaw to be rejected?
P2020: How many people can the Beach Barn currently hold in numbers?
MoP: More or less 200.
P2020: Will visitors and the public have access to the community center all the time or will it be open only when it booked for a function?
MoP: All the options are on the table. It would be nice to have a public space for arts. But it has to be determined.
P2020: In June’s Municipal Bulletin, you wrote: "The project will not be conditional on the success of these measures"..... Do you mean that you will go ahead with the project even if no extra funding can be found by MNA André Fortin?
MoP: That’s the proposition on the table.
P2020: Briefly, why were the first two requests for funding to the Provincial Government denied?
MoP: The project was not approved because community centers are not eligible anymore through Quebec programs. Venise-en-Québec had the same problem. After few denials they decided to build a community center without the provincial government.
As Dominic says, if you wish to oppose the borrowing bylaw you still have a few days to sign the register. But, seriously, have you been inside -- or even near -- this so called- community center recently? Its days are done, to be quite frank.
Yet there is a definite need for a proper hall like this in the village, not to mention the phenomenal good a smart, modern, comfortable building could do as a welcoming place for people coming to Quyon by boat or ferry. Ask around, think about it, have your say, get involved.