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Author Topic: Town of Brome Lake Plans And Budget Causes Reaction  (Read 106 times)
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« on: June 20, 2011, 03:32:22 PM »

In early June the local papers talked about a 6 part Facelift that Lac Brome Town of Brome Lake was sounded less like a Lifting and more like a Botox treatment according to some...well some people have said so...and the Chamber of Commerce released an official position on the Town and their plans:

Reprinted here, courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce Lac Brome:

June 15, 2011
To all members of the Municipal Counsel of Town of Brome Lake
Mr. Mayor, the Councillors, Me Alain R. Roy and Mr. Jean Bourret
Subject: Comments from the Chamber of Commerce of Brome Lake on the investment projects of the
Town of Brome Lake
The Town of Brome Lake recently introduced different investment projects and their options, indicating
which ones they could implement in the coming years.
You will find in Appendix A, a summary of these projects, our understanding of these, their options as
well as guidelines. We deliberately excluded from these projects, the sewage systems work for the
communities of Foster and Rock Island as the costs associated with such projects are provided by the
users and not by all the residents of Brome Lake.
The cost of these projects, as presented, may vary from 4 700,000 $ to 8,147,000 $ and the
implementation could start as of this year to be spread over a three-year period.
First of all, I would like to thank the Municipal Council for their integrity in the analysis of these projects
and their submission to the population so that the citizens may adequately ask questions relevant to our
elected officials and present their recommendations.
However, after having attended one of the presentations, I noticed the discomfort of many over the
high debt to realize these projects and the possible consequence of an increased level of tax generated
by these additional charges during the next 20-25 years or even 30 years. And this, despite the financial
flexibility of the existing budget repeatedly demonstrated by the Mayor Decelles.
Our residents are not against improving these infrastructure (to bury electrical wires and a bridge that
will enhance the beauty of the town of Knowlton), but they absolutely insist that the execution of such
work should be done inside the current financial capability of the Town of Brome Lake.
The context
1. The bridge, the dam and the garage are not choices. These projects must be done.
2. The Douglas Beach building, Coldbrook Park and the trail are not mandatory. However we must
ask ourselves what kind of town do we want for ourselves and our heirs? And do we have the
3. All deplore, without exception, and over many years, the town’s appearance, the number of
businesses that have closed, the image of our beautiful town and what other surrounding
towns have done to improve compared to ours.
Our comments
In all cases regardless of the options selected, we recommend re-analyzing rigorously the cost of
each project.
1. Douglas Beach building
A building of 28 ft x 3 ft = 850 sf at a cost ranging from $ 200,000 to $ 300,000. This represents a
cost of $235 to $353 a square foot, which seems high. Construction cost of $125 per square foot
would be approximately $105,000.
2. The Lakeside Bridge and the dam
It seems to be impossible to make relevant comments on the cost of both of these projects.
a) The burying of all the electrical wires on Lakeside should be done when the opportunity
presents itself. If we do not execute this project now, nothing will get done before the next
75 or even 100 years! Imagine our picturesque village in 20 years with all these wires. This is
not an option.
b) The dam repairs are not an immediate necessity. The risks associated with redoing the dam
later on are minimal. In addition, preventive measure can be taken to counter these risks.
c) Options that were not explored are still unanswered: Hydro Quebec offers funding for
project that reclaims fish habitat under their compensation deals with northern rivers dam
projects, has anybody fully explored the options? The wildlife federation has also some
funding available for projects that re-establish access to spawning for fishing grounds.
Including a real functional fishing weir would create conditions to generate tourism dollars
and qualify the dam reconstruction for funding under compensation deals for mandatory
destruction of habitat in other areas of Quebec. So far the hired consultants have been
engineers and they have found engineering solutions. We are still missing the bigger picture
for the long term of this town. A healthy, swimmable, skate-able fully accessible pond
should generate more return on investments than any other investments.
d) The pond revamping proposal so far talks about the excavation of up to 150 truckloads of
sediments. In 2006 under their engineers stage project evaluated that
between 3000 to 4000 truck loads needed to be taken out of the pond to revamp it correctly
to increase its capacity, depth and functionality. We are really far from that amount with
150 trucks loads now. Again the majority of the sediments are likely made up of gravel and
sand. A lot of that material could be used to improve buildable land around town to permit
development where fill is needed. A lot of the owners of these lots might be interested in
participating to get this material. Moving the municipal garage might be a good staging set
to stock the organic material that will also be part of the sediments.
3. The municipal garage
The current condition of the garage is such that it must be replaced this year. There is no doubt
about it. However, the budget can certainly be within the range of $ 1,500,000 to $ 2,000,000
and some other work associated with this project can continue over the following years, if
4. The linear trail
The budget for this project can be reduced, as suggested by Mayor Decelles. Its execution could
be carried out on a 5-year basis instead of 3. Thus, the costs could be absorbed within the
annual budget, as there are no borrowing rules for trails.
1. We endorse all projects.
2. We propose for the year 2011, to obtain borrowing rules for a total of 3 550,000 $ for the
following projects :
- Douglas Beach building 150,000 $
- Lakeside Bridge 1,400,000 $
- Municipal Garage 2,000,000 $
3. We ask that you demonstrate for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, the effect of these new
loans on anticipated budgets for the town and the flexibility remaining for other projects
such as the dam, to be executed within the next ten years.
4. We ask you to demonstrate to our residents, the total indebtedness of the town after the
new loans and the total net debt to be supported by residents. We also urge you to
compare this net debt per resident to residency in different towns of the region or Quebec.
The purpose of this information is to reassure residents about the financial capacity of the
5. We also propose to set up a committee that will aim to find ways to increase the town’s
revenue by attracting new residents, new businesses and thus enable economic growth in
our Town. The new revenue will absorb inflationary costs that the Town will undergo and
thus eliminate or at least reduce the tax increase to residents due to inflation.
Thank you in advance for the consideration you give to our comments and remain available to discuss
with you.
Gaëtan Gélinas
President, Chamber of Commerce of Brome Lake
p.s. These comments have been exchanged with all the members of Board of the Chamber of
Commerce. Unfortunately, due to the short period of time that we had to share our comments with you,
it was impossible to transmit this information to our members in advance and get their feedback.
Appendix A
Total cost Timeframe for completion
_________________ __________________
Minimum Maximum
1. Douglas Beach buidling 200,000 300,000 2011-2012
2. Lakeside Bridge 150,000 1,400,000 2012
3. Dam 1,800,000 1,800,000 2013
4. Coldbrook Park ? ? ?
5. Municipal Garage 1,800,000 3647,000 2011-2012
6. Trail- by linear 750,000 1,000,000 2011-2012-2013
Total 4,700,000 8,147,000
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