Mayor's Annual report
Our municipality saw some major improvements in 2012, from leisure activities for all ages to infrastructure improvements to our dams and road network. The Gore community is fortunate to have a great spirit of cooperation between the municipal council, the staff, myself and especially you, our fellow residents. Your letters, calls and e-mails expressing support for various projects and accomplishments always give us a boost of energy. As you know, some problems take longer than others to solve and your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated. .
Roads and Infrastructure
In 2012, the municipality purchased needed equipment to improve our road network; a new shovel for our tractor, a compactor, a cement saw and a new loader will help give us the best roads possible. In the past, the roads department would rent a large steamer to melt problematic ice in our culverts, this year we bought our own steamer which will pay for itself after one year of usage.
The municipal garage was retrofitted with a new lighting system which provides better lighting and a safer environment and lowers our energy consumption. New cabinets were purchased for storage of paint and hazardous materials as requested by the CSST.
Two longstanding and problematic files were resolved in 2012. The paving of 3.2 km of Cambria road was completed and although we were all frustrated with the delays in completing the project, the final result is a very well constructed road which will give years of service to our residents.
Major improvements were also made to Lac Chevreuil and Braemar roads. The improvements to Lakes Solar, Caroline and Barron dams were completed in partnership with the city of Lachute and in 2013 we will work together to improve the visual aspects of these infrastructures.
The Trinity Community Center, Holy Trinity Church and cemetery saw major improvements with a new fence, lighting, underground hydro infrastructure and drainage upgrades in the enlarged parking area.
Environment and Ecocenter
Our lakes continue to be in good health thanks to our residents’ great cooperation. Remember that as of July 2013, the two year grace period regarding the shoreline re-vegetation regulation ends. Our municipal inspectors will work with any resident who is doing his or her best to re-naturalize his or her shoreline.
Residents must work with the municipality to ensure the long-term health of our water courses or face possible fines and the degradation of water quality and negative effects on the value of their homes.
While the agreements for our Eco-center have been negotiated and signed with our partners, we are still waiting for our permits from the provincial government who have stated that they are eight months behind in treating permit requests.
High speed internet, Website and phone service
All nine mayors of the Argenteuil MRC as well as the MRC staff have done everything possible to encourage both the service providers and the provincial government to get their act together and provide the 32,000 residents of Argenteuil with badly needed high speed internet and cell phone service as soon as possible. The MRC has even made $900,000 available to speed up the process but unfortunately, while provincial politicians have been to our region several times with promises and announcements of multi-million dollar grants, we still do not have these badly needed services. I can assure you that we will not rest until this problem is rectified. Our municipal website is full of important information and is updated regularly. Take a look for yourself at www.cantondegore.qc.ca
Public safety, Fire department, and Sûreté du Québec
Our fire department continues to be one of the best equipped and trained teams in the entire region. Thank you to our chief, Ron Pressé, and all the men and women who make up our team for their commitment to our community. In 2012, we purchased defibrillators which will be available at the community center, the park chalet and in the first responders’ rescue vehicle. We have also added the “jaws of life” to our equipment and our team continues with their training to ensure the safety of our residents. The cooperation we experienced in 2012 from the S.Q. chief Patrick Després and from his team was second to none. While we are still the target of theft at times, the chief and his team have made several arrests over recent months and have kept the municipality and myself informed at all times.
Leisure, Sport, Arts and Culture
This year our leisure committee continued to offer our residents fun filled activities such as the monthly breakfasts, held the first Sunday of every month at the Trinity Community Center, the Mayor's Saint-Patrick's day dinner and dance, the sugar shack breakfast, the Fiesta Party, 50's and 60's dance, New Year's Eve party, etc. Other activities taking place at the Trinity Community Center were Tai Chi, yoga, painting, dancercise, zumba, boot camp, "vie active" for our seniors, the children's Christmas party, the Christmas Eve family dinner, etc.
The municipal park was also alive with activities such as hockey, skating, broom ball, outdoor exercise equipment, basketball, ball hockey and the "Coureur des bois" challenge.
A tennis court will be added in our municipal park and will be available to our residents in the near future. The concerts at the Holy Trinity Church were a great success again in 2012.
The Express continues to inform the residents of upcoming events, regulation and by-law changes, church schedule, garbage and recycling pick-up, “My health in mind” programs, etc. This year we added a series on the history of Gore with the help of Dr. Louise Johnston and Mr. Luc Matter. The first instalment of this series was in the centerfold of the May 2012 Express and the second instalment was in the centerfold of the November issue. The feedback received from our readers has been extremely positive. This series of articles and photographs will continue on a regular basis over the next few years. We will be laminating these articles and photographs and hope to have them hanging at the Trinity Community Center and at the Town Hall.
A new association was formed this year for our seniors. The Gore Seniors’ Network now holds a monthly Eat and Greet on the last Monday of the month at the Trinity Community Center. This allows our seniors to get together for a healthy lunch and some stimulating conversation.
Thanks to our volunteers, this program is quickly becoming popular among our retired and semi-retired residents. A special thank you to our municipal Councillor, Cécilia Gionet, for all her hard work.
The Williams stream watershed project
The Terra-Bois cooperative, in close collaboration with Horizon Multiresource and our municipality, are working towards the accomplishment of a forest and wildlife development project within the Williams stream watershed. This watershed basin covers 35.6% of the territory of the municipality of the Township of Gore. This initiative is part of a new program’s framework implemented by the Quebec wildlife foundation, with the technical support of the Ministry of natural resources (MNR). This project favours the implementation of a global integrated natural resources development approach in order to ensure sustainable development in private forests. If you are the owner of a wooded lot of more than 4 hectares (9.88 acres) and wish to carry out forest or wildlife development, do not hesitate to contact Marc Champagne at 450 562-1126 extension 239. Many financial aid programs are available to you!
MRC, FQM, FCM
It is my honour to represent you at the regional, provincial and federal levels. I continue to work on the environment as the president of the Argenteuil environment advisory committee. The mayors of Argenteuil have once again elected me as assistant warden for the region. I was also re-elected by the mayors of Quebec to represent Quebec on the Board of Directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities where I sit on the Committee of environment and sustainable development, the rural forum and the socio-economic development committee.
Our municipality recently deposited a project for septic system replacement funding with the FCM’s Green fund. While we have passed the first few hurdles we await the final approval process. Our regional Member of Parliament Mylène Freeman has deposited a private members’ bill for debate in the House of Commons based on Gore’s Eco-loan proposal which once again solidifies our community’s reputation as a leader on environmental protection.
In closing, the municipal Council and office staff work for you and we are consistent in our goal to increase and improve services while maintaining one of the lowest property tax rates in the region. While a certain amount of development is needed to keep the tax rate low, we strive to do our best to conserve our “country” feel and landscape. Your input is very valuable to us, so please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss any ideas or problems you may have. I will always take the time to return your calls or transfer the information to the municipal council and office staff. You can always reach me at 514 941-2224. If I am not available, please leave a message and rest assured I will contact you as soon as possible. Thank you.
Here is a summary of our financial situation as of September 30th, 2012 as well as an estimate for December 31st, 2012. The municipality’s financial statements as of December 31st 2011 were prepared by the auditors Amyot Gélinas chartered accountants; this report mentioned a surplus of $262, 208. For 2012 our actual expenses as of September 30th 2012 were $2, 211,767 and we estimate that they will amount to $3,383,375 by December 31st 2012. Our actual revenues as of September 30th 2012 were $3,237,638 and we estimate that by December 31st 2012 they will reach a total of $3,550,585; therefore there will be a surplus of $167,210 for the year 2012.
Capitalization program for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015
During the capitalization program for 2013, 2014 and 2015, the municipality plans to invest in the following projects:
- Completion of the municipal park project which consists of building a tennis court on the ice rink as well as landscaping;
- Paving Cascade, Tamarac, Braemar and Lac Chevreuil roads;
- Continuing the study of the lakes in our municipality and participation in the “flagship municipality” project;
- Broom for the roads department;
- Converting the dump yard into an Eco-center.