Monday, July 15, 2024

Coulonge council sessions to be recorded, says mayor

Pierre Cyr
Fort Coulonge Nov. 1, 2023
Fort Coulonge Mayor Christine Francoeur opened last Wednesday’s council meeting by informing the approximately 25 residents in attendance that council sessions would henceforth be recorded. Naomie Rivet, the municipality’s director general, said this was necessary to enable better follow-up on the many issues discussed at council meetings. While there are no plans at present to make the recordings available to the public, this may change with the evolution of the municipality’s website.
According to Rivet, Fort Coulonge has signed an agreement with Calumet Media & Consulting, of Otter Lake, to develop a new website to replace the current one. The cost will be around $10,900, but could be adjusted downwards depending on the number of MRC municipalities that adopt the same supplier.
Romain Petit Moteur
On the matter of whether the council would be paying outstanding invoices to Romain Petit Moteur, a Mansfield company that claims it is owed some $6,500 for services it provided to the municipality, Mayor Francoeur indicated that the council had decided not to do so. A petition bearing 410 signatures in support of the claim by Romain Petit Moteur was submitted to council by Pierre Aubrey on Oct. 4.
Joel Romain and Debbie Laviolette, owners of the business, told THE EQUITY that Director General Rivet and Councillor Philippe Ouellet had met with them on Oct. 30 to offer them an annual service contract in the amount of $1,500 as a means of settling the matter. The owners turned down the offer saying they shouldn’t have to do additional work to get what they were already owed. Mayor Francoeur declined any questions on the matter at the meeting.
Francoeur indicated that the town is still awaiting the CIMA+ report on work carried out on Proudfoot, Laporte and Gervais Streets in recent months. The relevance of this work was questioned by several citizens at the last meeting in October.
The incinerator issue also occupied a good part of the discussion. Some citizens felt that the MRC was putting the cart before the horse by approving the development of the business case for the incinerator project. Francoeur urged citizens to attend MRC meetings if they had any questions on the issue.

Resident Michel Tremblay stated loud and clear, “Citizens have a right to know. Before saying yes to the incinerator, I hope that we citizens will be consulted”. When asked if she would vote in accordance with the will of Fort Coulonge citizens on the incinerator issue, Francoeur replied, “Yes, we will vote with what the citizens want”. Councillor Nathalie Denault added, “I’m not going to make the decision for the people of Fort Coulonge as to whether we should have an incinerator. I want the public to be informed and to make the decision. It’s a big decision”.
The town has approved the use of the old ball field for an outdoor skating rink. This project will be carried out in collaboration with the Patro de Fort Coulonge. The rink will be illuminated and will replace the one set up last winter on the pond in the heart of the village.
Francoeur also briefly mentioned a project for a short-stay caravanning campground to be built as soon as possible in spring 2024 on the banks of the Coulonge River, opposite the village’s current boat launch. This project will be largely subsidized by funds made available to the MRC. A dumping station for caravans will also be installed and the parking space will be redesigned.


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