Summary of the municipal council meeting of April 6, 2022
The Town Council meeting was held in public on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. Its video recording is available on our YouTube channel and its official minutes (in French only) are available on our website.
Introduction/follow-up of ongoing files
- The Mayor announced important decisions on the priority issue of drinking water supply: read the press release The Town is protects its water.
- The Mayor also announced important decisions regarding short-term rentals: read the news item Change of course in short-term rentals.
- The mayor announced ongoing discussions with the Corporation de développement économique de Sutton, as the Town wishes to exercise leadership on the economic front. He greeted the winners of a prize at the CLD Brome-Missisquoi Gala for the 24th edition of the Défi OSEntreprendre – Montérégie : read the news Three entrepreneurs from Sutton are winners of the OSEntreprendre Challenge!
- The mayor told us that a special meeting of the council had taken place the day before… with 1st and 2nd grade students from the Sutton school! Following the same protocol as the current meeting, the students, well prepared, came to present their “Bike to School” project as part of Bike Safety Week. Read the news A “special” council meeting for the students of Sutton School.
- Councillor Lynda Graham wished to:
- Report on the success of the Terry Fox fundraiser organized by Sutton School: the school placed in the top 20 elementary schools in Quebec by raising close to $6000.
- Recalling the Town’s survey of the population as part of the revision of the Family and Seniors Policy, and asking parents and seniors in particular to fill it out. Read the news We Want to Know! Families and Seniors, Give your opinion!
The council adopted :
- the first draft of By-law number 115-16-2022 entitled “By-law amending Zoning By-law number 115-2, as amended, in order to modify the applicable areas for accessory buildings”;
- the second draft of By-law number 116-3-2021 entitled “By-law amending Subdivision By-law number 116-1, as amended, in order to add section 2.11”.
- The council adopted a new organizational chart that confirms the division of duties between the General Manager, who is now more responsible for strategy, economic development and finance, and the Assistant General Manager, who is responsible for departmental operations. A Continuous Improvement Advisor will be hired to measure the effectiveness of services and to implement a complaint management system. The position of Foreman has been replaced by Projects and Development Officer. The position of Environmental and Urban Planning Inspector was created.
- The council confirmed :
- the permanent hiring of Patrick Goyette, qualified labourer;
- the hiring of Laurie Roy, building inspector (for the moment at 2 days/week, and full time starting in May)
- the hiring of Martin St-Jacques, project manager in the public works and capital assets department (this position replaces the foreman position)
- the hiring of Sabrina Domingue, municipal building maintenance worker
- the hiring of Cody Johnson, Dylan Burnham-Caswell, Trevor Rocheleau, François Tremblay, labourers
- the hiring of Mark Macey and Mélissa Campeau, temporary skilled labourers for the summer (parks and horticulture)
- the hiring of Makayla Foster, 2022 Day Camp Coordinator [WE ARE STILL SHORT OF PEOPLE TO ENSURE THE FULL POTENTIAL OF SUMMER ACTIVITIES: WE ARE CALLING FOR CANDIDATES!]
- the hiring of Steven Russel, prevention firefighter (shared half with Brome Lake), to replace Ross Clarkson, who resigned;
- the hiring of Jesse Salois for the summer, fire prevention technician
- The council welcomed the retirement of Robert Barratt, a skilled labourer in the Public Works and Capital Assets Department, employed since 2006. The Town of Sutton thanks him for his excellent service over the past 16 years.
The council approved:
- the mandate given to Laforest Nova Aqua Inc. to conduct a hydrogeological study. This study is part of the measures announced by the City for the protection of water.
- the allocation of the “wastewater” reserve for repairs to the wastewater treatment plant and pumping well for an amount of $42,000.
- the filing of the work program on Western Street with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing as part of the expected payment of $2,057,634 from the Quebec Tax and Contribution Program (TECQ 2019-2023).
- The council awarded the contract for selective emptying and transportation of sludge from septic tanks, retention tanks and cesspools to Beauregard Environnement Ltée for $692,000 (2022-2025). Selective emptying, compared to a complete emptying, is less costly, more environmentally friendly and better for septic systems.
- Council repealed the Short-Term Rental Policy and implemented new rules: see the Short-term rental section on the website.
- The council thanked the two outgoing members of the CCUDD, Jacques Masson and Sébastien Landry, for their great contribution. They are replaced by Colette Roy (urban planning background) and Stéphane Lessard (architecture background).
- The council approved a request to the Brome-Missisquoi MRC for the adoption of an interim control in the sector of the Mountain and within the recharge basin of the Academy well: see the press release. [Note: the application was accepted by the Brome-Missisquoi MRC on April 19].
- All discretionary decisions related to the applications dealt with in urban planning are available in the minutes or in the recording of the session on YouTube.
RECREATION, COMMUNITY LIFE AND CULTURE
- the awarding of a service contract to Louis Schinck for the maintenance of the skating rink and the ice trail for two years in the amount of $17,500 for the winter of 2022-2023 and $18,000 for the winter of 2023-204.
- the appropriation of $25,000 from the accumulated surplus to begin work on the renovation of the Gagné Park recreational infrastructure.
- the organization of the 2022 edition of the Open air cinema activity this summer: three screenings will be held on July 6 and 20 and August 3. Follow our news for the location and titles of the films.
- the organization of the Fête nationale du Québec on June 24.
- the allocation of the Town’s financial contributions to the organizations supported in the operation: Plein air Sutton/MTB ($18,000), Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton ($20,000), Coop Gym Santé ($8,000), Centre d’action bénévole de Sutton ($20,000), Jardin d’enfants de Sutton ($5,000), Maison des jeunes de Sutton ($4,000), Productions Cœur du Village ($15,000), D’Arts et de rêves ($18,000), Arts Sutton ($10,000) Tour des arts ($7,500), Festival de jazz de Sutton ($8,000), Héritage Sutton ($7,000), Musiques et traditions illimitées ($7,000), Musée des communications et d’histoire de Sutton ($5,500), Bibliothèque Sutton Library ($2,000)
- allocation of the Town’s financial contributions to organizations supported for a project: Ballet Théâtre Sutton ($3,000).
- the recognition of NPO’s : La Société de Concert Vivarté (Glen Sutton Church) and Marché Samedi Sutton.
- the designation and delegation of power to a PENS employee as the officer responsible for the application of certain municipal by-laws on the trails managed by PENS.
- Council approved the establishment of the PR-2 First Responder Service (see press release of March 8).
- Council accepted the resignation of 15 first responders. The Town thanks them for their service.
- The council approved the programming of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17. A flag will be flown.
- The council approved changing the days and hours of operation of Town Hall to have winter and summer hours:
- Winter hours from Thanksgiving to the Friday before the 3rd Monday in May: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.
- Summer hours from the 3rd Monday in May to Thanksgiving: Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 12:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
NB: only the questions are included. The interventions can be listened to in their entirety online on YouTube.
- A citizen representing a group mentioned their dog park project. RESPONSE: The project could be presented to the Quality of life committee as part of the participatory budget for community capital projects.
- A citizen asked if the one-way street on Highland Street was going to be removed, as he finds it more dangerous because of the speed of cars. RESPONSE: The one-way street has been in place for one year. Speed enforcement is the responsibility of the Sûreté du Québec. The Town will reinstall the bollards on the pedestrian lane, which will improve safety.
- A citizen asked if the change in first responder service from PR-3 to PR-2 would have the same cost to the town and why the Town did not require firefighters to be PR-3 trained to respond to all calls as before. RESPONSE: The Town explained in a news release the differences between PR-2 and PR-3 and the reasons for its decision.
- A citizen asked when the decision to change to PR-2 was made by the Town. RESPONSE: The decision was made after many first responders resigned en masse and after Public Health confirmed that it was more important to provide 100% coverage for PR-2 calls rather than 80% coverage for PR-3 calls.
- A citizen asked:
- why were the PRs relocated. ANSWER: Because they were using a meeting room needed by the administration for sleeping, eating and resting.
- how much do the administration staff earn, knowing that salaries are paid by a population of about 4,000 people? ANSWER: Be careful to also consider the cottagers in our tax revenues; rather, consider 8,000 people who require services. For the record, salaries were all renegotiated by the previous council to catch up with salary levels and prevent turnover.
- how the town was going to reduce taxes when its account has increased by 15.3% over the past 5 years. RESPONSE: The Town has frozen the base tax rate, the rate increases are all explained in the extremely transparent budget presentation.
- why the Town is paying for mountain rescue for non-residents. RESPONSE: The Emergency Preparedness Act requires this and prohibits it from being billed. Invoices made by the Town in 2020 were disputed and had to be reimbursed.
- A citizen asked why log trucks are using Scenic Road when they are not allowed. Calls have been made to the Town and have not been returned. RESPONSE: This is the responsibility of the Sûreté du Québec.
- A citizen asked:
- why the fire station was going to be expanded to make dormitories for the PR when the PR are not there. RESPONSE: This project announced in the annual report of the public security service has no link with the PR. In addition, this project is deferred to the 2024 ITP. It is intended as a response to the difficulty in recruiting firefighters and all cities are moving towards an on-call system.
- whether the Town had consulted with other cities served by the RP at the time of the change in service. RESPONSE: The General Manager has contacted the General Managers of Abercorn and Brome.
- how long does it take for an RP to travel to an emergency with their own vehicle that does not have a flashing light. RESPONSE: According to the information we have for the month of March, the response time was 6 minutes on average, which is very reasonable.
Next council meeting: Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. (Reminder: 2022 meeting schedule).