Town of Brome Lake Council Meeting: September 2017

The mayor chaired the meeting, held in West Brome, with all councillors present. There were about 40 citizens attending.

General Information – The mayor opened the discussion on the proposed abattoir on Mill Rd. He said the town issued a press release on the project this summer as a matter of transparency. “This project deserves all our attention. I am conscious of its environmental impact and that is why all the required analyses will be carried out.” The promoter met with the town and the MRC gave its support. The project has been submitted for the approval of the CPTAQ (Agricultural Land Protection Commission) before it can get the proper authorization from the Department of the Environment. The promoter wishes to remain anonymous for now said the mayor. There was reaction to that in the audience. The mayor insisted that the project would not be carried out to the detriment of the population.

Questions – Most questions dealt with the proposed abattoir. The first questioner asked the mayor and councillors if they, personally, would want to live within a kilometre of a pig slaughter- house. It was met with silence. Later, Councillor Myles said he could not answer because he did not have enough information. Another questioner raised the issue of impartiality if the preliminary studies are conducted and paid for by the promoter of the project. Another citizen asked how the project could be opposed once the CPTAQ has ruled on it? The mayor said that the town was not “giving away” its water and the preliminary reports on water requirements and treatment may be such that the existing system could not accommodate it. Another resident pointed out that the 500,000 heads/yr. slaughterhouse would mean large trucks going in and out of the facility every 10 minutes or more. The debate got heated and accusations flared when a resident implied that the jobs generated by such an activity would increase criminality. Finally Mayor Burcombe said “if there is a lot of opposition to it, the town can say no to the promoter.” (See art. p.5).

Administration – New bins will be purchased to allow residetial compost collection to start, hopefully, by Sept. 2018. A grant may cover 33% of the cost of those bins.

The mayor thanked former Fire Chief Pierre Laplante, who retired at the end of August, for his long years of service to the municipality. A round of applause followed. Laplante was present in the audience.

Adoption of a bylaw to protect water sources from potential oil and gas exploitation.

Leisure, Culture, Tourism and Community Life – Council approved an extra $5,000 grant to The Celtic Harmonies; the BMP Foundation received $250. Some streets will be closed to allow the March against women’s cancers on Oct. 1st and on Dec. 16 for Dr. Julien’s food-drive.

Questions – When will visitors’ boats be subjected to visual inspection? The mayor said there were many environment priori- ties at this time.

What will the town do with the estimated $300,000 tax recovery from the Lac-Brome golf club when it stopped its activities? No specific answer.

Next meeting: 7 p.m. Mon. Oct. 2 at CLB