November Lac Brome Council Meeting Notes
Next council meeting December 4th at 7 p.m. at the Legion Community Center in Knowlton.
2007 public budget meeting will be held December 12th at the Legion Hall , 383 Knowlton Road
Previousely at Knowlton City Hall
The November meeting was attended by around 30 citizens.

Mayor Wisdom presided over the meeting and announced that the Town of Brome lake is being forced to overturn an existing bylaw forbidding the installation of windmills on the Lac Brome jurisdiction.

It was also announced that the closing of this fiscal year will show the town has a slight surplus in the coffers. He also announced some new environmental projects to be undertaken in Lac Brome for the 2007 year. These measures include having a new inspector who will be assigned to Brome Lake. There will also be other posts created spedically for maintaining special attention to the waterways and the lake.

As well some improvements to the downtown core will get underway in 2007 including improvements to parking at Tiffany Park, maintenance on some dirt roads and better public signage.

During Question Period
The issue of businessess being forced to conform to local signage bylaws was again brought up as one business owner noted that such company signs like the bright glowing Ultra-Mar sign in West Brome were recently installed and against the bylaw. The mayor had to admit that such multi-national companies would likely just ignore such bylaws.The signage issue

This is another example of why it is so hard to undertake tasks like cleaning up the environment when large corporations, often the ones most responsible for pollution, can just do whatever they please!

The issue of the Brome Lake and her health problems was visited and the Renaissance Lac Brome meeting that saw 300 plus attend the meeting was talked about. People asked what was going to be done with the lake. An action plan is being developed by the Town, perhaps not fast enough for locals concerned with the state of the lake, but as the council pointed out these sorts of problems have been happening since the 1920's!
Renaissance Lac Brome Meeting

Environmental Committee
It was announced that Pierre Beaudoin and Francine Bastien have been appointed to the Brome Lake Environmental Committee.

The new Brome Lake Center opens December 18th
The Legion Community Center will be closed on December 14th and 15th for moving into the new Centre-Lac-Brome being completed on Victoria Street. The Centre-Lac-Brome will be open as of Monday, December 18th, 2006.

The grande opening party will be announced soon!

September & October Meetings
Mayor Wisdom
presided over both meetings.

During question periods of both monthly gatherings citizens expressed concern about the state of Lac Brome and persisted in understanding the concrete steps and progressive actions the leaders were taking to help Brome Lake which was closed due to health concerns brought on by blue-green algae blooms. During both meetings council members expressed their desire to find solutions to the problem but admitted having difficulty with the situation due to the fact that there were so many variables and expert opinions to be considered that it was a situation that required action but also further study. This caused some rumblings among some observers at the meetings who were unimpressed with the response by council.

At the September meeting it was reported that the Blue Recycling bins had finally been received and were being distributed. It will make recycling much easier to have a sturdy wheeled apparatus to haul out to the curb on Recycling Day. The big Blue Bins are quite nice emblazoned with the Lac Brome logo! A good step by Lac Brome to encourage folks to recycle!

The Quebec Ministry of Transport had agreed to install a flashing light at the intersection of McCurdy road and Highway 139.

The small cabin in the center of Knowlton beside the library which has been used as the Knowlton tourist information center will be transported to West Brome so it can serve the more useful purpose of being a bus-shelter for school children awaiting the local school bus. It would be great to see that old structure moved out and some sort of improvement made to the space.

In September council announced their intentions to form a committee with West Bolton to study what could be done to help the cynobacteria problems in Brome Lake. During the October meeting it was confirmed that Lac Brome would match the $2000 of other municipalities towards the study. The announcement that up to $6000 would be put towards the study of the Lac Brome problem did not go over well with everyone attending the meeting. One person presented a Ministry of the Environment letter that had outlines concrete steps to help solve the ongoing problems associated with Brome Lake and was vocal in his questions as to why many of the initiatives mentioned in the document, dating from 2001, had not been implemented.

At the October meeting held in Fulford it was made official that after many years of complaints received by the municipality, Transport Quebec agreed finally to install the flashing lights at Route 139 and Scott/McCurdy roads. Of course there would have to be a slight catch: Lac Brome has to pay half the installation, $10,000 which will be in the 2007 budget, for the light that will be installed in the spring of next year. Hasn't the the WalMart purchased in Quebec Program allowed us to find flashing lights available for less than $20,000?

The issue of Policing and weather the SQ or the Bromont Police will be providing services to our region continues. Of course the Security Minister, Jacques Dupuis will have to be overcome as he seems unwilling to rewrite the policing laws. The cost of Policing the Lac Brome area is based on our collective property tax evaluations which were measured at $1.6 million last year and will surely be rising. Many Canadian towns are undergoing similar restructuring of their police protection and this will surely be a long process for Knowlton.

At the October meeting Brome Lake announced that they had completed spending $15,000 in court and legal fees to to win a case against Depanneur Rouge for allowing transport trucks (the big rigs that drive the Canadian economy) to park behind their store in the large empty dusty lot. The Depanneur Rouge is Knowlton's favorite gas station, ice-cream stand, lunch and breakfast restaurant and has a popular corner store and Lotto-Quebec outlet. Most people just assumed the trucks parked in the large expanse behind the store were fairly harmless but apparently the town found a $15,000 expense to be a worthwhile allocation of resources and the Depanneur must have spent a fair sum trying to win their case. Too bad both sides couldn't work it out in the playground like back in the day. Hopefully the Depanneur Rouge will still be allowed to allow the dwarf-horse and buggy parades to stop for ice-cream in the summer!

West Brome residents who have presented a petition containing over 200 names who were requesting that the speed limit be reduced on Highway 139 near the village of West Brome to 50 km/h. While council generally seemed sympathetic the spokesman for the group was frustrated by the lack of tangible results from council and expressed his dismay during the October meeting in Fulford. Speeding on roads is an issue that is especially frustrating for residents in rural areas as most speeders who endanger the public are either commercial vehicles or visitors from large centers who maintain overly-aggressive driving habits. Many thoroughfares in the Lac Brome area see traffic whizzing by at high speeds and the petition brought forth by residents seems to be another example of people's very safety being compromised due to heel-dragging by those who make the final decisions regarding traffic modification which is typically the Quebec Ministry of Transport. The recent collapse of the viaduct in Laval underlines the fact that such bureaucracies often react only after a tragedy occurs instead of answering the warnings of citizens which are often like the canary in the coal-mine.

The public meeting in September regarding the installation of a cell phone communication tower in the Brome Lake area to provide wireless service to the Eastern Township region was attended by less than 10 residents. The proposed cellphone tower which the mayor described as "small" will be a 240 foot tall structure built near the Brome Lake Duck Farm. The first reports of the impending structure were last month: Can You Hear Me Now? Cell Tower To Be Built The next public discussions on the issue will be held November 6th at 6 p.m. at the Legion Community Center in Knowlton before the regular monthly council meeting.

Contact Knowlton (Lac Brome) City Hall

122, Lakeside, PO Box 60 Knowlton, QC J0E 1V0
Offices located on the corner of Lakeside and Victoria
Knowlton (Lac Brome) City Hall Hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 am -12:00 noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Telephone: 450-243-6111 Fax: 450-243-5300

Town of Brome Lake Website

Mayor: Richard Wisdom
Director: Jean Bourret
Municipal Inspector: Marc Béland

Town of Lac Brome announced they now have the full Agenda of regular council meetings online in .pdf and .doc format on their new website available for download. While the printed version may miss some of the drama of the meetings it still allows everyone to track the progress of the officials monthly meetings. All transcripts of the Lac Brome council meetings are available at the new Town of Lac Brome Website.

Knowlton City Hall.

The End of Regional Council Meetings
It was announced officially during the October Lac Brome Council meeting in Fulford that the public meetings would soon be permanently taking place in the new Knowlton Center which is set to have construction completed by mid November 2006.

For years the monthly meetings were held in one of the small communities that made up the conglomerate that is now known as Brome Lake. The town was officially formed by the merger of the towns or hamlets of Bondville, East Hill, Foster, Fulford, Iron Hill, Knowlton and West Brome in 1971. Much like the different cities of the Island of Montreal, there has been a fight to remain cohesive while still preserving a sense of self amongst the area.

The announcement that all meetings will soon be held in Knowlton will not go over well with everyone in the area but the Mayor did make a good point during the meeting highlighting the fact that Knowlton is a central area and the new community center will be easier for many of our seniors to get too and while it is true that it was nice for residents of areas like Fulford to have a visit of the council in their town hall it is sure that the new Knowlton Center will be a lively chambers for the public to take part in area politics. The new modern building is something to be proud of and the debate should be focussed on the issues and not on the venue of the debate. We look forward to the grand opening the date of which is yet to be announced.

Last month at Knowlton City Hall

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