The February meeting was attended by around 30 citizens. The new community center is a much more inviting location for the council meetings. A microphone is needed for question period as it is difficult to hear when questions are asked. The new projector system which council uses to present pictures, plans and graphics is great but it shines in the councillors eyes and the public gallery has a hard time seeing the entire screen as the bottom quarter of the screen is projected onto the council members. Seeing letters and numbers projected on the forheads of the council members and mayor is somewhat less than dignified. Hopefully adjustements will be made.
Mayor Wisdom presided over the meeting and spoke further of the progress being made on getting a plan of action drawn up for cleaning up Brome Lake. He reiterated news from the previous meeting stating that Teknika had been mandated to examine the lake and the waterways that drain into it and was seeking to collect as much information on the lake as they could get their hands on to draw up a plan to be delivered in April or May.
During the first question period members of Renaissane Lac Brome expressed some concerns that there may be some duplication of efforts at cleaning up the lake. The council suggested that RLB not spend any money too quickly and seemed to prefer that they wait to see the Teknika proposal before begining any cleanup efforts.
Once the studies are completed they will be used to help secure funding for projects aimed at restoring the lake.
It was announced that the golf courses in the area were following the strict guidelines enforced by the Ministry of the Environment. The golf courses are often having fingers pointed at them when it comes to blaming someone for polluting the lake and the Knowlton Golf Club has met with the towns environment committee to discuss and better inform them on how they use pesticides and fertilizers.
Council announced intentions to persue a project of relocating electrical power lines on Victoria Street. As most people who use the street know, the telephone poles are literally right in the street creating a hazard to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Burying the electrical lines is the likely solution and if there is talk of relocating power lines it may be pointed out in future discussions that the skyline of downtown Knowlton is crisscrossed with wires and the telephone poles are actually quite unsightly. While the hazards of Victoria street are probably greater the central old town Knowlton could be much improved by relocating the poles.
The plan also called for adding a sidewalk or walkway along the street and adding a bikepath. All would be welcome changes!
The request of $160,000 of financial aid to redevlop the portion of Victoria Street between Knowlton and Center Roads was also announced. This would also be a welcome project as with the new location of the community center we are seeing more and more folks walking on the rather treacherous Victoria Street. The addition of the two stop signs at the top of the hill on Victoria Street is greatly appreciated and a sidewalk to the center from Knowlton Road would allow mothers and other pedestrians safe passage.
Another slightly dangerous pedestrian area is the small bridge on Knowlton Road beside Ding's Auto Body. When there is snowfall pedestrians are literally forced to walk on the road as the bridge is so narrow. With so many minor changes to be made it is good to see that council is tackling the issues and getting the ball rolling at these repairs and improvements.
During both question periods residents expressed shock and awe upon seeing their property evaluation and attached tax bills that had entered the stratosphere and, according to a few angry residents, had actually surpassed the value of their properties. The huge tax increase seemed to fly far and beyond what averages in other Quebec regions had experienced. City Manager Mr. Bourret explained that a private evaluation firm sets the numbers and were likely based on the active real estate market in the area. Not everyone was consoled by his answers as many seem to feel the market is actually quite stagnant with many properties being on the market for years or not selling at all.
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.
Residents can contest their property evaluations if they desire for a nominal fee. The Brome Lake evaluation roll increases from $566 million to $850 million. Mayor Wisdom explained that the town had tried to offset the rise by lowering the tax rate from $1.10 per $100 of evaluation down to $0.82 per $100 evaluation but such explanations still didn't soothe those who saw big increases in their tax bills.
Council also mentioned that they were giving a little more breathing room to businessess who have to conform to the signage regulations that prohibit having signs lit from behind.
The teen dance that was held at the community center saw over 150 people show-up to enjoy the new community center! The dances will likely grow in popularity now that they are held in our lovely new center.
Last month at Knowlton City Hall