Summary of the municipal council meeting of January 19, 2022
The municipal council meeting was held behind closed doors and by videoconference on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. It was recorded and broadcast live on our YouTube channel. The official minutes (in French only) of the meeting are also available on our website.
Introduction/follow-up of ongoing files
- The Mayor introduced the directors of the administration who will now also be present at the municipal meetings, that is Titouan Valentin Perriollat, Director of Public Works and Fixed Assets and Élizabeth Deit, Director of Recreation, Community Life and Culture. Each of the elected representatives also presented their best wishes to the citizens.
- The Mayor recalled the respect of sanitary measures and the director general mentioned that there had been no interruption of municipal services during the holidays.
- The Mayor mentioned the inauguration of the active circuits in collaboration with the Coop Gym Santé and welcomed this initiative which promotes active walking.
- The Mayor wished to rectify a possible misinterpretation of the PIIA (site planning and architectural integration programs) by-law for adoption at this meeting: it is not a zoning by-law. It is about enforcing architectural integration throughout our territory in order to respect the built environment and our natural heritage.
- The Mayor recalled the process for the review of the urban plan, which will be phased in throughout the year until its adoption. Following the citizens’ hearing sessions, various issues of concern emerged, including:
- Affordable housing
- Densification of the village: develop a vision, conditional on the availability of water.
- Short-term rental
- Support for urban planning projects, such as the Vieux-Verger project.
- Protection of biodiversity, natural environments and wetlands. This concern is shared by many municipalities in the region and this year the MRC will be producing an urban development plan along these lines.
- The Mayor confirmed Council’s intention to set up committees or working groups on various topics. Citizens will be invited to participate as soon as the information and the committees’ mandate are determined.
- The Mayor announced bad news concerning the 18-unit Sutton Affordable Housing project: no bids were received following the call for tenders issued by the organization. The whole process has to start again.
- The Mayor reported that an action plan is being developed on the issue of water supply. Every possibility is being analyzed. The MRC will delegate a representative to the committee created. It also calls for the collaboration of the Ministry of Environment in becoming the site for exploratory study on the potential for water development.
- The Mayor gave an update on the situation of IHR Télécom, which is running behind schedule due to the labour shortage. He reiterated the importance of signing up as soon as possible to obtain high-speed access. IHR is an open network and customers may change providers as they wish.
- The Mayor announced his appointments at regional level:
- He was appointed Brome-Missisquoi MRC’s representative on the IHR technical committee.
- He was elected to the Board of Directors of the Brome-Missisquoi Local Development Centre (CLD). A conference project is being discussed with the CLD in Sutton to take advantage of their strategic economic development plan.
- He was elected to the MRC’s development committee, which intends to review its development plan this year, including constraints on the preservation of wetlands and biodiversity.
- The Mayor confirmed that the 2022 budget would be detailed at the January 26, 2022 council meeting.
Adoption of a by-law
- Adoption of the By-law number 251-5-2021 entitled “By-law amending the Permits and Certificates By-law number 251 as amended, in order to bring paragraphs 9) and 10) of section 52 into conformity with the Architects Act and to specify the acquired rights mentioned in paragraph 10) of section 53“: to ensure a certificate of compliance of the plans with the Building Code.
Tabling/adoption of four draft by-laws:
- Adoption of the second draft of the By-law number 73-3-2021 entitled ‘’By-law amending by-law number 73 concerning site planning and architectural integration programs (PIIA) in order to add provisions relating to densification and the realization of a project “: it is simply a matter of adding a supervisory tool to better control the harmonization of authorized projects in their environment.
- Adoption of the first draft of the By-law number 116-3-2021 entitled ’’By-law amending subdivision by-law number 116-1 as amended, to add the article 2.11 “: it is to adjust the conditions for issuing permits to unserviced land following amendments to the by-law 251.
- Tabling of the draft by-law number 315 entitled ‘’By-law concerning the creation of a fund reserved for expenses related to the holding of an election and allocation of the necessary sums “: the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities now requires the provision of a $60,000 fund set aside for the next election, to be paid each year (i.e., $15,000 per year).
- Tabling of the draft by-law number 317 entitled ‘’Code of ethics and good conduct for elected representatives of the Town of Sutton “: The Municipal Ethics and Good Conduct Act requires Council to, following each election, adopt a Code of ethics and good conduct before March 1st. Read the public notice issued in accordance with the law.
- Council appointed Lynda Graham as a representative on the Board of Directors of the Brome-Missisquoi Office d’habitation.
- In December, the Public Works department replaced the only pump supplying water to the village by two pumps. This duplication of pumps ensures a secure water supply in case of failure of one of the pumps.
- Council authorized the signing of an agreement with the Minister of Transport under the Programme d’aide à la voirie locale (PAVL): the Ministry grants us a subsidy of $1.9 million for the rehabilitation of a portion of North Sutton Road and 14 culverts on Draper, Schweizer, North Sutton and Vallée-Missisquoi roads. The Town will contribute $1.1 million to this project.
- The tabling of the CCUDD minutes (in French only) was accepted.
- For details on the urbanism requests, listen to the replay on YouTube (from 43:25).
RECREATION, COMMUNITY LIFE AND CULTURE
- Council adopted the salary grids for the recreation staff positions for the 2022 summer season: it concerns the day camp and aquatic employees, with the addition of a new chief lifeguard position. Salaries have been increased to attract applicants due to the labour shortage. Note that if we are short of staff, we may have to cut services. Calling on all to refer to us all applications.
- Council approved the municipal contribution to the Brome-Missisquoi Pact—Sutton 2022 pole (which includes Abercorn). The MRC contributes $21,988 to the Municipal Pact, which was allocated as follows: $3,750 to La Vie au boisé, $5,238 to Sutton Volunteer Center (C.A.B.), $10,000 to the Abercorn Cultural Centre, $3,000 to the Musée des communications et d’histoire de Sutton. For its part, the Town granted a separate fund of $12,142, which was shared among the following organizations: $4,000 to Musiques et traditions illimitées, $2,000 to the Sutton School of Art, $2,130 to the Jardin d’enfants de Sutton, $4,012 to the Musée des communications et d’histoire de Sutton.
- Council approved the appointment of the members of the steering committee responsible for updating the Municipal Family and Seniors Policy (PFA): as the Town is required to renew the members of the committee each year as part of its agreement with the ministère de la Famille et des Ainés, the committee was expanded this year to better represent our community: Louise Comtois and Luce Goerlach (citizens—seniors), Daphnée Poirier (C.A.B.—families), a person to be appointed (Youth Center—teenagers), Tanya Szymanski (MRC Brome-Missisquoi), Doris Mondor (FADOQ des Deux Monts), Donald Kerr (School of Sutton), Jacob Rivest (CIUSS de l’Estrie-CHUS), Lynda Graham (Municipal Council); Élizabeth Deit and Pascal Smith (Town’s administration) and Geneviève Boisvert (Espace MUNI, responsible for supporting the 2023-2025 action plan development process).
- Council authorized the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs concerning the granting of financial assistance under the Programme d’infrastructures Municipalité amie des ainés (PRIMADA). This grant is dedicated to the rehabilitation of the petanque ground located on Academy Street, next to the John-Sleeth Center.
- A citizen requested a follow-up on the obligations of the owner of the three dogs on Morgan Road. ANSWER: A notice of violation has been issued and several obligations have been met. The follow-up is ongoing.
- A citizen sent a document regarding light pollution and requested that the Town respond to this issue. ANSWER: This subject will be part of the quality of life and nuisance committee that has been announced. More information to follow on this subject.
- A citizen requested the following:
- To have access to the resumes of the three specialists who voluntarily offer their advice to the water committee. ANSWER: Given their very occasional involvement, it is up to them individually to provide this information.
- Whether the company LNA was consulted for the water study. ANSWER: The consultant is Tétratech. LNA has done groundwater modelling studies. All studies undertaken will be reviewed and experts will be consulted in due course.
- Clarification on the draft PIIA by-law (impact on the groundwater, integrated housing by region…). ANSWER: As explained, this is not a zoning by-law. It is a question of ensuring a complementary framework for architectural integration throughout the territory.
- A citizen requested the following:
- If the Mayor and town councillor Marie-José Auclair had resigned from their positions as members of the Appalachian Corridor [a non-profit organization] Board of Directors. ANSWER: Yes for the Mayor. No for the councillor.
- If it was possible to add hyperlinks to the draft by-laws announced in the agenda and a short explanation on the purpose of the by-law. ANSWER: The links will be added. The purpose of a by-law is stated in the preamble of the by-law.
- Why are forest rescue fees for users of the PENS not charged to non-residents? ANSWER: This is not just for the PENS as the rescue can happen on any trail and off trail. The Civil Protection Act stipulates what can and cannot be charged. The Town is working on a fee structure that would allow for revenue to cover expenses.
- Why do taxpayers pay for the use of municipal facilities while they are free for NPOs? ANSWER: Free access to facilities for NPOs is a way to provide a free service to the citizens they serve. Our rental policy (free for NPOs, 50% discount for residents, 100% of the cost to non-residents) is similar to that of most municipalities.
- Why is Westwood Road not included in the active circuits, and why was Route 139 not mentioned as dangerous. ANSWER: This project will continue to improve and develop. More roads will be added.
- A citizen requested the following:
- What method will be implemented to file a complaint? ANSWER: The administration is in the process of preparing a complaints policy with an official channel, time limits and a follow-up process.
- Whether there is a need to overhaul the regulatory system given the difficulty of enforcing a number of by-laws. ANSWER: The difficulty stems from the lack of resources to enforce compliance. We are trying to overcome this shortfall.
- A petition has been filed on limiting excessive speed on Pleasant Street.
- A citizen asked if the figure announced last December of $1M for the surplus at the end of the fiscal year was still accurate. ANSWER: The surplus will actually be greater. It will be $1.7M$.