West Bolton Council Meeting: Dec/Jan/Feb 2021

December 2020

The mayor and all councillors, except Loren Allen, were present by Zoom.

Question Period – Several questions were asked concerning; possible changes to Green Zone considering that agriculture is not economic in most of the municipality, use of abandoned gravel pits for new housing, the importance of maintaining the rural character of the municipality, respecting the MRC Land Use Plan, possible market for local produce and the cost and use of the lot adjacent to the Thirsty Boot.

Urbanism – The new zoning bylaw 372-2020 has been sent to the MRC for review. Some minor changes may be required for clarifi- cation including whether the municipality should allow the sale of Cannabis. Twenty permits were issued in Oct./Nov. with a value of almost $1,500,000 including one house.

January 2021

The mayor and all councillors were present by Zoom.

Question Period – Questions covered health restrictions on holding council meetings and the possibility of building a new Town Hall. The mayor noted that up to 100 people attend the Council meetings by Zoom. An average of only 10-12 attended in person. No decisions will be made on the future of the Town Hall until all information has been gathered and a public consultation meeting has been held to discuss it.

Urbanism – Permits totalling $3,989,228 were issued in 2020 including only one new house. Allard & Allard have applied for an extension to the gravel pit on Fuller Rd. The application was approved for a period not to exceed 5 years.

Administration – The 2021 property tax rate of $0.48/$100 of value was approved. Annual salary for mayor $12,240, and for councillors $ 4,080 were approved.

February 2021

The mayor and all councillors were present by Zoom.

Mayor’s opening comments – Buy seeds for vegetable and flower gardens early and avoid a seed shortage. Avoid seeds treated with Neoniconoids, which are dangerous to bees. High-speed fibre-optic Internet service will soon be available in West Bolton. Register your interest on the IHR Telecom website. The population of West Bolton is now 666, an increase of 32 since 2019.

Question Period – Questions covered: the Town Hall and extension of the operating permit for a gravel pit. Traffic on Highway 243 is fast and heavy, the municipality is working with MTQ to reduce speeds on dangerous sections.

Urbanism – Three permits and two requests for minor derogations were approved. An application for a 10-year extension on a gravel pit was approved with conditions. By-law 372-2020, allowing a wider variety of retail businesses along Highway 243 between Bailey and Fuller Rd., was approved.

Administration – A list of councillors and their areas of responsibility will be posted on the website

Roads – Most of the cost of the 5-year road maintenance program, estimated at $1,449,755, is expected to be covered by provincial grants. The municipality may borrow about $250K for 10 years at 3% which will cost about $28K per year. Any surplus revenue from the Welcome Tax will be used to defray these costs.

The objectives and procedures for the MADA committee have been established. See website.

An agreement was signed with the SPCA to deal with stray animals and the route for the annual “B7” bicycle tour in May was approved.

Next Meeting: Monday, March 8.