Lennoxville council gets down to business

By Gordon Lambie
Lennoxville council gets  down to business

The new Lennoxville Borough Council held its first public meeting since the November 5 election on Tuesday evening. President Claude Charron and councilors Jennifer Garfat and Bertrand Collins sat before an audience of six for a session that was over in less than twenty minutes.
As is typical of the Lennoxville meetings, the majority of the time was spent on questions from residents, during which Alf Whittier, Karl Hunting and Roy Paterson all voiced concerns.
Whittier brought a reminder of the need for better street lighting on Moulton Hill and a note that several lights in the stretch between the cemetery and Atto Street are burnt out.
“I wish (Hydro Sherbrooke) would patrol better,” the resident said. “I think they just wait for people to complain.”
Charron responded by recommending that Whittier try the city complaints line, 819-821-5858. The Borough President noted that the phone line is far more accessible and bilingual than it used to be.
Hunting began by highlighting the poor condition of Mitchell Street and the bridge in Huntingville following the work to install new water conduits in the community. He noted that not only was promised work not done, but now heavy truck traffic and school busses are passing over the damaged infrastructure on a daily basis in an effort to avoid Lennoxville’s traffic congestion.
Hunting then asked about local crosswalk safety and whether there has been any information from the Ministry of Transport (MTQ) on changes to the borough’s crossings.
Charron noted that following a letter from Bishop’s University’s student council, the borough was copied on a response from the MTQ promising the installation of a push button on the College Street crossing.
“It’s been promised but there are no dates,” Charron told The Record following the meeting, explaining that he is skeptical the promise will turn to action any time soon. “The budget has to be approved and they have their own priorities; you have to read between the lines,” he said.
Asked about the new light installed as a pilot project on the crosswalk next to the Provigo, Charron said that the project is entirely based on personal impressions at this point and that he has received no information whatsoever from the city about how it is being evaluated.
In his capacity as a Waterville town councilor, Hunting also shared a letter from Mayor Nathalie Dupuis.
“We are in the process of trying to stop the erosion of the ball park in Huntingville,” he summarized. “It’s a $30,000 project and we’re really hoping the City of Sherbrooke will cough up a few bucks because probably 80 per cent of the people who play there are from the City of Sherbrooke.”
Hunting said the work would be done one way or the other, but emphasized the imbalance of the current arrangement.
Charron said that he thinks the city will be resistant to paying for work outside of its territory, but agreed that there should be some kind of contribution.
Hunting also pointed out that there are still several election posters up for different candidates around town and asked when they would be taken down. To this Charron recommended that the posters be reported on the complaints line, 821-5858. Delinquent posters can also be reported to the electoral commission directly by email at election2017@sherbrooke.ca.
For his part, Patterson asked whether residents would be allowed to make their own sidewalks of crushed rock, provided that they did it on their own land. Charron responded that the city only approves standard concrete sidewalks but that if people were working on their own land he didn’t think there was any issue.
The actual work of the meeting consisted of the rapid approval of donations or agreements with local community organizations that was completed within five minutes. In the section of the meeting reserved for personal remarks from the councilors, each member of the new team expressed appreciation to the community for their support during the election and reaffirmed their individual commitments to serve Lennoxville to the best of their respective abilities.

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