The economic crash is affecting all corners of the economy as a complete re-shaping of the modern market is causing job losses and a severe financial crises that doesn’t just rattle the Dow Jones or TSX values but also hits the residents of Lac Brome and Knowlton wether we like it or not.
Of course we don’t like it and the fact we have to tighten our belts a few notches doesn’t sit well for those of us who are used to living with rosy colored glasses. Unfortunately the reality is making us sit up and take notice that we all have to make adjustements and that includes the real-estate market in Brome Lake, Lac Brome & Knowlton Quebec.
In a recent local newspaper one of our elected officials said the Town was looking for “creative” ways to bring young families and businesses into Knowlton and Lac Brome. This is a great sentiment but is it just blowing smoke considering what is happening in the area? Commercial vacancies are at record highs, rental vacancies areat record highs, land prices are at record highs and so residents are waiting to see what the “creative” ways to turn this negative downturn around?
Apparently one creative way is to use 2.4 million dollars to do an overhaul of an underground pipe system on Centre and Bondville roads and then toss another 1.4 million dollars into sprucing up the Blackwood Dam at the Mill Pond. Well at least if the dam is fixed there will be a better starting line for the Duck Race! Money well spent? Let’s get Quacking!
Teknika-HBA inc. was given another mandate to spend over $50,000 to “plan” for a culvert and wee bridge on the Argyll walking path. Sheesh, my pappy could install 500 meters of galvanized corrugated culvert, put up a fence around the finished project, and afford to take all 14 workers to lunch for around $22,000. Someone in Lac Brome seems to have a real shine to the engineering firm Teknika HBA if they are paying over 50 large to an engineering firm to trace out some plans.
The town wants to upgrade the shack on Douglass Beach and the cost is going beyond $200,000 which seems high considering that a complete single family home can be built for less! A sweet little engineering has been paid to do the R + D, nice work if you can get it!
And now that Teknika-HBA inc. has been paid a princes ransome to create a “Lake Plan” for Brome Lake they have begun advertising their services of lake remidiation partly based on the Brome Lake studies. Bully for them! So basically this firm who accepts millions of dollars from our tax funds uses this money to promote themselves their services so this is a nice little self fullfilling prophecy. Sweet! We remember when they were asking for residents to provide reports and scientific information to assist with the plan all for free and then went behind the backs of the Town to provide a favorable report for another group accoding to their needs. Talk about biting the hand that feeds, double dipping and still getting couchie-coo with everyone!
Looking at the recently published payments to Brome Lakes favorite engineering firm it seems that Jean Bourret, the Town Manager of Lac Brome and Pierre Bertrand, M.Sc. of Teknika have a strong relationship:
Honoraires d’ingénieurs (Awarded to Teknika)
• Gestion qualité de l’eau du lac = 196 720,41$
• Chemin Lansdowne = 13 654,10$
• Divers travaux de voirie = 9 121,76$
• Réservoir Spring-Hill = 31 009,81$
• Chemin Grove = 21 146,32$
• Réseaux d’aqueduc en général = 48 066,94$
• Réseaux d’égouts en général = 23 791,90$
• Bâtiment Plage Douglass = 24 972,18$
Of course there may not be another engineering firm in Quebec who could provide these services cheaper or with such expertise so perhaps it all makes sense? What some people find to be incredulous is that the Town Manager and the head of these firms that work in such complicity don’t even live in Lac Brome so in hockey language one might ask: WTF do they care? FREE RIDE!
But wait! If any tax payers dare say anything about the spending on engineers they might want to hold their breath and take a look at the spending Lac Brome dished out for computer services. Everyone should have a decent anti-cirus program for their computers…and most folks with an online computer network at home can be expected to fork out some cash for a decent anti-virus. It seems the town needs an anti-virus program that cost the taxpayers over $15,000! Whoa! Personally I enjoy complete protection on my 5 computer network with a license from Microsoft for $300 per year. How can the town spend $15,000 for anti-virus protection? Sheesh…maybe they should scale back a bit because they don’t even respond to their emails! La Voix De L’est did a survey and Lac Brome failed as far as responding to citizen emails goes so maybe their high priced virus-proterction is a bit too robust.
Let’s look at the spending for basic electronic services:
• Anti virus = 16 501,77$
• Conseil « sans papier » = 2 923,46$
• Soutien technique (banque d’heures) = 12 416,25$
• Contrat de service (12 mois) = 76 789,08$
“Conseil sans papier” costs $2900? Do we get a rebate if we pay with PayPal instead of a paper check? Ouch!